After listening to excuses from IRS officials about why they cannot produce "lost" emails requested through a Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan has ordered the IRS to come up with a better explanation as to why the agency cannot produce valid documentation. He's also asking for details about IRS hard drive destruction policy and wants verification from an outside source that IRS hard drives in question were in fact destroyed as officials have claimed.
"In an extraordinary step, U. S. District Court Judge Emmett Sullivan has launched an independent inquiry into the issue of the missing emails associated with former IRS official Lois Lerner," President of Judicial Watch John Fitton said in a statement. "Previously, Judge Sullivan ordered the IRS to produce sworn declarations about the IRS email issue by August 11. Today’s order confirms Judicial Watch’s read of this week’s IRS’ filings that treated as a joke Judge Sullivan’s order."
From Judge Sullivan's order:
In light of  the Declarations filed by the IRS, the IRS is hereby ORDERED to file a sworn Declaration, by an official with the authority to speak under oath for the Agency, by no later than August 22, 2014. In this Declaration, the IRS must: (1) provide information about its efforts, if any, to recover missing Lois Lerner emails from alternate sources (i.e., Blackberry, iPhone, iPad); (2) provide additional information explaining the IRS's policy of tracking inventory through use of bar code property tags, including whether component parts, such as hard drives, receive a bar code tag when serviced. If individual components do not receive a bar code tag, provide information on how the IRS tracks component parts, such as hard drives, when being serviced; (3)
provide information about the IRS's policy to degauss hard drives, including whether the IRS records whose hard drive is degaussed, either by tracking the employee's name or the particular machine with which the hard drive was associated; and (4) provide information about the outside vendor who can verify the IRS's destruction policies concerning hard drives.
The IRS has one week to come up with some answers.
H/T Ed Morrissey