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Tags: lois lerner | irs | scandal | emails | tea party | nonprofits

IRS Opens Criminal Inquiry into 'Lost' Lois Lerner Emails

Friday, 27 February 2015 09:27 AM EST

The scandal surrounding the IRS targeting of conservative groups has taken a new twist with the agency’s inspector general revealing he’s conducting a possible criminal probe into the discovery of "lost" emails from former official Lois Lerner.

"What we're looking at is potential criminal wrongdoing," House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz told CNN late Thursday after a hearing. "This has the looks, feel and smells of being criminal. And the IG confirmed tonight that's what they're looking into."

The emails sent to and from Lerner’s office were uncovered despite the IRS claiming they were missing and had not been backed-up on servers for the department she supervised, which decided on tax-exempt status for nonprofits.

Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration J. Russell George and Timothy Camus, the deputy inspector general for investigations, told the hearing that their watchdog office was currently examining more hard drives from IRS email servers that could contain additional Lerner emails.

"There is potential criminal activity," Camus told the committee, CNN reported.

The inspector general’s office discovered earlier this month that there are 424 additional backup tapes possibly containing Lerner's emails from a key period involved in the alleged targeting of tea party and conservative organizations.

The IG was not informed about those backups, which took agents only two weeks to find, according to The Hill.

The new tapes that have surfaced are in addition to 750 backup tapes the inspector general found in July, some of which contained Lerner emails.

"The IRS has a lot of explaining to do," Chaffetz told CNN. "Because what [the inspector general] told us tonight means what the IRS told us is just factually not true."

The inspectors learned about the new backup tapes after demanding additional documents that the IRS had not previously submitted, the Hill reported, which noted that the data revealed that there were hundreds of other tapes.

"We were following up on our initial interviews, we realized we were missing a document. When we obtained that document and reviewed it, we realized that there were an additional population of tapes that had been unaccounted for," Camus told the panel.

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The IRS targeting of conservative groups has taken a new twist with the agency's inspector general revealing he's conducting a possible criminal probe into the discovery of "lost" emails from former official Lois Lerner.
lois lerner, irs, scandal, emails, tea party, nonprofits
354
2015-27-27
Friday, 27 February 2015 09:27 AM
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