Now that the IRS has admitted that it lost emails from an individual who was linked to the agency's inappropriate targeting of political groups for extra scrutiny, last year's scandal has found its way back into the headlines. Last Friday, the agency announced that it didn't have the complete set of former official Lois Lerner's emails after a 2011 computer crash. And on Tuesday, two Republican lawmakers accused the IRS of losing even more emails — including those of fired former IRS chief of staff Nikole Flax.
In a press release, Republicans on the Ways and Means Committee said that the government “cannot produce records from six other IRS employees involved in the targeting of conservative groups." Committee Chair Rep. Dave Camp also said that the fact that Flax visited the White House several times during her tenure “only raises more questions," as Politico reported, even though it looks like the answer to most of the questions about her visits are pretty straightforward. The IRS had a role in administering the health care reform laws, and most of the meetings seem to pertain to its roll-out.
Despite reports that both Tea Party and "progressive" groups were targeted by the IRS for extra scrutiny, many conservatives believe that the U.S. uniquely, systematically targeted conservatives for their political beliefs, possibly on the orders of the White House. So far, there's no evidence to support this claim, which is partially why Republican lawmakers investigating the scandal have requested so many documents. The implication, of course, is that the evidence they want is somewhere in those emails, and that the government deliberately "lost" the incriminating content. Of course, there's another, simpler explanation for how a computer crash would actually result in lost emails.