Washington, DC – Today, Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) issued the following statement regarding the Internal Revenue Service informing the Committee that they have lost Lois Lerner emails from a period of January 2009 – April 2011. Due to a supposed computer crash, the agency only has Lerner emails to and from other IRS employees during this time frame. The IRS claims it cannot produce emails written only to or from Lerner and outside agencies or groups, such as the White House, Treasury, Department of Justice, FEC, or Democrat offices.It sounds like they're claiming that over the time in question the emails in question were being archived on Lois Lerner's personal computer, which allegedly crashed and destroyed to contents in question.
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“Just a short time ago, Commissioner Koskinen promised to produce all Lerner documents. It appears now that was an empty promise. Frankly, these are the critical years of the targeting of conservative groups that could explain who knew what when, and what, if any, coordination there was between agencies. Instead, because of this loss of documents, we are conveniently left to believe that Lois Lerner acted alone. This failure of the IRS requires the White House, which promised to get to the bottom of this, to do an Administration-wide search and production of any emails to or from Lois Lerner. The Administration has repeatedly referred us back to the IRS for production of materials. It is clear that is wholly insufficient when it comes to determining the full scope of the violation of taxpayer rights.”
I have some experience in the government, or pseudo-government (it's complicated) and at one time we were told to archive our emails locally because the Smithsonian did not have enough storage for the emails (scientists are notoriously awful about sending each other 20 MB pdfs, images, documents with embedded images and PowerPoint presentations and not wanting to delete them).
Even then, disk storage was pretty inexpensive and we all thought it was stupid not to buy enough to put it all on redundant servers, which, in fact, they did later.
It's possible; but it sure is convenient.