WH says no one is hiding lost IRS emails


McClatchy Washington Bureau

The White House is disputing allegations that the administration is hiding former Internal Revenue Service official Lois Lerner’s emails, noting the IRS has turned over 67,000 of them.

The IRS has told Congress that it lost more than two years worth of emails involving Lerner, who recently resigned after finding herself at the center of the controversy over the IRS targeting mostly conservative groups for detailed scrutiny of their applications for tax-exempt status.

House Ways and Means committee chairman Dave Camp said the admission of a “supposed computer crash” has him questioning “the credibility of the IRS’s response to Congressional inquiries.”

But White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters -- after joking, “You never heard of a computer crashing before?” -- that the IRS reports of lost emails were “the truth and fact.

“Speculation otherwise is indicative of the kinds of conspiracies that are propagated around this story,” Earnest said. “And propagated in a way that has left people with a very mistaken impression of what exactly occurred.”

Earnest said 67,000 emails sent to or received by Lerner were sent to Congress.

"If we're trying to hide those letters and emails from Congressional oversight, there's a pretty large loophole,” he said, noting that thousands of the emails related to the time period covered by the hard drive crash.

“There’s ample evidence to indicate that a good faith effort has been made by the IRS to cooperate with congressional oversight,” he said. “The far fetched skepticism by some Republican members of Congress is not at all surprising and not particularly believable."

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