Their last claim was that they were withholding them to remove possible duplicates, even though they had already been checked for duplicates, and it would be a super shame to make your adversaries sort through a few thousand emails to remove the duplicates (it might even cost them a couple of days of free intern time).
Now the IRS is claiming that they're not IRS emails to divulge:
A Shameless IRS Is STILL Withholding Lois Lerner Emails
Judge Sullivan required repeated sworn filings from the IRS. He even assigned a magistrate judge to oversee efforts to find the missing emails. It was during that process that government counsel filed two sworn declarations, obfuscating or eliding the truth that IRS destroyed Lois Lerner’s Blackberry despite the Congressional inquiry and the claimed computer crashes. Yet, to date, the IRS has not provided all the emails to Judicial Watch or identified what was found on the 1,268 backup tapes.Having grown up in an area of West Los Angeles noted for it's Jewish population, I not only know how to pronounce it but what it means. It's when a child accused of murdering his parents pleads orphan-hood before the court. I think it's a perfect analogy, for a Texican.
Now, according to the most recent filing by Judicial Watch, the IRS asserts that the emails are not records of the IRS. Being a Texan, I’m not 100 percent sure how to pronounce it, but “chutzpah” is the only word to describe this latest assertion. To borrow from Lewis Carroll, “Imagination is the only weapon in the war against reality.”
The IRS and its Department of Justice lawyers must be imagining that these emails were not repeatedly sought by Congress and Judicial Watch while in the possession of the IRS. The IRS must be imagining that its own commissioner never lied to Congress, the court and the public about their existence and purported efforts to find them. And it must be imagining that each of its seven filings in Judge Sullivan’s court did not fail to reveal the existence of the backup tapes.Judge Sullivan should enliven the proceedings by sentencing a few top level official to jail for contempt of court, starting at the top with Koskinen, and proceeding down the administrative structure every couple of days until they come clean.
It must be imagining that Judge Sullivan won’t remember the lengths to which he and the magistrate went to try to find the emails and any backups. And it is imagining that it can continue stalling and lying indefinitely, while no one in the government is held accountable for far more serious legal infractions than those for which ordinary citizens have been imprisoned.
It took Judge Sullivan only two days to grant Judicial Watch’s request to require IRS to disclose whether all emails the inspector general found have been turned over to the IRS, where it stands in the review process, and how many of the 1,268 tapes have been processed for recovery or when that process will be complete.It's pretty clear the the contents of the tapes are pretty awful or the IRS wouldn't be making the effort to withhold them. If they reflected badly on Republicans, they would have released leaked them before having been asked.
Stunningly, in its response the IRS again said nothing. It simply punted to the Inspector General. It claims that because of that investigation, it cannot disclose more Lois Lerner or other emails. It just stalls.
IRS delenda est.