Maybe it would be easier to name the IRS employees who did not crash their hard drives. In a segment of testimony released by Congressman Darrell Issa IRS Deputy Associate Chief Counsel Thomas Kane cast doubt on the assertion that Lois Lerner's emails were irretrievably lost and then added 4 more IRS employees who had experienced computer trouble. The 4 employees, naturally, worked in the EO (Exempt Organization) but in a new twist in this high tech thriller two of the employees worked in the Cincinnati office. Kane said he was uncertain how many employees had computer trouble but the the number was “less than 20”.
This invites suspicion of a criminal conspiracy and the 4 named conspirators are: Andy Megosh, Kimberly Kitchens, Justin Lowe, and David Fish. From the Washington Post, 6 questions about the IRS’s missing emails, from IT experts.
What happened to the IRS’s IT asset managers who appear to have disappeared at a key juncture?
Ordering the destruction of a hard drive and documenting that process would be handled by trained, certified IT asset managers, according to IAITAM. But the group’s records show that at least three IRS IT asset managers were shuffled out of their positions around the time of the May 2013 inspector general’s report that detailed the agency’s targeting practices. IAITAM said investigators need to “determine if these in-house IT asset managers were removed from the picture as the IRS email investigation heated up.”
IAITAM stands for International Association of Information Technology Asset Managers, a professional group that trains IT asset manager and develops industry best practice standards.
So as hard drives were crashing on the news that the Inspector General was about to blow the lid off the scandal the IRS was busy moving IT managers away from the scene of the crime? And we are to be grateful that “less than 20″ hard drives crashed? As IT specialists are not under the purview of the EO their removal would have had to come from higher in the IRS. Another question raised in the Washington Post article was why were the emails from Lerner's Blackberry erased when her hard drive failed.
The good news from Kane's testimony is Lerner's emails may not be lost after all.
Kane: There is an issue as to whether or not there is a ‑‑ that all of the backup recovery tapes were destroyed on the 6‑month retention schedule.
Investigator: So some of those backup tapes may still exist?
Kane: I don’t know whether they are or they aren’t, but it’s an issue that’s being looked at.
Kane oversees the document retrieval process for Congress but he is aware that two federal judges have ordered the IRS to explain in writing and under oath the loss of Lerner's emails. It is not surprising that he would begin to walk back Commissioner Koskinen's testimony that they are gone. Knowing the history and temperament of Judges Walton and Sullivan, Kane and the IRS should understand that either they produce the emails or a special prosecutor will.