The IRS under oath
By Post Editorial Board
July 13, 2014 | 8:23pm
At a recent hearing, Rep. Paul Ryan neatly summarized the problem the IRS has when he responded to Commissioner John Koskinen this way: “I don’t believe it. That’s your problem: Nobody believes you.”
Now two federal judges have basically said the same thing. Last Thursday, US District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan, a Bill Clinton appointee, ordered the IRS to designate an official to explain — under oath — how it lost the Lois Lerner e-mails. The judge also asked a federal magistrate to look at other ways the court might find the IRS records.
The order was followed the next day with a similar order from Sullivan’s colleague on the federal bench, Judge Reggie Walton, a George W. Bush appointee. Walton is hearing a case brought by True the Vote, a conservative outfit targeted by the IRS.
True the Vote fears the IRS may still be destroying evidence, and is asking Judge Walton to allow an outside IT-expert outfit to audit the IRS e-mail systems to see if the IRS is telling the truth about how the e-mails were lost and whether they might yet be recovered. Judge Walton says he wants the IRS to tell him the IT qualifications of those conducting the in-house investigation — and give him an idea when that investigation might be completed.
Plainly, the two judges are echoing the Ryan line: We don’t believe you. And The Post will be eager to see if the official IRS version of events changes, now that it will be given to a court of law — under oath. Which raises the stakes considerably.
Put it this way: How would you like to be the IRS guy whose name will be on that sworn affidavit giving the IRS explanation of what happened?