The congressional committees investigating the scandal at the Internal Revenue Service need to bring in the national archivist to explain the disappearance of former IRS official Lois Lerner's emails, says Dan Epstein, the executive director of the government watchdog group Cause of Action.
The National Archives and Records Administration is not just the federal entity that houses the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and other such documents, Epstein explained to J.D. Hayworth, Miranda Khan, and John Bachman on "America's Forum" on Newsmax TV
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"It's the records repository for the whole federal government," he explained. "Every executive branch agency, from the IRS to the [Environmental Protection Agency] to any other agency that we know is all of a sudden losing emails, has to store its records and update its records retention policies with the National Archives."
"We've heard claims that the IRS lost its emails. Now the question is whether these hard drives were just simply scratched and are therefore recoverable," Epstein said.
"We've also heard that the EPA has lost emails," he said. "Members of Congress have [brought] in the archivist to say, yeah the IRS didn't follow policies, but the question is what has the archivist done to ensure that records are being properly stored?"
"What the ultimate question is, what does the archivist know?"
Cause of Action has sued the National Archives, Epstein said, over its "lack of transparency" in the past.
He wrote an opinion piece in The Washington Times
on Monday saying that "Congress should invite David Ferriero, the archivist . . . to testify again," adding that "he may have the answers that Congress is looking for" about where Lerner's emails are.
"The archivist is charged with enforcing that law, and if the archivist didn't do a good job, we need to know that," he told Newsmax.
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