Top IRS officials told congressional investigators that Lois Lerner's hard drive -- the one containing emails that could shed light on the IRS targeting scandal -- was irreparably damaged before it was destroyed completely in 2011. But now, investigators have had a chance to talk to the technical experts inside the IRS who actually examined Lerner's computer, and the experts say the hard drive in question was actually just "scratched," and that most of the data on it was recoverable.
The IRS computer experts also told the committee that they had recommended seeking outside help in recovering the data from Lerner's computer — something IRS management declined to do.
The revelation has increased the sense among Republicans on Capitol Hill that they're being jerked around by the IRS. "It is unbelievable that we cannot get a simple, straight answer from the IRS about this hard drive," House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Campsaid in a statement Tuesday. "The committee was told no data was recoverable and the physical drive was recycled and potentially shredded. To now learn that the hard drive was only scratched, yet the IRS refused to utilize outside experts to recover the data, raises more questions about potential criminal wrong doing at the IRS."