True the Vote, the organization suing the Internal Revenue Service to investigate the missing emails of former IRS official Lois Lerner, has an "eminently reasonable case" in requesting an independent forensic audit of the agency in light of the targeting scandal, the New York Post said.
In an editorial Monday, the newspaper argued that U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton should grant the request.
"From testimony by the nation's archivist, we know the IRS destroyed e-mails, contrary to federal law. From IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, we know it did so even though they were evidence in another case," the Post's editorial board wrote.
"If the IRS indeed has nothing to hide, the best way to prove it is to get that independent audit True the Vote is asking for."
Representatives for the tax agency has been ordered to appear in federal court
later this week to explain why the government failed to reveal the missing emails to watchdog group Judicial Watch.
True the Vote, one of the organizations targeted for scrutiny by the IRS, describes itself as "the nation's largest nonpartisan, voters' rights and election integrity organization."
"Even if the ill-timed hard drive 'crash' was truly an accident, and even if the IRS genuinely believes that the e-mails are 'unrecoverable,' the circumstances of the spoliation at issue cry out for a second opinion," the group argues in its motion.
"It may well prove to be the case that a computer forensics expert could recover evidence that the IRS has been unable to retrieve. At the very least, such an expert could preserve whatever evidence has not already been wiped clean from the IRS's computers along with whatever is stored on the Individual Defendants' home computers, cell phones, and other PDAs."
The IRS blamed a 2011 computer crash for the missing emails. Officials have said they recovered about 24,000 of Lerner's emails from 2009-2011 by searching other employees' computers.
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