We saw this coming, didn’t we? Fox News’ Shannon Bream broke the news this afternoon:
And National Review Online caught the relevant portion of the exchange:
“A Department of Justice attorney told a Judicial Watch attorney on Friday that it turns out the federal government backs up all computer records in case something terrible happens in Washington and there’s a catastrophe, so the government can continue operating,” Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton told Fox News’ Shannon Bream.
“But it would be too hard to go get lois lerner’s emails from that backup system,”Fitton continued, paraphrasing the DOJ official. “So, everything we’ve been hearing about scratched hard drives, about missing emails of Lois Lerner, other IRS officials, other officials in the Obama administration, it’s all been a pack of malarkey. They could get these records, but they don’t want to.”
And why wouldn’t they want to retrieve those records? Easy: such records, if released to the public, could perhaps further tarnish the government agency’s already diminishing reputation. For example, if the emails show conclusively that the current administration and the IRS were working together to explicitly target conservative non-profit organizations, the notion that the IRS scandal was somehow “phony” -- and that the president himself learned about the scandal in “news reports" -- would be totally discredited.
Judicial Watch, meanwhile, fully intends on continuing its crusade to recover these emails by obtaining them and placing their contents in the public record. So we’ll see how far they get.