Employees with the Internal Revenue Service have been accused of erasing thousands of emails that could have shed significant light on the scandal that rocked the agency regarding its targeting of tea party-type nonprofit applications.
Specifically, a government investigator found IRS workers erased the agency’s backup computer files just a month after officials found thousands of the messages related to the tea party matter had been lost, the Associated Press reported.
Fully 442 backup tapes were erased, and possibly, as many as 24,000 emails, said J.Russell George, the Treasury inspector general for tax administration. The scrubbing came after a subpoena had been issued for the emails.
George said those tapes “most likely” included emails written to and from former IRS head Lois Lerner, one of the key figures implicated in the tea party targeting scandal.
George is due to testify about his findings on Thursday before the House Oversight Committee.