Over the past several weeks, top IRS officials have maintained the position that the Lois Lerner emails were destroyed and cannot be recovered. But recent testimony to Congress suggests otherwise. Just as everyone on earth suspected, the emails may still exist in some sort of backup storage device or system. After all, even the IRS knows that technology fails and you have to back things up.
I don’t know if there is a backup tape with information on it or there isn’t…There is an issue as to whether or not there is a — that all of the backup recovery tapes were destroyed on the six-month retention schedule.
~ Thomas Kane, IRS Deputy Associate Chief Counsel
One of these “top IRS officials” is John Kos-freakin-kinen; he is the COMMISSIONER of the IRS, the highest guy on the totem pole, the captain of the ship. Oh, and he happens to also be an ATTORNEY. Lawyers know (every single one of them, especially cum laude Yale-educated lawyers like Koskinen) that when you’re being questioned and you don’t know the answer to the question, then your answer has to be “I don’t know.” We lecture our clients about this before every deposition and hearing: “Don’t make up answers, and don’t guess. If you don’t know the answer, it’s fine, just say you don’t know.” It often takes courage, and sometimes a little humility, to admit you don’t know something, especially if you’re in a position where you really should know.
Well, apparently Koskinen said the emails didn’t exist before he had confirmation of such and now his credibility is being questioned.
And isn’t this what it’s all about — the credibility of the IRS and its people? Every single IRS scandal buries the IRS deeper in a pile of suspicion and mistrust. How does the IRS expect taxpayers to voluntarily comply with tax laws if the agency is being run by so many incompetent leaders? Now I know that somebody in a position like Koskinen’s often relies on the expertise and knowledge of a staff and couldn’t possibly have first-hand knowledge of everything going on within the agency. But it seems to me that he should have at least waited for confirmation before declaring the emails unrecoverable.