House GOPers Propose $1M Bounty For Lost IRS Emails

AP

Two House Republicans proposed legislation this week that would offer a whopping $1 million reward to anyone who could track down missing emails that may shed light on the IRS’ scrutiny of political groups.

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) and Rep. Bill Flores (R-TX) introduced the “Identify and Recover Sent E-Mails Act” with a promise to dole out $1 million to any individual or group who can locate emails that disappeared from former IRS official Lois Lerner’s hard drive when it crashed in 2011. They would also award $500,000 for information about the potential destruction of those emails that could be used to prosecute any individuals involved. Those funds would come out of the IRS’ budget.

In an appearance Friday on Fox News, Gohmert was asked why he felt it necessary to offer such a hefty reward.

“Well, you can do it one of two ways. You can have a Justice Department that’s actually involved in justice and they will use pressure and they’ll get it done,” Gohmert said on “America’s Newsroom.” “We don’t have a Justice Department. We have a ‘just us’ department, or an injustice department. So the only other way is to use the carrot method.”

He added that the bill had a “stick” in addition to the carrot — it would reduce the salaries of IRS employees by 20 percent until the lost emails were recovered.

Gohmert pitched his bill more seriously than Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX), who introduced a “The Dog Ate My Tax Receipts Act” earlier this week to troll the IRS for its record-keeping failures.

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Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at catherine@talkingpointsmemo.com.
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