Marilyn Tavenner, the head of the Centers for Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services who presided over the Obama administration’s disastrous roll-out of Healthcare.gov, may have deleted e-mails subpoenaed by the House Oversight Committee, according to a newly released letter from the Department of Health and Human Services.
“While we have not identified any specific e-mails that we will be unable to retrieve, it is possible that some e-mails may not be available to [the CMS], and we are therefore filing this memorandum,” said a CMS public-information officer.
Republicans are already drawing comparisons between this batch of missing e-mails and those of Lois Lerner at the IRS.
In a written statement released this afternoon, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee chairman Darrell Issa (R., Calif.), said:
Today’s news that a senior HHS executive destroyed emails relevant to a congressional investigation means that the Obama Administration has lost or destroyed emails for more than 20 witnesses, and in each case, the loss wasn’t disclosed to the National Archives or Congress for months or years, in violation of federal law.
It defies logic that so many senior Administration officials were found to have ignored federal recordkeeping requirements only after Congress asked to see their emails. Just this week, my staff followed up with HHS, who has failed to comply with a subpoena from ten months ago. Even at that point, the administration did not inform us that there was a problem with Ms. Tavenner’s email history. Yet again, we discover that this Administration will not be forthright with the American people unless cornered.
As I write this afternoon, this isn’t the only instance where the Obama administration has been less than transparent. Read my piece here.
— Jillian Kay Melchior writes for National Review as a Thomas L. Rhodes Fellow for the Franklin Center. She is also a senior fellow at the Independent Women’s Forum.