U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), a member of the Senate Banking Committee and the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government, believes that an outside review of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) email disappearance is necessary following his questioning of Treasury Secretary Jack Lew during today’s Banking Committee hearing. The Department of the Treasury oversees the IRS.
“While Secretary Lew claims the IRS has done an ‘extraordinary’ job responding to the issue of the missing emails, it would be difficult to find anyone outside of the Treasury who would agree,” Sen. Moran said. “The American people did not accept any of the excuses surrounding the missing 18.5 minutes of the Watergate tapes, nor should they be asked to accept the excuses for the loss of tens of thousands of IRS emails.
“I remain unconvinced by the excuses offered by IRS and Treasury leadership. If the Treasury truly lacks the technical expertise to fully and accurately assess this incident, we need to bring in an outside examiner who can.”
Highlights from Sen. Moran’s exchange with Sec. Lew can be found below, along with a link to download the video clip.
Sen. Moran: (0:53) “I find it difficult to give credibility to the belief that these emails have disappeared by mistake, in an error, something uncontrollable…”
Sec. Lew: (2:24) “I share the frustration that a broken hard drive has led to a gap in terms of what is available, but I do want to point out that what the IRS has done is extraordinary… (2:53) and I have no reason to believe that I have anything to add to what the Commissioner has said.”
Sen. Moran: (2:58) “Have you analyzed this independent of what the Commissioner has said?”
Sec. Lew: (3:01) “We’ve been in contact obviously, and understand what they’ve done, but the IRS is managing this.”
Sen. Moran: (3:11) “I assume you understand the nature of the IRS and what is expects of the American people. What a double standard this is that the IRS can’t find records… You also have an ongoing lawsuit in which, by the Code of Civil Procedure, you are required to keep the emails. It seems to me there are a series of problems the IRS faces as a result of the loss of this hard drive. It also speaks in a broader sense to the relationship between the Treasury Department and Congress in trying to establish some level of credibility as we have conversations about what the truth is… This is one more example of what I find to be very difficult in dealing with the Department in getting answers...”