Computer crash? IRS claims to have lost two years’ worth of Lois Lerner emails

The scope of excuses coming from the Obama Administration is truly stunning. The IRS is now claiming it lost two years’ worth of former IRS official Lois Lerner’s email because of a computer crash. These emails just so happen to come from the time period in which conservatives were being targeted by the agency.

A congressional investigation into the targeting has been underway for quite some time, and the timing of the recent discovery has outraged House Republicans.

On Friday, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) called the excuse “unacceptable.”

According to Camp, the IRS is now saying it has Lerner’s emails sent to and received from other IRS employees from early 2009 to April 2011. But the IRS cannot find emails between Lerner and anyone outside the IRS in that timeframe.

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) does not buy the claims.

“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 asked.

On radio this morning, Glenn further questioned the credibility of the claim given the size and scope of the NSA data surveillance techniques.

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“Hang on a second. I had two years of e-mails, and I just don’t know where the hell I put them. Oh, they’re lost. I don’t know what happened to them. Unfortunately, they were all of the most important e-mails that I had,” Glenn joked. “I have all the e-mails. But the e-mails you specifically asked me for, I don’t have those. Damn it. Those were the ones that were going to prove that I did or didn’t do something wrong.”

It is hard to believe the IRS did not have any sort of backup system – be it a hard drive or cloud service – that would copies of these emails.

Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX) responded to the IRS claims by asking the NSA to turn over all the metadata it has collected on Lerner. It remains to be seen if his request will be granted.

“I have asked NSA Director Rogers to send me all metadata his agency has collected on Lois Lerner’s email accounts for the period which the House sought records,” Stockman said. “The metadata will establish who Lerner contacted and when, which helps investigators determine the extent of illegal activity by the IRS.”

“When’s the last time they respond to do anything,” Stu said of the NSA. “They don’t respond to the demands of the Constitution, let alone a congressman they don’t like.”

Ultimately, Glenn couldn’t help but draw the obvious comparison to the now infamous 18 minutes of missing tape during the Watergate investigation.

“IT people who have looked through this said there’s no way this could happen,” Stu said.

“That’s what makes it so weird,” Glenn said sarcastically. “Do you remember during the Nixon Watergate trials, and they were missing 18 and a half minutes of tape? It was just gone.”

Listen to the full episode:

  • Shelly

    My husband does forensic data retrieval. Even if said crash happened, data is still retrievable.

    • Anonymous

      You would think no one in Obama’s Administration had not ever watched “CSI”, “NCIS” or one of the other police TV shows for them to think citizens are that stupid.

      • Leslie Arnold

        Yeah – especially since they supposedly learn about all the important current events from TV!

      • Peri Perrin

        Of course they think the citizenry is stupid…we elected and re-elected them, didn’t we?

      • Irony Man

        This thread would have been much better had you not mentioned fictional TV shows……

        • Anonymous

          I disagree since TV shows are how the general public even knows emails can never be completely erased. Have you ever received a notice stating facts about emails being permanent? Neither have I.The shows are just points of reference. From watching those shows the viewer gets a feel for the technology available today. The technology used in the shows is, I’m told by those who more about it than I do, pretty much dead on point and a good reference. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

    • Anonymous

      Have him complain to his senators and congressional rep PLEASE. If enough knowledgeable people will complain, something will be done. If not, I fear it won’t be.

  • Noonespecial

    No data is ever actually gone. Even if the servers crashed, it is there, and can be retrieved. Also, if they did not do data backups, they are violating the law – not to mention common sense – on several levels.

    • Anonymous

      I’m a former mail administrator (for a small company). I agree with you that there are very few circumstances, and none of them plausible in this case, that would lead to a mail server crashing with total loss (or even significant loss) of email data. There are numerous types of businesses for whom this type of behavior would mean extreme penalties and possible jail time.

      • Anonymous

        PLEASE contact your senators and congress person and tell them hat you know and something must be done. If enough computer-literate folks overwhelm them with complaints they will have to investigate and if the emails are truly gone they will know they were purposely destroyed. But if people with knowledge don’t complain I am afraid they will get away with it like they do with everything. I am so afraid at what is going on in this country between the lawless gov’t and the people flowing over the border and being accepted.

    • PapaD57

      The dog ATE the backups.

  • Ron Schmidt

    Lies, lies and more lies is all we hear from the administration. Any company has the capabilities to recover lost information. It just depends on how bad they want it recovered. Try telling the IRS you “lost” your receipts or paperwork…doesn’t work.

