The IRS scandal: Outrageous twist
The IRS targeting scandal's latest twists are outrageously hard to believe, making the need for sweeping reform by Congress outrageously obvious.
The agency informed congressional investigators Friday last that a 2011 hard-drive crash wiped out two years' worth of emails between other federal agencies and Lois Lerner, then heading the IRS division that subjected tea party groups' tax-exemption applications to extra scrutiny. On Tuesday, the IRS said the emails of six others also can't be found. Experts say that's possible though fantastical. But even if the crash did such a thing, why did it take the IRS so long to divulge it?
Supposedly gone are Ms. Lerner's emails with the White House, the departments of Treasury and Justice, the Federal Election Commission and other agencies of the Obama administration for 2009-11 — “the critical years of the targeting of conservative groups,” according to House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp, R-Mich. Without those emails, he says, “we are conveniently left to believe that Lois Lerner acted alone.”
Supposed crash aside, TheBlaze.com says Lerner violated IRS rules if she didn't keep paper email copies. Attorney General Eric Holder's March refusal to name a special prosecutor surely looks even more like part of a cover-up now.
But accountability for past misconduct is only part of what's needed. Besides breaking its deadlock with the stonewalling IRS, Congress must do whatever it takes to rein in the long-rogue IRS.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.