tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN June 21, 2014 2:00am-4:01am EDT
ticket who handled that particular id issue and how it was resolved, tracking mechanism within the irs of? >> i don't know what the ticket would show but we'll be happy to make sure you have the ticket and any information related. >> can you tell me who at the irs in the i.t. area handled ms. lerner's computer crashed issued in 2011? >> yes. it was a front-line, corresponds with within a front-line i.t. manager. what was not ordinary was when it could be retrieved by the normal i.t. experts to have scented expert at the criminal investigation division which was an additional step taken -- >> could you tell me what caused the crash itself? >> i do not know what caused the crash. in fact, my understanding, computers, three to 5% of them crashed as a general industry standard and there's no way to know why. >> can you rule out what you know are based on these tickets can you rule out that lois
lerner destroyed her own computer? can you rule that out? >> there's no evidence that she did. if she had -- >> can you rule that out? >> you can never rule a something you don't know but at this point they're so evidenced -- the evidence issue worked very hard to restore her e-mail. >> can you answer the questions about hard drive crashes for the other six in toys as well that were involved in the targeting? similar situation. can we make sure they were not intentionally -- >> we are investigating that right now. will give you all of the information we are able to determine about windows computers crashed, whether in the nose were lost, what's been done with a hard drive should extent they are still available. they will be made available. [inaudible] >> thank you. mr. pascrell is recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. let me give you 15, 20 seconds -- i'm over here. spent you are behind the photographer. >> to answer one of the questions you were able to answer before, question, you
wanted to correct the record. >> i started to correct the record, as i said in my testimony, written testimony, we knew with the i.t. ticket in february there been a crash. what we didn't know until late april was what the implications were. had the e-mails been lost? if so, whether other e-mails that were from lowest in that timeframe. so i've been consistent except fofor the one point i don't. >> thank you. do you agree when the irs grants a group exempts status, that means that there's an advantage of one group as compared to another group and how they are taxed x. it's important. and i do know what the number is of how much money the federal government doesn't take in because we do exempt, i me, the total amount of money. that's not my question.
conveys a significant tax advantage to a group, whether they're left, right, north, south, doesn't matter. a significant tax advantage to that group. and its operations are being implicitly subsidized by you and me. you and i. >> that's correct. >> okay. is that correct of? >> that is correct. >> i'm not using hyperbole here, am i? that's exactly what happens. >> right. >> you actually think i'm going to ask your opinion. do you actually think they understand about what this is all about? i mean, this is not about what happened to the black box. this is about protecting the
coverage that we have decided in our infinite wisdom to provide certain groups that are social groups but not political groups. now, do you believe the irs has a responsibility to protect it the taxpayers of this country by ensuring that the groups that we allowed to operate as tax exempt are operating in a way that is consistent with the law? >> ideal, and that applies to all 501(c)(4) organizations. >> according to the law in this area, tax exempt 501(c)(4) groups are required to operate exclusively for social welfare and that that must be their primary purpose. am i correct or incorrect?
>> that is correct. the regulation provides your primary purpose has to be social welfare. >> let me ask you this. can you describe the process that the irs currently uses to determine a 501(c)(4) group is really a social welfare group, or is engaging in inappropriate amount of political activity? is that an intensive process that requires a lot of money, requires a lot of manpower? explained. >> it is a consultative process. we have 1,006,000 tax exempt organizations -- >> how many? >> 1,600,000 total of which somewhere in the range of 100 or one 50,000 rc for social welfare organizations. a lot of them, people of nothing to do that. women were stationed applies for exempt and, the historic process
has been their activities or proposed activities will be determined on a facts and circumstances test and then there are a long set of examples and complicated regulations that describe how to determine the amount of activity that is social welfare activity and what kinds of activities and the facts and circumstances are political activities. so it is a complicated process. >> but it is intensive? >> it is intensive. >> and it should be spent and it is what? >> it should be. >> yes. we -- >> in the last four years how many organizations went from 501(c)(4)s to like any other organization in the last four years? >> answer quickly please. >> i don't know the answer but i will get that spent mr. chairman? >> yes. >> parliamentary inquiry. >> yes. please take your parliamentary inquiry. inquiry. >> since we're being summoned to
vote and not all members will be given a chance to ask questions, i would like to know if those of us who do not have an opportunity to questio questione witness base of the comments and questions for the record speaks yes. and my plan is to recess and come back after votes, but -- >> some of us have travel plans. >> yes, but members will be able to cement questions. mr. marchant. >> -- to submit questions. >> microphone. >> i keep forgetting to turn mine on as well. >> this one is working. i'm privileged to have a district that has a vast number of people that are very high-tech, so mr. chairman, i'd like is a bit for the record a letter from one of my high-tech people that have some suggestions on how you may recover some of these e-mails
that we are looking for. >> without objection, so order ordered. >> can i have a copy of the letter as well speak as i can provided to you. >> that would be great. >> this entire inventory was started because their constituents in our district that were harassed and treated differently by the irs, and whether we get all the e-mails, ever get all the e-mails involved in this, i think it has already been established that it this, this committee is dealing with this issue today not because it's a witch hunt but because we, our citizens and our districts were discriminated against. and treated badly by the irs. so that is why we are here today. do you believe it's important for this committee to receive all of the e-mails from ms. lerner's e-mail account and
all of the e-mails from all the persons that have been identified of interest in this case the? >> i've always thought that was important. >> is the irs and its e-mails exempt from monitoring by the fbi or the nsa? >> i have no information about that, but i know indication that we are exempt from anybody's monitoring. >> so we don't know that the e-mails are not totally all recoverable in some process? >> if, if the nsa was monitoring all of our e-mails and collecting them and saving them someplace, then they might be there but i'm not aware that that was done. >> have you, as the commissioner, partially contacted the white house, the treasury, the federal elections commission in any of the
possible federal agency that lois lerner may have contacted by e-mail? >> i have not contacted any of those agencies about any of the issues involved in this investigation, including her e-mail. >> would you be willing to commit to this committee that you will contact these agencies and request from them that all females that they have on their records and can produce for lois lerner and all the people of interest and request of them that they furnish them to? >> is good at it is all requested. would have authority over them and i'm delighted to note that the white house and treasury already have produced those, but with the other committees i'm happy, on behalf of the committee make a request that they provide any e-mails that they may have. if you'll give me that, remind me in a list of the agencies again that would be helpful. >> i will submit it to you in writing.
thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you. ms. black. >> turn one. thank you commission, for being here today. i'm a bit confused about the timeline here and what was known of what was not known about ms. lerner's computer. and the crash of a computer and, therefore, the lack of our ability to be able to get all of the e-mails. this is, for about a year and half now and i have read in a test and before you came and that i know you read your testimony to us it appears that the first time you were made aware that there was actually a crashed computer was when you saw the date dissipation of e-mail was uneven. and i isn't that correctly that that is the first time at unit about the crashed computer was when you determine after all these files were given and went back to look at them, you did a limited search and you said there is something wrong here because there is an unevenness division. was that the first time you were made aware that there was a crashed computer? >> that's the first time i was
aware. that pattern cause people to do an investigation and they found that had been a crashed so i wasn't told to separate issues. i was told i was a pattern problem and i.t. have determined that had been a computer crash. >> during this period of time i think it very interesting that as we're asking for these e-mails and asking for them over and over and over again and they're not coming back to us in a timely fashion, this was prior to your even getting there, that all of the sudden you look and say wait a minute, we don't have e-mails from this time created, something else might of got on, that's when we find out where you find out or anybody in the agency that has been getting this request from us and other, from the oh, gee argument for him is, that's a first it's not that? i find that to be very curious. no one else knew? know what else would else knew? nortel's become a cynic with you to find this out because you saw that there was some kind of a given tissue vision and the dates. does that seem odd to you? >> no. the way the e-mails are pulled out of pool of e-mails that are
in the server there is they're all pulled together in just a pool. the e-mails are extracted initially in 11,000 of them were provided in response to the search terms of don't get pulled out by -- >> i know how many e-mails to give talked about that so many times. spent i'm guessing they get pulled out initially by subject matter which -- >> let me just finish because i want -- this discussion, and you said you're a discussion of hard drive was made three years ago. the hard drive a finance of the ig. i'm confused. >> two hard drives. the hard drive that was recycled and destroyed was the har hard e the crash and 2011. a new hard drive was provided to ms. lerner and she used that from then on and that hard drive -- >> the crashed hard drive is going? >> it was going three years ago. the replacement hard drive was preserved and is in the hands of the inspector general. >> so we still do have a crashed hard drive that is not
recoverable, that is missing that information and will never get it because it's somewhere, on? >> three years ago. >> is it not to there are also a requirement by law that you keep paper records as well if computers do go down? do not have paper records that are required speak as we are required by law to keep paper records of official records, and as a definition of the federal records act whether official records offer agency transactions. and then the employee is to point them out, create a copy of it and preserve it. >> okay. so i find it all to be very curious that in all of these questions of us asking for these e-mails all of a sudden just recently someone comes up to say oh, by the way, lois lerner's e-mail our hard drive has crashed and we destroyed it, it is gone. can't reach with it. these six other computers that we talk about gore the other custodians, i find that really
curious, too, that that would be limited to the. maybe you can help you. are there other computers that use down? what percentage of total computers have crashed within the department? are there more than just the six? if there are six people that are connected with this, then you may have had a huge crash over there with this many computers being crashed inches will we are asking for. >> the industry standard is get three to 5% failures which may -- >> sound that spent across 95,000 employees. >> six of them that are related to this but -- >> the 82 we've looked at at this point we're looking at seven, which is within what the industry norm expects which is why -- >> i have one more question for you because my time is going to run out. have you had any information that is taxpayer information loss due to these crashes the? >> i've had no indication that taxpayer information -- >> so this information is lost but all of this information,
millions of taxpayers have not crashed, not been lost, not been destroyed? >> there have been thousands of hard drive crashes in the irs across the time spent but we haven't lost any taxpayer information? >> that i know. tax information is saved in separate files. >> mr. chairman, thank you very much. commissioner, welcome. let me start by saying i understand suspicions of the majority upon hearing to years worth of e-mails just disappeared. put the shoe on the of the. when democrats were investing in the live lies and encompass of e bush administration, we would be in disbelief at this ineptitude as a. as we were, for example, when the learned the bush white house admitted that lost nearly 5 million, 5 billion e-mails between march 2003 and october 2005 related to the
allegations of a politically motivated dismissal of then u.s. attorneys. fofortune we can put suspicious minds at ease today. the inspector general for the irs, a man named j. russell george who was republican political appointee of president george w. bush has already testified that ms. lerner did not learn about the inappropriate criteria being used in local since the irs office until a meeting at june 29, 2011, least 16 days after ms. lerner's hard drive crashed. yes, her computer crashed more than two weeks before she was notified about the inappropriate actions happening in cincinnati. like those who continue to refuse to believe that the birth certificate from the state of hawaii is actually real, a conspiracy theorist will continue to rattle sabers, but really does anyone in this room want to be seen in that light?
commissioner graham as i mentioned, welcome. today, the irs has provided over 770,000 pages of documents involved in this investigation, is that correct? >> that's correct. >> included in those thousands of pages of e-mails, powerpoint presentations and notes deliver to congress over nine months ago. wasn't there information that specifically mentions the crash of ms. lerner's computer? >> yes. overtime starting in the fall and through the spring, the e-mails from lowest about her computer failure and e-mails about the attempt to restore it have all been provided to this committee. committee. >> so the crashed should come as no surprise. no surprise if the majority were actually reading the documents that the irs was sending up. you may not want to answer that question. do you think american taxpayers would be upset to know that this phony investigation has already cost them over $60 million
counting when the republicans aren't even doing the basic due diligence of reading the documents that you're providing and sending to congress? i would message want you to answer that question. commissioner, or could be the majority in their zeal for an academy award for the best outrage in the state drum are more said they were caught not actually reading the documents the rss set up, thereby providing, proving that they are more concerned with a show trial than an actual, that actually finding answers? once again i'm not going to ask you to answer that question. the democrats on this committee have been outraged as has been said over and over again from the first award about ms. lerner's apology to a tax conference. we are anchored by any singling out of a tax exempt application based on ideology whether it be for progressive groups or tea party extremists. contrary to what mr. ryan said,
progressive groups were targeted as well. that's a full statement he made. we led the charge for hard to be fired. we have agreed to oversight hearings over the finances. and for that reason, mr. chairman, an effort to get to the truth the next hearing on this matter should be with the inspector general of the irs who has not been before this committee for over a year. anything else would show that this committee is not using its time and resources seriously. without i think the commissioner for being here today and i yield back the balance of my time spent thank you. the commi >> here are some of your comments from our facebook page.
dan says -- -- ken wrote thoughts asr your well at facebook.com/c-span. while the committee was in recess for votes, irs commissioner john coss can and koskinen spoke briefly with reporters. in the february time frame that her computer had crashed in the i.t. department verified that. then we started retracing the issue of if we lost e-mails in our own production. we ran the process again starting from scratch and then in the course of pulling all of the e-mails in the march
timeframe discovered the trail of e-mails that said my hard drive is crashed and what can you do about it. at that point, we've been told all 82 custodians who had been searched for the relevant information to see if there was bething in their information on the relevant information that were lois lerner e-mails. there were 24,000 lois lerner e-mails from other accounts. thenat point, that took us intimate to get all of that done. ok, now i want to know on the other 82 custodians at his hard drives crash all the time, how many of them had a hard drive issue. that was what i.t. was reviewing in monday morning told the deputy i.t. person working with us. that afternoon, we were doing briefings with the congress and
we were asked the same question. if she had that problem three years ago, did anyone else? we just learned this morning six and two more we found since monday as we are moving through this. this is what we have found and we don't know anything about it area that resulted in a press are lost,ying e-mails or particularly an important person. this is all just part of who knows what, document of distraction. . give everyone the information but there is no indication that a single e-mail has been lost and part of the reason we have this hearing is because we don't know. it seems to me in retrospect if i had to do it again i would in fact say we need to find out as much information as we can about what happened with lois lerner's e-mails. fortunately we have this trail
that shows how hard she worked to get them back. how many others can we find if we had this hearing three or four weeks ago in response to a device to the congress. we would know that there were 24,000 lois lerner e-mails in this gap. provide as been to much information as we can and tried to help this committee get closure. point, somebody is going to write a report, which i would welcome. the cap acts, the recommendations, and we will go forward. this point, it's an important issue. i'm pleased we were able to find 24,000 lois lerner e-mails. shepleased it's clear that and the agency worked hard to restore those e-mails. i'm pleased the white house and alltreasury have released of their lois lerner document so there's not an issue about anything missing outside of the
agency. from april 2011 on, any e-mail have alreadywould been found and would be part of the production we had. i think this is an important issue but it has gotten caught up in the middle of a political maelstrom which has been going since the affordable care act past. >> are you at all concerned that no matter what house republicans will still think you guys are covering this up? a group will always be of people who does not believe the government is not up to any good in given the chance they will cover things up. in this particular case, the evidence is pretty clear if not overwhelming that before the investigations started, there was no reason to try to destroy the hard drive and there is a made to restore the e-mails. someone was trying to get rid of the e-mails then that's not the way you would do it.
