Imagine a private citizen telling the Internal Revenue Service that he lost some tax documents and then magically found them again once legal pressure was applied. It does not take an overly imaginative mind to figure out the end result for that individual for trying to operate that way.
Judicial Watch is succeeding in court in its effort to remind the Obama IRS that it does not get to operate this way, either. But it is clear to Judicial Watch that, after reviewing a seven-page court filing the IRS finally submitted in response to a court order, the tax agency is working to stonewall Judicial Watch’s investigative efforts.
Recently, Judge Emmet Sullivan of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia granted a Judicial Watch request to issue an order requiring the IRS to provide answers by June 12, 2015, on the status of the Lois Lerner emails the IRS had previously, and falsely, declared lost.
Judicial Watch raised questions about the IRS’ handling of the missing emails in a June 2 court filing, demanding answers about Lerner’s emails, which had been recovered from backup tapes. Judge Sullivan agreed that Judicial Watch deserved answers and issued the court order on June 4, 2015.
In response, on June 12, President Obama’s recalcitrant IRS finally complied with Judge Sullivan’s June 4 order requiring the agency to provide answers to Judicial Watch. Contrary to previous agency claims that the emails were lost and unrecoverable, the IRS finally admitted that it has as many as 6,400 new Lerner emails but will not promise to turn them over to Judicial Watch.
Even though the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) already identified and removed emails that are duplicates, the IRS is in “the process of conducting further manual deduplication of the 6,400” emails, rather than reviewing them in response to Judicial Watch’s Freedom of Information Act requests that are more than two years old now.
Judicial Watch went back to the court right away and blew the whistle on this continued obstruction. On June 15, Judicial Watch attorneys filed another response with the court, saying the IRS should stop stonewalling and turn over the records it says it now has:
Judicial Watch respectfully requests that the Court order the IRS to start producing any non-exempt, responsive emails contained within the 6,400 emails immediately and disclose whether they are all or a subset of the recovered emails from the 1,268 backup tapes.
Judicial Watch also highlighted that the Obama IRS has no response to the well-founded accusations that it lied to Judicial Watch, the court, and to Congress.
In addition to withholding key information about Lerner’s “lost and found” emails, the Obama IRS:
does not refute in its seven-page Response that the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (“TIGTA”) was able to locate the Lois Lerner backup tapes within one day of its investigation or that the IRS never requested the backup tapes from its technicians before declaring that the emails were lost forever.
On June 18, Judge Sullivan indicated he was not satisfied with the IRS’ non-response to his court order. He ordered a comprehensive report from the IRS by June 29:
The IRS shall file a supplemental report, setting forth any new information regarding: (1) TIGTA’s recovery of emails from the backup tapes; (2) TIGTA’s production of emails to the IRS; (3) the IRS’s review of emails and production to the plaintiff; and (4) the status of the TIGTA investigation.
He also ordered the IRS into his court for a hearing on July 1 to discuss the notices.
Judicial Watch is pleased the court is demanding answers. Judicial Watch attorneys battling the IRS in several federal courts are doing more than Congress, the media or the Justice Department to hold the Obama IRS to account for its outrageous conduct and lies.
Barack Obama and his corrupt allies in Washington may think using the IRS to harass, audit, and intimidate Obama’s opposition so he can steal an election is no big deal. Judicial Watch is happy to remind the Obama administration, which is still running the IRS and abusing the power it wields, the rule of law still applies to them.
Tom Fitton is the president of Judicial Watch. He is a nationally recognized expert on government corruption. A former talk radio and television host and analyst, Tom is well known across the country as a national spokesperson for the conservative cause. He has been quoted in Time, Vanity Fair, The Washington Post, The New York Times, and most every other major newspaper in the country. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
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