The two House committees and the Senate Finance Committee are investigating the IRS over its handling of tea party applications from 2010 to 2012. The Justice Department and the IRS inspector general are also investigating.
Congressional investigators have shown that IRS officials in Washington were closely involved in handling tea party applications, many of which languished for more than a year without action. But so far, they have not publicly produced evidence that anyone outside the agency directed the targeting or even knew about it.
If anyone outside the agency was involved, investigators were hoping for clues in Lerner's emails.
Lerner's computer crashed in the summer of 2011, depriving investigators of many of her prior emails. Flax's computer crashed in December 2011, Camp and Boustany said.
The IRS said Friday that technicians went to great lengths trying to recover data from Lerner's computer in 2011. In emails provided by the IRS, technicians said they sent the computer to a forensic lab run by the agency's criminal investigations unit. But to no avail.
The IRS was able to generate 24,000 Lerner emails from the 2009 to 2011 period because Lerner had copied in other IRS employees. Overall, the IRS said it is producing a total of 67,000 emails to and from Lerner, covering the period from 2009 to 2013.
The IRS said Friday more than 250 IRS employees have been working to assist congressional investigations, spending nearly $10 million to produce more than 750,000 documents.
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