“Republican Rep. Paul Ryan tore into IRS commissioner John Koskinen in a tense exchange at Friday morning’s House Ways and Means Committee hearing on the IRS’s lost emails,” Patrick Howley writes at the Daily Caller:

“I am sitting here listening to this testimony. I just – I don’t believe it,” Ryan said, turning to Koskinen. “That’s your problem. Nobody believes you.”

Ryan accused the IRS of misleading Congress by previously claiming that no targeting occurred and then that progressive groups were also targeted by the IRS. “All of those things have been proven untrue,” Ryan said.

“You bury in a 27-page letter to the Senate asking for them to conclude the investigation that you’ve lost Lois Lerner’s emails…Monday, our investigators ask your agency if any other hard drives crashed” and Koskinen finally admitted that six other IRS officials under investigation also had their hard drives crash.

Watch the video at the Daily Caller, which features Koskinen delivering the same imperious nose-upward gaze as Lois Lerner and the other two proponents of corporatism and socialism in the Photoshop atop this post. One reason why Koskinen’s testimony strains credulity is that, as Ed Morrissey notes at Hot Air, “Koskinen offered up his opening statement in writing, in part to suggest that e-mail should not be considered an ‘official record’ anyway”:

In discussing document retention at the IRS, it is important to point out that our email system is not being used as an electronic record keeping system. Furthermore, it should be remembered that not all emails on IRS servers or backup tapes qualify as an “official record,” which is defined (in 44 U.S.C. 3301) as any documentary material made or received by an agency under federal law or in connection with the transaction of public business and appropriate for preservation. Accordingly, our agency’s email system is not designed to preserve email. Rather, email that qualifies as “records” are printed and retained in compliance with relevant records control schedules. Individual employees are responsible for ensuring that any email in their possession that qualifies as a “record” is retained in accordance with the requirements in the Internal Revenue Manual and Document 12990 (Record Control Schedules).

“Thanks to one reader on Twitter, we can judge Koskinen’s argument as categorically false,” Ed adds, quoting passages from the IRS manual online at everybody’s favorite URL — — with phrases such as “Email messages are official documents and should reflect this perspective,” and:

The Federal Records Act applies to email records just as it does to records you create using other media. Emails are records when they are:

  • Created or received in the transaction of agency business
  • Appropriate for preservation as evidence of the government’s function and activities,


Please note that maintaining a copy of an email or its attachments within the IRS email MS Outlook application does not meet the requirements of maintaining an official record. Therefore, print and file email and its attachments if they are either permanent records or if they relate to a specific case.

Much more after the page break.

Will the MSM finally start covering this story? Don’t count on it, writes Stacy McCain. It might upset “The Media’s President”:

Da Tech Guy makes the obvious point: The reason the media aren’t going after the IRS scandal is because Barack Obama is their president. Not since JFK’s fictitious “Camelot” have the media invested so heavily in maintaining the image of a president, an image of competence and success that can be maintained only by ignoring all contrary evidence and pretending that all criticism of Obama is racist — RAAAAACIST!

This is more than just “liberal bias,” it’s outright dishonesty, made easier by the blind partisan hatred of Republicans that has become prevalent among journalists since the Bush era. Reporters and editors were convinced (and remain convinced) that George W. Bush (a) “stole” the 2000 election, and (b) lied about the Iraq war, which all Democrats believe was fought for bad motives — and Democrats outnumber Republicans in the press corps by a factor of at least 5-to-1.

Which is yet another reminder that for many in the MSM, history began in November of 2000; all events prior to that date simply never happened, or can be manipulated in classic Oceania has never been at war with Eurasia/East Asia fashion:

Just ask Tony Messenger of the St. Louis Post Dispatch, the man who fired George Will.

Update: “Now, I don’t believe we are becoming anything like 1930s Russia, never mind a real-life 1984. But this idea that bureaucrats — very broadly defined — can become their own class bent on protecting their interests at the expense of the public seems not only plausible but obviously true,” Jonah Goldberg writes. “The evidence is everywhere.”

It certainly was today, as this example of bureaucratic obsequiousness illustrates:


More: “White House Learned of Lerner’s Crashed Hard Drive 6 Weeks Before Congress.”