A watchdog group is going after the IRS to force it to hand over records relating to the destruction of damaged computer hard drives belonging to former official Lois Lerner and others that obliterated data sought in a probe of the agency's targeting scandal.
"It is beginning to look like the IRS destroyed evidence about its abuse of [President Barack] Obama’s enemies list of tea party groups and conservatives," Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton said in a statement.
The group announced Friday it had filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit
against the Internal Revenue Service in federal court in Washington because the IRS hasn't complied with any Judicial Watch requests to produce documents.
Judicial Watch said last October, for example, the IRS said "records that pertain to the destruction of damaged hard drives are not maintained in a searchable manner," but then subsequently conceded such data does exist.
"The Obama IRS, aided and abetted by the Department of Justice, continues to engage in a pattern of deception, delays, and clear violations of federal law," Fitton charged.
"In this latest game, the IRS first denies there are records about the destruction of Lois Lerner’s hard drive and then suggests that there may be records, but it would too difficult to look for them. Try that one during your next IRS audit."
The IRS has been under fire since May 2013,
when Lerner said tea party and conservative groups were being targeted for extra scrutiny when they sought tax-exempt status.
Republicans believe it was an intimidation technique by Democrats designed to spook right-leaning groups.
The agency's own inspector general is now looking into
the long-running scandal.
The "IRS scandal isn’t going away," Fitton vowed.
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