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Answers sought in missing IRS emails

Anger rekindled over scrutiny of tea party groups

– Congressional Republicans are demanding answers from the Internal Revenue Service after the agency lost more than two years of emails requested by lawmakers.

The emails belonged to Lois Lerner, who was director of exempt organizations during the period when the IRS gave extra scrutiny to some tea party groups asking for tax-exempt status.

“It’s now quite obvious that we haven’t seen the last of the administration’s stalling,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Tuesday. “Let’s just skip past the ‘dog ate my homework’ excuses.”

The leaders of two congressional committees are seeking testimony from IRS Commissioner John Koskinen to explain why the emails can’t be produced and why he didn’t tell lawmakers sooner about a computer crash.

“I will not tolerate your continued obstruction and game-playing in response to the committee’s investigation of the IRS targeting,” Rep. Darrell Issa, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, wrote in a letter late Monday to Koskinen.

It was attached to a subpoena for the commissioner to appear June 23.

Koskinen will first testify at the Ways and Means Committee on June 20, the committee said Tuesday.

The IRS told lawmakers last week that a computer crash destroyed some of Lerner’s emails between January 2009 and April 2011.

The IRS’s disclosure of the lost emails rekindled Republicans’ frustration with the agency and concern that it was targeting President Barack Obama’s political opponents and trying to cover that up.