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IRS Fails to Meet Deadline to Produce Lois Lerner's Emails

Emmet G. Sullivan, United States district judge for the District of Columbia, ordered the IRS last week to begin producing every Monday nearly 1,800 newly recovered Lois Lerner emails. On Monday, the IRS defied the order.

The developments come in the wake of Judicial Watch’s FOIA lawsuit seeking documents about the Obama IRS’ targeting and harassment of conservative non profits (Judicial Watch, Inc. v. Internal Revenue Service 

Thanks to Judicial Watch’s litigation, the IRS was forced to admit that Lerner’s emails were supposedly missing and, then, that the emails were on IRS back-up systems.

Judge Sullivan ruled on the matter on July 1, 2015, and on Monday July 6, 2015, the IRS failed to produce a single email.

Via Judicial Watch:

The IRS also failed to provide Judicial Watch a status of the Lois Lerner email production issues, as also ordered by Judge Sullivan.

The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) recovered the emails from IRS back-up tapes.  TIGTA was able to locate the Lois Lerner back-up tapes within one day of requesting them from the IRS.

A report released today by TIGTA on the Lois Lerner email controversy confirms that the IRS failure to timely search its back-up tapes resulted in 24,000 Lois Lerner emails being destroyed.  The TIGTA report also confirms that IRS Commissioner John Koskinen delayed informing Congress (and the courts) for months about Lois Lerner’s email issue. (Judge Sullivan ordered the IRS to produce the TIGTA report to chambers the next day for in camera review at the July 1 hearing.)

Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton is calling for the resignations of IRS Commissioner John Koskinen and IRS Chief Counsel William J. Wilkins.

And Judge Sullivan is not one to be trifled with. He once sicced a special prosecutor on the DOJ for its corrupt prosecution of United States Senator Ted Stevens.

As Sidney Powell noted in the NY Observer last year, "Sullivan held federal prosecutors in contempt, dismissed an unjust indictment against a United States Senator, and publicly excoriated the Department of Justice."

In the Stevens case, Judge Sullivan publicly upbraided the government lawyers before an overflow courtroom, “In nearly 25 years on the bench, I’ve never seen anything approaching the mishandling and misconduct that I’ve seen in this case. . . . When the government does not meet its obligations to turn over evidence, the system falters.”

Judge Sullivan was taking the extraordinary step of appointing a special prosecutor. He chose highly respected DC attorney Henry Schuelke III to investigate the prosecutors for possible criminal charges. The judge ordered the department to preserve all of its files, electronic correspondence—everything—and cooperate fully in the investigation, including providing Schuelke access to investigative files and all witnesses.

The IRS is skating on thin ice.