Award-winning investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson says former IRS official Lois Lerner's missing emails can be found and sources have contacted her to say they could help retrieve them.
"If they've been able to wipe something clean from the face of the earth . . . they've been able to accomplish something that criminals who try to do it on purpose haven't been able to do,'' Attkisson, formerly with CBS News, told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.
"I've had many people contact me . . . who say they think they could get that material and that it's not that difficult.
"There are also mandates requiring the material . . . to be protected, and it's put on servers. It's not held in a single place that could be crashed,'' she said Monday.
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Last week, the IRS said it lost some of Lerner's emails from 2009 through 2011 — communication that may pertain to a House investigation into the agency's alleged targeting of conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status.
The agency blamed a computer crash, an excuse about which House Republicans are skeptical. The emails are key to Lerner's potential knowledge of the scandal because she has refused to testify.
Attkisson also doesn't buy the excuse.
"It's interesting that seven months into the request from Congress, when the [IRS] commissioner [John Koskinen] testified in March, he didn't give any hints that the emails had been involved in some sort of irrevocable crash,'' she said.
"He said they were looking for the emails. He even specifically stated, 'They're stored somewhere' when he talked about how emails are handled.
"People who work in the federal government and information technology and have worked as contractors for them say there are very specific rules and laws about retaining information, protecting it and making sure it can't be lost in the crash. So, how this could've gone so terribly wrong raises questions about processes at the IRS if nothing else.''
Attkisson says former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is continuing to dodge blame for the deadly Benghazi attack, in which Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans died.
She referred to the book on Clinton written by New York Times reporters Jeff Gerth and Don Van Natta called "Her Way,''
which was published seven years before Clinton's just-released memoir, "Hard Choices.''
"Mrs. Clinton has a penchant, according to Gerth [and Van Natta], for when things go wrong or when she makes mistakes or gets caught doing something, she will never accept the blame herself,'' Attkisson said.
"She sort of does in a general sense, but not personally and then deflects off into other directions, and that's kind of what she's done [on Benghazi].''
Attkisson is author of the coming book "Stonewalled: My Fight for Truth Against the Forces of Obstruction, Intimidation, and Harassment in Obama's Washington,''
to be published by Harper in November.
Attkisson said today's media are manipulated by "outside forces."
"A lot of the way opinions are being steered today have to do with paid forces that are unseen that meet in these lobby firms in Washington, D.C. and PR firms,'' she said.
"They're steering public opinion and they're influencing the media like never before, and I'd like to draw some attention to that.''
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