After a refusing to issue an apology to the House Ways and Means Committee last week over "missing" emails belonging to former head of tax exempt organizations Lois Lerner and other high ranking IRS officials, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen will face tough questioning on Capitol Hill from the House Oversight Committee in a rare evening hearing Monday. Monday night is the first of two hearings this week. Part two will take place tomorrow morning.
The hearing comes after news surfaced over the weekend that the IRS did in fact have an email backup system until the agency was exposed for targeting conservative tea party groups. Nearly two weeks ago and after a year of investigation, the IRS informed Congress it had "lost" thousands of emails dated between January 2009 and April 2011, the crucial time period when conservative tea party groups were targeted.
Chairman of the House Oversight Committee Darrell Issa found the IRS' excuses for the data loss inexcusable and unbelievable, saying in a statement, “Isn’t it convenient for the Obama Administration that the IRS now says it has suddenly realized it lost Lois Lerner’s emails requested by Congress and promised by Commissioner John Koskinen? Do they really expect the American people to believe that, after having withheld these emails for a year, they're just now realizing the most critical time period is missing?"
Issa also asked why the IRS was "playing games" with the investigation, especially after revelations the IRS sent a massive file to the FBI just ahead of the 2010 midterm elections that including confidential tax information of conservative tax exempt groups.
The hearing starts at 7 p.m. eastern.