"My hard drive crashed!"
In the spring of this year, Federal Elections Commission employee, April Sands, resigned her position after admitting to violating the Hatch Act - the law that puts restrictions on the ability of government officials to conduct political activities while on the job, or from government offices.
House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa made a formal request to the FEC for information from Ms. Sands' computer to determine if criminal charges should be brought against her. In a shockingly non-surprising coincidence, the FEC reported back to Mr. Issa that Ms. Sands' hard drive had crashed and the information he sought was unavailable. Imagine that. What are the odds?
Since the beginning of the year Congressional investigators have subpoenaed the IRS, the EPA, and now the FEC for information on computers of various employees and former employees who are the subjects of investigations. In the case of the IRS, seven different employees apparently suffered hard drive crashes just before the House Oversight Committee requested information. Again I ask - what are the odds that of all the individuals subpoenaed by Congress in the IRS investigation - seven out of seven suffered hard drive malfunctions with complete loss of information. Really?
What's also interesting (and just as unbelievable) is that the agencies say because of the hard drive crashes none of the information is recoverable. E-mails are never supposed to disappear completely and yet in the federal government, which is notorious for replication of paperwork and information, when a hard drive crashes the information is supposedly just gone and the hard drive itself is recycled. And they have only temporary backup systems according to IRS officials. (Of course they discontinued their contract backup arrangement soon after learning they were under investigation. Nothing suspicious there, either.)
Having worked in federal law enforcement I can tell you this would be completely unacceptable in my agency. Every bit of information generated was treated as if it would one day end up in court. It was duplicated, backed up, printed and stored... I simply cannot believe that the IRS, which requires each of us to maintain at least 7 years of tax files on hand, only saves computer information for six months. And anyone who does believe it should really consider it logically.
Yes - the new answer to a Congressional investigation is "My hard drive crashed. Sorry." Amazingly, some people find this to be acceptable and not suspicious.
Even with the IRS' attempts to hide facts from Congress there is now enough information against Lois Lerner that the House Sergeant at Arms has been instructed to arrest her. Of course, they'll probably never see her again without some kind of deal finally being made. And maybe it's time. Maybe she should receive immunity in return for her honest, open testimony concerning who is involved and who gave the orders.
If and when Representative Trey Gowdy gets close to getting answers concerning what really happened in Benghazi I expect the Defense Department, the State Department and the White House to suddenly announce they all had hard drive failures in the last few months and none of the information Mr. Gowdy has requested is available. After the failure of the "video" story and the information that was released by the Hillary camp saying she objected to Obama's decision to use that story, all agencies involved will have to figure out how to avoid the real information being discovered.
"Congressman - all of the computers from which you have subpoenaed information suffered crashes of their hard drives about six months ago. We simply forgot to tell you until you pressed us on it. So what difference, at this point, does it make?"