>> before deleting e-mail, you should print it out. >> if it is a federal record. out any of hert e-mails? >> some of the production of lois lerner documents are hard copies. >> are you taking a look at the compliance with federal records act, discipline for employees who did not follow it? >> i asked some time ago that we prepared when the dust settles to take a look at our entire system, antiquated as it is, trying to figure out how we can have a system that would be more easily searchable. if not in our interest is and $18 million and have thousands responding if we had a system where you could more easily collect the e-mail you could respond more quickly.
more recently, as i have asked about this, we also need to review our policy. art of our problem because of the antiquated system is is not a system of record. some agencies with more modern systems automatically collect official records as part of the e-mail system. we don't do that. we are still -- the record act was passed in the 1950's. it was all paper then. it's as if we are still operating the neighbor. we need to take a look at the entire system. going forward, at the end of the three-and-a-half years remaining in my term -- and i want you to know i will complete, i would like the iris to be in a position where if someone needed to do a search would be able to do it relatively efficiently. are trying to respond but i understand the frustration that it takes longer for us to respond the and other agencies
with more modern systems. thank you all. thanks very much. the program will continue soon. >> your predictions for the u.s. in the next match? think they have done a wonderful job developing this team and i think they could surprise people on sunday and come away with at least a tie if not a win against torture gold. i was there in 2002 when they beat portugal in the first game which was surprising and exciting. level yet where we will win the world cup, but as you watch the game, we are at a level where we are certainly competitive with anybody. after you get through the top eight or 10 teams, the rest of them look like teams we could pretty well have a good result with. >> we will see if mr. ryan agrees with you. >> concerning my credibility, he would probably take another
view. [laughter] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2014] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> a few more comments from our face but page. patrick says -- and rose says -- offer your thoughts as well that facebook.com/c-span. after the short recess for houseboats, the ways and means committee resumed its hearing on the investigation into the irs alleged targeting of conservative groups. this portion is 30 minutes.
the committee will resume. mr. reid is recognized. >> thank y >> thank you, us to go vote and come back and continue the hearing, mr. chairman. this is a really important issue. obviously. and now here the loss of some critical e-mails to me is something that i don't understand how that could happen him why that could happen, but i want to get to the bottom of it as much as possible. one of the things i found in your testimony that was intriguing was the actual referral of lois lerner's hard drive, and how she went about to try to recover quote-unquote these e-mails. so my understand is that she asked the i.t. representative, my hard drive failed, there's a problem with it, can you take a look at it. that makes sense to me.
but then there's another step. there's a step or it was referred to your criminal investigation department, your forensic experts in the irs. those are the folks that are well-trained in the air of criminal investigations and these are top notch forensic people, correct? >> correct. >> okay. so there's about 11 day, maybe 12 days like july 20 where the technician, the i.t. guy goes to lois lerner supposedly to lois lerner supposedly and says we can't do anything about it and then all of a sudden she told about 12 days later as a last resort were sending your hard drive to the ci, the criminal investigation irs division for the forensic lab. who was involved in any of those decision makings that you're aware of during the third of time to send it to the forensic lab? >> i don't know any of the names of people caused it to go there. as i noted in my testimony, it's an extra in her step in the
sense normally if a hard drive is the retrievable it would simply be destroyed. >> that's my question because you are referencing your testament is an extraordinary effort and to we deal with a hard drive situation for three years from three years ago, and yet there's an extraordinary step taken to senate to the forensic laboratory interest into who made that decision, why the decision was made and also the follow-up questions in writing so -- >> that would be fin fine but my understanding to some e-mails that end that, it was reflection of ms. lerner's strong attempt to try to recover e-mail. >> you think ms. lerner is what you asked it to go to the criminal investigation and? >> i don't know whether she was not. i wish of pushing very hard to get the e-mails. on occasion criminal investigation would be the but it's an extraordinary step because as you note they are very good at this. there's been a most of the time with speed and i know i am running on limited time. on the fringe, these are the well-trained people.
when i've ever dealt with criminal investigations, people like david reichert, police officer, there's reports that they go through. have you seen reports that the criminal investigation forensic report people provided as they did their review of lois lerner's hard drive? >> i have not. >> are there any reports that exists that the criminal invested passionate investigation forensic unit would have? >> i don't know. >> do they typically? they are your criminal investigators. you referred this matter three years ago supposedly to the criminal investigation unit to be complete forensic. these are the guys that we watch on tv. >> that's right. >> also they're doing an investigation as to why this hard drive failed is my understanding. isn't that correct? >> there are any number of reason us what a drive fails. they would dash mess option would be they wouldn't care why it failed to the art, the
request was -- >> no, no, no. they are criminal investigators but if there's malfeasance -- >> also several investigators. >> criminal too designed to catch criminals. they are trying to figure out what criminal behavior potentially, if i get a referral, if you send a hard drive for criminal investigator in the ir irs mindset is a lookg for illegal activity. did somebody potentially damage this hard drive on purpose? what caused the damage? isn't something they would do in normal course of business? >> they all did civil cases. all of our civil prosecutions and cases are investigated by -- >> would you agree the criminal investors are looking for criminal activity and if someone is trying to hide evidence, destroyed evidence that is relevant to a tax receding that they are the guys who look into the forensics of the computer program to figure out what's going on? >> they will do that on occasion. there's no indication they were doing anything other than -- >> they receive this hard drive on something as critical as this. that's what i'm asking this question. very interested in a what those forensic folks, who they were --
do you know who they were? >> i don't who they were. >> who they were, when they completed it, the documentation for chain of evidence purposes that they evidence purposes that they're trendy but i would like to know what those records are and have them provided to our office. i guess my time has expired. without i yield. >> that's fine. >> thank you. >> visteon is recognized. >> mr. commissioner, -- mr. young is recognized. >> you mention a number of times today that the irs learned of certain things at certain periods of time, that perhaps even your office learned of certain things in different periods of time. i'd like to know, and you correct me if you've only spoken to this, when you knew personally as commissioner of the irs, when you knew that we had a problem, the e-mails were lost or destroyed, that that constituted a larger issue and so forth. >> when i first was devised about it we did know whether any
e-mails have been lost or destroyed. but in february speech when we first advised of it, just so i'm clear? >> in february i was advised there was an issue with her e-mails, and subsequently in the same time i was advised about that and there was evidence that they been a hard drive crash but nobody knew what the implications of that were in terms of whether any enough said the loss or whether the hard drive had been recovered but all i knew was advised and if edward was that there was an issue with the initial production review of e-mails once we've started looking at all of her e-mails, and that there was a hard drive crash and we need to investigate what that meant. that's what preceded going forward by mid-march, we are determined, found the fact that there've been an attempt to constitute a hard drive unsuccessfully, then started reprocessing all of her enough to make sure that when i missing and reprocessing all of the custodial enough to see what
e-mails of ms. lerner's were unavailable. >> okay. so you thought it was presumably premature at that point, given the opportunity offer all the context you wanted to. premature to notify this committee or anyone else of your knowledge, personal knowledge? >> might approach was we needed to know, a., what this meant, what they been the result and bill dudley with e-mail if anyone failed and what e-mails we could find which were not available. we gave a fulsome report that would be more productive and, in fact, that's been my normal -- >> and others have spoken to the fulsome nest of that report so i won't get into that. we've invoke the federal record-keeping act. you can result in voted on at least one occasion, federal records act that requires agencies to store and preserve certain documents are applied to the irs change its document retention policy in may of 2013, the same month lois lerner announced this targeting
initiative? >> irs, i wasn't about my understanding they changed their document retention policy in may in response to this investigation. in other words, once the investigation started, the instructions went out to save all e-mails of everyone, that we would no longer recycle them every six months, that we would, in fact, -- nothing was changed. >> please expend why the irs did not instead -- please explain why the irs do not instead change its document retention policy when tigta initiated its investigation and started working with the irs whereupon it presumably became clear that there was a document retention problem. >> i wasn't there, and started the tigta but if we don't there is no evidence at this point we know of that any e-mails were lost after that point in time. time. >> okay. >> i would stress as i've noted
several times the final request i made was to review all custodians and that process has been going on, we got it inefficient of those this weekend we are reviewing that and will share all of that information with you as well. >> okay. it's my understanding that ms. low, the new head of the tax exempt and government entities division has resumed audits of 501(c)(4) organizations that were selected for examination during the targeting and due to political activity. these audits were suspended after the acting commissioner warfel express concerns they may have been tainted by targeting. given these concerns and evidence lois lerner improperly influence the audit selection of right wing group and why would the irs choose to reopen these audits the? they were actually left as painting is my decision that those organizations deserve the right to get the closure on that.
we made it clear to them that whatever kuester documentation in the past which may or may not have been overreaching would not apply. we would do this in a straightforward way. my that was it was important to let them know that they could get to closure. we expect that we will. >> but these groups were targeted, we now know, and resumed audits among a body of different groups that may have been improperly targeted, and that seems not only counterintuitive but certainly televised. >> if you could answer briefly. >> to the extent that an audit had begun it seemed to me better for them and better for the process to close those so there was no implication that we completed the audit they might've actually been decertified or had a problem. so we are moving toward closure and we don't have any reason to assume that they won't all be cleared and that they will be able to operate properly.
