On Saturday, it was revealed that the IRS has been contracting with Sonasoft for the back-up of emails since 2005, and indeed, looking at Sonasoft’s clients list, listed there is the Internal Revenue Service. Adding to my list of things about which the Republicans should seek testimony (if they’re serious,) the specific details of the performance requirements of this contract must now be considered. Undoubtedly, in soliciting bids for back-ups, there must have been a policy for back-ups the bidder must have been prepared to fulfill. These details would have been dominated by a records retention schedule that would have been designed to comply with statutory minimums. In any event, such a contract would have been carefully vetted for specific performance requirements, the methodology by which performance could be verified, and the chain of responsibility for those on the government side of the contract to make sure performance was fulfilled, or to seek remediation if the requirements were not met. There would be a schedule of audits of the performance, and there should be no excuse for pretending somebody hadn’t known their specific duties, on either side of the contract. Here’s the point: We very likely have an organized criminal conspiracy, and if the Republicans don’t begin to immediately turn over rocks to find the culprits, the evidence will be destroyed, but that may be precisely what the GOP leadership wants.
People continue to question whether I’ve entered the realm of “tinfoil-hat-wearing” conspiracy kooks, because I doubt the seriousness of the intent of the House Republican leadership in pursuing this scandal. After all, they ask, why would the Republicans seek to cover the scandal? Let’s be blunt, shall we? As long as this scandal has been going on without serious investigation, how much evidence has been destroyed in the interim? It is true that if there is a cover-up, there will always be some evidence of that, because it’s impossible to completely cover the tracks of what has been done. Permitting a delay of the investigation would allow the culprits to destroy the evidence so that any crimes perpetrated in the original scandal would be hard to substantiate to the satisfaction of a jury, or an impeachment proceeding, even if the evidence of a cover-up would be harder to conceal. In the end, however, let us imagine that there had been a few Republicans who had wanted to hammer the TEA Party, like John Boehner, or Mitch McConnell. They’ve said as much in open contempt for the TEA Party. By permitting the administration and its lackeys to destroy evidence, the evidence of their own complicity would be hidden too, and all that would remain are the allegations and evidence of a cover-up of something, in which the Republican leadership would not be implicated. After all, they’ve been conducting an investigation, right?
If this sounds too conspiratorial to you, consider that these are the same people who invented voting for a thing before voting against it. John Cornyn had no problem voting for cloture on the Senate Amnesty bill last year before coming home to Texas to tell voters he had voted against the final bill, which he had. He repeated the procedure at the time of the government shutdown last October, again voting to bring the bill for a vote, so that he could vote against it thereby claiming “conservative credentials” all the while have enabled the bill to see the light of day in the first place. They bank on we voters remaining largely ignorant of their scandalous manipulations, so that a less-than-vigorous investigation wouldn’t provide much of a surprise. By the way, and by way of evidence of the establishment’s thesis in operation, John Cornyn won his primary by pretending to be a conservative while relying on the longterm detachment and ignorance of voters. Still, roughly forty percent of the Republican electorate in Texas was able to see through his nonsense, but not enough to replace him as our Senator.
My point to you is this: It may be too late to salvage the data, because this has been left withering on the vine for much too long. The list of particulars I provided yesterday should have been exercised more than two years ago, and it should have been done with vigor. If there is no active complicity by Republican leadership, there is at least gross incompetence verging on the criminally negligent. Are we to believe that none of the people in leadership had any idea, and that none of their staff had any idea how to approach such a scandal? Are we to believe they had no access to any person with sufficient technical understanding who would have apprised them of the sort of things that would need to have been done to “disappear” such data? Are we to believe that those who were conducting the preliminary investigations on behalf of House committees could not imagine to immediately contact people specializing in data recovery? Why has it taken until yesterday to discover that the IRS had contracted with Sonasoft? What were these investigators investigating? Didn’t they look at the IT expenditures and contracts of the IRS for clues? You see, once you consider all of this, it’s easier to understand how an observer could reasonably conclude that the Republicans didn’t want to investigate, and having been forced into it by public pressure, have done a half-hearted job of it.
How can we be nearly three years into this investigation, and we’re only now finding there had been a back-up company contracted? I will not be surprised to learn that the IRS contract with Sonasoft required them to hold emails for a period of only three years, so that by now, Lois Lerner’s emails have fallen off the archive due to age. A serious investigation would have immediately discovered the existence of a contract with Sonasoft, and those records could have been pulled three years ago. What will we get as a result? At best, some underlings who were a part of the cover-up will be burned, but the chain of command to the top will be obfuscated, and then we will get some dog-and-pony IRS Reform bill that will require the agency from this date forward to maintain all emails for ten years, or some such thing. Then it will all go away, and the original participants in the scandal of targeting TEA Party groups and their members will be forgotten, and life will go on in Washington DC, with we being the only victims, now poorer and less free, and deprived of justice.
The questions I’ve posed over the last thirty-six hours are the sort I would expect of a serious investigation. To date, we’ve had a lot of finger-waggling by Republicans asking questions of witnesses, but we’ve gotten no meat from these bones. Certainly, it does not help that we have a Department of Justice that is led by a crook and crony, and it does not help that the media covers everything up on behalf of this administration, but if the Republicans had been serious about getting to the bottom of this scandal, they would have taken significantly more exhaustive steps by now, but to date, all they’ve done is generate ominous soundbites that tend to feed the red-meat aspects of politics, yet have resulted in no arrests, no indictments, and no justice. In three years? This scandal is well on its way to becoming a cold case, and that’s just how Washington DC likes it.
Update: The Daily Caller reports that the IRS cancelled its Sonasoft contract only weeks after Lois Lerner’s hard-drive “crash.”