CROWLEY: Lois Lerner is still silent, but, today, her attorney steps into the limelight, for the first time on TV, to tell us what happened to those e-mails.
William Taylor, you are here with us exclusively. And I thank you so much for being here.
WILLIAM TAYLOR, ATTORNEY FOR LOIS LERNER: Nice to be here. CROWLEY: So, what is her story? I know you're in frequent contact with her. What did she say happened to those e-mails?
TAYLOR: Well, it's not just what she said. The record that was created at the time in terms of e-mails is undisputed.
She walked into the office one day, and her screen went blue. She asked for help in restoring it. And the I.T. people came and attempted to restore it. They even went so far as to send it to another expert to try to restore the e-mails.
There's 2,000 e-mail crashes -- there's 2,000 computer crashes in the IRS since January 1 of this year. It's no -- it's not...
CROWLEY: Are all of them irretrievable?
TAYLOR: I don't know, but I...
CROWLEY: I think that's what is sort of blowing people's minds, is, we get it that computers crash. But to then say, you know what, we couldn't get it, and so then we shredded the hard drive, you know, as an attorney, that that's one of the things you would pounce on and go whoa, whoa, whoa, wait a minute. TAYLOR: Sure.
TAYLOR: But, you know, you do the best you can under the circumstances. Nobody was thinking about trying to keep anything from being discovered. She was as upset as anybody else was about the loss of the e- mails and the other documents which were on there, which were quite important to her. But the truth is, this -- this was one of those things that happened. At the time, she did everything she could to retrieve it. She reported it right away, and that's the story. That's all there is to it.
CROWLEY: And you -- but you understand why it seems suspicious, because this covers a period of time when the activity that was the original point of this investigation was going on.
That is, were these conservative groups being targeted by her unit at the IRS? You say you think it's a little brazen to suggest that she did this on purpose, but you do get the suspicion?
TAYLOR: Well, I get that it's convenient to create suspicion.
Actually, the e-mails that are missing are way before the time in which Congressman Issa and his colleagues are suggesting that there was -- there was unfairness or anything like it at the IRS. The truth is, these e-mails predate most anything that's of any relevance to anybody.
But you can see why it's convenient to say, there's a computer crash and therefore there must be something nefarious going on. Lois Lerner is a lifetime federal employee. She's not a political employee. She's done...
CROWLEY: I believe Chairman Issa called her a liar, and maybe you as well.
TAYLOR: He called me -- he called me one, too. And I won't respond to that, except that -- except to say he's wrong.
It's convenient. This is an election-year politics. It's convenient to have a demon that they can create and point to. Let me tell you something basic about this. People who want to give money to elections and do so in a tax-free way have to submit themselves to the scrutiny of the IRS to be sure that they're complying with the rules that limit political activity.
If the IRS is not looking at political activity in the (c)(4) applications, which is what this is, they're not doing what they're supposed to be doing. So, it's like saying they're examining us for political activity, when that's exactly the criteria that they're submitting for their applications.