Internal Revenue Commissioner John Koskinen said at a congressional hearing Wednesday that the IRS Inspector General has begun the process of reviewing agency computer backup tapes in an attempt to determine whether or not the missing emails can be recovered.
The agency told law-makers in mid-June that a hard drive belonging to Lois Lerner that contained two years' worth of emails crashed. Lois Lerner is the former division chief who has come under fire for allegedly targeting conservative groups.
Ms. Lerner and her attorney have denied any wrongdoing.
The commissioner previously told lawmakers that the backup tapes had been recycled which lead Republicans to suggest the agency has been far from transparent.
When reminded of his previous statement by Rep. Trey Gowdy (R., S.C.), Commissioner Koskinen said he had no reason to believe any of his earlier statements were false.
According to the House Ways and Means Committee, another IRS employee claimed the hard drive may have only been scratched, therefore, making its data recoverable.
Commissioner Koskinen responded by saying there could have been "a lot of ways" for something like that to have occurred.
"I wouldn't know whether to be concerned or not," Mr. Koskinen said, in response to a question from Rep. Mark Meadows (R., N.C.).
"Well, it concerns me," Mr. Meadows said.
Democrats have grown tired with the investigation, suggesting that Republicans are merely peddling conspiracy theories for political gain at the taxpayers' expense.
Source: McKinnon, John, "Hunt for Missing IRs Emails Resumes," The Wall Street Journal, July 23rd, 2014