>> thank you, sir. >> mr. kelly. >> thank you for having him. good to see you again. we had about an hour's conversation earlier this week. the one thing we both agreed on is that i believe there's almost irreparable damage done to the agency, and the process continues to unwind, makes it harder for the american people. i'm talking about average everyday people who are held to an entirely different set of standards when it comes to what the irs means for them, document, information they need to keep for a long, long time. and when you're on the other side of the table you are not allowed to say, my hard drive crashed, you know this stuff goes. i just can't get to it. but one of the things i think that really makes this important, this is nothing to do with the irs by the way and you and i agreed on that tuesday. but we do agree on is that they didn't the irreparable damage come and kind of building back
again what he went off a couple hundred years but if you go back to i think daniel webster and chief justice marshall. they say the power to tax is the power to destroy. so for over two inches this has been in the back of peoples peos minds. i sat in the private sector and watched the irs coming. there's nothing more chilling than to get that letter or that call or that visit because you know right away it's going to be a tough day for you. now, whether people actually do that or not is another question. it's what people believe because perception israeli. israeli. i would yo just say to you on t. the only thing i look at -- perception is reality. we knew well investments learners e-mails were not going to be available. years ago we knew they weren't going to be available at a think the thing that bothers people on the committee is that we are told you will get everything, just give us a little more time. just give us a little more time. how much more time do you think not just this committee but the american people can withstand?
i think we've reached a point where they are exhausted of waiting. is not an indictment of you because i think you're trying to do the right thing, but the agency right now is tainted. and it's kind of reaffirmed what most of us believe that we are guilty until we prove ourselves innocent but in this case of looking at this information. i can understand why, with all the knowledge we knew going back as far as 2011 that this stuff was a retrievable until ms. leonard results of sort, can't get it for you. as a last resort we sent your hard drive to ci, cruel investigation forensic lab to attempted data recovery. on august 2011 after three weeks of attempt to retrieve her e-mails, ms. lerner was but, unfortunately, the news is not good. the sectors on hard drive were bad which major data unrecoverable. i'm sorry to anyone tried to do the best. the irs new this.
you see where i'm coming from the if you knew it so long ago why is it so difficult to just tell people the truth? not make using you but this is a very dangerous slope we're on. when do we tell the american people the truth? that truthfully right now we're not going to get an answer to what you're asking us. i just don't get it. what is the strategy as you move forward? how do you restore the faith and confidence of the people of the united states in this agency and in this body? we've all taken an oath to defend the constitution and yet there are two sets of rules. one for the general public, one for your agency. general public is not allowed to keep that record. general public is not allowed to have hard drives crash. the general public is not allowed to do some of the same things we've allowed the agency to do, which they don't understand. i can going back to our conversation on tuesday, where do you see this going because i does the upright into this
anywhere along the way. at the very least it's going to come out of that some of people knew about this but refuse to be forthcoming about it. that's the best you can do in this. >> record should note that no one knew in the irs about this at the time we've been working on and to actually in february discovered it at the e-mails involved in fact are provided to skimming along the way a normal production and nobody -- >> no, no, no. that's not too. you knew in august, not you because you are there. the agency knew in august when leavitt they could retrieve this information yet we were told will get you everything. and the fact you have been forthcoming, not you but your agency as to the dilemma that now we face. we have reinforce the people's greatest fear that the irs is working with a completely different set of rules than the general public. people's constitutional rights been violated that we've chosen to turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to the american people and have continued to stonewall them hoping that somehow we can run
out the clock. this is not a partisan issue. this is bipartisan and i don't to anybody say about an election but is it about an election? i was the it is but it's not the way they ended. i appreciate you being you. i admire what you're trying to do. i've got to tell you this is a long uphill climb to restore faith and confidence the american people have to have because -- >> the gentleman's time has expired. spin they don't trust us as much as they used to. >> mr. griffin. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you, commissioner, for being here. i just want to follow up on a few of the issues. when asked by my colleagues why the timing of the disclosure regarding the hard drives june as opposed to me or april or march or earlier, you indicated that you thought it made sense to just wait and see you got all the information or did your
analysis, or what have you and sort of want to do all that figured out, then let us know. i would just tell you having been a council on the house government reform committee, having served on this committee, having served in the white house and the department of justice, i wouldn't take that approach anymore. that's not the way this city works. when you know and anyone at the irs -- in fact i would say you were deserved by the legislative folks at the irs, if they did not tell you when you started, they should've walked in and said, this is a hot topic. there are numerous hearings on the hill. senators and members of congress, particularly the ways and means committee, is going to want to know what's going on with this lois lerner situation. by the way, we have some hard drive problems and we never told
anybody. let's not wait. it's in everybody's interest to tell the hill. i know about the 770,000 documents and all that stuff. i used to be the guy on the house government reform committee who on a friday night got a box, got 10 boxes from the white house in the late '90s. i was the guy who actually went through those thousands. i can tell you the numbers are misleading. it is you get a bunch of blank sheets, a bunch of nothingness, not a lot of substance they're usually. yes, i understand your producing them, a bunch of them, but the number in and of itself doesn't tell you a lot. but the bottom line is i would have just, i would approach this committee differently, and if they do get a different response for talented because people here feel like they need to know and they wanted to be a conversation. they don't want it to be a situation, and i know how this works, where the left folks say
of the white house as don't answer that unless they ask you specifically. if they don't ask the right question, don't give them that answer. i can tell you that happens all the time. and i know for a fact that it happened to one of my colleague here who is telling me earlier, not necessarily with you but with someone else. i'll give an example. so you interviewed in march of this year in a fellow committee and were interviewed by dr. boustany and there were numerous times when asked about the lois lerner e-mails. and you would say things like, we're going to produce them, we are working on reduction, we are looking at this, looking at that. there was never one mention of an issue as you describe it. never one mention of a glitch. and you know with all due respect, my daughter is here with me this week. that's like when she, i don't ask the right questions about
what she ate, and then i find out that she ate a box of cookies, and she didn't tell me because i didn't ask the right question but she didn't tell me because she knew i would be mad. and i think you had numerous opportunities in these transcripts to just say, hey, we'll get you all the e-mails we have but i want you to know, we've got some problems, and you should know about the hard drive. and could never happen. we face this was lois lerner when we asked about the (c)(4)s. we never asked them the precise right questions so we never got our answer. i know how that game is played. i've been up here long enough and i'm saying if you want to get a different attitude from this committee, go ahead and share what the political people are telling not to share. just tell us. just tell us, share it, and if it's for plus it, we will ignore. one more thing, to have a question. you know if anyone in the irs
has gone before a grand jury on this issue or do know of any grand jury subpoenas that have been issued on this investigation? >> i know of none. >> nine whatsoever. do you know of the department of justice investigation on this at all, criminal investigation? >> i don't have anything about that investigation. i got into the with anybody's investigation. >> thank you spent thank you. mr. renacci. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you, commissioner, for being here and thank you for sticking around. just a couple of things to try to wrap up some things i heard. you testified earlier that three to 5% as a normal crash rate for hard drives. >> that's what i'm advised. >> there were 82 irs employees with some potential political role in political targeting, seven hard drives filled. that's approximately 9%. can you get me some information as to what the normal crash rate is for the irs computers? >> be delighted to get the. i'm advised what you get outside the were defeated the failure
rate goes to 10 to 60% but we will get you that information. >> i appreciate that. the other thing that concern me based on what i'm hearing today is that there was a hard drive failure. it was realize. is being investigated, at some point in time someone said we can't get the information off of it. and then it was destroyed. is that a normal process to destroy, special in the of an investigation to destroy a hard drive? >> i would stress again that hard drive was never destroyed during the investigation. nothing has been destroyed during this investigation. that hard drive was destroyed three years ago after it was a retrievable in terms of e-mail and it had nothing to do with this investigation. -- after it was irretrievable but i would also tell you i've practice in front of the irs for about 25 years as a cpa. i've had come off as a very unusual. i will tell you, had some information that wasn't around, had the hard drives lost, had a lot of things occurred and had
to listen to the irs say to them, why did you destroy, even though you weren't being audited back then, why would you destroy something that has information that might be needed? i know you talked about the three years and the 10 years but have also seen the irs bring a guy down on his knees in tears because they said we are going to prosecute you to the full extent of the law because you don't have the proper information. now, when did the standard change that the individual that you are auditing has to do certain things but the irs doesn't have to keep information or have to keep hard drives are have to make sure that their documentation is a? >> as the record will note from all the indication we have missed longer worked very hard in the i.t. department worked very hard to restore that information, not to lose it. >> i understand that, but when did it change that it would be a destruction of a document which is a hard drive, knowing that it could potentially, there's data
onto that might be needed speak with nobody at the time use the data as being related to an investigation. as a general matter if an employee's hard drive fails and information cannot be retrieved, it is recycled and destroyed. >> i will also to you that it's interesting how you answer those questions. in your answers, i think you've heard people saying we have to restore trust to the american people. your answers probably should be that we're going to make sure that we look at our processes in the future. i wasn't here three years ago, and we're going to make sure we are not destroying hard drives until we fully know that they're not going to be an issue for the future. that would be what something i think the american people would rather hear and, well, it was destroyed, especially in this situation that we have today. >> it's a very good suggestion. ..
