IRS Commissioner: 'No Apology Necessary' for Missing Lerner Emails
FoxNews.com digital politics editor Chris Stirewalt reacted this morning on America's Newsroom (video above) after IRS Commissioner John Koskinen refused to apologize to furious Republicans for the agency losing two years worth of Lois Lerner's emails. Lawmakers are outraged after learning a week ago that many of the former IRS official's emails supposedly disappeared in a computer crash.
New claims have surfaced that Lerner's hard drive was destroyed and emails from several other officials also have gone missing.
Koskinen got the hearing off to a contentious start (video below) by telling House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) that he doesn't feel an apology is owed for the lost emails. Camp had challenged Koskinen about why he did not apologize in his opening statement.
Stirewalt views Koskinen's testimony as part of a "growing trend" in Washington in which officials point to useless numbers during investigations.
"30,000 emails or 100,000 emails don’t matter if you’re missing the one that you need. It's the needle, not the haystack that matters in these things," said Stirewalt, explaining that the problem for the White House is the allegation that the IRS was trying to interfere in the 2010 and 2012 elections by unfairly targeting conservative groups.
"The direct beneficiary thereof being President Obama," he said, arguing that the IRS scandal meets all the criteria for the appointment of an independent investigator.
"The federal government itself using an incredibly powerful agency to interfere with an election that determines who constitutes that federal government is the most serious charge imaginable in a republic, period. There’s no worse charge you could make against a government than meddling in the elections that determine who leads that government. That is a very dangerous thing," said Stirewalt.
Later, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) went off on Koskinen, telling him simply "nobody believes you." He called out Koskinen for "burying" the disclosure about Lerner's lost emails in a 27-page letter to the Senate.