Washington, DC, United States (4E) – Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Commissioner John Koskinen testified before a House panel Friday that e-mails of former IRS official Lois Lerner from 2009 to 2011 were lost in a computer crash.
House Republicans are seeking the e-mails as part of their investigation of IRS’s alleged inappropriate targeting of political groups during the period. They suspect President Barack Obama had a hand in the scandal.
Koskinen denied that no effort was made to recover the lost e-mails and denied he was covering up the scandal by not informing Congress immediately as Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.) claimed.
The IRS commissioner told Camp that the agency’s technicians tried for three weeks in 2011 to recover Lerner’s hard drive but failed. But he said that 67,000 emails of Lerner that were not lost were turned over to investigators.
Koskinen also testified that he had to complete a review of the situation before reporting it to Congress so that he will give the committee all the information.
Camp said Koskinen did not do everything to recover the lost e-mails because those were made during the period the tea party targeting occurred. He threatened to call an independent investigation of the scandal by a special prosecutor.
Koskinen disagreed because it will waste taxpayers’ money.
The commissioner will next testify before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Monday.