At the weekly press conference with Republican leaders, I discussed the latest inexcusable claim by the Internal Revenue Service for how they lost two years of Lois Lerner’s emails.
The IRS not only kept this from our investigation for months, but they also cannot produce records from six other employees tied to improper political targeting.
Lerner’s response to the lost emails was "sometimes stuff just happens." Ironically, "sometimes stuff just happens" is not a valid excuse for Americans if they get audited by the IRS.
This is another example of hypocrisy within a powerful government agency that says "do as I say, not as I do."
Big government has proven time and again it cannot be held accountable. This is what a government looks like when it is too big and out of control — it runs amuck.
IRS investigation
As a member of the Ways and Means Committee, I have experienced firsthand the constant stonewalling and lack of cooperation exhibited by IRS officials.
On Friday, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen testified before my committee and unfortunately there are still many questions to be answered: What rules were broken regarding the preservation of documents? When did you know the documents were lost and why did you not promptly inform the committee rather than bury the news months later in a letter to the Senate Finance Committee?
What happened to the actual hard-drive?
The IRS has a lot of explaining to do and I assure you, I will demand answers and continue our exhaustive investigation to bring accountability back to the American people.
I join with those on the committee in again calling for a special prosecutor to fully investigate the agency.
The lack of action by the administration and its Department of Justice demonstrates they are not taking this matter seriously. Only an independent prosecutor will have the full authority to track the serial number and destruction of the Lerner hard drive, conduct interviews with the IT specialists responsible for the recovery of Lerner’s files who can shed light on the situation, and hopefully, reconstitute Lerner’s emails that exist on IRS servers.
The IRS claims to have lost emails, but the truth is they have lost credibility with the American people.
If they will not take appropriate steps to rebuild that credibility on their own, we will appoint a special prosecutor to go it alone.
Warfighter exercise at Mission Training Complex at Fort Leavenworth
Last week, I was briefed at the Mission Training Complex at Fort Leavenworth as the command and staff training personnel prepare for the largest Warfighter exercise to date.
The complex provides training support for Army National Guard soldiers on today’s cutting edge doctrine and digital systems.
We can all sleep better at night knowing what these men and women are accomplishing in their exercise. I am more impressed after each visit to Leavenworth, and proud to have some of the best and brightest in the Armed Forces in Eastern Kansas.
Prairie Band Potawatomi Pow-Wow and Cultural Celebration
Last weekend, I was invited to attend the annual Prairie Band Pow-Wow. The Pow-Wow and Cultural Exchange is an amazing gathering of dancers, singers, and drummers from across our country.
People even traveled from as far as Canada to join the festivities and I want to thank the Prairie Band for the invitation.