After the Internal Revenue Service claimed last week that it conveniently “lost” two years of former employee Lois Lerner’s emails— some of which were likely directly related to the agency’s targeting of conservatives— everyone from conservative members of Congress to liberal political pundits cried foul. Now, the White House is labeling anyone who doesn’t buy its “computer crash” story as a conspiracy theorist.
“You’ve never heard of a computer crashing before?” White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters who questioned the Administration’s story aboard Air Force One.
On MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” Monday, host Joe Scarborough and his Obama-apologist co-host Mika Brzezinski discussed the Administration’s claims at length, concluding that that a computer crash is implausible.
“Mika, even you have to admit…how ridiculous is it?” Scarborough asked.
“Pretty ridiculous,” Brzezinski said. “The emails are out there.”
“I’m just saying it is ridiculous that the Internal Revenue Service, who will shake down people for a receipt 18 years old, are saying they can’t find emails from the person that’s at the center of a scandal involving the Internal Revenue Service,” Scarborough said. “I think taxpayers across America think this is absolutely preposterous.”
Scarborough noted that even he smashed his laptop to pieces, his emails would remain somewhere in cyberspace.
House Oversight Chairman Darrel Issa (R-Calif.) said that he is launching an investigation into whether the IRS has violated the Federal Records Act, a law that requires government agencies to keep records in some cases.
“I will not tolerate your continued obstruction and game-playing in response to the committee’s investigation,” Issa, who’s been repeatedly stonewalled by the agency in looking for answers, said.
He added, “For too long, the IRS has promised to produce requested – and, later, subpoenaed – documents, only to respond later with excuses and inaction.”
But the White House continues to ridicule Republican calls for further IRS transparency.
“I think it’s entirely reasonable, because it’s the truth and it’s a fact, and speculation otherwise I think is indicative of the kinds of conspiracies that are propagated around this story. And they’re propagated in a way that has left people with a very mistaken impression about what exactly occurred,” Earnest said, adding that the White House had already provided nearly 67,000 emails from Lerner’s office.
“The far-fetched skepticism expressed by some Republican members of Congress I think is not at all surprising and not particularly believable,” Earnest added.
Of course, we all know about those “vast right-wing conspiracies” about Administrations which are later proven untrue. Or… completely true.
Even if the IRS lost all of those Lerner emails, Representative Steve Stockman (R-Texas) said last week that he has a plan to help the agency comply with oversight requests.
“I have asked NSA Director [Mike] Rogers to send me all metadata his agency has collected on Lois Lerner’s email accounts for the period which the House sought records,” said Stockman today. “The metadata will establish who Lerner contacted and when, which helps investigators determine the extent of illegal activity by the IRS.”