tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN June 23, 2014 8:28pm-10:31pm EDT
urgent you come at 7:00 on monday when you were scheduled to appear the following day? tuesday the 24th. >> no. >> i will not ask you to sp speculate. but some might say camp can't do the job or there is competition. you were notified there was going to be a hearing in chairman camp's committee on friday of last week. >> that is correct. >> >> how were you notified? >> the staff asked if i was available on friday and they had to get the approval agreement and i understand there was a seven day rule. i told them i could make myself available. >> how long did you testify?
>> four and a half hours with a recess of 45 minutes in the middle. >> i would think having testified all that time tonight's hearing might be redundant. >> it has similarities to friday. >> the only thing difference is chairman issa has invited ms. jennifer o'conner to testify tomorrow. do you think her? >> i don't. >> do you know if she worked at the irs of may-november? >> that is my understanding. >> that would have been well before the discovery of lois lerner's e-mails going missing?
>> that is correct. >> do you know where she works now? >> i understand at the whitehouse. >> some might think people on this committee they have trumped mr. camp and his committee and maybe it gives them camera but no one wants to speculate like that. i think it is unfortunate you had to be subjected to this again and i hope members will assess the creditability of the house. >> i think the gentlemen and we go to the gentlemen from tennessee. mr. duncan. >> thank you very much. thank you, mr. chairman for pursueing this investigation like you have. in a free country no individual or group of individual should be targ targeted for their political beliefs and everybody that looks at this closely feels that
happened. on march 26th, mr. koskinen said there was no targeting just inappropriate criteria. the "washington post" is probably the main defender of the federal bureaucracy and they said he should be given three pinocio's and that is one too many. i don't know his opinion on that but i will say this... all over the country people saying there is a double standard being applied. they are saying there is one standard for everybody else and
one for the irs. i have been following pop politics and government since high school and i believe there is more anger and discuss toward the federal government than any other time in my life time because everybody feels like we ended up with a government that is of, by and for the bure bureaucrats versus the people. mr. koskinen was given the chance to apologize on behalf of the irs and didn't do so but i think the people can understand there is a difference applied to the irs and individuals having problems on their taxes. and it seems that every time the federal government screws up, which is often, they also fall back on one or both of two
excuses. they say they are underfunded or their technology is out of date. of course that is what we have heard today. but i can tell you the people of this country are sick and tired of arrogance within the federal government. and this hearing -- and others that will follow about this, i think will help assure this doesn't happen again. i commend you and yield back my time. >> would the gentlemen yield? >> i think the gentlemen. i would like to go through the question one more time. when you testify that in fact you knew there was this problem when you were here last time but you didn't know in fact e-mails were lost? is that correct? >> that is correct. >> but you know there was a sequence or numbering problem? >> correct. >> did you take any steps to find out what the sequence or
numbering problem was? people say there is a problem almost always in my experience as a ceo. you say tell me about the problem. what does the problem mean? did you do that? >> no, i asked to be kept up day to day and 200 people were working on the issue. they said they would let me know and they did. >> so there is 200 people working on the problem of delivering e-mails and it took this long to find out that there were missing ones from lois lerner. >> it took until -- >> that is almost a year. >> from the time anybody thought there was a problem it took about two months. >> okay. so -- >> no body knew there was a problem last year. >> but you know there was inconsistency when you came before us. >> i know a problem was identified and under investigation. >> why is that you didn't answer when asked a dozen time will you
deliver -- we can find lois lerner's e-mails. >> that was my assumption at the time. >> but you knew there was a problem with some part of her e-mails. >> but we had no idea -- at the time no one understood the ramifications. they ran the whole production process again and searched the files to make sure e-mails were not lost. at the time i testified no one knew there were missing e-mails. >> were you aware when you testified last time there was a crash in lois lerner's disk drive years before? >> when i testified here? >> no. >> were the people reporting to you aware of that? >> the it people apparently were. they discovered there was an issue with the computer in late f feb. >> we go to the gentlemen from
massachusetts. mr. lynch. >> i want to raise the issue while the irs isn't held high repute, neither is the united states congress. i want to thank you for your willingness to testify. i would like to refocus on the evidence here. i am a little bit surprised at the chronlogical order that has been laid out here where you originally invited my -- mr. camp and the ways and means committee to testify and then it seems like when mr. issa found out, you were subpoenaed here to testify before you and you will testify tomorrow at the other hearing and then mr. camp jumps in front of him and now i have billboards and a video clip up
there. i am worried i will come in here tomorrow and there is a 16-piece orchestra to cap out the show. that is not the way this is supposed to happen. that is not the way this is supposed to go down. there are serious issues here we have to get to. all of this fanfare and showm showmanship is doing a dissatisfaction to the american people. we are failing meeting the expectations of the american people. i would like to focus on the evidence. and going back to the heart of this issue, we did have a situation where there was evidence, and admission on the part of the irs, they were using search terms such as tea party, patriots, 9-12 project in terms
of being on the lookout for groups applying with those characteristics. and any issues on applications that included government spending or government taxes. they were looking for statements in the case file criticizing how the country was run. that is evidence. when the irs goes after citizens of the united states because of this criteria that is evidence of their state of mind. that is not all they looked for. they also looked for any search terms regarding progressives, or emerge groups which were also very progressive groups, 501c applications. and successors to acorn because they were highly progressives. so there was widespread, not
just going after conservative groups, but it was going after american citizens who have various political views and that is evidence. >> they are evidence. exactly. >> right. okay. so when these e-mails go missing for 27 months on lois lerner's account, you realize how that -- that just feeds in the suspicion that there is something going on here. >> i understand that. that is why i think it is important to understand we were able to find 24,000 e-mails in that period. >> i know what you found. i appreciate that. i think you went at it honestly. when mr. russell, the ig for the irs, when why looked at it, he was looking at the search term
issue for us. did he look at the other issue of the missing e-mails? did he do that? was that known to him? >> it wasn't known to anyone at that time. >> we didn't look at that? >> the ig to my understanding looked at that. he is starting to investigate that now. >> well, i think that is something we might want to revisit. do you think it would be worthwhile to have the inspector general to go back and look at the way these e-mails went missing? i know there is unfounded allegations about other employees and their e-mails going missing. >> he is looking at it. i expect when they complete the investigation they will provide a report to us and this committee and other investigators. >> okay. my time is expired. i yield back. >> the gentlemen said it was
unfounded. are other drives that led to other e-mails not being available to your knowledge? >> at this point, there is not. we noted, i asked, as i said in my testimony in may, as we were getting the arms around lois lerner i said can we look at the other 82 custodians and that was part of what we hoped to complete in the full review of this. >> so we don't know today about others? there maybe others? >> yes, there maybe others. we have provided information of what we know. we just learned about that last monday. >> just to follow-up on that. >> of course. >> i am trying to remember her name. nicole flax. there was a story last week her e-mails were missing. have we made progress on her e-mails? >> i think it was cleared up it
was one of her two e-mails. >> are her e-mails messing? >> there is no evidence. >> i ask consent that the 144 page report be placed in the order and the title is debunking the myth that the irs targeted conservatives. we recognize the gentlemen from south carolina, mr. henry. >> there is a lot of discussion and you have been through multiple hearing related to the this lois lerner targeting of conservative groups. do you under what the fuss and furry is about this week? do you understand why folks are upset about this? >> i understand but i have not been around washington for a long time. >> you had a long career. >> we take it seriously because
if there has been a hard drive crash and e-mail disappear that is a matter that should be reviewed. we provided the information about e-mails and it appears that ms. lerner was working hard to retrieve them. >> you had the ability to stair with congress and the american people in real-time what you were finding. why didn't you do that? >> my judgment was we should produce all of the information when we had it. >> even if that meant along the way people question how you answered congressionally inquiries. >> this isn't about you. this isn't about anybody up here. this isn't about a hearing. this is about the american people. your agency sends fear up the spines of every american when you contact them. and if there is one receipt
missing, a small business person goes and searches far and wide and yet we have evidence that and you testified that, you know, lois lerner's harddrive crashed and that erased e-mails from january 2009-april 2011. just the time period congress is most concerned about with the targeting of tea party and conservative groups. i understand. and you can answer reasonably but when you see that type of thing happen, it almost defies any one sense of capacity that that could happen. >> congress is interested in what happened up until 2013 and we are in the process of those
e-mails. we have significant amount of e-mail that is not lost. 43,000 and we have been able to find another 24,000. but the important point is the question is in the period we found the 24,000 what are the e-mails she sent outside of the agency that is not reflected in accounts. >> and how are they going to come forward? >> because the whitehouse and treasury provided -- the witness >> the reason i am asking the question is i want you to convey to the american people that running the irs -- a very frightening agency, right -- for
my voters at home. that you get it. that you understand why the american people look at this and say this is so far beyond my ability to reason. an agency with more than a billion dollar, nearly two billion it budget let's a hard drive crash. it seems ridiculous and beyond understanding that this would happen in such a convenient context and we have lois lerner who has been a major focus of this inquiry and she is searching to make sure we recover her hard droifb that may incriminate her but we will not know because it has been recycled. >> i yield by time to mr. jordan. >> what date did you learn when you could not get her e-mails? >> in april.
