IRS Wins First Match in Lerner Emails Case

Yesterday, Judge Reggie Walton of the U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia said plaintiffs True the Vote have failed to show they or their legal case would suffer “irreparable harm” by failing to grant an injunction requiring IRS to allow an outside forensics expert to assist in the recovery attempt of the lost emails; and that granting such injunction could harm the public interest in allowing the third-party investigator access to tax return information. The Judge further noted the Treasury Inspector General is currently conducting an investigation of the matter, also using outside IT experts, and this investigation does not risk exposing taxpayer data (albeit where he got the latter is beyond me, an outside expert is an outside expert, no?).

This does not mean IRS has won the suit. We’re not anywhere near actually bringing the suit before the court and trying it, yet. The current process is called “discovery” and basically means the lawdogs on both sides tell the other team the evidence they intend to introduce when we get around to having the actual trial. (The Ted Stevens conviction in Alaska was vacated posthumously when prosecutors withheld exculpatory evidence, technically because they didn’t let the defense “discover” all they knew.) The Judge’s decision does not end discovery, he merely decided not to grant an injunction for “expedited” discovery. Many lawsuits proceed no farther than the discovery phase, and this case may be the same. Indeed, some suits are filed for the purpose of discovery and nothing more; this can force your opponent to admit things he’d rather keep quiet. Once discovery is complete, it is sometimes easy to see which side is going to win if it goes to trial. This puts great pressure on the losers to settle. What all this basically means is not much more will happen with this suit until the IG report is published and digested by both sides. There is no mention of consideration of an appeal regarding the denied injunction.

So, the case is moving forward, in the excruciatingly slow manner the legal process operates. This was an attempt by plaintiffs to speed things up. It didn’t work. Move along folks, nothing to see here. Not a smidgeon of corruption.


themaskedblogger is a native born Texan, a registered voter and possessed of some minimal ability to read, write and think.

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