Reggie Walton Seems to Think that the IRS Scandal Is a Real Scandal

And since he is a federal judge, and everything, his thoughts carry a fair amount of weight:

IRS attorneys will be even busier than normal next week, because another federal judge has told them to show up in court July 11 to defend the federal tax agency.

They will have to explain to U.S. District Court Judge Reggie Walton why the IRS shouldn’t be required to let an outside expert evaluate whether emails on the computer hard drives of former IRS official Lois Lerner and six colleagues really are lost forever, as the agency recently told Congress.

Responding to a motion filed Monday by True the Vote, a Houston-based conservative nonprofit at the center of IRS targeting during the 2010 and 2012 campaigns, Walton issued an order Tuesday to hear arguments next week.

The IRS recently told Congress that a mysterious crash of the hard drives last year irretrievably destroyed nearly two years of emails to and from Lerner and the others to and from people in other federal agencies, including the White House.

But True the Vote wants a digital forensics expert from outside the IRS to assess the evidence.

“Even if the ill-timed hard drive ‘crash’ was truly an accident, and even if the IRS genuinely believes that the emails are ‘unrecoverable,’ the circumstances of the spoliation at issue cry out for a second opinion,” True the Vote’s attorneys told Walton in the motion filed late Monday.

“It may well prove to be the case that a computer forensics expert could recover evidence that the IRS has been unable to retrieve.

I double-dog dare the IRS to tell Judge Walton why an outside forensics consultant should not be allowed to even try to recover the lost e-mails. It should make for amusing legal and political theater.