>> i can tell you from past history that doesn't happen and in many cases i not going to tell you in all cases because you do have employees but in some cases i've seen them prosecute three full extent of the law that isn't clear when an individual says i don't have it, i've lost it, i don't have the ability to get it and i don't
have other information to bring it together. this is all about the american people and of them having an opportunity to get some full space back in the irs but at the same time how are they ever going to do that when you stand there and say we didn't do anything wrong. yet when the other side when the taxpayers it in front of you and says i don't have the information. they are always prosecuted to the full extent of the law. >> thank you very much. with that of the hearing is now adjourned
>> now you, can keep in touch with current events from the nation's capital using your phone. simply call to hear public affairs forum and toe's " washington journal" program. and listen to a recap at 5:00 p.m. eastern on "washington today." you can also hear audio of the public affairs programs beginning at noon eastern. c-span radio on audio now. > "the st. louis post" george d it is dropping will after calling the supposed
are actually reported. if you take that, only 12% of assaults are reported, take the reporting, extrapolate tom that, you don't come anything like one in five. administration's statistics fall apart. but beyond that, the office of the departmentd of education has said schools sexual assaultte charges. by a preponderance of evidence, not beyond a reasonable doubt, just a preponderance of evidence. so there are serious due process problems here. what is going to result is a lot young men and young women in this sea of hormones and so much that gets into trouble on campuses, are going sexual chargings of assault and you're going to have men disciplined, their
lives often permanently and blighted by in, don't get into medical school, law all the rest, and you're going to have litigation of tremendous expense, as young men sue the colleges for damages by abandonment of the rules of due process that we society, evolve it over men centuries are now in danger of casually shoving aside. >> i had a letter that you know it fromou answered senator blumenthal, feinstein, bowman, your statistics fly in the face of everything we know about this trivialize the scourge of sex ultimate assault, putting the phrase in quotes and treating this crime as a socially acceptable phenomenon. it is a spreading ep you legitimized
the myths that victims and worked tirelessly to wrote back. >> have you seen the letter i back? a, i take sexual assault more i think they do, because i think society has correctly said that rape is to murder as a serious felony. therefore when someone is accused of rape it should be reported to the criminal justice system who knows how to deal with improvised campus processes. think, sexual, i assault somewhat more seriously tonight senators do because i danger now of defining sexual assault so broadly, that it begins to trivialize the seriousness of it. sexuale reaction become assault. improper touching. that shouldn't be done, but it's
assault.l we begin to blur distinctions preserve,mportant to if you believe, as the senators purport to believe marks this is a serious matter. >> did you have any idea that would get the kind of feedback from this and that you had a lot of people calling for your head? >> well, i knew, sure, the reason i wrote about it is there's a lot of passion involved and it what i do. it's what you're supposed to do. my head, today for some reason, and i've got some it.ries about indignation tition default position of certain people in avic discourse, they go from standing start to fury, and about 30 seconds. something to do with the internet. it a wonderful thing. lowered, erased the barriers to entry into public thing.se, that's a good unfortunately, the dawn side of this is the down side in is that among the
barriers to entry that have been have to beyou don't able to read, write or thing, you can just come in and shout carry on.ames and and we have all kind much interest groups who think going to get attention, and they're probably right, if they are at maximum decibel levels. so they you shout and say i just don't disagree with him, fire him, send him to jail, silence him, all that stuff. like summere storms, they dissipate fast. >> the st. louis post wrote a saying we've been watching and we haven't been attention.e enough >> i don't know. i don't think they cover themselves. >> over the years have you had much of this kind of reaction? >> not really. some occasions i'd get some, part of my job.
>> you would wouldn't take back any of those words? >> no. >> you can watch that entire q and a interview in the coming c-span. next, the pentagon spokesman briefing reporters on military iraq.ions concerning after that, another chance to see a house ways and means committee hearing on the theist'stion of alleged targeting of kive groups. and live at 7:00 a.m., your calls and comments on "washington journal." >> this weekend, american history tv is live from the gettysburg college civil war institutes. this morning starting at 8:45 eastern you'll hear historian on robert e.hael lee, followed by arizona state simpson,y professor and later historian megan kate ofson on the burning
chambersburg, this weekend on american history tv on c-span 3. for over 35 years c-span brings public affairs events from washington directly to you, putting new the room at hearings, whowlt event, briefings and conferences, and offering complete gavel to gavel coverage of the u.s. house, all as a public service of private industry. c-span, created by the cable tv industry 35 years ago and brought to you as a public your local cable or satellite provider. watch us in h.d., like us on facebook and follow us on twitter. >> the pentagon reiterated self times friday that american troops are being sent to iraq as to be in combat. rear admiral john kirby spoke to reporters a day after the president made the announcement. this is just over 30 minutes.
