Justice Dept. investigating missing IRS emails

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department says it's investigating the circumstances behind the disappearance of emails from a former senior Internal Revenue Service official.

Deputy Attorney General James Cole says in prepared testimony to Congress that investigators are looking into missing emails from the computer of Lois Lerner. Cole is scheduled to appear Thursday before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

Lerner's computer crashed in June 2011, resulting in the loss of records that are sought in investigations into whether the agency targeted conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status. At the time, the agency tried to recover Lerner's records, without success.

Lerner is at the center of the controversy and has refused to answer questions from Congress, citing her Fifth Amendment right not to incriminate herself.

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