Tea Party Lawyers Demand Access to All IRS Computers Used By Administration Defendants
The IRS Conservative Targeting Scandal involved:
- Hundreds of conservative groups were targeted
- At least 5 pro-Israel groups
- Constitutional groups
- Groups that criticized Obama administration
- At least two pro-life groups
- An 83 year-old Nazi concentration camp survivor
- A 180 year-old Baptist paper
- A Texas voting-rights group
- A Hollywood conservative group was targeted and harassed
- Conservative activists and businesses
- At least one conservative Hispanic group
- IRS continued to target groups even after the scandal was exposed
- 10% of Tea Party donors were audited by the IRS
- And… 100% of the 501(c)(4) Groups Audited by IRS Were Conservative
IRS Commissioner John Koskinentestified before the House Oversight and Government Reform on March 26, 2014. Koskinen told Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) during the hearing that Loise Lerner’s emails were archived and it would take a long time to retrieve them.
Last Friday the IRS told Congress Lois Lerner’s emails were lost in a computer crash.
Now the Tea Party lawyers are demanding access to ALL IRS computers used by administration defendants.
Power Line posted this letter from Tea Party lawyer Cleta Mitchell:
As you know, True the Vote (“TTV”) filed its lawsuit in the above-referenced matter on May 21, 2013. By the time TTV filed its suit, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) and its employees and officials were on notice of the commencement of several congressional investigations. The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform (“Oversight”), the House Committee on Ways and Means (“Ways and Means”) and the Senate Finance Committee (“Senate Finance”) (collectively, “the Committees”) have each provided notice to the IRS of their ongoing investigations into the IRS, and specifically, Defendant Lois Lerner and her activities related to the issues involved in the TTV litigation for over a year now.
Late Friday, the IRS apparently advised the Ways & Means Committee that the IRS has “lost” Lois Lerner’s hard drive which includes thousands of Defendant Lerner’s e-mail records. However, several statutes and regulations require that the records be accessible by the Committees, and, in turn, must be preserved and made available to TTV in the event of discovery in the pending litigation…
…1. What steps did each of you, as counsel for the Defendants, each of them, take to ensure that any and all documents as described in the litigation hold letter and as required by federal law were, in fact, preserved?
2. When did you learn that the destruction, loss or spoliation of emails of Defendant Lois Lerner had occurred?
3. What steps have you, each of you, taken to restore Ms. Lerner’s “lost” emails?
4. Were the “lost” emails from Ms. Lerner’s computer at the IRS or her home computer?
5. Are there documents or records, as described in the Litigation Hold letter or the subpoenas issued to the IRS from any of the Committees, belonging to other defendants that have been “lost”?
We are most disturbed to learn this information from media reports and, in particular, after being chastised by Ms. Benitez regarding the fact that she “will abide by her legal and ethical obligations.” To Ms. Benitez in particular, were you aware of and/or did you participate in, authorize or otherwise sanction the destruction or “loss” of the Lois Lerner emails?
In addition to seeking responses to the questions in this letter, we also seek your consent to immediately allow a computer forensics expert selected by TTV to examine the computer(s) that is or are purportedly the source of Ms. Lerner’s “lost” emails, including cloning the hard drives, and to attempt to restore what was supposedly “lost,” and to seek to restore any and all “lost” evidence pertinent to this litigation.
We also seek access to all computers, both official and personal, used by any and all of the Defendants from and after July 1, 2010, in order to ensure preservation of the documents of all Defendants in this action.
We wish to resolve our concerns amicably but, absent your consent, we will file such motions as deemed necessary and appropriate asking the Court to require that you respond to the questions contained in this letter, and to permit such forensic examination described herein and for such other relief as may be appropriate for this egregious breach of legal authority and professional ethics.
Due to the time-sensitive and urgent nature of this request, please respond by noon on Wednesday, June 18, 2014.
/s/ Cleta Mitchell
Foley & Lardner LLP
House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., Monday subpoenaed Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Commissioner John Koskinen to testify before the Oversight Committee on Monday, June 23, 2014, at 7:00 p.m.