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CSI-IRS: What do you know, Jay Carney’s replacement is also a computer forensics expert

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By Doug Powers  •  June 16, 2014 09:30 PM

**Written by Doug Powers

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The IRS claims to have lost a couple years worth of select Lois Lerner emails, and they are unrecoverable. Jay Carney’s incoming replacement, Josh Earnest, said Monday that the IRS’ version of the story is a “fact”:

A top White House official blamed a computer crash for the disappearance of emails from embattled former Internal Revenue Service official Lois Lerner, echoing the explanation the agency gave Congress last week for the two years’ worth of missing subpoenaed correspondence.

“I think it’s entirely reasonable. And it’s fact,” incoming White House press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters aboard Air Force One Monday.

“You’ve never heard of a computer crashing before?” he asked.

Wow, that was easy. Call off the investigation!

My simple rule of thumb is that, at a minimum, if the government wouldn’t accept the excuse from us, we don’t accept it from them.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, the IRS can’t produce stored copies of some of Lerner’s email because they’ve been saving the planet by recycling the “backup tapes,” a term that when applied to 2011 tech might as well be “8-tracks”:

The agency said that because of financial and computing constraints, some emails “that do not qualify as official records” had been stored only on individuals’ computers and not on servers, and that “backup tapes” from 2011 “no longer exist because they have been recycled.”

The I.R.S. went on to say that after May 2013 it changed its archival policy so that backup devices would no longer be recycled. It also said that it was not in contact with Ms. Lerner, who quit last September after serving as the head of the agency’s division on tax-exempt organizations, and could not interview her.

The biggest hint of some sort of cover-up is this ridiculous excuse that those emails have evaporated into the ether. Everybody knows that’s not true. Even CNN mocked it (video via Noah Rothman at Hot Air):

Prediction: Eventually the Lerner emails from 2011 and before will surface. Who knows, she might be busy writing them as we speak.

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

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