on thursday he will host the of defense.ster secondly, an update on the secretaries in military health review, the department has identified seven military treatment facility that will visitipate in the site component of this review hospital,daig naval madigan army hospital, wynn army hospital, lincoln heath, fort bellvoir, the air force academy pa tux it naval clinic. will consistms more than 20 health care individuals. meet with facility staff to assess the quality of that care ando patient safety. additionally the teams will hold town hall sessions at each site. one for faculty and staff and for beneficiaries of the care. and with that, i'll take some
questions. >> do you have any details about thises incident in southern afghanistan today in which three people were killed? wereou confirm they americans or anything else, and can you bring us up to day on advisement mission in iraq. >> sure. don't.first, actually i i've seen the same report as you. obviously as information becomes available we can share it, we certainly will. the advisory mission in iraq, the president made it clear what are.ntentions i want to remind everybody that teams that will be going in will be largely assessment teams and they're doing three things. they'll abscessing the state, cohesiveness, the capability of the iraqi secure forces, they'll abscessing the situation on the ground for us, to help us gain
and morelligence information about what isil is doing and how they're doing it. thing is frankly to assess the feasibility and potential for follow on advisory teams. we haven't had that kind of perspective in iraq for quite some time. so before we can advisors wetional have have to have a better sense of where they can best be deployed. president's direction was clear. of course we'll be providing of advisors. but we've got to have, just like any unfolding situation like in, like even in a disaster one of theation, first things you do is deprovide assessment teams to find out beforee requirements are you start flowing in your support. that's what i think these first
us.le of teams will do for teamsse first couple of will be drawn from personnel in iraq,already there ofking at the office security cooperation there. so the first couple will be drawn from assets that are already intrinsic to iraq, and indicated yesterday, advisors andhe teams that will come later, most be remissioned from an inside central command area of responsibility. >> has the work already begun? >> no. the first couple of teams will drawn from personnel that are already there. been,ose teams have not as we stab here today at 1:00,
have not been stood up right now. i think everybody shares the proper sense of urgency here and everybody is working on this very hard. will be very soon. >> i wanted to ask a followup on your announcement of the health review. any more about why those sites were selected? was there a process that determined -- >> i can get you greater detail, decisions a deliberate to choose these seven facilities. joint, they come from all the different services. spready're geographically around the country as well and they vary in so in general these were deemed to be seven good representative medical facilities for us to look at. calls for review other site visits, we'll but these will be the seven that we're going to
look at right now. >> we learned yesterday that the u.s. has stepped up the surveillance flights there to have 24some areas that hour coverage does. that mean that there are surveillance aircraft operating from within in from bases there? and secondly, are from restrictions on the host nation mass. have american aircraft in the middle east about potential strikes as in do host governments have objections to a tackslly launching from their runways if the president makes that decision? >> what was your first one again? >> the aircraft that are doing the surveillance based in iraq. >> okay. intelligence reconnaisance and surveillance support that we are providing the air, itom certainly has been intensified. flyinghave, we now are enough flights both manned and unmanned that it's around the clock coverage. looking at the whole country, we're looking at parts
of the country that are of greatest interest. i said a mixed of manned and unmanned aircraft. aircraft i can tell you are both from land and sea based. i won't get into specific platforms for those that are locations.specific question, wer greatly appreciate the support that we get from our partners in region, and we try to sensitivitieser they have about the level of cooperation that we get as much can. we try to respect that. so i would not from here get specifics of what those arrangements are, those agreements are. have good support from allies and partners there and we appreciate that. the ability tot conduct air strikes if the president makes that decision? >> the president hasn't made that decision. i don't think that getting
into hypothetical arrangement now about ags decision he hasn't made is very helpful. decemberuld like to bring you back to what we're doing now and that is we've intensified i.s.r. coverage and that will continue. are now building some assessment teams, initially just but eventually it will grow to help us get better eyes bothr what's going on, inside the iraqi security force situation oncurity the ground. andthen once we have better more full information about the aboution, then a decision any follow on activity can be made. we just aren't there yet in the process. >> how concerned is the pentagon isis fighters taking over the chemical weapons facility? are there any chemical agents
int there that could be used any form or pose a threat to anyone? >> any progress they've made has of concern us to, clearly. on the specific question about an oldcility, it's facility. understanding, and we don't have perfect information, but our best understanding is that that was kept thereal old and not likely to able to be accessed or used anyone right now. now, again, information is in any progress they've made has been of concern. we aren't viewing this and they'reite, holding it as a major issue at
this point. frankly should they be able to access the materials, it would be more of a threat to than anyone else. i'm not aware of any iraqi assurances that that's based on conclusions. >> because you're going to have these unit eventually in iraq to collect intelligence, and especially in iraq, how certain, how certain are you that, number one, you can protect the safety you send, andoops number two, if they do get into a fire fight if they get wounded or hurt, are you absolutely, is the department absolutely certain you can get them out to the correct level of care within the hour? does the golden hour apply in
this situation, can you get them out? >> look, the force protection is always a priority, remain a high priority for the secretary for the department. that.stion about these teams will be, as you assessing andbe advising. toy are not being sent participate in combat. their role is not combat mission. and this is not unusual. missions the kinds of that we perform all over the militaries.other in africa, the pacific region, place, americas. force protection remains a priority, we don't talk about details of how we go about that.ing these advisors, just like troops
typical other advising missings around the world, have the right of self defense if they need to. obviously just like anywhere world, if there's a situation we need to get them to care we're going to do it as quickly as we can. >> it's not just somewhere in you have where military advisors. is a hot combat zone. and the golden hour has always afghanistan.aq and so does it still apply in iraq? gettinghe way, are they combat hazard pay? endedbat mission in iraq in 2011. this is not a combat mission. not a combat mission. to bepersonnel are going doing assessments and eventually
helping us can advisory missions and helping gather intelligence. national just the way it is. combat mission. todayt have details here about the pay and benefits issue. that expwak take take a look at it. but this is not a combat mission. if somebody gets hurt, wherever get hurt around the world, we do what we can to get them to medical care as quickly as possible. it'se areas of influence, spread all over the northern part of iraq and also the part of syria. why targeting isis in iraq and syria? are they considering to counter syria? >> we're not at the targeting phase here, joe. the president made it clear that the mission right now is increased -- basically it's to get more
information. so we've intensified i.s.r. over country. and now we're going to be throwing in some assessment teams and eventually some advisors. to help among men things, better sightin a picture about what's going on, inside iraq in any mass, since 20s1. lothere's a lot to learn, a to gain here. and that's the mission we've been assigned, that's what we're focused on. your question presumes that a decision to strike is coming or that it's inevitable or that it has to be done. and i just don't believe that now.s why we are right to counteression isis, so why not assess the capabilities on the border with syria, that's my question. theou're right, part of mission is to assess isil. i said that at the outset. of them is toone assess isil and that's what
they'll be doing. have the numbers of total personnel in iraq with the are going?s that >> well, the president said up advisors. it may not reach that level. to flowassessment teams in there. so as we speak today, there are than 200 that were already assigned to the office of in iraq atoperation the embassy, that we have maintained that basic level of staffing since the combat 2011.n ended in since then, as you know, over the last weekend, we brought in another 170 to assist with static security requirements, the embassy and associated facilities. that's the to the right now. so, it's roughly 350 to 370, that.ing like i don't have the exact number that are attached to osci.
less than 400 total inside iraq right now. >> it's my understanding that have been granted immunity from prosecution in iraq. can you confirm that and what have you been given specifically by the iraqi government? >> a couple of thing i'd like to say. one is that we're doing, we're missions at the request of the iraqi government. so this isn't an invasion. doing this at the request and in consultation with government. as we do elsewhere around the world, we will ensure that our troops have the appropriate legal protections. immunity is, that's not a fairway of characterizing this. it's legal protections. so that they can operate as they operate and i can assure thaw they will have those protections. don't have a --
>> there are places where we do these kind of missions where you as't have to have a sofa, long as you have a process through which those legal protections can be ensured and that here as well. >> where did you operate where you don have a sofa? >> there are other places. i'll get back to you on that. not get hung up on the document. ensure that they have the legal protects they need. this something different than diplomatic immunity that the office of security cooperation has been operating under? is there a new agreement with government for these specific advisors? >> we are in constant consultation with the iraqi government about these arrangements and about these extra person them. i can assure thaw they'll have the legal protection nation need.
