Over the last few weeks tension has been growing over the Lois Lerner/IRS scandal and today it has exploded. Lerner has been rather cavalier about the whole thing:
Lois G. Lerner, the employee at the center of the IRS tea party targeting scandal, wanted to recover files from her computer hard drive after it crashed in 2011, but when told it was impossible, she took a philosophical view.
“Sometimes stuff just happens,” she said in a 2011 email to the IRS tech staff that tried to recover documents from the hard drive.
Problem is, it’s just not possible.
Norman Cillo, an Army veteran who worked in intelligence and a former program manager at Microsoft, argued it is very difficult to lose emails for good and laid out six reasons why he believes Congress is “being lied to” about the Lerner emails:
1. I believe the government uses Microsoft Exchange for their email servers. They have built-in exchange mail database redundancy. So, unless they did not follow Microsofts recommendations they are telling a falsehood. You can see by the diagram below that if you have three servers in a DAG you have three copies of the database.
2. Every IT organization that I know of has hotswappable disk drives. Every server built since 2000 has them. Meaning that if a single disk goes bad it’s easy to replace.
3. ALL Servers use some form of RAID technology. The only way that data can be totally lost (Meaning difficult to bring back) is if more than a single disk goes before the first bad disk is replaced. In the diagram below you can see that its possible to lose a single disk and still keep the data.
4. If the server crashed (Hardware failure other than disks), then the disks that contain the DATA for the Exchange database is still available because the server hardware and disks are exchangeable. Meaning that if I have another server with the same hardware in it, I can put the disks in and everything should boot right up.
5. All email servers in a professional organization use TAPE backup. Meaning if all the above fails, you can restore the server using the TAPE backups.
6. If they are talking about her local PC, then it’s a simple matter of going to the servers which have the email and getting them from the servers. If the servers have removed the data you can still get them by using the backups of the servers to recover the emails.
And were it possible, it should never have happened in the first place. The IRS is required to make hard copies of emails just in case the worst happened:
“The [Federal Records Act] requires agencies to make and preserve records of agency decisions, policies, and essential transactions, and to take steps to safeguard against the loss of agency records,” said House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa, who subpoenaed IRS Commissioner John Koskinen Monday.
The IRS’s own definition of the Federal Records Act makes clear that emails must be saved and documented, according to an instructional page for employees on the IRS website.
“The Federal Records Act applies to email records just as it does to records you create using other media,” according to the IRS. “Emails are records when they are: Created or received in the transaction of agency business; Appropriate for preservation as evidence of the government’s function and activities; or Valuable because of the information they contain.”
“If you create or receive email messages during the course of your daily work, you are responsible for ensuring that you manage them properly,” according to the IRS. “The Treasury Department’s current email policy requires emails and attachments that meet the definition of a federal record be added to the organization’s files by printing them (including the essential transmission data) and filing them with related paper records. If transmission and receipt data are not printed by the email system, annotate the paper copy.”
Now we learn that the computers of six more IRS employees involved in the investigation have conveniently crashed.
It’s not just Lois Lerner’s emails. The Internal Revenue Service says it can’t produce emails from six more employees involved in the targeting of conservative groups, according to two Republicans investigating the scandal.
The IRS told Ways and Means chairman Dave Camp and subcommittee chairman Charles Boustany that computer crashes resulted in additional lost emails, including from Nikole Flax, the chief of staff to former IRS commissioner Steven Miller, who was fired in the wake of the targeting scandal.
The revelation about Lerner’s emails rekindled the scandal and today’s news has further inflamed Republicans. Camp and Boustany are now demanding a special prosecutor to investigate “every angle” of the targeting. They expressed particular outrage that the agency has known since February that it would not be able to produce the emails requested by the committee yet did not apprise the committee of the fact, and they charged in a statement that the IRS is attempting to “cover up the fact that it convenient lost key documents in the investigation.”
What we have here is obstruction of justice and obstruction of Congress. The House is finally getting off it’s ass and is actually doing something:
The Internal Revenue Service is about to get slapped with a harsh payback for messing around with conservative groups, blowing wads of tax dollars on employee conferences and helping implement Obamacare. The House Appropriations Committee is set to OK an IRS budget of $10.9 billion, $1.5 billion under President Obama’s request for fiscal year 2015, reducing the agency’s budget to 2008 levels.
It’s not enough. The IRS is hopelessly corrupted. It has become an arm of the Obama Brotherhood and has been weaponized to persecute conservatives. Every last IRS employee should be fired and new ones hired, but only with the approval of the GOP-led House. The IRS has lost all credibility.
These are the people who are going to enforce Obamacare? God help us.
Cleta Mitchell, the lawyer who represents Catherine Engelbrecht of True the Vote (who has been repeatedly victimized by democrats and Federal agencies), has a pile of questions for the attorneys who represent the IRS. Read all about it at Powerline.
Rep. Steve Stockman (R-Texas) is seeking assistance from the NSA, which undoubtedly has copies of the Lerner emails. This ought to be great fun.
Politico ran a story saying:
Lois Lerner email flap inflames GOP ire in IRS tea party ruckus
Inflames the GOP? When exactly does the press find this important?
President Obama, in an interview with Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly, tried to put behind him the scandals that have hung over his second term, suggesting his administration did not mislead the public on the Benghazi attack and going so far as to say the IRS targeting scandal had “not even a smidgen of corruption.”
Obama’s denial that there is corruption is concrete proof that corruption is rampant.
Pass the popcorn.
I found a picture of Lerner losing her emails