U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew responds to accusations that the IRS obstructed the search for emails, saying ''sometimes a broken hard drive is just a broken hard drive.'' Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
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U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew testifies before the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee hearing on the Financial Stability Oversight Council's annual report, on Capitol Hill Wednesday (June 25).
He responded to Republicans accusing the Internal Revenue Service of hiding emails written by a former senior official and obstructing a congressional inquiry into a controversy involving past IRS treatment of conservative groups.
In May 2013, Lois Lerner, who headed an IRS unit involved in applying extra scrutiny to conservative political groups' applications for tax-exempt status, apologized in public for what she called "inappropriate" review of conservative groups' applications. Republicans have been investigating since then.
Although Lerner retired in September 2013, the controversy leapt back into the headlines last week when the IRS said a computer crash had caused it to lose emails written by Lerner, angering Republican investigators who want the emails for review.
Senator David Vitter of Louisiana grilled Lew over the hard drive crash, asking him "do you personally believe that 'crash' was truly an accident and a coincidence?"
After an exchange, Lew replied; "Senator, sometimes a broken hard drive is just a broken hard drive."