The Smoking Hard Drive: Did Lois Lerner Knowingly Destroy Evidence?

About a year ago, Lois Lerner got in big trouble when it became clear that the IRS was knowingly targeting right-wing groups for closer scrutiny before granting tax-exempt status. The scandal that ensued resulted in her resignation, but the whole story had not yet come to light.

One of the major unanswered questions was, “How much of this was the White House aware of, and did the White House actually encourage or even order the IRS to make it difficult on right-wing organizations?”

That whole story may never come to light, however. Since Lois Lerner apparently destroyed the hard drive that contained all the emails between her and the White House, after a computer crash had purportedly made those emails inaccessible. That seems too convenient to be a coincidence. And even if it actually were the case that this whole missing email thing was just an accidental workplace mishap, it makes you wonder about how the IRS is getting away with such shoddy records-keeping.

They don’t allow us to do that, do they? You have to keep records on file for your taxes for at least three years. Sometimes you need up to six years of records if a major discrepancy is found in your more recent returns. Up to six years of personal records in case of an audit. The IRS, on the other hand, has instructed its employees to keep six months of records, and to back things up in hard copy before they wipe their hard drives. That’s ridiculous.

How can an organization entrusted with so much of our personal information be so bad about keeping records? And what about the White House? These emails weren’t one-way street communications. Isn’t there any record of them at the White House? Or were those hard drives also accidentally destroyed maliciously? This situation is most troubling. Although, it is just one more thing to add to a long list of government corruption and lack of accountability. So it will more than likely blow over without much more than fruitless sound and fury.