Here at Redstate, we’ve already talked about how Lois Lerner’s assertion that her and her colleague’s e-mails were lost when their hard drives were “mysteriously” destroyed is a load of bunk. We also know that the e-mails probably exist in the government’s back-up system, although the relevant bureaucrats are just too lazy to go through the files and find them.

Now, the Treasury Inspector General in charge of the IRS has dealt another blow to Lerner and the Obama administration’s original story. Federal investigators now claim to have found the data for 30,000 of the relevant e-mails in their search. The Washington Examiner broke the news:

Up to 30,000 missing emails sent by former Internal Revenue Service official Lois Lerner have been recovered by the IRS inspector general, five months after they were deemed lost forever.

The U.S. Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) informed congressional staffers from several committees on Friday that the emails were found among hundreds of “disaster recovery tapes” that were used to back up the IRS email system.

“They just said it took them several weeks and some forensic effort to get these emails off these tapes,” a congressional aide told the Washington Examiner.

The IRS, in a statement provided to the Examiner, said the agency and IRS Commissioner John Koskinen is fully cooperating with the investigation.

“As Commissioner Koskinen has stated, the IRS welcomes TIGTA’s independent review and expert forensic analysis.” The IRS statement said. “Commissioner Koskinen has said for some time he would be pleased if additional Lois Lerner emails from this time frame could be found.

It does remain to be seen whether the e-mails can actually be fully recovered in this data, but this is nevertheless a huge story. Even if only 1/10th of the e-mails can be recovered, that will be a huge step forward in the quest for the truth. This find by federal investigators could blow the entire scandal open, and with a Republican House and Senate in the 114th Congress, this is the best opportunity we’ve had to investigate the issue. [mc_name name=’Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’I000056′ ] won’t be heading up the House Oversight Committee after this year, but [mc_name name=’Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’C001076′ ] looks poised and eager to continue in his stead. Between this and the 64,000 pages of Fast and Furious documents the Department of Justice recently turned over to Congress, Republicans should have a lot of reasons to hold the Obama administration accountable for its actions during the first six years of his Presidency.