i don't know the day. >> beginning or end? >> april. i don't know the date. >> i will field back the time. >> would the gentlemen yield? >> i would be happy, too. >> you only know within a month? could you provide the committee with some evidence from the calendar that would indicate what day you were briefed? >> i would be delighted to. there is nothing on my calendar that shows that. >> who briefed you? >> i don't recall. i have addressed all of them people and talked to them -- >> you don't remember the name of the person that told you sometime in april -- >> by sometime in april i was aware there were e-mails lost, b we were reconstituting e-mails and to the extend we could.
>> you don't remember the name of the people? >> i don't remember. >> i don't remember is an answer. >> thank you, chairman. i would like to ask this paper be entered to the record at this time. >> would the gentlemen state the date of that article? >> july 4th, 2013. >> someone disputes my april 2014 with a july 2013 article. >> mr. chairman, he lays out a good case. i think it should be in the record. >> i think it is fine for someone to determine a year ahead of the report the report is invalid. >> mr. koskinen, from your
testimony, the irs doesn't permit 90,000 employees to store e-mail in their active inbox; is that correct? >> yes. >> why is that? >> we don't have the server capacity to absorb all of them. >> why not >> because of the expense. >> what is the cost? >> somewhere between $10-$30 milli million. >> instead they move them when they want to store them on their hard drives. is that correct? >> that is correct. >> would an alternative to be the cloud? >> there is no way to do that. >> why? >> because we are sensitive to security and thus far the irs
hasn't moved information to the cloud but the my understanding is they are looking to that. >> hard drives crash in older computers and it is said that businesses should replace every 3-4 years. >> that is the general standard. >> how often does the irs meet that standard? >> we refresh them and sometimes it takes as long as 5-7 years. >> could part of the problem be we are dealing with an aging set of pc's and irs because we have invested new equipment. >> that is no doubt that. we have thousands of employees running windows xp and we are trying to move them on windows 7. windows xp isn't supported any longer by microsoft. >> surely with the concern of hard drives crashing and e-mails
not being stored, and all kind of other problems and given the sensitivity of the data, the irs posesses, surely the congress has provided a set of resources to you to quickly update your computer technology? your technology? >> we are provided significant amount of money but less than we need. >> has your budget gone down? >> yes. >> how much? >> $800 million dollars. >> your budget went down $800 nominal dollars? >> that is right. the actual dollar number.
>> huh? that is amazing given our concern we would not provide you with resources to make sure this thing doesn't happen again. >> the house mark for 2015 cuts us by another $350 million. >> in one fiscal year? >> yes. >> surely that will change in light of the deep and profound concern for what happened to lois lerner's high drives? >> we have high hopes. >> surely you have been called to the midnight sessions to try to see what help you need? you have been asked? have you been subpoenaed or requested before any committee of the house of representatives to testify to what your needs are? and what the cut might do to the
agency? >> i have testified before the subcommittee and provided updated information to the senate and house about the negative impact of a $350 million cut. >> and they are heart blood for you undoubtedly. thank you, mr. koskinen. >> i think the gentlemen. >> unanimous consent request. i would like to enter in the record the reason magazine article from the weekend of june 21st that the irs had the contract with sauna server starting in 2005 and i would like to put the motto of them from an e-mail that says if the irs uses our proucts to back up
your services why wouldn't you chose them to protect you. and then i have a third article. the daily caller this weekend said sauna's six year relationship with the irs came to a close at the end of fiscal year 2011 as congressional investigatorers began looking into the scandal. >> without objection it will be placed in the record. with that, i can to the gentlemen from ohio. >> irs in february of 2014 identified documents that ms. lerner experienced computer failure. in mid march the irs focused on lerner e-mail for production. the data was determined to be unrecoverable.
mid-march you knew it was not recoverable and late march you came before the committee and didn't tell us her computer failed and you cannot recover remails. fine. your testimony was i was not sure we lost them all. i asked you when did you learn and you had in april. i want to focus on when you officially learned according to your definition. you can't remember who told you this information? >> i don't remember. >> was it in person? e-mail? >> i don't recall. i don't get e-mails on the subject so i am sure in person. >> this has been a major news story and you don't remember who came up to you they lost the e-mails? >> i remember being told. >> but you don't remember who?
you would think that would be significant enough to remember how it happened. you might even remember where you are standing. >> i am running an agency with 90,000 people. we are in the middle of filing season. >> you find out in april sometime. what did you do then? >> i was advised they were reconstituting as many other e-mails. >> who did you tell? did you tell the whitehouse? >> i never told them. >> politico said you told them in august. >> i don't think that is what they reported. >> did you talk outside the agency? >> no. not outside >> when did you tell congress? >> we produced the public report two days ago. >> you knew in april and waited
to months to tell this body? >> yes. >> why did you wait so long? >> we were going to wait for all of mails -- >> i want to know why you didn't tell us you lost some of the e-mails. >> our program was which complete the review -- >> it is important to tell us when you lost e-mails for the person we are focused on. don't you think? let me ask you this. did you tell the justice department? >> no. >> why not? there is a criminal investigation going on. >> we have no evidence there is any criminal violation involved. >> i didn't ask you. the president of the united states said we vhave to get to the bottom and the attorney general is going to do whatever they can. have you talked to the fbi about this?
>> i have never talked to the fbi. >> think about the average citizen out there. fbi investigating some citizen out there. and they lose documents over a two-year time period that is critical to the investigation and they say we are not going to tell the fbi and the fbi learns later do you think that person is in trouble? yes, but you say i don't tell anybody. did you tell the inspector je e general? you told us you learned in april did you tell the inspector general in april you lost lois lerner e-mail? >> no. >> here is what i would like to know. you waited two months to tell anyone. when does it become obstruction of justice? three months? four months? two weeks? when you get that critical information and say you will hang on to this, we have to spin it better, the fact you didn't tell us and we have been after
this for 13 months and suspebpo for this and you tell us you cannot and give us a report you gave us and on page nine you say we lost the e-mails. >> that starts on page five. >> i would like for you to tell us. not send us in some 37 page document on page five. >> it is a seven-page document. >> this is ridiculous, mr. chairman, that we didn't know this when he knew. he would not tell us a computer crash or we think we lost thement them all. we are 99% sure. ridiculous. i thank the gentlemen. >> for the record, ways and means committee referred four criminal charges to justice
>> the gentle lady is not yielding. >> will the gentle lady please yield? >> i am sorry. i did not hear you. >> will the gentle lady please yield? >> that was better, but no. [laughter] mr. chairman, i would like unanimous consent to put into the record the democratic staff report of may 6th 2014. no evidence of white house involvement in political motivation and ira screening a rapid -- tax-exempt applicants. >> absolutely without objection so ordered. >> commissioner -- commissioner koskinen, why you're serving our country at this one time is beyond me, but thank you on behalf of all was because you are and extolling example of
what we do unevenness country. that is someone who knows exactly what they're doing. it's not to be bullied and to state the facts as they see it. let us start from the very beginning of this timeline. based on the e-mails we have obtained mess lerner's hard drive crashed on june 13th, to 11. is that not so? her first indication, the first time she was informed by irs employees in cincinnati that there were using a research terms does not happen until after computer crashed. and what date was that? >> that is a week or two thereafter. >> june 29th 2011. june 13th it crashes. jan 29 to see is informed that
they may be using inappropriate search terms. the congressional investigation and the inspector general also did not start until after the computer crash. is that correct? >> as correct. >> i just want to make sure that i have this clear. the court -- the crash occurred before she was informed of the employees were using opprobrious search terms and before there was a congressional or inspector general investigation. >> she kept the melson and her e-mail accounts. >> my colleague that was talking about the system that exists. when the archive and the irs because you do not have that data availability of the $30 million invested you have to print e-mails. determined that any melos
appropriate or necessary to be archived and printed. >> was correct. >> that is our take it is. let's go on to the hearing on friday. some of the republican members there sprung and document on you that you had not reviewed beforehand arguing that the chairman and sent a letter to the irs on these exact issues ten days before the crash. ten days later -- think about the duration. reflecting plans, tocsin executes.