  • Anonymous

    Is this brought to us by the same folks that provided us with According to the Head of the IRS testified, they hadn’t started working on getting the committee the emails for 7 months. Then, after 10 months, they announce all the emails are gone.

    • Talan

      by 2016 Obama will have finished us off. He must be removed NOW!

    • Anonymous

      The IRS, just like obama, are fingering their noses at all Americans. The present government is totally out of control, yet who’s going to do anything about it? The country has lost its purpose for existence. It is no better than communism in China or Russia. Yes, the elite in Washington are true communists, all of them!

  • Anonymous

    And other fairy tales! Every day with this administration it’s a new scandal or deception. Please 2016 come quickly!

  • Peter

    Um…here’s a clue. Call the NSA. They have them all on their servers. DON’T THEY.

    • Thomas

      No…obama made sure that they did not meet the criteria of being a threat to liberty and national security, so they were immediately deleted.

  • Bubba Gump

    The problem is there is a “Congressional” investigation. Put Sheriff Joe on the case!!

  • bethany airhart

    Itnis an insult to the American people to clame such a thing. They honestly believe they are above the laws that the rest of us must follow, & belive we are stupid enough to swallow this line of BS.
    It doesnt get more insulting than that.

  • Dan Owen

    Lois Lerner won’t talk and now the IRA claims the impossible concerning those emails. Never mind the petty politics at play here, something much more damaging to the fabric of the Republic is occurring. Increasingly, Americans will never again be able to trust anyone or anything that comes out of either Congress or the White House, no matter what party is in power. The seeds of revolution are being widely dispersed….

  • Tammy White

    Hold them in contempt and throw them in a cell until the emails are found or recovered. That’s what should happen.

  • Thomas

    The lies will soon reach critical mass and the lefties will make the ‘web’ so entangled that no one will have the patience or wherewithal to sort it all out and just give up; that’s what they want: for the people to give up.

  • Christopher J Hoffman

    This is the modern version of ‘the dog ate my homework’. The utter shamelessness of this administration is astounding.

  • landofaahs

    The dog ate my homework. But you don’t have a dog. Well then it was the cat. You don’t have a cat either. You intolerant people won’t take anything as an excuse.

  • Stephen C

    Comrades you do not question the party… Val Jar said you will be on the enemies list.

    • Anonymous

      It’s getting to be a big list.

  • Dave

    Subpoena the mail administrators for the white house and IRS.

    • Mike Shenberger

      Then have them questioned by someone with knowledge of IT.

  • Timothy Eberly

    Okay…. so what do we do about it?

    • zemla

      According to the owner of this site, nothing. Just talk about peace and love, and don’t break any laws, cause that has always been successful….

  • Dave

    Maybe it’s time to accidentally loose all the IRS employees paychecks?!?!?!

    • Leslie Arnold

      My husband and I had to pay a hefty tax bill for withdrawing 401k savings for a critical surgery for our daughter (would have been covered under our health care plan 5 yrs ago, but premiums have risen & benefits cut thanks to Obama Care). The IRS was relentless, going back years to find even more $ they said we owe. We’re still working it out but I’m begging: PLEASE, IRS servers, computers: LOSE MY FILE!!!!

      • MeanieHead

        No, you really don’t want them to lose your files. That’s more hassle than it’s worth. I messed up one year’s return and it turned into 7 years of headache. And, you know what? They wouldn’t let me use the excuse that I didn’t have a computer backup of my data. I didn’t even have the computer it was on any more.

  • Anonymous

    It’s pretty obvious this has reached a point where TWO things need to happen:

    The Senate (and the entire Congress) need to flip to GOP
    The full Congress need to establish special prosecution over ALL these matters including JAIL (incarceration authority) separate from DOJ involvement.

    Once enough players are jailed, the plea deals can be cut for the people to find out what is going on. Think ‘Watergate on Steroids’.

    • MeanieHead

      I like that idea.

  • Bonnie Somer


  • Brian Mackert

    Glen…I work for Verizon and know enough about computer networks to know that it wouldn’t be a computer that crashed but an email server that would have to crash. And that email servers, especially for an agency as large as the IRS have backups. If I were investigating this I would be demanding the computer network logs that would have documented the event on the network. Everything that happens on a network is logged / recorded to assist technicians in their troubleshooting processes. Where is the network log that cooroborates this story? Let’s see the archetecture of the network, what back up email servers are in the network? Did all of them mysteriously crash too? Also, when a computer crashes it doesn’t lose all it’s memory forever. If computer ferensics can pull data off of a hard drive after it has been erased then bring that server in to evidence inventory and have them recover the data. This is such B.S.

