The IRS Under Oath
By New York Post Editorial Board
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 Judge Emmet Sullivan, a Bill Clinton appointee, ordered the IRS to designate an official to explain — under oath — how it lost the Lois Lerner emails. 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 Walton to allow an outside IT-expert outfit to audit the IRS email systems to see if the IRS is telling the truth about how the emails were lost and whether they might yet be recovered. 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?