there is already law that says that this serves the applicability of gift taxes and then his own letter says that it unsettles the area of tax law. if that is not what did just of that letter was all about? >> was correct. the application of the gift tax law. >> all right. the letter had nothing to do with the issue of 501(c)4 and inappropriate terms being used? >> i did not mention an appropriate terms as follows far as i recall. >> all right. i yield back. >> i think they yelled -- lady for yielding back. we now go to the gentleman in utah.
hold off. i apologize. i would like to ask unanimous consent that the june 16th 2014 majority staff report be placed in the record. without objection so ordered. it is titled how politics led to the irs to target conservative tax-exempt applicants for their political beliefs. it will go well with the minority report. >> this is going to be some record. >> it is going to be some record. commissioner, we looked at ruled 11, and it turns out what was cited was the audio / video. we will have to figure out how that applies, to. >> greuel 11? >> that is what we are looking at. >> mr. chairman, can i ask that this letter from the chairman of ways and means -- >> of course it will be placed in the record.
>> i think the chairman. my understanding is that the back of e-mails was only lasting for six months. that is correct. >> it is actually disaster recovery system, and it backs up for six months in case an entire system goes down. >> that was in place in 2011? >> that was the policy in 2011. >> so when lois lerner figured out luncheon 13 that her computer crashed, and there had been e-mails showing that she was going to great lengths to try to get the recovered, why didn't they just go to that? >> it is a disaster recovery tape that has all e-mails and is a complicated thing to extract e-mails, but i have not seen any mouse to explain why they did not. it would be difficult, but don't know why. >> she said the irs was going to extraordinary lengths. >> that's correct.
>> but it is backed up on tape. >> for six months, yes. >> and that was within the six month window. why did you did the backup? >> all i know about that is that the backup takes art -- take a disaster recovery takes the put everything in. >> made a big point about all the effort. she eddy mills going from april -- two months from april, the would have been 42 is with the back of available. we need to explore this. did a year you --
>> the question that was just asked, whether the inspector general, when they did there review of the determination process was aware that they know had crashed. he said, i do not think that they were. >> the inspector general is trying to get to the bottom of this matter. no one in forms and that the computer crashed? >> nothing to my understanding. no. >> or their withholding information? >> i was not there. >> the insect @booktv specter general has access to all e-mails and any records that he would like and i have no indication that anyone would -- >> did they ask? >> i have no idea. jeff. >> you think it is reasonable for us to ask that question? >> that would be fine. >> the plan to.
>> is that not clear? >> at that point i would have told you we will get 100 percent of the in mel's we have. >> reason to know for years, the reason some know. >> have not been there for years. i've been there for six months. >> you had reason to know. you have reason to know that there was a problem, and you did nothing to indicate there was a problem, correct? >> the gentleman's time is expired, but you may answer. >> i did not indicate at that time because i did not know the nature of the problem. >> what you thought there might be a problem. >> the journalist time has expired. >> if you will please answer that question. >> vigilance time has expired. >> have testified before. at that time i did not know the nature. that is that there was a question being investigated. >> at thank the gentleman and
apologize. >> did deceive would -- the official record or that the irs is necessarily thinking that all these famous as a part of the official record relevant to the bar records at. e-mails critical, and i feel like it is absolutely unacceptable that a government agency with such a critical public mission on looking at a report it addresses the
inadequate in no preservation procedures across government. i would like to ask unanimous consent that this be included in the record. >> without objection, so ordered >> i would like to hear what steps you have taken or planned to take to ensure better electronic record-keeping of the ira's god for? >> take a look at what it would take to develop an e-mail system that was much easier to search. right now, anything from 90,000 employees have to get a 90,000 hard drives. was sold more recently that we have looked at creating in effect a broader server that would allow us to preserve e-mails. we are reviewing at and will also review whether we can move through the national records act paper systems and electronic
system. that is part of the upper end of the bell system. >> thank you. june 17th and the national archives and read it -- administration sent a letter regarding the loss of the e-mails. is that correct? >> that is my understanding. i have not seen the letter. >> what they are required to do is request a report of investigations within the agency that has an unauthorized disposal of federal records. is that correct. >> that is why understanding. >> it turns out that these requests are commonplace among federal agencies. according to the national archives to 92 similar requests of federal agencies during the bush and ministration. >> we would be delighted to do
that and corporate with all investigations. >> what steps have the irs under state into -- taken to understand the circumstances around the document? >> i testified at some length that we have reviewed all of the mel's subject to the search terms of a custodian we have been working with. constitute as many mills as provided. >> would it be accurate, some of the nose of been lost. your understanding that we cover as many of those in else but they would be located in other people's system, hard drives. she said to me now to another official that you could probably recover that in no that was lost >> that is correct. in the other in no, one of the
custodians. >> in april the irs was still trying to recover as many of those as possible. >> correct. we are continuing to produce the 43 those and committed to produce. >> proposed reallocating $180 million in agency funds to sustain and replace an eye to the infrastructure for is it fair to say these contributed to the current challenges that the irs? >> it is true. our challenge. we are still moving people into windows seven.
>> almost out of time. thank you for your continuing public-service. i yield back. >> i think the gentle lady. now go to visit woman from michigan. >> he said several times that her in knows be found. >> am i correct? >> that's correct there are some who might conjecture can you understand that? >> i don't know what our concerns are.
>> and we never will. at least at this point. it is interesting that that took place. >> let me ask you, have you fired anybody under staff that did not give you an of affirmation so that you would have made the statement more accurate for us about affirmation contained in e-mails and you could not provide to us but now we find our the people know that the bells about lost the did not tell you? >> i have not fired anyone and no one in my staff that i laura. >> no one has been fired? >> and they're is no basis. >> accurately incorrectly and fully answer the oversight committee of congress. >> the purpose of that hearing was to talk generally we talked at length about that.
"millie agreed on. >> i can understand people's concerns. >> we had to say last week they provided bnl's. >> why is so difficult to get to the bottom of this because they're is not much. the president himself on may 15th said it is inexcusable and americans are right to be angry. i am angry. i will not tolerate this kind of behavior at any agency, especially the irs given the power that it has and the reach that it has into all of our lives. he said, i will do everything in my power to make sure that nothing like this happens again by holding responsible parties accountable. someone much more astute than i once said the ability of the power to tax is the power to
destroy. we have seen that, mr. koskinen. before you came into your position we have seen people with first amendment liberties being targeted by the irs, the agency with the power to destroy , and they attempt to do it. and now we cannot get answers completely. >> let me go into something that you said to be back on our statistics that a hearing where you indicated that you were trying to get to the bottom of the controversy and said, congressman, just to make you comfortable, just to make you comfortable if they're is a problem that i don't know about them that is my fall. that means a i have not created a culture where problems of the issues it raised from front-line workers and go easily and freely into the tax.
