IRS Says ‘Lost’ Lois Lerner Emails… Rep asks NSA for metadata… (originally published 13 June, 2014)
WASHINGTON, D.C. –Congressman Steve Stockman Friday asked the National Security Agency to turn over all its metadata on the email accounts of former Internal Revenue Service Exempt Organizations division director Lois Lerner for the period between January 2009 and April 2011.
If the NSA doesn’t comply, the mail servers that Lois Lerner used will have her emails — especially if she used IMAP or webmail. The tape backup systems for those servers should have archives of all of her emails. (A decent backup system will archive everything every month in off-site storage. It’s urgent that these archives be retrieved before they’re purged.)
In addition, chances are excellent that the emails on her crashed hard drive on her PC can be recovered. They just need to call OnTrak data recovery service or any of its competitors.
5 September 2014 Yesterday, The Washington Post asked, Why did the IRS clean out Lois Lerner’s Blackberry as probes began? The short answer seems to be that this was part of an effort by one or more people at the IRS to destroy evidence. My question: What happened to the Blackberry’s SD memory card?
This attempt to destroy evidence is kind of stupid. As I’ve mentioned before, copies of those messages will reside on the mail servers and their tape backup systems. I gather that the IRS uses Microsoft Exchange mail servers; by default, Microsoft Exchange turns on mail archiving.
25 August 2014 Today Judicial Watch announced that they have been told by DOJ attorneys that backup copies of all federal government documents, including Lois Lerner’s missing emails, exist in federal archives. Judicial Watch intends to file a request for production of these as part of their ongoing lawsuit against the IRS. The judge won’t be happy to learn that the IRS has been hiding evidence.
Judicial Watch’s release includes a link to the latest sworn statement by an IRS IT manager regarding procedures that were followed when Lois Lerner’s hard drive failed. They’re unremarkable except that no detail is provided about the failure itself (was it electronic or logical, was the disk spinning?) or what measures were used to recover data from the failed drive. What’s not addressed are questions such as, “Before scrapping the failed drive, did anyone evaluate the value and uniqueness of its data?” and “What archiving system is used on the Exchange servers used by Ms. Lerner? Can we pull the lost emails from that archive?”.
Again, this reveals incompetence or coverup. Or maybe even an incompetent coverup.
29 July 2014 Yesterday I watched over an hour of recent grilling of the IRS director by the House Government Oversight committee. Apparently one of his staffers recently testified that the data on Ms. Lerner’s hard drive was recoverable, but management had declined to bring in an outside contractor to recover the data.
I’ve encountered many failed hard drives over the decades — on servers, desktops, and laptops. I’ve always been able to recover the data on them, using a variety of techniques. The worst case required the services of a specialist to pull data from a failed SCO Openserver Unix system disk. I handled all other cases myself. In systems that I’ve managed, we had both automated central backup tape libraries and external backup hard drives for remote laptop users such as Ms. Lerner. We had entire laptops stolen, yet their users lost only data created since they last connected to the enterprise network or their external backup hard drive (whichever was most recent). Even when no backup system is in place, data on failed hard drives is almost always recoverable. The worst case is that it will require expensive surgery in a clean room.
- The I.T. staff at the IRS is incompetent, or
- One or more persons at the IRS are trying to hide something that involves Lois Lerner.
11 July 2014 Today a federal Judge orders feds to find Lerner’s hard drive.
U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton wants the IRS to tell him whatever they know about the hard drive that Lerner says malfunctioned and lost two years of emails sought by congressional investigators, and he wants those answers in just one week.
Walton issued an order Friday afternoon demanding to know the serial number of Lerner’s hard drive and, essentially, where it is now.
The same article announces that
On Thursday, Federal Judge Emmett Sullivan ordered the IRS to make a sworn declaration in writing describing how Lerner could have lost all the emails she sent to other departments from mid-2009 to mid-2011.
The declaration is due by August 10.
10 July 2014 The Washington Times reports that Lois Lerner warned IRS employees to hide information from Congress. The IRS produced this incriminating email today, one year after it had been subpoenaed.
27 June 2014 Holy Moley! This news indicates a cover-up: IRS CANCELLED Contract with Email-Storage Firm Weeks After Lerner’s Computer Crash. One comment:
Federal Records Act requires mandatory 5 year prison sentence for every federal record that can not be produced.
If we only had an Attorney General that followed the law.
24 June 2014 Representative Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) questions IRS commissioner last night about missing emails from Ms. Lerner. He slices. He dices. (5 minute 54 second video)
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