Treasury Department investigators reportedly are finally able to hand over to Congress all of the emails belonging to Lois Lerner, the retired IRS official at the center of a tea party targeting scandal.
The department's deputy inspector general, Timothy Camus
, on Feb. 26 testified that his office had found more than 30,000 of Lerner's emails, including emails from 2011 on a backup tape at a storage facility in West Virginia that the IRS had never searched.
But Camus said his probe was on hold because the office was haggling over licensing issues with a company that makes software needed to "match" emails on the new tapes with those already turned over to the House Oversight Committee, The Daily Caller
Now, however, the Inspector General's Office has received the software and is in the process of using it to match the emails, The Daily Caller reports.
At the Feb. 26 hearing, Camus told lawmakers the investigation seemed to suggest "potential criminal activity," and committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz told CNN
"What we're looking at is potential criminal wrongdoing. This has the looks, feel and smells of being criminal, and the IG confirmed tonight that's what they're looking into."
In the long saga that followed the discovery in June 2014 that Lerner's emails had been wiped out in a computer crash
, the IRS told Congress that backup tapes no longer existed. But earlier last month, the Inspector General's Office discovered additional backup tapes
possibly containing emails from a key period involved in the targeting scandal.
"The IRS has a lot of explaining to do," Chaffetz told CNN after the Feb. 26 hearing. "Because what [the inspector general] told us tonight means what the IRS told us is just factually not true."
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