>> these issues were raised over time. it's all about that. >> i note that since january 1st thousands of failed this year alone. in your professional career alma times as yours? >> once. the averages three to 5%. that would mean that with 90,000 employees we would expect that we would have between two and 15 -- >> can it be understood by people then? involved in this greatest investigation in the history of the irs that all of these people, several people and especially the one at the center of this investigation has a mysterious experience of a hard drive crash on this information, information that probably caused
lois lerner to plead the fifth. >> i don't know if you consider probably your not, and i will tell you, it is by the mysterious crash. alexis is mysterious where the american people. they do not understand it. frankly, i think there are all sorts of very -- verification is going on stonewalling and i am disappointed. >> i yield back. >> can i ask unanimous consent to enter into the record the op-ed? >> without objection is so ordered. >> this hearing has been quite an embarrassment. for over a year now republicans have alleged that the irs was engaged in a conspiracy directed
by our behalf of the white house to target this political system, but neither this committee or the and director-general has identified in the evidence to back up this delegation. the whole charade, and you say that we are not allowed to ask about the motive of the members, ashley wrote the ballroom of the hearings themselves, the integrity of the hearing itself, a fact dead, the chairman has continued to conclude the outcome without allowing the information to be presented in an impartial and complete way so that the members can do our job this is a serious, but.
serious responsibility. i said before that of want to get to the bottom of things. there was wrongdoing at the irs, and we should fix it. but we cannot fix it when the house republicans continue to establish an unfair, unsubstantiated, and unfounded allegations against what we do have to watch are the facts. you may be entitled to europe in, but not air of facts. commissioner, have you since you have been in this position identified any evidence that iras and employees were part of a conspiracy and sexually target the president's committee. >> about aware of any evidence. >> thank you. this is the same answer we have received no for 41 other witnesses interviewed by this
committee including senior officials at the irs above the treasury department, and the department of justice. the senior group manager in cincinnati told us that it was his employees to first tier of with the inappropriate screening criteria in an attempt to retrieve in similar cases consistently. is that your understanding of how the process can about? >> a conservative republican. in fact, none of the 41 individuals told the committee the white house directed at to was a justice, or even knew about the conduct. the is what general, russell george ... same thing that he identified no evidence of white house involvement.
developing and implementing an appropriate criteria. >> that's my understanding that what i read in the newspapers had herded year. i did not myself and been a leading german that. >> when the inspector general testified before though back -- ways and means committee the inspector general was asked by ranking members and 11 whether he had found evidence of political motivation in the selection of the tax-exempt applicants. in response the inspector general answered, we did not, sir. commissioner, do you have any reason to doubt the as director-general findings? >> i do not. >> in addition to all of these findings, on june 18th 2014 the white house sent a letter to the ways and means chairman. this letter explained that the
white house also search its records and did not identify any melt between the two from january 2009 until 2011. ask unanimous consent to enter this letter from the white house as stated june 18th. >> without objection so ordered. >> allegations that the white house directed or subliminally coerced the aristarchus applicants for tax-exempt status are unfounded and back up that we put these reckless accusations arrest and finally began focusing on the facts. i agree with the other side about as the public is upset. part of the reason they are upset is the behavior of the chairman and this committee of highly politicized this issue.
>> the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman's time has expired >> they're sick and tired -- in bottle. >> i'll think it gentlemen. unwellness unanimous consent the article dated february 4th of this year by josh hicks be placed into record in which it shows that the bonuses paid to iris employees in fiscal year 2012 were $89 million as opposed to million dollars that it would take to maintain critical documents. with that we go to the gentleman from arizona. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i appreciate the gentleman's comments. i would like to sq : do you understand the gravity of what america feels in regards to the ira's? ..
through the internal revenue service in violation of the constitutional rights of citizens confidence information contained in income tax returns for purposes not authorized by law and to cause in violation of the constitutional rights of citizens income tax audits or other investigations to be initiated or conducted in a discriminatory manner. are you aware that?
>> i do recall that. >> that's white serious because i mean if there's one thing i can tell you that the dark light on our history and we talk about missing data. once again missing data nixon tapes have some similarities. once again getting the information so another investigation that we have that takes a judicial watch to get information that was supposed to be given to this committee. you have not given to it so you are aware of all this right? >> i'm not aware that judicial watch program. >> do you read the paper? >> i do read the newspaper. >> that's really came about with regards to benghazi on the select committee. that was the kicker because we didn't have that information until we had judicial watch get it for us. so let's go back to the mindset here because i am a dentist and a politician and you are an attorney right?
>> i am an attorney but i gave up a practice years ago. steep but the fundamentals never leave. >> one would hope so. >> you are also business man? >> yes i spent 20 years in the private sector. >> you have a problem and you come into this forest fire i'm going to call it you had your eyes wide open right? >> and right? >> and then he would have lots of scrutiny. >> yes i understood that this was a high-profile challenge. >> so you really wanted to.your i's and cross your t's. >> that's has been my approach to writing i've done in 45 years. the. >> you also you have 9000 employees. >> correct. >> obviously divide and conquer the problem. what you do is you have people you trust to formulate battle plans and a consensus aperture and hold them accountable. >> i spend a lot of time going to the 25 offices talking to
10,000 iris employs primarily front-line workers to hear from them as well. >> so let me ask you a question coming into this. were you bothered by lois lerner's conduct? you have to know about it. here's a lady that has a question and an audience. that's kind of odd wouldn't you say? c. is not the normal way people would behave. >> we are at talking about the irs and seeding a question. that's really kind of odd. what did you take for her comments in taking the fifth of not really taking the fifth. what did you think about back? was that kind of odd? >> she has her own words that i don't know her. >> is that typically have the fifth amendment is taken? >> i am not aware fifth amendment practices practices whether that awaits them or not. >> have you seen anyone else take the fifth outweigh? >> i don't think i've seen
anyone else take the fifth. >> that is really odd. i have seen a number people take the fifth and i have never seen anyone take the fifth like that then that's pretty contentious. in fact my good friend trey gowdy had a problem with the way she took the fifth and i trust his interpretation of the fifth pretty well but it seems to me that if you have this management style you would know exactly the perceptive than person who told you about the problem. >> there were five different people who reported to me about the situation. we have a major effort going on. >> once again they are reporting to you when you are asking them questions holding them responsible right? >> do you all have the same task? >> there are four or five people who are involved regularly in this production effort. i get information from several
different people see my time has expired and i've run out of time. i yield back. cf. think the gentleman. now the gentleman from tennessee mr. desjarlais. >> thank you mr. chairman. mr. koskinen first hearing today. it's getting late and there has been a lot of repetition. let's talk a little bit about revenues. we had a discussion earlier about the problem with backing up e-mails at the irs and it was because why? >> because basically the server iras servers can only hold so much data. >> the reason they have not been upgraded? c. i understand the cost. see you have a number earlier that it would take to upgrade the system's. >> to actually turn it into an electronic system of the broader server would be somewhere between 10 and $30 million depending on software and what you want to do with their. >> the chairman mentioned
earlier how many bonuses were given by the irs employees in 2012. did you know what that number was? >> i did not until i heard the chairman sayed. >> 8900 dollars just in 20 and 12 alone. he talks about how the irs has been underfunded for at least four years and if you want to extrapolate the math i would say you could have upgraded your equipment so the iris could do a better job. do you agree click. >> it's about $1000 per employee. we could find a lot if we gave no pay raises and continued to shrink the organization we would have more money but that's not exactly what you design is the best way to design agency agency. cd to note that a million dollars in bonuses were given to employees as back-taxes? >> that issue has come up and we have a program we are negotiating an agreement with the union because we have a
