(NaturalNews) Not much has changed in Washington, D.C., since the days when Richard Nixon occupied the Oval Office. When scandal arises, perpetrators move to cover their tracks.
As investigators began looking into the famed Watergate scandal more than 40 years ago, Nixon's secretary, Rose Mary Woods, erased incriminating sections of tape recordings.
Today, in the 21st century, Washington doesn't use tape recorders much anymore. Such devices have been replaced by digital communications, including email, for instance.
You may remember that shortly after the 2012 elections revelations began surfacing that some officials at the Internal Revenue Service were believed to have directed extra scrutiny toward Tea Party groups seeking tax-exempt status. The extra scrutiny paid to these groups resulted in a delay in approval of those applications, meaning that they did not have their tax-exempt status prior to the 2012 elections and therefore could not participate fully in the electoral process.
In investigating the scandal, House Republicans have sought out email communications to and from Lois Lerner, a top IRS official in the chain of approval of tax exempt status for groups seeking same. Only, Lerner has been unable to turn over those emails because, well, a half-dozen relevant hard drives from her computer and others related to the investigation suddenly, and mysteriously, "crashed." As such, those emails are now, we're being told, lost forever.
'I don't believe you'
As documented by James Poulos at The Daily Beast:
Reminiscent of nothing so much as Nixon secretary Rose Mary Woods's infamous selective erasures of her boss's tapes, today's sought-after communiques are, we are told, victim of a crashed computer and a failed hard drive, both belonging to Lois Lerner, the chief of the IRS tax-exempt office at the center of the controversy.
And in good Nixonian style, it's not just Lerner whose emails have gone unaccounted for. Six more IRS employees connected to the original targeting outrage have records the agency cannot submit to Congress--including Nikole Flax, chief of staff to the man eventually fired for his role in targeting conservative groups while serving as acting commissioner.
Best of all, from a salacious standpoint, congressional investigators now know that the IRS kept the missing emails a secret since perhaps February of this year.
As you might imagine, Republican lawmakers are screaming anew that the IRS scandal they thought had reached its pinnacle has now suddenly grown exponentially.
During testimony from current IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, a career government bureaucrat who was on the board of government lender Freddie Mac when it nearly went bankrupt in 2008, and who is a longtime donor to Democrats, Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., the 2012 GOP vice presidential candidate, said what many Americans are feeling.
"This is unbelievable," Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., angrily told Koskinen. "That's your problem. Nobody believes you."
Koskinen responded, "I have a long career. That's the first time anyone's said I don't believe you."
"I don't believe you," Ryan shot back.
Could this be it for Obama?
Of the myriad of scandals that have struck the Obama White House -- Benghazi, Fast and Furious, the VA -- this one is the most serious because it involves an agency that touches the lives of every adult in the country: the IRS. The power to tax and collect is also the power to destroy, and Americans instinctively know and understand that; there is nothing more frightening than getting a letter from the IRS in the mail.
As for Obama, he's got a public perception problem now regarding the scandal: He has publicly said there was "not a smidgen of corruption" attached to it, but that's so obviously not true now. What's more, depending on where the scandal originated, the President could be facing a huge backlash.
"Nixon's biggest mistake wasn't the break-in, it was the cover-up attempt, and that's what ended up sinking him," Chris Bedford, managing editor of The Daily Caller, told Boston Herald Radio, "and if it shows that what was originally just talked about was a couple of midlevel IRS bureaucrats or one lone wolf IRS bureaucrat turns out to have some kind of connection to the White House or to his advisers or somewhere higher up the chain ... they would be in a lot of trouble."