    • Mike Shenberger

      To further your point; The IRS is an enormous agency. There is not a single server (device) that holds this data. The larger the demand (amount of workers using the email service) the more physical devices it takes to perform the job. There is redundancy between the multiple servers and there are multiple back up systems in place. This excuse is phony. 100% certainty.

    • Bill Force

      The servers are all on a Raid with at least 2 H.D’s recording at all times. The ONLY way data can be missing is if someone PURPOSELY PERMANENTL erased it and that is a felony, these progressive zealots think that we are idiots and they are BLESSED because they lie cheat and steal for their “CAUSE”.

  • Mike Shenberger

    I work in IT. Even if the computer crashed, the data is still there. Also, email systems use servers which hold copies of the emails. The data on those servers is backed up often. The emails are only missing because someone wants them to be. Any IT person worth his/her salt could recover them in minutes.

    • Anonymous

      PLEASE contact your senators and congresspeople about this. If enough people who know what they’re talking about complain, they will have to do something. If the emails cannot be found, that will be evidence that they were intentionally destroyed and someone can be prosecuted.

  • Phydeux

    There’s no way in the world they didn’t have at least 3 layers of backups. The government is the biggest when it comes to wanting everything recorded so they can go after anyone who steps out of line.

    Unless they wanted them to step out of line, then everything goes missing under stupidly mysterious circumstances.

  • Darren A

    Clearly the smoking gun was in those emails and as a last ditch desperate attempt to save their behinds the administration found a way to destroy them and had no choice but to say the servers crashed. Sure, it’s an unbelievable excuse, but it’s all they got at this point, and as always they know they’ve got the media to help them out and approx 47% of the population that either isn’t paying attention or doesn’t care. If Congress was smart they would accept the fact the emails are probably gone, but hire independent IT contractors to investigate how they REALLY disappeared. If determined somebody purposefully destroyed them that’s all we need to know – as good as a smoking gun IMO.

  • William Rusty Amann

    Does this mean I can tell the IRS my computer crashed and I lost all of my tax information?? I’m quite sure they would understand!

    • Georgia

      Well, SURE!! How could they NOT understand?

  • Guest
  • Aaron M.

    A too don’t buy this at all. I do IT infrastructure support consulting for Fortune 500/50 customers as well as lots of gov. Backups are NEVER overlooked. There are so many layers of fault tolerance designed into systems to prevent just this case that it’s quite hard to believe ANY data loss let alone 2 years. Too easy of a scapegoat if you ask me.

  • Anonymous

    Here are some good reasons that the government could provide the media.
    1. Its often caused by spontaneous combustion or spontaneous sublimation.
    2. This could occur if you have an invisibility cloak and you misplaced it – on top of the emails. Both the cloak and the emails are now missing.
    3. Sometimes when files are placed into a lateral file folder, the printed letters slide off the page. It creates this ink mess at the bottom of the file folder.
    4. I have seen a disk drive motor over speed condition where all of the data gets flung off of the drive. A 2700 RPM driver setup accidentally to spin at 5200 or 7200 rpm has been known to cause this type of catastrophic failure resulting in the loss of all of the data.
    5. Remotely possible criminal behavior, but with this administration, this should only be considered after ruling out 1-4.

    • Anonymous

      Nah. Think of it as “mission impossible” where the data self-destructs just in time for its disappearance.

  • Anonymous

    What should concern you is that Congress isn’t demanding the emails and stating the obvious fact that the IRS still has them on their servers and that they are not really lost. I’m beginning to believe all of these guys on both sides of the aisle are playing a big game and we are the losers.

    • OpenMinded

      Well said!

    • zemla


  • CrushDrivels

    The Obama Era ! Criminals all around. Choom Gang !

  • CrushDrivels

    Waiting for all the Obamazombies and their lame excuses and BS on this one.

  • Lane Butler

    Data is not retrievable if it was crashed on purpose. Servers continually write over areas where deleted data used to reside. The emails were “accidentally” deleted 10 months ago when this was first brought to light. They have had plenty time to accidentally delete any and all backup copies and overwrite the data tracks or crush the hard drives to ensure any incriminating evidence will not be found.

  • Craig Johnson

    Losing the e-mails only Proves that Lenner (and WHO else) is quilty of breaking OUR Laws–this is getting sickening! The lies & covering up is a terrible example of what this administation is teaching our young folks!! Parents,be outraged-again!!

  • Kenneth Leber

    Just another example of the total ineptness of the government administration to do any job well. The computer administration arm of the IRS must be held accountable and the responsible individuals should be required to produce the backups and/or fired.

