Uh-oh. It seems like the Obama administration might be headed into even more troubling waters as the recent testimony by IRS Chief John “Super-Smug” Koskinen is being disputed by Lois Lerner and her lawyers.
In an attempt to treat Mr. Koskinen with the utmost respect and fairness, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Representative Darrell Issa (R-CA) has offered Mr. Koskinen the chance to recant or revise his original statement. Rep. Issa sent Mr. Koskinen a letter this week informing him of the discrepancy between his testimony and that of Lois Lerner’s.
“Recent public statements from William W. Taylor III, the attorney representing former IRS official Lois Lerner, have raised new questions about Ms. Lerner’s Federal Records Act compliance practices and the circumstances surrounding the loss of e-mails and destruction of her hard drive. Accordingly, I ask that you assist the Committee in reconciling apparent discrepancies between your claims that Ms. Lerner fully maintained records and statements by her attorney that she did not and that it was not her responsibility.”
I don’t understand. If this is a “phony scandal” like the President and his lapdog media would have us believe, then why can’t these people get their stories straight? The entire circus has only been 3 years in the making… isn’t that enough time to get their stuff together? Weird.
Or maybe this scandal isn’t as phony as the media would have us believe.
Where was the discrepancy? Koskinen seemed to defend Lerner and the IRS when he maintained that everyone had indeed complied with the law. However, all of this was news to Lerner and her attorneys who quickly contradicted Koskinen’s testimony.
Here’s what Koskinen said, “The responsibility is, if you have an email that’s a record, you print it out in hard copy . . . My understanding is every employee is supposed to print records . . . that are official records on hard copy and keep them. She had hard copy records.”
But Lerner’s lawyers quickly responded that the IRS Chief was mistaken. “Lerner did not print out official records she may have sent over email because she didn’t know she had to,” Lerner’s lawyer said. “If somebody is supposed to keep archived copies, that’s the IT department’s or her staff’s responsibility.”
So what’s the disconnect here? Either Lerner did follow the law and keep hard copies… or she didn’t. And why would the head of the IRS believe that she had if she hadn’t? Hasn’t he and his subordinates been looking into this matter for months now? That’s a pretty big thing to get wrong. The whole investigation hinges on these emails that they’ve known were missing for months now… so wouldn’t he have made sure to ask if she had hard copies already?
This entire thing just keeps getting more and more convoluted with each passing day.
Which leads us to Issa’s request that Mr. Koskinen come back and clear things up for Congress.
“In light of statements by Ms. Lerner’s attorney, including the statement that she did not believe she was ‘required’ to maintain a printed archive of federal record e-mails, as well as the record of correspondence between Ms. Lerner and the Justice Department that the IRS apparently did not maintain, the Committee would like to offer you the opportunity to amend your testimony that you have no idea ‘whether anything that was lost was an official record or not’ and acknowledge that Ms. Lerner did not follow policies necessary for Federal Records Act compliance that have obstructed the congressional investigation into the IRS’s targeting.”
I’m pretty sure that if Congressman Issa were a character in a Shakespearean play right about now he’d be saying, “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.”
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