IRS Lost More Emails Related to Tax-Exempt Status Probe

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The Internal Revenue Service has lost emails from five more employees who are part of congressional probes into the treatment of conservative groups that applied for tax-exempt status, the tax service disclosed Friday. The revelation set off fresh outrage and comes months after the agency disclosed it had lost emails to and from Lois Lerner, who headed the IRS division that processes applications for tax-exempt status.

The disclosure in June that some of Lerner’s emails had been lost set off a new round of investigations and congressional hearings. On Friday, the IRS said in a report to Congress that the agency had also lost emails from five other employees related to the probe.

"The IRS has lost thousands of emails, but worse yet, completely lost the American people's trust," said Sarah Swinehart, a spokeswoman for House Ways and Means Republicans. The IRS inspector general set off a firestorm last year with an audit that said IRS agents singled out tea party and other conservative groups for inappropriate scrutiny when they applied for tax-exempt status.

The IRS blamed computer crashes for all the lost emails. In a statement, the IRS said all the crashes happened well before Congress launched its investigations.


— The Associated Press