Emails Point to IRS Officials Using Instant Messages

Posted by on Jul 09, 2014 at 8:18 pm

Lawmakers investigating the Internal Revenue Service’s treatment of conservative groups released new emails Wednesday suggesting that top IRS officials communicated through an instant-messaging system that wasn’t routinely archived.

The revelation adds to lawmakers’ concerns about the agency’s handling of documents related to their inquiry into the IRS’s alleged targeting of conservative tea-party groups for burdensome scrutiny as they sought tax-exempt status.

Republicans already have criticized the IRS for losing about two years’ worth of emails that could be important to the probe, largely because a computer hard drive belonging to a former top IRS official, Lois Lerner, crashed in mid-2011. Backup tapes storing the messages were routinely reused after six months.

The latest emails suggest that IRS officials used a separate instant-messaging system whose contents also weren’t preserved.

The emails raised new questions for some lawmakers about Ms. Lerner, the now-retired head of the IRS tax-exempt-organizations division who has become a focus of the inquiry.She wrote the emails to an IRS information technology official and the head of her division’s audit unit.

“I was cautioning folks about email and how we have had several occasions where Congress has asked for emails and there has been an electronic search for responsive emails—so we need to be cautious about what we say in emails,” Ms. Lerner wrote. “Someone asked if [instant messaging] conversations were also searchable—I don’t know, but told them I would get back to them. Do you know?”

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5 Responses to “Emails Point to IRS Officials Using Instant Messages”

  1. doug on 10/10/14 at 9:45 am

    To answer Lois’ question – yes OCS conversations are searchable. The \archive instance of the OCS SQL Server database has every message whether the user selected to have messages archived locally or not.

    Microsoft even has a free utility to query it, though using SQL Server Management Studio works just as well. The Messages table joins to the User table.

  2. SNuss on 11/11/14 at 5:53 pm

    Let us hope that some incriminating evidence is found, before THAT server mysteriously crashes, and all the data is lost, AGAIN.

    I have to admit that I would enjoy seeing that smug look wiped off Lerner’s face, as she is perp-walked, wearing handcuffs, to her indictment hearing.

  3. nick r on 11/11/14 at 10:54 pm

    Man, if she goes to prison that would be awesome!! It will suck for her big time when she has to have sex with other women on a daily basis…….oh wait, never mind

  4. VoteOutIncumbents on 12/12/14 at 8:22 am

    At this point one has to wonder how much longer the MSM can downplay this scandal. This is going to be bigger than Watergate by far. ABCBSNBCNN have been blocking and tackling for the Obama administration. But once federal judges begin issuing orders and perhaps instigate special investigators to find out how and when these emails were “lost” the networks and big newspapers are going to have to cover. I don’t know anything about computers but if what doug says above is true then the IRS and Justice Department are going to be cornered. Be nice to see Lerner, Shulman, Miller and the other crooks head to the hoosegow.

  5. Juha Ruotsalainen on 12/12/14 at 11:21 am

    The most transparentest regime evarz will post those messages online for all to see. Dear Leader saw the messages because nothing gets past his magic scepter even though he was busy lowering the ocean levels at the time. Umm…umm…umm. Yes we can!