Rep. Issa on seeking missing ObamaCare e-mails

This is a rush transcript from "Your World," August 8, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: What is it with the government and all these disappearing e-mails? It's like the dog ate my homework again and again and again.

First Lois Lerner at the IRS, right? Now it's Marilyn Tavenner and ObamaCare. Tavenner playing a very key role, you might recall, in the pretty rocky rollout of the health care law. And Congress wants to read her e-mails to help figure out what went wrong. There's only one tiny little problem. Those e-mail are gone.

To the man leading the investigation, Republican Chairman of the House Oversight Committee Darrell Issa.

Chairman, what did she say happened to them?

REP. DARRELL ISSA, R-CALIF., OVERSIGHT AND GOVERNMENT REFORM COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN: Well, she isn't saying directly, but on her behalf, they're saying that she may not have properly forwarded or saved a number of e- mails during the critical days when she was making a decision to sign a go- ahead on a site that wasn't ready, something that was unprecedented for a head of an agency to do even when her own security -- technology security officer was saying, don't do it.

CAVUTO: All right.

Well, normally, if you improperly forward something or inadvertently delete something, they're on a server or they exist somewhere. Do you think they're somewhere else and they're just not giving them to you?

ISSA: Well, we hope they're somewhere else. But, again, 10 months after we issued a subpoena, only when we said, where is our subpoena documents did they come clean that they may not have all of them.

But, Neil, one of the important things -- you're exactly right -- when we issued the subpoena, they had tape backups of those e-mails going back at least six months, if it was similar to the IRS, perhaps more, and one of our questions is going to be, do you still have those tape backups or were they destroyed even after a subpoena was issued for those documents?

CAVUTO: Excuse my ignorant question. Can you subpoena a server or a mainframe or a computer or box to get the hands on it yourself?

ISSA: We do have and have received things like complete hard drives on occasions. For the most part, if it's duplicatable, we ask for the image, in other words, a copy of the tape, a copy of the information, so that they have a copy and we have a copy, and we give the minority a copy.

In this case, they certainly should be able to give us a copy of every backup tape that was made if that -- if they have not been destroyed. And that's what we're going to be seeking is, this is not years ago. This was a very short period of time ago. This was critical. She made a decision, and we want to know why she made a decision to go forward with a site that was never ready for prime time, even after $800 million had been spent.

CAVUTO: Do you really need the e-mails to know that it was a time pressure constraint?

ISSA: That's a good question.

The American people deserve to know that the process is being fixed. Right now, the process isn't being fixed. Legislation has been waiting for the Senate to act that would guarantee that a chief information officer would have budget responsibility and authority.

Right now, the president hasn't been willing to make those changes, and that's part of the reason we keep pressing, is so the American people know there are management fixes that could prevent this in the future, but we don't trust an administration to do it without signing a law that says he has to do it, that a chief information officer needs to be a responsible party with authority, which in this case they were not.

CAVUTO: Chairman, thank you very, very much.

ISSA: Thank you, Neil.

CAVUTO: Good seeing you again.

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