Emails from the federal bureaucrat at the heart of the IRS corruption scandal do exist, according to government lawyers and the watchdog group Judicial Watch.
The revelation, which runs directly contrary to almost a year of testimony from Obama administration officials and other IRS officials, emerged Monday as a result of Judicial Watch’s work to uncover evidence related to the tax agency’s discrimination against President Obama’s political opponents.
“Department of Justice attorneys for the Internal Revenue Service told Judicial Watch on Friday that Lois Lerner’s emails, indeed all government computer records, are backed up by the federal government in case of a government-wide catastrophe,” the Washington, D.C.-based group said in a press release Monday.
“The Obama administration attorneys said that this back-up system would be too onerous to search,” the group said. “The DOJ attorneys also acknowledged that the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) is investigating this back-up system.”
“We obviously disagree that disclosing the emails as required would be onerous, and plan to raise this new development with Judge Sullivan,” the group said. “This is a jaw-dropping revelation.”
Lerner, the highest ranking IRS official implicated in the corruption scandal to date, previously plead the 5th Amendment — but not before saying she was completely innocent. The emails, if they can be obtained, may further implicate Lerner and tie the targeting of conservative groups directly to the White House.
Also Monday, another startling revelation involving Lerner: According to reports from the New York Observer, the IRS destroyed Lerner’s Blackberry cell phone AFTER the Congressional inquiry began.
In February, President Obama infamously told FOX News’ Bill O’Reilly there wasn’t a “smidgen of corruption” at the IRS.