commitment that every irs employee will be credited in their taxes and even if they are three to five days late they get a letter of admonishment. >> and knott. >> to hold everybody to the same standards? >> not the same standards as you are she would give people bonuses for not paying taxes? >> anyone who does not comply. they won't get a bonus and we have negotiated that with the union. >> i don't think that necessarily sets well that i think that's fine. do you think the iris improperly targeted conservative groups? >> my understanding and i support the igs report that said in his report improper criteria were used. the issue has been whether that turns into targeting or not the earlier reference to the "washington post" that the report itself says improper criteria were used and we have taken all at the igs recommendations accepted them and are implementing them so our
goal is it's not going to happen again. >> during the hearing in march he never returned it -- referred to the iris is targeting. do you want to revise that statement? >> they noted the ig had used the word targeting in my point was the ig report says improper criteria but once i did use the word targeting i have now mentioned it in this criteria again but the ig report was improper criteria. either way my point strongly has been from the start of the american public deserves to feel that there will not be improper criteria used in people will not be selected other than. >> did anyone ever coach you to say it that way as opposed to targeting? does it sound more palatable palatable? no one ever coach due? >> that is what the ig report
says. >> no one told you not to call the irs conduct targeting? >> nobody tells me what to say. i am responsible for the i say. the ig report said inappropriate criteria was used and that is why i referred to in that hearing. >> you're the kind of guy that believes leadership starts at the top. >> i believe it starts at the top in the leaders held accountable for what happens in this agency. >> the irs have acted inappropriately. >> there are seven investigations going on. my position has been once we get somebody to write a report in particular in this case where the ig completes its review and issues a report on this issue we can decide with the appropriate next step is great to have yet another investigation starts especially while the ig is going for seems to me waste of money. >> right now the irs does not look too good. don't you think it would be
better to clean up the face of the irs? >> when we hear from inspector general to see if he finds there was malfeasance at all. >> okay well my time has expired and i think we'll do people better than what we are seeing here. >> i think the gentleman. we now go to the gentleman from south carolina mr. gowdy. >> thank you mr. chairman. mr. you are an attorney. can you explain to our fellow citizens what it means? exfoliation of the evidence is on a party fails to preserve evidence. there is a negative inference that the jury can draw from their failure to preserve the evidence. are you with may? if you destroy destroy documents the jury can infer that those documents weren't going to be good for you. if he failed to keep documents the jury came in for those documents were not going to be good for you. you have heard the phrase
exfoliation of evidence haven't you? >> i can't recall it. >> civil hearings criminal hearings. >> i practice law 45 years ago and never went back. >> let me tell you what you would have found. when a party has a duty to preserve evidence or records and they failed to do so there is a negative inference that is drawn from their failure to preserve the evidence. it's common sense, right? if you destroy something the jury has a right to infer that whatever you destroyed would not have been good for you. or else every litigant would destroy whatever evidence that was sent to them. do you agree click. >> if you destroy the evidence that people could prove it wouldn't be good for the facts. >> they jury can draw negative inference and that's true if the taxpayer is being sued by the irs administratively civilly or prosecuted criminally and they fail to keep documents the jury
can draw negative inference in the fact negative inference ineffective dating keep receipts or e-mails or documents. so if it's true and it applies to the taxpayer are to apply to the irs as well. >> us as a trial or is this a jury? >> administrative civil or criminal if you want to go down that road i'm happy to go down there with you. in fact i'm glad you mentioned it. you have already said multiple times today that there was no evidence that you found of any criminal wrongdoing. i want you to tell me what criminal statutes you have evaluated. >> i have not looked at any. >> talking. >> talking to us as there is no criminal wrongdoing if you don't know what statute should look at. >> because i have seen no evidence. >> how do you know what elements of the crime existed if you don't know what statutes applied? i will ask you again. >> i think you can rely on common sense that nothing i've seen. >> instead of the criminal code you want to rely on commonsense?
you can can shake your head all you want to. you have said there is no evidence of criminal wrongdoing and i'm asking you what criminal statutes you have preview to reach that conclusion. >> i have reviewed no criminal statute. >> you don't know the elements of the offense. >> i have seen no evidence of wrongdoing. >> that's very different than no evidence of criminal misconduct. >> it seems it would be hard to argue that you have some criminal violation -- sees what did lois lerner main? >> i have no idea. >> what did she mean when she said we need a project that we need to be careful that it doesn't appear to be per se political? you don't think that's a violation of 1842? >> i have no idea. >> because you have a look at 1842. you don't have any any idea commissioner whether there's any criminal wrongdoing or not. >> with regard to the production of the evidence and the
production of lois lerner e-mails i have seen no evidence of wrongdoing. >> if there were that would be a separate criminal -- what you're saying is you don't have any idea whether she engaged in criminal wrongdoing. you are just saying you didn't engage in any any with respect to the mel's? >> i have not seen any wrongdoing with regard to the production of lois lerner's e-mails. >> i want to be very clear. you disagree with the prison when he says there's not a smidgen of corruption click. >> there are people who have been making judgments both sid sides. >> do you know what, i'm not one of those. i'm simply saying we will never know because you didn't keep the evidence. evidence was exfoliated and whether it's negligent or where there's intentional or whether it's recklessly stone -- we still unhappy evidence. >> you have the treasury e-mail so the basic premise that this was an argument in the
conspiracy driven by the white house. >> sir you are wrong about that. you are repeating a talking point from our colleagues on the other side. it was jay carney who said it was too rogue agents from ohio. it was not any of us. was that accurate? with that initial line of defense too rogue agents in ohio is that correct commissioner? >> not that i know of. >> that is not accurate and it came from the white house. who says there is not a smidgen of corruption. >> my understanding is was the president. >> that's jay carney and the president inserting themselves into the irs scandal and you want to blame us for bringing the white house into its? >> i had a blame you at all. >> you just did commissioner. you just did. >> oppa said was their white house has revealed there were no lois lerner e-mails and the treasury has given you all the e-mails it to the extent the argument was that lois lerner
was conspiring e-mailing back-and-forth bus far haven't seen it. >> you can be engaged in the conspiracy that doesn't involve the white house. >> your time is up. >> the gentleman from texas. >> thank you very much mr. commissioner. there is a lot of passion on this especially on my side of the aisle. i was at home this weekend weekend and that's all anybody was talking about. the american people don't believe for a second that this was lost accidentally. a friend of mine used to work at my computer consulting company and is still in business. he said there's no way this could happen. you have got to do something about it. that's the frustration that i'm getting from the american people. if we came back to you and said i don't have the resources to save all the records to comply with the irs tax law you all would not let me escape so i don't think you guys out to be
able to escape on the resource issues. i will get back to that in second. in the clinton administration knew worked in the omb didn't you and part of your job was to oversee the executive branch recordkeeping and these federal records act type requirements? did you not do that? >> i was actually done by the office of information and regulatory affairs. >> were you involved in that when you were in the clinton administration? >> i was not involved personally but i was the director of. >> are you familiar with the federal records act? it says at the head of each federal agency shall preserve records maintaining proper recommendation of the organization functions policy decisions procedures and essential transactions of the agencies along those lines. your irs manual says the way he will do that is to print out the e-mails records. who decides what is an official
record? >> the employees are provided background information and they made a judgment. >> if you are doing something that you might believe is questionable. >> we have trained resource coordinators across agency to continue to oversee and encourage and make sure they comply. >> and responses to earlier questions you indicated in going through lois lerner's e-mails you searched hers -- there were research terms. how do you use search terms on the hardcopy e-mails that you been required to print out from the lost hard drive? did somebody go through her files and files as she routinely corresponded with to search the hardcopy records? >> yes. >> wouldn't have been easier and save money if you would have had that electronic forum? >> no doubt. >> you heard from the other side that there's an issue with respect to the resources.