  • AcecardZ

    Of course they expect the American public to believe it. They lie about everything else and the public buys in so why not one more lie piled on top of the many others?


    My brother does computer repair and networking. I have watched countless occasions of him taking completely failed hard drives and running it through a data recovery program to get just about everything that existed on the drive with a few corrupted bits – very little of the drives aren’t salvageable. They can’t tell me they don’t have hard drive backups for the last ten years of data, do you know why? Because I’m a government engineer. We have CDs from 1995, and network drives with data from 2002. You don’t mysteriously “lose” data from a “glitch” with redundant systems like the IRS has. There’s no glitch like that, unless they’re talking about the one going on in their heads right now.

    • Anonymous

      People who know something about computers need to complain to their elected representatives about this and tell them this is impossible. If enough of them do that, maybe it will help. If every one complained, tht would be lot of people. Jake Tapper mentioned the lost emails and even had Woodward and Bernstein on but changed the subject as soon as they were on.

  • Charlie Goins

    Obama makes Nixon look like a damn boy scout.

  • Lee

    This is next to impossible – What about all of the people that sent her email – there IS a record of that. Email is stored on Servers AND always backed-up on tapes and other Servers. Lost 2 years worth of data ?… This is not the 70’s Nixon era …. This excuse will never fly. If this happen – The entire “IT” staff should be fired on the spot.

  • William Fisher

    Oh! Citizens are stupid enough to believe this. Trust me they are. They did vote for Obama once and then again after they saw who he is. I’ll give them a pass on the first election, not on the second one. That shows a lack of intelligence and/or common sense.

  • bucketnutz


    • Paper Boy

      Prosecutor needed? It will have to come from the Justice Department. As far as that goes, Obama is in the cat-bird seat, thanks to Eric Holder.

  • Paper Boy

    Even the New York Times knows that lost emails is a childish and silly tactic. However they are stuck with their strategy to support Obama through thick and thin. Therefore they must compose some kind of report to defend the lost emails, even though it may require several visits to the restroom.

  • Anonymous

    Yes Glenn, they do expect the American people to believe this, another outlandish lie because how many American people still support the nothing-but-lies president? The stupidity of so many Americans is truly unbelievable.

  • Dennis Carbine

    Bush is to blame, I’m not sure how but that’s the next excuse.

    • zemla

      Yeah! Him and those golly gee darn rebubbalicans! Lol, you rock dennis

  • Billy Beefcaked

    The worst part of all this is the end of it. The GOP will just bend over and take it up the ass…just like they have for 5 1/2 years.

    Then King Barack the 1st will continue to destroy everything.

  • Bob Barnes

    I’d bet if the White House offered $700MM to recover them….. someone would build a website that would do just that!!! 😉

  • Megan

    Let’s all use that excuse next time the IRS comes knocking at our door for an audit. We actually know someone that did that and got out of 2 years of a 3 year audit.

  • Anonymous

    Anyone who believes all that data is lost would buy a bridge in Brooklyn. The technology to recover information from crashed hard drives has been available for quite some time. That technology has been used by the FBI, CIA, NSA, Secret Service and even the IRS. All these agencies have the same boss. How do we know they don’t want to recover the data in this case because they do not want to anger the boss.

  • Anonymous

    tape was there, there was nothing on it

  • IT 2 IT

    WHY doesn’t Glenn, or anyone else in corporate media,
    DARE to take on the nature, practice and horrific, genocidal legacy

    ARMINIAN HERESIES and enmeshment ops —-WILL NOT SERVE!
    in this, the ‘quickening’ 11th hour. . .

  • Dennis Ferguson

    Hey glenn you should make a shout out to anonymus and ask them to recover the emails from the nsa lol i bet they have them befor 5 if someone would ask for them lol.

  • Anonymous

    OK, if the IRS has lost the e-mails (yeah right). How about the recipients’ servers and e-mail accounts? There must be copies spread throughout the government — it’s just a matter of looking.

  • Mr. Billckston

    Here we find a trusty lamp to guide us through the ever-shifting mirage of illusions conjured up by today’s liberals:

  • Equis

    Oh really? And why didn’t they say this earlier? Because everything they say is a lie and they believe the American people are ignorant. They make me ill with their stupidity.

  • AlgeBrad

    They’re going to hide Glenn’s buffet trips 😀 😀 😀

  • Poe Gromms

    Socrates’ observation, that recognizing our own ignorance is the beginning of wisdom, helps us keep in mind that we are ignorant regarding most of our complex modern civilization.

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