The top U.S. official in charge of archiving federal records testified Tuesday that the IRS ran afoul of the law by neglecting to tell his office that a trove of emails from the woman at the center of the targeting scandal disappeared after an apparent hard drive crash.

Archivist of the U.S. David Ferriero, speaking before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, made clear that federal agencies are supposed to report whenever their records are destroyed or even accidentally deleted. But he said that after emails from embattled IRS official Lois Lerner vanished after a computer failure in 2011, nobody told the National Archives.

“They did not follow the law,” Ferriero said.

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