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Jun 13, 2014 4:44 PM

IRS lost emails by official in tea party probe

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Internal Revenue Service says it has lost a trove of emails to and from a central figure in the agency's tea party controversy.

The IRS told congressional investigators Friday it cannot locate many of Lois Lerner's emails prior to 2011 because her computer crashed that year. Lerner headed the IRS division that processed applications for tax-exempt status.

The IRS acknowledged last year that agents had improperly scrutinized applications for tax-exempt status by tea party and other conservative groups.

The IRS was able to generate 24,000 Lerner emails from 2009 to 2011 because Lerner had copied in other IRS employees. But an untold number are gone.

Rep. Dave Camp, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, says it's unacceptable that he is just learning about the lost emails.

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