i did this on my cell phone and let me find my notes here. you guys have got a lot of people that are good at math of the irs so i'm going to assume you guys can figure this out. your procedures to print a record out. i'm going to let you get a google search and say efforts size of a word document and they say well you can get 64,782 word documents of nine pages per gigabyte. a gigabyte is a thousand gigabytes so that's 64.8 million documents. i went on amazon and saw it you could buy a terabyte hard drive for 59 dollars. you can buy two of them so 120 bucks. the statistics in the industry average cost to print a page of a document is about five to 8
cents including paper and toner and wear and tear on the printer. if you do that math and multiply it out it looks to me like for every terabyte of storage you add to the e-mail you save $21 million in printing fees not to mention the greenest of it. how come some of the mathematicians at the irs didn't realize hey all right let's say you have to buy a computer and pick it up. let's take five grand on a backup system for e-mail and save $21 million. >> $90,000 you have one of those for each employee. >> each employee is not going to have millions of pages of e-mails and documents. you could do it on a systemwide basis. >> not on our system you can't. >> it's not stored on exchange server? you can't get a backup that you see advertised on tv that captures all the e-mail click. >> that's one of the things when they looked at it was 10 to
$30 million to create a server that would hold all of that. >> $10 million, $21 million to print you've already saved. >> if we are printing $21 million of stuff probably. >> no question you are complying with the federal records act. this of resources thing doesn't fly. i have run out of time. i had other questions but i will yield back. >> i thank the gentleman. gentleman from kentucky is recognized. >> thank you mr. chairman. mr. chaffetz adds why the six-month backup was no play to lois lerner's e-mails. you suspected that it was too much effort. do you have any e-mails indicate there was a discussion about going to the backups to get hers? >> there are none that i know of. >> have you looked for any to see what the i.t. staff, you mention they made an effort to retrieve the hard drive but what about the software from a
server's? >> as far as i understand her e-mail was in there from april on. she had that e-mail and we were focused primarily on the hard drive which she had archived or e-mails. >> that hard drive you are saying is gone and i accept that it's gone but what about you don't see any evidence of an e-mail trail with the i.t. department trying to go to the servers to get those e-mails? >> not bad on the server or e-mails from april forward. in terms of whether they went to the back -- i haven't seen anything about the backup tapes. >> her hard drive crashed in june of 2011 and we have to e-mails. i will go on to another question. was that hard drive replaced? >> yes. >> are you in possession of that hard drive? >> the inspector general has it. >> could we look at the hard
drive to see if she was in the habit of deleting e-mails? >> you are welcome to ask the inspector general for it. >> wouldn't be possible because you are collecting e-mails from her associate so you know which e-mail she achieved. dues did occur to you to look on her e-mail to see if she purposefully deleted in a? >> we have a look at that but as i say we have produced all of the e-mails e-mails and what was possible to take a look at that. >> next question. he said there's a three to 5% chance of a hard drive will fail and you testified that last week. >> i advise it's an industry-standard? >> that's about a one in 30 chance if it were 3% but let's see chairman camp sent a letter to the irs demanding the irs explained allegations of targeting tea party groups and her hard drive failed within 10 days. do a little math here the
probability of that failing in 10 days instead of the year is one in 1000. >> that's not the way probability works. >> a lot of bad things could've happened so maybe it was 100 or 110. >> at the same probability everyday. it's like when you flip a coin. >> you don't need to tell me about how probability works. i took a class. it's one of 1000 that would fail within 10 days. >> we must have taken a different probability class. >> i think so. can you tell me the other hard drives that they'll do were were associates were there any others that failed in that same time. matt? >> i don't know what the list looks like. >> if another one failed one of her associates within the same 10 days that means it's a one and 1 million probability that two hard drives fail than someone dealing with this case and attend a window if there's a 3% probability?
>> we will provide you a full report including the names and hard drives when they failed and whether a mouse were lost as a result. >> notice i'm not questioning your integrity. i do those sort of question that judgment of a little bit of not sharing this bad information with us. he had suspicion in february and then in march that maybe all the e-mails not -- may not be retrievable. there's a saying that the bad news never gets better with age and never improves with age. what i want to ask you now is are there any other anomalies in the data or in the retrieval of e-mails that you can think of now so we can avoid having a second hearing on this? >> that's a fair question and a good question. i'm not aware of any. other than we are pursuing the other custodians. >> the other eight hard drives
that i failed. >> we are still looking and i don't know if the final number will be. >> you understand my question. >> similar to the bad news he had in february. >> i said i do not know of any other bad news as you pointed out. >> one final question. if we had a flat tax or fair tax would we be here today? here today? >> i met big supporter of tax simplification and i support chairman camp's attempt to move that forward and i will be as helpful as i can. >> i.d. too and they give very much. >> we will now go to the gentleman from georgia. >> thank you mr. chairman. i appreciate that. i have three degrees ranging from a bachelor's degree to a theology degree to a law degree and this has been an amazing
story to sit here in front a few weeks ago relative timeframe and i asked you you know without any definition you agreed to. when you just take a step back i have a 15-year-old that i love dearly. he is different than my other two children because my 15-year-old has an active imagination. his active imagination can lead you on some pretty amazing trips and let's just think about this for just a moment. you haven't agencies supposedly in cincinnati that decides on its own just to say we are going to start looking into certain files and by the way that we don't help washington and we don't let anybody else know although pretty well satisfied that was not in accordance to good policy. when the chairman of one of our committees makes an entry concerning this kind of
information a hard drive fails. two weeks later all of a sudden then cincinnati decides to tell that we have an issue trade we move forward in this progression and we have seen the fifth taken. we have had evidence come here where we see all the evidence and all the facts and again it's hard to believe that it should have at least come up all that i have been oh by the way we have got a problem. it also seems hard to believe as you go through this whole story that when the inspector general was going through this whole thing no one seems to have told him of go by the way we are missing some e-mails. >> nobody that i knew it was dealing with inspector general new player for e-mails missing. >> i guess if i go back to my 15-year-old here at a certain
point in time i have to just look at him and and i have to say cameron at a certain point in time the load you are caring in the back of the truck don't add up anymore nobody believes it. it's a bad position for you. i hate to be in your position. you have had an extensive life of great service to this country but what is really troubling and for the people in my district of georgia whether you figure probability or not they have a pretty good meter. the major of democrats i know in republicans i know have gotten full. this story is becoming more impossible as it goes. it crashes at a certain time. no one was told about it. i'm going to take you seriously that you take responsibility for your job at the irs. is that correct? >> yes. >> you are the man at the top as you said before. did you notify the archivist
i don't know whether anything that was lost was an official record or not. >> so it would be a matter of then gist caution or prudence that you should have told archives. >> i tell archives if there's a disruption. >> hard drive detried, is that not disruption or are we parsing terms again? >> archives or record purposes are -- >> that you know of. >> i don't know what she knows. that is what she was supposed to do whether she did it i don't know. >> what you know of, but in seasons where you have lost it or been destroyed no way to get it. no way to tell if you should or should not have told the archivist, correct? so you should have told the archivist. >> could i do that,is. >> this is a long story. the people are just looking for the truth, and there are a lot of parents and grandparents two -- thigh just don't understand. they don't get it because they don't -- they can come to a
story with ther is and is the irs would basically say, we don't want the story, we don't care much we're broke we just wanter records. a sad trail down a wrong road. your service has been good but your running into a dead end and the american people are tired of it. i yield back. >> now to the general, mr. massey. >> we have had him already. >> thank you. my order here. an interesting conversation but we're done. >> you may say again, you never know. we now go to mr. meadows. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and thank you for your patience. so, let me follow up on mr. collins' line of questioning. federal records act requires e-mails to be part of the record to be printed out. is that correct? >> if the e-mail is a record, it should be printed out in hard copy is the irs policy. >> what your definition of a record? >> the record is the act
provides, any record of agency actions or policies. if you just sending e-mails conversing back and forth, those are not records. >> conversing back and forth with regards to what? that's not what your manual says. >> policies or anything that would reveal important agency policies. >> it says specifically, e-mails are records when they are created or received in the transaction of agency business. >> that's correct. so, if we're doing an exactly, having a litigation, all of the information about that exam and that information -- >> what you're saying none of lois lerner's e-mails are part of the agency business. >> she printed hard copy e-mails that have been provided to you. >> hard copy of how many e-mails. >> i have no idea. >> all of them? >> all of her e-mails were not official records. >> under what definition? i pulled the definition -- really, all i have to go by is
the law. and that's what you would have to go by, and i pull the definition out of your policy book. >> i would assure you i have not read very many lois leadershipper e-mails but of the 67,000 you'll have, i guarantee you a reasonable number of them are not official records. >> under what definition. >> under the definition na that brochure. >> well, this definition says that they need to be machine readable materials. that qualifies to almost every single e-mail. machine-readable is what this said. >> in ems of -- >> i'd like to ask we put this in the record. >> without objection, so ordered. >> so, if i'm following your manual, and there has been no wrong-doing, i think is what your testimony says, there's been no wrongdoing -- isn't that what you said. >> ey. no wrongdoing in terms of potential lost e-mails.
