Second federal judge wants info on lost IRS emails - KAUZ-TV: Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Second federal judge wants info on lost IRS emails

Posted: Updated:
  • NationalMore>>

  • FAA tells US airlines not to fly to Tel Aviv

    FAA tells US airlines not to fly to Tel Aviv

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 1:20 PM EDT2014-07-22 17:20:30 GMT
    The Federal Aviation Administration is telling U.S. airlines they are prohibited from flying to the Tel Aviv airport in Israel after a Hamas rocket exploded nearby.
    The Federal Aviation Administration told U.S. airlines Tuesday they are prohibited from flying to the Tel Aviv airport in Israel for 24 hours following a Hamas rocket explosion nearby.
  • Crews make gains on massive Washington wildfire

    Crews make gains on massive Washington wildfire

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 1:14 PM EDT2014-07-22 17:14:41 GMT
    Firefighters and local authorities are heartened by weather forecasts that call for continued cooler temperatures and higher humidity as they battle a destructive wildfire that has charred hundreds of square miles...
    A destructive wildfire in Washington state has grown slightly but firefighters have made progress in their efforts to get it under control.
  • Appeals court in Va. upholds health care subsidies

    Appeals court in Va. upholds health care subsidies

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 1:14 PM EDT2014-07-22 17:14:36 GMT
    A federal appeals court in Virginia has upheld tax subsidies for low- and middle-income people who buy insurance under the Obama administration's health care reform law.
    A federal appeals court in Virginia has upheld tax subsidies for low- and middle-income people who buy insurance under the Obama administration's health care reform law.
By STEPHEN OHLEMACHER
Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) - A second federal judge has ordered the IRS to provide information about lost emails from a central figure in the agency's tea party controversy.

U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton said Friday he wants to know whatever became of Lois Lerner's computer hard drive. IRS officials say Lerner's computer crashed in 2011, destroying an untold number of emails.

At the time, Lerner headed the IRS division that processes applications for tax-exempt status. She has since retired.

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen has told Congress that Lerner's hard drive was recycled and presumably destroyed. If that's the case, Walton said he wants a sworn affidavit saying so by the end of next week.

Walton also wants information about the IRS inspector general's investigation into the lost emails.

Walton spoke at a hearing Friday in a lawsuit by a conservative group against the IRS. True the Vote, which says it advocates for the integrity of elections, sued the IRS over delays in its application for tax-exempt status.

Walton's order came a day after another federal judge ordered the IRS to explain under oath how it lost the emails. U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan, who issued his order on Thursday, gave the tax agency a month to submit the explanation in writing.

Sullivan was ruling in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit brought by Judicial Watch, a conservative watchdog.

As part of True the Vote's lawsuit, the group wants Walton to appoint an independent expert to investigate the lost emails.

"We don't trust the IRS," Cleta Mitchell, a lawyer for the group, told Walton.

Before ruling on True the Vote's request, Walton said he wants information about the inspector general's investigation. Walton said he wants to know the qualifications of computer experts conducting the investigation. He also wants a projection on when the investigation will be complete.

In a June 27 letter to Congress, Koskinen said he expects the inspector general to issue an interim report "in a matter of weeks."

Lerner has emerged as a central figure in several congressional investigations into the IRS's handling of applications for tax-exempt status by tea party and other conservative groups. Twice Lerner refused to answer questions at congressional hearings, invoking her constitutional right against self-incrimination.

In May, the Republican-led House voted to hold Lerner in contempt of Congress for refusing to testify.

In 2011, the IRS had a policy of backing up emails on computer tapes, but the tapes were recycled every six months, Koskinen told Congress. He said Lerner's hard drive was recycled after technicians in the agency's forensics lab tried unsuccessfully to restore it.

___

Follow Stephen Ohlemacher on Twitter: http://twitter.com/stephenatap

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • InternationalMore>>

  • Air France, Lufthansa suspend flights to Tel Aviv

    Air France, Lufthansa suspend flights to Tel Aviv

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 1:41 PM EDT2014-07-22 17:41:51 GMT
    Germany and France's largest airlines Lufthansa and Air France say they're suspending all flights to Tel Aviv over safety concerns amid the increasing violence.
    Germany and France's largest airlines Lufthansa and Air France say they're suspending all flights to Tel Aviv over safety concerns amid the increasing violence.
  • Report finds Islamic plot to control UK schools

    Report finds Islamic plot to control UK schools

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 1:30 PM EDT2014-07-22 17:30:12 GMT
    A British government investigation has found evidence that Muslim fundamentalists successfully gained control of some schools to promote aggressive religious values.
    A British government investigation found evidence Tuesday that Muslim fundamentalists successfully gained control of some schools, raising fears that pupils are now vulnerable to radicalization.
  • Parents of abducted girls, escapees meet president

    Parents of abducted girls, escapees meet president

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 1:14 PM EDT2014-07-22 17:14:04 GMT
    President Goodluck Jonathan is meeting with many parents of the 219 kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirls and some classmates who managed to escape from Islamic extremists.
    President Goodluck Jonathan met for the first time Tuesday with parents of 219 kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirls and dozens of classmates who managed to escape from their Islamic extremist captors.