«Testimony of The Honorable J. Russell George Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration and Timothy P. Camus Deputy Inspector General for ...»
One laptop was wiped clean through the installation of a new operating system. The other nine laptops were forensically examined and yielded some material, but nothing from Ms. Lerner’s e-mail boxes. Although none of the laptops appeared to have been used by Ms. Lerner, a small amount of e-mail referencing Ms. Lerner was recovered.
We reviewed the e-mails and determined that after comparison to what the IRS previously provided to Congress, 75 of them had not been previously provided by the IRS. The e-mails were reviewed, but they were determined to not be pertinent to this investigation.
Backup Tapes for Decommissioned E-mail Server
During the investigation we also obtained the 424 backup tapes associated with the decommissioned New Carrollton e-mail server meaning that these tapes were older than the original 744 backup tapes we obtained in July 2014. TIGTA took possession of the 424 backup tapes and determined that 422 of the 424 tapes were degaussed (i.e., magnetically erased) by IRS employees in Martinsburg on or around March 4, 2014, one month after the IRS realized they were missing e-mails from Lois Lerner, and approximately eight months after the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform requested “all documents and communications sent by, received by, or copied to Lois Lerner.” The tapes were examined, but because 422 of the tapes were successfully degaussed, there was no recoverable data on them. One of the 424 tapes looked as if it might be encrypted; however, because the identifying labels were removed from the tape as part of the degaussing process, we were unable to determine the actual source or business unit owner of the tape or the possible location of its encryption keys. The other tape contained backup files created in 2011 that were e-mail accounts, but they did not pertain to Lois Lerner, or other custodians having information relevant to the investigation.
Document examination, contemporaneous e-mail reviews, and sworn testimony from the IRS employees who were directly involved in the handling, management, transportation and the ultimate erasure of the 422 tapes did not uncover evidence that the erasure was done in furtherance of an effort to destroy evidence or conceal information from Congress and/or law enforcement. The investigation uncovered testimony and e-mail traffic between IRS employees that indicate that the involved employees did not know about, comprehend, or follow the Chief Technology Officer’s May 22, 2013, e-mail directive to halt the destruction of e-mail backup media due to “the current environment” and ongoing investigations.
As Ms. Lerner’s hard drive could not be recovered and the 422 tapes most likely to have contained Ms. Lerner’s e-mails from 2010 and 2011 were erased in March 2014, we were unable to recover all of the missing e-mails. Comparing the IRS e-mail transaction logs to the IRS production to the Congress revealed there could be as many as 23,000 to 24,000 additional missing e-mails. As a result of the investigative process, TIGTA was successful in recovering over 1,000 e-mails that the IRS did not produce to the Congress, DOJ, or TIGTA. The investigation also revealed that prior to our investigation and our efforts to recover Ms. Lerner’s missing e-mails; the IRS did not search for, review or examine the two separate sources of backup tapes, the server hard drives, or the loaner laptops that ultimately produced new, previously undisclosed e-mails.
Lastly, we are in the process of finalizing the Report of Investigation and will have the document completed in the very near future. In addition, we are still reviewing all
15.1 terabytes of e-mail data we obtained from the initial set of 735 backup tapes.
There is a remote possibility that this review could result in the recovery of additional emails that were not previously produced to Congress, DOJ or TIGTA; however, this process could take as long as an additional two months. If this process produces new material, we will review it for its impact on the investigation, produce a supplemental report, and provide the new e-mails to all appropriate parties.
We at TIGTA are committed to our mission of ensuring an effective, efficient and fair tax administration system by conducting investigations of the IRS and its operations.
Chairman Chaffetz, Ranking Member Cummings, and Members of the Committee, thank you for the opportunity to discuss this matter.
A native of New York City, where he attended public schools, including Brooklyn Technical High School, Mr. George received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Howard University in Washington, DC, and his Doctorate of Jurisprudence from Harvard University's School of Law in Cambridge, MA. After receiving his law degree, he returned to New York and served as a prosecutor in the Queens County District Attorney's Office.
Following his work as a prosecutor, Mr. George joined the Counsel's Office in the White House Office of Management and Budget where he was Assistant General Counsel. In that capacity, he provided legal guidance on issues concerning presidential and executive branch authority.
He was next invited to join the White House Staff as the Associate Director for Policy in the Office of National Service. It was there that he implemented the legislation establishing the Commission for National and Community Service, the precursor to the Corporation for National and Community Service. He then returned to New York and practiced law at Kramer, Levin, Naftalis, Nessen, Kamin & Frankel.
In 1995, Mr. George returned to Washington and joined the staff of the Committee on Government Reform and Oversight, where he served as the Staff Director and Chief Counsel of the Government Management, Information and Technology subcommittee (later renamed the Subcommittee on Government Efficiency, Financial Management and Intergovernmental Relations), chaired by Representative Stephen Horn. There he directed a staff that conducted over 200 hearings on legislative and oversight issues pertaining to Federal Government management practices, including procurement policies, the disposition of government-controlled information, the performance of chief financial officers and inspectors general, and the Government's use of technology. He continued in that position until his appointment by President Bush in 2002.
After an exemplary investigative career, Mr. Camus was promoted into TIGTA management. In June 2003, Mr. Camus became a member of the Senior Executive Service, and in January 2011, he was promoted to the position of the Deputy Inspector General for Investigations for TIGTA. As the Deputy Inspector General for Investigations, Mr. Camus is responsible for overseeing and leading all aspects of TIGTA’s law enforcement mission.
During his law enforcement career, Mr. Camus has successfully investigated domestic terrorism, death threats made against public officials, bribery and extortion cases, as well as thefts of government property and all other facets of white collar crime and fraud that impact the IRS. In 2008, Mr. Camus was awarded the Presidential Rank Award for Meritorious Service.