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Paul Ryan to IRS: ‘Nobody believes you.’

paul-ryan-john-koskinen-irs-nobody-believes-you

That’s the central problem that the IRS has, here:

A defiant IRS Commissioner on Friday refused to apologize for the loss of ex-IRS official Lois Lerner’s emails, and said the agency produced what they could, attributing their disappearance to dated technology.

“I don’t think an apology is owed,” chief John Koskinen told Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp after the Republican lawmaker asked for one at the first hearing since news came of crashed computers of some IRS officials.

…A government agency would have to have generated an astronomical amount of goodwill in order to move past the revelation that multiple hard drives just happened to all crash and they just happened to have been recycled and that the relevant IRS officials involved just happened to have not been told about this until after their earlier testimony. The Internal Revenue Service is not that government agency. Which is why Paul Ryan went off on Koskinen today:

I’m not going to give a transcript to that, because it can be summed up as I will consume your soul – although you should watch that exchange just to watch Paul Ryan make sure that Koskinen understands that Ryan is insulting him – and, besides, this might be the Big Oopsie:

In sworn testimony Friday, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen admitted that the IRS told the Obama administration about Lois Lerner’s missing emails in April, six weeks before telling Congress, even though Congress had subpoenaed Lerner’s emails as part of its investigation into the alleged muzzling of conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status before the 2010 election.

“The IRS knew in February, or maybe even in March, and Treasury and the White House knew at least in April — but Congress and the American people didn’t find out until June. Were you purposely not telling us?” House Ways and Means Chair Dave Camp (R-Mich.) asked Koskinen. “Were you purposely not revealing this to the American people?”

That via Hot Air, which also helpfully notes that the emails in question are – again, contra Koskinen – subject to the Federal Records Act.  At least, if you believe the IRS’s own manual.  Then again, the Obama administration routinely breaks so many of its own internal rules already…

Moe Lane (crosspost)

PS: I would like to thank the Democratic party for turning this into a case of an angry Republican party versus an arrogant and touchy Internal Revenue Service, by the way.  Guess who wins that fight? – Spoiler warning: not the IRS.

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