GOP begins hunts for lost Lerner emails

Rep. Steve Stockman (R-Texas) is trying to enlist the National Security Agency in the hunt for missing emails to and from the IRS’s Lois Lerner.

In a letter to NSA Director Michael Rogers on Friday, Stockman requested that the NSA turn over information it has about emails between Lerner and outside groups between January 2009 and April 2011.

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The IRS told lawmakers this week that it can’t produce those emails as a result of computer problems, prompting criticism from Republicans who say the agency is impeding the three congressional investigations into IRS practices.

Stockman’s request for the NSA’s “metadata” on the emails comes as congressional Republicans probe whether the IRS mishandled applications for tax-exempt status from Tea Party and conservative groups.

In a statement, Stockman said the NSA’s information “will establish who Lerner contacted and when, which helps investigators determine the extent of illegal activity by the IRS.”

“Your prompt cooperation in this matter will be greatly appreciated and will help establish how IRS and other personnel violated rights protected by the First Amendment,” Rogers wrote.