>> so, when someone did not notify the national archives, was that wrongdoing? when you lost these? when you automatically said, kelly, we can't find the e-mails, there might be just one e-mail in there that is a record, would that be a wrongdoing or breaking the law? >> if we didn't advise the archivist we lost -- >> you didn't. you didn't advise them. >> because we did not have any evidence whether they were official records or not. as stated by mr. collins, we could have called and said we lost e-mails and we don't know who there's records or not and we thought we would let you know. but we did not do that. >> can i mitt for the record a -- submit for the record a letter from the national archives expressing concern the fact there may be official record that were not -- >> without objection, so ordered. >> so, all of this, and not following up, is really, according to the democrats, really a money problem, and
you've concurred with that. >> we would be in much better shape if we had an electronics record system -- >> the reason you don't is because of money. >> i'm told two years ago when they considered trying to do that, they didn't have the funds to do that. >> so can we'll the american taxpayers, then, if they just don't have the money to comply with irs statutes, that's okay? that it's okay to break the law as long as they don't have the money to comply? >> i don't think we have established the irs broke the law. >> well, there is wrongdoing in terms of not keeping all the records according to the federal records act. all of the record -- would you agree some of the records are missing. >> i have no idea whether official record are missing or not. >> your testimony today -- let me make sure -- that you do not know whether there are missing e-mails. >> you just asked about missing official records. i do know there are missing e-mails.
>> would a normal person assume there may be one record in all of those e-mails that are missing. >> we don't know how many are -- >> a reasonable person. you're an attorney. a reasonable person. wouldn't a reasonable person think in thousands of e-mail there would be one official record. >> we don't know if thousands are missing or not -- >> i didn't ask you that. i said, a reasonable person-wouldn't they agree? are you a reasonable person? >> last time i checked. >> wouldn't you think there might be one record in there? >> let me finish out. you say it's a money issue. are you aware that $49 million were spent on conferences during this same time period, $49 million? >> that was in -- >> between 2002 and 2012, 49 million, according to the report. >> substantial number of those are training conferences -- >> i didn't ask you. were you aware that 49 million -- yes or no.
>> i was not aware of the number. >> 49 million, some of that, $3,500 a night, "star trek" video. do you think you could have moved some of that 49 million to pay to make sure that the federal records were really preserved. >> you may answer. i don't know the details of those events and what were training and what were wasted funds, and it's all three and four years ago, long before i arrived. >> that wasn't the gentleman's question. the gentleman's question was do you think any of the, quote, money on those conferences, including the one for making the "star trek" video -- whether or not that could have been used properly for this purpose? >> we needed 10 to 30 million. there was 30 million or 10 million, i don't know. if there was money waist wasted they could certainly have used it for this purpose, that's clear. >> i thank the gentleman. we now go to the gentleman from michigan. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. nice to see you again,
commissioner. before i forget i have two questions -- two lines of questioning. you said four to five people report to you regularly. who are the -- can we have their napes and tight. s. >> i actually have 30 people who report to me regularly. four or five who report to me in this area. >> okay. can we have their names and titles. >> i'd be happy to provide those. >> great. do you believe there's a difference between objectivity and neutrality? >> that's an interesting question. i suppose you could be objective -- i don't know. i think most of the -- both terms would imply you're not involved personally in an issue. you're objective about it or neutral. >> those synonyms. >> yes. >> objectivity is the ability to judge fair live despite bias, and neutrality is to have no stance regarding a particular issue. do you think that employees at the irs have any self-interest in who is elected as president
of the united states? >> i think as individuals, every american has an interest in who is elected president of the united states. >> but you say they're trying to be nonpartisan, the irs? >> the irs is nonpartisan. doesn't mean they can't have an interest in understanding the importance of the presidential election. >> but they're not supposed to have the back one part of you or another, are they? >> the hatch act does not prohibit irs employees on their own -- >> in their official duty. >> in their official duty it's absolutely prohibited. >> so, my question is about self-interest. do you believe that employees at the irs can remain objective when analyzing the tax implications of groups of people that want them to lose their jobs? >> lose their jobs? i think so. i think that they're professionals, they're dedicated -- >> i have no doubt in their professionalism. i'm not asking you about that. i'm asking about their new centrality and how it affects
their objectivity do you believe any person can sustain objectivity towards someone that they perceive as the threat to their livelihood? >> i think they could be objective about it. i'm objective about continuing to hear. this is my eighth hearing and i'm objective about it. i have good friends on all the commitee, even though some of these hearings are little more contentious. come with the territory. >> what are they afraid of? i mean, they -- e-mails, just provide all the information. it seems to me that if it was just-let's say, somebody got carried away you could have said we apologize, we'll never do it again, but the irs is not doing that. >> is a recall the commissioner werfel and i said if people were unfairly selected that's a mistake. i have apologized to anyone who has been discriminated against and i'm committed that won't
happen again. >> but, we're concerned about where it comes from, because it wouldn't be this big of an issue if there was really just some loose cannon in the outfit, so to speak. steams to me that you could have said, they made a mistake, they shouldn't have done it. we punishedded the. let move on. they didn't do that. >> the people involved on the chain of command on this issue are all again. >> i think there's -- or retired? >> they're no longer with the agency. >> right. except the ones in 1600 pennsylvania avenue. thank you very much. i yield back. >> the gentlemen yield? >> yes. >> will the gentleman yield -- >> his already usedded. >> mr. koskinen. when you learned in april from who you can't remember, when you can't remember, sometime in april you said you did not communicate with the white house or with treasury.
it that accurate? >> that's correct. >> here's a story from last week's politico. says april of this year -- from the white house counsel -- >> the's informed the white house counsel's office that it ped miss lerner's e-mail account contained very few e-mails. they were informed in april, the white house counsel, from the treasury's chief counsel, to how did the treasury chief counsel find out. >> i don't know. >> did you tell people in the irs don't tell anybody this stuff until we get all the information? did you give that instruction to your folks? >> no. >> so, someone at irs told treasury chief counsel? >> i assume that must be what happened. we meet with the treasury regularly -- >> why didn't you tell him? >> i have not reporting to the treasury about this investigation. it's under -- it's our responsibility and we're taking -- >> you don't know who told them. >> i have no idea. >> did you tell someone else to go tell treasury -- >> no. >> so you wouldn't have to.
>> no. >> you no idea that the white house and treasury learned that learn e-mails were lost in april and we didn't know until june. >> i have not had any discussion. >> we would like to know who at irs told the treasury chief counsel, who told the white house chief counsel, and they knew two months before we did. so we want to know who the person tet irs did who informed them of something that is important and you didn't feel it was incumbent to tell us. do you who who that is. >> i don't know. >> you run the agency. why don't you send an e-mail to although blows whoever told counsel we lost lois lerner's e-mails, i want to know who that is so we can tell the chairman of the committee and we can question them. >> the gentleman's time has expired. >> you can question them. >> of course. you didn't want to tell them. >> i didn't want -- i told you, we run the investigation. i have not talked to -- in the
production of documents, the treasury doesn't tell me what to do i don't tell treasury what we're doing. >> i'm not talking treasury, i'm talk tag irs. someone from irs told the white house. >> point of order. >> state your point of order. >> the point of order is the -- >> state your point of order. >> the point of order is the gentleman is over his time. >> the rae point of order is hi won't answer the question. >> the point of order the chairman cut me off when -- >> i'm cutting awe off again. we'll maintain decorum. the parliamentarian will allow anyone to make a point of order, to cite within the rules a point of order as to whether rules are being properly adhered to. congresswoman spear did a very good job of citing a point of order, and i would ask all folks to please use the parliamentarians before the cite
a point of order. we now go to the gentleman from florida, mr. sanchez, for five minutes. >> commissioner, have reviewed dave kamp's letter he sent to the irs. >> i have not. i only saw it this afternoon briefly. >> this is -- so he writes a letter, lois lerner's hard drive crashes ten days later, you're in charge of ther is and is you haven't reviewed that letter? >> i scanned that letter. i'm not doing the investigation of what happened around -- >> that letter requested that e-mail records be preserved, and turned over to the committee, the ways and means committee, and according to your testimony, when her hard drive crashed they never went to the backup servers to retrieve her e-mails. >> they never went to the backup tapes. >> exactly. >> the backup server is different. there's no backup server. there's a serve that operates the e-mail. >> and the tapes they're stored on offsite, they never got the e-mails back.