sure, usuallying these legal protections are about making sure that if an happens, that the due processs, has through the military justice system. that's what we're talking about. >> is that a gentleman's diplomatsbetween the who are over there? >> we're working through the will areernment, they the protections they need. ofthe timing of the rile these advisors? the first --aid, nay will be, and i'm confident that the legal protections that are needed will be in place. they will be in place. are alreadye that there, so they have the
protection of the same diplomats. the onstion is the follow teams -- >> i do not anticipate any timing ofto the follow on teams, as a result of this issue. we're working this very carefully and closely with the iraqi government and i can shower you that they will have need.gal protects they >> but any follow on -- >> very soon. certain.ive you a date i would say at least the additional, again, we're going to start with a couple of teams using intrinsic aassets that are beeady there, that will between three and five additional assessment teams in and they will be assets remissioned from and personnel that are already in the central command region. startd expect that you'll to say additional teams flow in
outside their first couple over the next week or so. the whole issue that we, that there's no residual force over this issue, and the domestic iraqi politics an this were very complex. why are you so sure that these will haves protections, why wouldn't it the samefounder on issues as extending protections in 2011? wewell, first of all, what were talking about post 2011 was force ofsizable american troops that would remain in iraq for a long perfect of time. what we're talking about here is small number, up to 300. whose mission will be of a limited duration. that's one. two, these additional teams are
the request of the iraqi g. starting from 2011 from a place where we already had of thousands of troops there completing a combat mission. so this is at the government.he iraqi doing this,e're obviously it's in our national interest as well. but clearly the iraqi government it as ben fibl to the security of the iraqi people. then, as i said, we're in consultation with them. we're not concerned about the fact that there won't be the appropriate legal protections .or these extra personnel >> will that be cod filed in this agreement? terms not negotiating the of the legal protections that are going to be afforded or what the time frame is so, i wouldn't
be in a position to tell you that. yes we're pursuing something in writing. i think there was a question about that, the second is absolutely committed to making have the our troops legal protections, and he would nod and a wink. >> what the president said yesterday didn't seem to have any time limits on it. a i don't think there's been firm deadline on this. out ahead of. et that but we're not reintroducing iraq.an troops into for a lengthy stay, and not to participate in combat action. discreet measure, temporary arrangement to help i said at the outset to get eyes on the ground, figure bet aat's going on and better sense of it, to create
the kind of intelligence that we need, should the president to take other action. and also to give us a sense of the iraqi security forces. are there weeks, months? going to characterize it. this isn't going to be a long-term mission of the united military. it's not an occupation, it's not an invasion. again, back to what i said is at theis invitation of the iraqi government. # marcus? know, all your questions are more important than everybody else's. >> will there be money for this request?n the upcoming >> i don't know what the cost estimate is going to be for this. an importanthis is mission and it will be funded appropriately. i can't tell you whether the out of oco or
request.in the coming i do not have an estimate on when that will go to the hill as you her the secretary say the other day, we do anticipate that it will be substantially smaller than the roughly $830 billion that was put as a place holder. >> just to be clear, when you say legal protections, that would include u.s. troops being judicialom iraqi system, from iraqi prosecution? >> that is a central core neil of the kind of legal protections that we pursue, yes. >> and have you seen any early kind of equipment that these up to 300 advisors with them? helicopters, vehicles? >> no, no. again, the first runs will be assessments. so they'll have personal apartments
to protect themselves if they need it. they'll have the right of self defense. and i think the same will be true for any follow on teams of come.igatorses that would they'll be certainly armed and equipped to defend themselves. is not a major mechanized mope here. that's not the goal. again, the president was crystal clear, this is not a combat mission. as i said, they're going to be embedded, at least initially at the higher headquarters level, brigadeonly about the level. so there will be at staff and to the degree -- they'll be transported to the places they need to be transported. i don't exactly have every they'reight now of how going to get everyone to where to get to.ng
you better describe these forces? is there a reason that you're calling themed avirses and units. they're greeny berets? >> think think the secretary of would call them special operators. and i remind you that that's a operationst special troops perform routinely. do that if i were you. they're special operators, and i'm not going to detail beyond that. >> could they be laying the ground work for air strikes in future? >> i'll say it again. they are to do some initial and to eventually advice. that's the mission. as you say, calling in air strikes, that can could notes a combat mission. a combatnot there on mission, and i'm not going to speculate -- domen would are nothing to with that? >> we around at that stage right
now, justin. in order to help the president make future follow on decisionings, we have to have more information about what's going on on the ground much that's what these troops will be doing and that's all they'll be doing. >> the operation center in new is that -- isall i can say right now northern iraq. i don't believe that final arrangement have been made for the exact location. samewould ask you the question, can you confirm now the if there are any iranian revolutionary guard inside iraq, that?formation on >> what i can say is that we certainly have indications that are some iranian operatives, in iraq. indication of ground forces or major unit or
anything of that sort. >> there are cooperating with the iraqi ministry of defense? the iranians speak activities and who they're talking to. but as i see, we have are ations that there andt operatives inside iraq , and iran' interference in is nothing new. would be our best indication. i'm not going to put a number joe.e on it, small. small number. time for one more. tony. >> the china operations center, what capability will they give iraqis that they don't know possess?
>> operation centers in general tovide a forum and a hub coordinate the sharing of intelligence.d and to also foster real time communication between a element and fuel elements. so i think it makes perfect of the things that these initial two teams will do is men also says what the resourcing would be for these two join operation centers. suspect they'll perform the same sore of function that operation centers perform all over the world. you set up assessment teams and set up jocks, when is right nowry situation arth of wag dad, is it at steal meat between the -- it awouldn't call stalemate, tony. isil still crave geography, are still involved in
violent activities. what we are is that, and i ted this the other day, but that baghdad, it does appear as if the iraqi security by some militia, no question, are stiffening their fighting. and to.e in and needing we're starting to see some cohesiveness and some fight. that's encouraging. but nobody is calling it a nobodyte and certainly is willing to stop monitoring it shared senseving a of concern about the progress that isil has made and very quickly so.
>> this sunday there's going to be a missile defense test. to care aboutg this until sunday afternoon, if it hits or misses. significance of this test in terms of if i misses ift's the implications, and it succeeds what will it allow it united states to do that can't at this point do? >> well, you're right. we are conducting another test of the exo atmosphere kill vehicle. on this weekend it will be the particular of this vehicle. we feel very good about this test coming up. not been a program without challenges. doesn't go well, first of all, we're going to let you know how it goes, no question about that. doesn't with well we'll do
what we did last time. we'llinvestigate it, figure out what happened, what didn't happen, and how to make the necessary fixes. that we made the fixes need to be made from the last test, which was back in of 2010. so we're looking forward to this and we look forward to having a test.sful if it doesn't go well, if i doesn't succeed, it doesn't at mean that the program isn't worth while or that it not going to go forward. this, we'llted to learn from it and test again. significance there? >> it's a very significant capability. i've her it compared to hitting a bullet with a bullet. that altitude, it's i think the challenge is more like hitting a bee-bee with a bee-bee. so it's pretty significant if it works. shows once again, i think our utter commitment to missile defense
program and capability. >> an individual apparently killed himself this morning in national cemetery. do you have any information about that as to whether he was a veteran? >> thanks for the question. i don't have a lot of information. arlington police are on the scene, much course as well as army officials out there. reporting of it. i wouldn't be able to comment or another about what happened. and why. it's true it's very trajic and our thoughts and prayers go out to the family. i wouldn't get ahead of an investigation which is just now starting. everybody, have a great weekend. >> next a house ways and means alleged i.r.s.
