Another twist in the lost Lois Lerner email investigation as it appears the sought after correspondences may not be lost after all.

It's part of the Republican probe into whether the IRS unjustly targeted Tea Party groups.

The claim from Lerner and IRS officials is that the emails were lost, and all associated emails were also gone because of a hard drive crash in 2011.

Republicans now say they've learned the hard drive was just scratched, and the emails may be recoverable.

Fox News reports the Inspector General's Office plan to review hard drive and tapes - which IRS officials claimed had been wiped out and/or recycled:

Investigators in Congress and with the inspector general's office want to see those backup tapes because of the possibility they might contain emails that otherwise were lost in Lerner's apparent hard drive crash in 2011. Lerner is the former IRS official at the center of the controversy over agency targeting of conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status -- the agency's acknowledgement last month that years' worth of emails were lost has infuriated GOP investigators.

The so-called backup tapes are considered a last resort option for recovering any missing emails. Though certain federal employees are supposed to store certain communications, the backup tape system was used at the IRS to store such data for a six-month period.