even though congress requestedded it, the irs didn't care and didn't go the extra mile to get thosement you testified last week that you knew there was a problem, february 2014 with lois lerner's e-mails. >> i was advised there was an issue. >> in mid-march, the irs, according to your testimony, learned additional facts about her mysterious computer crash. >> that's correct. >> then you testified at this committee at the end of march, and you promised this committee, dowdy, gordon issa, everyone, get us lois lerner e-mails, you said, yes, we'll do it. you never mention, you never disclose that there were real problems about whether you were in fact going to be able to turn over those e-mails. correct. >> at that time i did not know there were real problems -- >> meet what you told dave camp. in february -- this is page six of your testimony last week -- in february, what we knew was there was a problem because we were looking at it from the
standpoint of where, what time frame her e-mails appeared and it appeared there were not enough e-mails in that time frame. so, in mid-february, you had reason to believe that you were short of e-mails, and that critical time frame, per your testimony last week. correct? >> when i say, we, the review team did that. i knew simply there was a problem in the way the e-mails were spread throughout the time frame. did not know the details of it. >> your testimony said, we, meaning the irs. >> the irs. >> now you're saying you did not know that so you were -- even though you're the commissioner you're not in the loop. here's the issue. >> good. >> going back and forth with you at the march hearing and you basically told him, we will get leadershipper's e-mails they're stored in servers -- what you said -- now, my question for you is, why say that if you knew, one there was a problem with lerner e-mails and, two, you knew the backup tapes were only saved for six months.
why tell chafen you could retrieve it. >> at that time we had pulled all of the e-mails from her hard drive and put them in a server system known as clearwell; it's pool. it has -- >> i understand that. your testimony -- there was reason in mid-february there were not enough e-mails so whatever pool you head, the time period in question of the computer crash, you testified there was a possibility that this was coming up short. so the question is, you made a choice that you testified not disclose this back to congress. you have been asked, when did you know for sure there were e-mails. you said april. when in april, you said, april, and wouldn't get anymore definitive. and you were advised not to disclose it -- >> did not say i was not -- >> why didn't you disclose. >> we needed to find out the facts and the details and when
we found those we would give you all the information. my experience, acomplained last month, we did provide information that we had just learned that day. our staff did. that we have custodians who had lost -- hard drive crashes -- >> i understand that -- >> -- immediately thereafter people leaped to conclusions in the press released that turned out to be wrong. >> i think you have a duty of candor to congress and the american people and you had some reason to believe there would be issues with producing her e-mails in your march testimony. you have admitted it with ways and means there were issues. now, either you -- maybe you weren't kept up or maybe you weren't following closely enough. i don't know. but i think this is very important because the average taxpayer looks at this and if they're in a situation where they can't produce documents, they are presumed guilty, period, end of story. it's not even a question. and yet the irs is in a situation where they can say, well, we had a computer crash, the probability of that is very small, as mr. massey indicated.
just so happened to happened ten days after dave camp asked for information. and so i don't think that the american people are satisfied with this and with all due respect i don't think your testimony will be satisfactory to those who have real concerns about whether we're going to get to the bottom of what happened with the irs. i yield back. >> can i make just one point? >> it's the practice of the committee to always let a witness answer a question if there's a question penning. the gentleman may answer. >> i appreciate. this is just a statement i want the public to be confident about and that its when we're dealing with taxpayers and if they can't produce a record, we are open to their producing other evidence that would be consistent with that. so if somebody said we lost e-mails, we reconstructed 24,000 of them, we would take that into consideration and there's a legal precedent that says if your actions and the evidence generally produces support for what you say happened, even if you don't have the documents, that's acceptable. so the idea that if you have lost the document it means you have lost the case with the irs, that is incorrect. we actually will work with
taxpayers, trying to make sure that they have supporting information of any kind. our notices out to corporations say, here's what we like in documents but if you haven't got them all, you have something close to that, give us other inflammation, we'll take that. i just want the record to be clear. >> we reside be happy to accept whatever alternatives you can produce to show what -- >> the gentleman's time is expired. commissioner, the good news is there aren't too many members left for the second round. so, this should be fairly brief. >> i liked it in the old days where you only had one round. >> how old is that. >> must be very old. >> well, we'll try to be fairly short. mr. cummings. >> let me say this. i really thank you. i thank you from the depths of my heart. for taking on this task.
i cannot begin to tell you how pained i feel listening to all of this. you know, when you got up first and has given what you have given, and have been brought into difficult circumstances, and i don't know how old you are, but you know, at my age i began to stop and think about my own mortality. and think about my reputation. first of all, i want to thank you for being who you are. i want too thank you for giving a damn. and caring about our country. some of the statements made here today make it look like you just
coming up here, trying to fool people. when under republican and democratic administrations, you have been highly regarded. i've said it before and i'll say it again, we're better than that. we're a better country than that and we're a better committee than that. you know, when i read -- reviewed the irs employees interviews, you know what they said? very interesting. they said something similar to what you said. they said, they were constantly asked about their party affiliation and that kind of thing. some of them were republican, some were democrats, one even
described himself as a very conservative republican. but you know what they said? they said they left their party hat at the door. you know why? because they wanted to make sure when they went in there, and did their jobs, that they did it in a way that was fair to all americans. and so, yeah, there are issues, but sometimes i sit here and listen to all of this, and somebody asked me about this committee the other day. they said if you were to leave the committee today, what would you most regret? i said i would mourn for what could have been. i would mourn for what could have been. we are a committee of oversight
and government reform. and i'm glad that the irs took the nonrecommendations of the ig, who, by the way, was appointed by republicans -- the same ig that said, no white house involvement. but we just push the facts over there and let's get to -- he's coming up here, let's see what we can do to him. but you know what? after the hearing is over, i care about your reputation. i care about what people think of you and i really mean that. i don't want a moment to go by without you knowing that i appreciate you coming into this institution, giving it the best you got, and then having to come
in here and go through this hell. and next i would say everything was done perfectly. i don't think anybody up here is perfect. all of us have had problems. as i say to my constituents, all of us are the walking wounded and if we aren't the walking wounded we just keep on living. and so, i want to thank you very much, and by the way, if there was any kind of inappropriate criteria, i have said it before, i have a problem with that, with regard to conservatives. i also have a problem with regard to progressives and anybody else. and i'm sure i speak for all our members when i say -- i really do thank you. with that yield back. >> thank the gentleman. the gentleman from ohio is next in seniority.
>> i thank the chairman. look, i agree with the ranking member. we're all imperfect. we all are in need of god's grace, and we do appreciate the public servants who work hard every day on behalf of the american people. but i will tell you something. i also care about the thousands of people who were denied their first amendment rights when this targeting scheme took place. i care about people like katherine ingle brat arebrat who was visited six times by the fbi after she applied for tax exempt status, had her personal and business finances audited by ther is are for previous two years, got visited by osha and we're concerned about getting to the truth. mr. koskinen you testified several times tonight, you knew there were problems in march, came in front of this committee, didn't disclose to us, then someone -- the reason you said you didn't disclose is because this was so important, so
critical, that you get all the information, get all the facts, all the information, and then give it to us. correct? you wanted to get the full story before you went public with this. >> i remind you when i testified here in march i had no idea whether there was a serious problem or not. i knew there was an issue jew you now there had been a crash of her computer. it's in your testimony. but your testimony is you wanted to get all the facts before you went public. right. >> yes. >> you thought that was important. >> yes. >> gift all the information. >> yet. >> and yet, one of your believe employees told the treasury and the white house in early april -- >> i'm -- >> whoa, whoa. if it was so important, so critical to get the full picture before this information got out, why didn't you tell all the people who work in your agency, we're not going to say anything, we're not going to communicate about this, until we get the full picture.
why didn't you give that instruction to -- if it's so critical you can't share with congress, you waited two months after you knew in april there were lost e-mails, if it's that important, why didn't you tell your employees, don't talk about this, don't tell the white house counsel, don't tell the treasury counsel. why didn't you give that instruction? >> because i didn't think that if somebody actually told anyone -- i didn't tell them they shouldn't tell this committee. i set forward a program in which i said we need to find all of the facts, pull it together and make a public disclosure, which is what we did. >> that's not what happened, mr. koskinen. the chief counsel of treesry knew about it and talked to the chief counsel at the white house in april, right after you found out about it. that's what we're concerned about. all i'm saying is if it's so important i think pro-active leader, good manager, would say, hey, let's get to the truth first, get all this.