Tags: IRS Scandal | Ron Johnson | IRS | emails | lost | Lois Lerner

Sen. Ron Johnson to IRS: Why Did IG Find 80,000 'Lost' Emails?

By Courtney Coren   |   Wednesday, 11 Feb 2015 11:52 AM

Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson wants to know why IRS claimed that it lost 80,000 emails that were later recovered by the inspector general.

In a letter sent to IRS Commissioner John Koskinen on Tuesday, Johnson, chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, asked for information detailing how the emails were lost when the IRS had reported that it had gone "to 'great lengths' and made 'extraordinary efforts' to find the emails" sent or received by former IRS official Lois Lerner.

The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) reported in November  that almost 30,000 emails were recovered from disaster recovery tapes.

According to Johnson, the IRS watchdog reported to his staff last week that it has now recovered 80,000 IRS emails. About 64,000 of those emails are most likely duplicates, TIGTA said, which means about 16,000 of those are "unique email."

"While TIGTA still must compare these 16,000 e-mails to the e-mails already produced by the IRS, it is possible that a large number of these e-mails have not yet been produced to Congress," the Wisconsin Republican wrote.

Johnson is asking the IRS to explain how it went about producing the emails that it gave to Congress previously, including those that belonged to Lerner from May 10, 2013, until the present.

In addition, the Wisconsin senator wants to know what efforts were made, which the IRS had described as "extraordinary," to recover so-called lost emails.

Since TIGTA recovered the 80,000 emails from the disaster recovery tapes, Johnson also wants to know what efforts were made by the IRS to recover emails from the same tapes.

He says that the IRS also needs to explain whether or not it has contacted Lerner or the Justice Department about the relevant emails.

Johnson also told the IRS that he wants to know if the federal agency has given Congress all evidence showing its communications with the White House, after TIGTA said that it found "some 2,500 documents that, potentially, show taxpayer information held by the Internal Revenue Service being shared with President Obama's White House."

He is giving the IRS until Feb. 24 to respond to his requests.

Congress is investigating the IRS after it reportedly put conservative and tea party groups seeking non-profit status through further scrutiny, slowing down the approval process.

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Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson wants to know why IRS claimed that it lost 80,000 emails that were later recovered by the inspector general.
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