targeting of conservative groups. and at 7:00 your calms and on "washington journal." >> the thesis of the book is that there's a whole group of in america, a big swath of america, that is being left behind, not included in the discussion. either party. particularly, though, i would and ithe republican party call them blue collar conservatives, the folks out working people, most of whom don't have college that really still understand the value of work and the importance work and and people of, understand the importance of faith, believe in freedom ask limited government. areou say, well, those conservative republican voters, and in many cases here not. of them are not voting see eithery don't
party trying to create an opportunity for them to live the american dream. >> former pennsylvania snr san for up argues that working americans have been abandoned by both parties. this month on your online book "thewe're discussing forgotten man," a new history of the great depression. now can you keep in up the with nation'svent from the capital using any phone phone any time. 626-8888.l 202, every weekday listen to a recap day's events at 5:00 p.m. eastern on washington today. you can also hear audio of the
five network sunday affairs programs beginning sundays and noon eastern. call 202, 626-8888. long distance or phone charges may apply. commissioner jn koskinen testified before the committee and means on the investigation into the i.r.s.'s alleged targeting of taxervative groups seeking ement ement status. representative dave camp of mix chairs the committee. hearing isn of the two and a half hours. [inaudible conversations]
well, good morning. over three years ago this committee started asking the irs, was a targeting conservatives for the belief? wasn't asking groups inappropriate questions? was it harassing conservative donors? the irs assured this committee and even testified before congress time and time again that no targeting was occurring. then as we all recall one year ago when a signature new stuff, then head of exempt organizations at the irs lois lerner admitted to the american people that the irs targeted conservative organizations. the irs lied to congress and the american people. in fact, this committee has found there's ample evidence to suggest the irs violated constitutional rights of taxpayers. as of today the investigation
into the irs intentional organize targeting of americans for the belize has been ongoing for over a year. what we have found so far is outrageous. the i arrest spent over three years responding to top democrat complaints and calls to action to stop all activities of conservative groups. the i arrest in washington, d.c. took their marching orders and subjected americans to harassment going so far as to question the content of their prayers and their political beliefs while subjecting them to audits and making a personal taxpayer information. when the scandal first broke out the president vowed that his administration would work adequate hand-in-hand with congress to get this thing fixed, end quote. and the spring commissioner koskinen can you said your goal was to quote find problems quickly, fix them probably to make sure they stay fixed and be transparent about the entire process, end quote. well, since my time in congress
i've never seen and i arrest so broken. late last friday the irs admitted to congress that the agency had lost over two years worth of lois lerner e-mails and blame the loss on a computer crash. my committee staff later learned in an interview that it wasn't only ms. lerner's e-mails, e-mails of six other individuals relevant to this investigation including the former acting commissioner chief of staff. and just two days ago we found out the irs and white house have known for months and kept it secret from congress. this is not the most open and transparent administration the president promised. this is about as far as you can get from getting this thing fixed. now, what does this really mean? it means the irs has claimed that ms. lerner's hard drive is really unrecoverable, the public will never know the full extent of the abuse of americans for exercising their first amendment rights. let me give you an example. ms. lerner told to do
investigative she first learned about the two-party targeting in july of 2011. that wasn't true. instead were 2011 ms. linda told subordinates by e-mail quote tea party matter dangers come into court and discuss ways to deny the applications. we only have this e-mail because they came from another employees in box. had ms. lerner e-mailed this to the treasury department or justice, for example, it would be gone for ever according to the irs. we are missing a huge piece of the puzzle. the years between 2009-2011 are the very peak of an irs organize and gentlemen it's targeting schemes. how convenient for the irs and the administration. i find it hard to believe that i don't believe they either as through every possible exercise to recover these documents. we are missing the e-mails of seven irs officials during periods critical to this investigation. how is this possible?
making matters worse the irs kept all this secret while informing political set in the administration account all the of destruction either this congress and the american people cannot take the irs at its word. one thing is for certain. you can blame it on a technical glitch. it is not a technical glitch to mislead the america the america. usage of lost e-mails of what you've lost is all credibility. the irs is in charge of hundreds of millions of taxpayers information. and you are now saying your technology system was so poor that years worth of e-mails are for ever unrecoverable. how does that put anyone at these? how far would the excuse of i lost it did with the irs for an average american tried to file their yearly taxes and have lost a few receipts? oddly enough, this seems a satisfactory answer for the attorney general. as far as i can tell this
administration has done nothing to investigate what truly happened, not withstanding this committee sending the department of justice a detailed referral letter of nearly 100 pages. they have repeatedly tried to keep this under a rug and quote -- never looking for the facts. the american people have no reason to trust the irs or frankly the administration on this issue. to wait years to reveal the fact the arrest was targeting the american people and then wait months to reveal your conveniently missing years of documents. it's know what i've heard the word cover-up thrown about a lot this week at the time for denial, delay, obstruction and intense to -- attempt to blow this off is over. this committee is set up and we expect some answers. not only from the irs but the whole administration but it's time we restore the american people's trust in the government but i fear with recent events that may not be possible. and now, mr. levin, i recognize you for an opening statement. >> thank you.
on september 11, 2013, internal revenue service provided this committee with one of the 770,000 pages of documents it has turned over since ways and means undertook its investigation into the irs in may 2013. in total, more than 250 irs employees has spent over 120,000 hours working to produce documents at a cost of at least $16 million to taxpayers. that document received a lot of september, last september, included an e-mail from lois lerner to other irs personnel dated june 14, 2011.
it began, my computer crashed yesterday. we now know the full extent of that equipment failure. despite an exhaustive effort by forensic i.t. professionals at the irs, they were unable to save her hard drive, and are e-mails between january 1, 2009, and april 2011. although her e-mails from june 1, 2009, through april 2011 our unrecoverable from her hard drive, the irs will produce 67,000 e-mails related to lois lerner. the irs has or will be producing 24,000 e-mails that have been recovered from the carried before her computer crashed. they recovered these e-mails from other irs employees. that is on top of more than
43,000 e-mails involving ms. lerner after april 2011 that have already been produced. there is absolutely no evidence, absolutely no evidence to show that ms. lerner's computer crash was anything more than equipment failure. at the time of the incident in june 2011, irs computer experts reviewed the issue and inform lois lerner that, and i quote, unfortunately, the news is not good. the sectors on the hard drive were bad which made your data unrecoverable, and quote. -- end of quote. was your computer crash a conspiracy? no. was the internal revenue service's system for backing up the system entirely underfunded and wholly deficient?
clearly, yes. in fact, congress has cut the irs budget for operations, which includes what it spends on computers and other information technology every year for the last five years. house republicans are proposing to slash it once again next year. commissioner koskinen, whom we welcome here today, has informed this committee that the irs has $1 billion worth of computer equipment, and that the agency should be spending $150 million, to $209 on maintenance for that equipment. instead, the agency spends virtually nothing because he cannot afford to properly maintain what it has. it is important to remember that e-mails were routinely lost during the bush administration.
in one instance in 2007, according to report by democrats on the oversight and government reform committee, the bush white house acknowledged having lost nearly 5 million e-mails between march 2003 and october 2005, related to allegations of the politically motivated dismissal of u.s. attorneys. lost data under the bush administration, coupled with a number of computer crashes at the irs, clearly demonstrate the need for government agencies to have adequate budgets to invest, upgrade and maintain information technology. my colleague's on the other side of the aisle have taken this opportunity to rehash well-worn allegation, allegations of white house involvement. allegations that republicans have made from the very moment
the inspector general released his report more than a year ago. on the day the report was released, before a congressional investigation into the issue had even begun, chairman issa accused the white house of him in quote, targeting his political enemies. three days later, our chairman, mr. camp, in your opening statement during the first hearing on this matter, you accused the white house of a culture of cover-up. congressional republicans are so determined to find a needle in the haystack that they seek desperately to add to the haystack, even though no needle has been discovered. it was in that vein that chairman camp this week said that this entire case started with the white house, and sent a letter to the president requesting all correspondence between lois lerner and the
executive office of the president between january 2009 and may 2011, the period before ms. lerner's hard drive crashed. the white house has conducted a search, and what have they found? there was not a single e-mail correspondent sent to or from ms. lerner and the white house. this committee has been involved in this investigation for over a year. here is what we have learned. the 501(c)(4) applications of both conservative and progressive groups were inappropriately screened. they were long delays in processing applications. there was serious mismanagement, and i was among the very first to call for ms. lerner and then commissioner miller to be relieved of their duties. in all of the 770,000 pages of documents that the irs has
supplied congressional committees, including ours, there has not been any evidence of political motivation or of white house involvement. now there have been computer failures at the irs, and republicans, conspiracy theories have started a new. the evidence today reinforces this long evident truth, the prevailing conspiracy in this matter is that of the republicans desire to stir their base, tied the problem to the white house, and keep up this drumbeat until the november election. i'm glad that you, commissioner koskinen, is here with us today to set the record straight. we are glad you are here. you started at the irs last