Former IRS Head Lois Lerner Wants Testimony Sealed Permanently

While she was director of the Internal Revenue Service, Lois Lerner targeted conservative Tea Party groups by denying or delaying tax-exempt status due to their political leanings in opposition to the Obama administration.

That is fact. The IRS admitted wrong-doing in this stunning "apology":

“The IRS admits that its treatment of Plaintiffs during the tax-exempt determination process, including screening their applications based on their names or policy positions, subjecting those applications to heightened scrutiny and inordinate delays, and demanding some Plaintiffs’ information that TIGTA determined was unnecessary to the agency’s determination of their tax-exempt status, was wrong. For such treatment, the IRS expresses its sincere apology.”

Lerner has testified in a class-action lawsuit brought by Tea Party groups. Last week, she told a federal court that her life could be in jeopardy if the tapes and transcripts of her depositions — as well as those of her deputy, Holly Paz — are ever released.

Court documents, reviewed by Fox News, said the “public dissemination of their deposition testimony would expose them and their families to harassment and a credible risk of violence and physical harm.”

“Whenever Mss. Lerner and Paz have been in the media spotlight, they have faced death threats and harassment,” the documents stated. “Returning Mss. Lerner and Paz to the media spotlight places them at risk, regardless of what they actually said in those depositions.”

The documents also stated that: “Public exposure will put innocent bystanders, namely Mss. Lerner’s and Paz’s family members (including young children), at risk, too.”

The Washington Times reports that the government "settled the class-action lawsuit in Ohio and another tea party challenge in the District of Columbia in two agreements last month, admitting to the illegal behavior. The Ohio settlement also called for the government to pay $3.5 million to the tea party groups, according to one of the plaintiffs."

During the course of the Ohio case, the tea party groups filed thousands of pages of documents, but testimony from Ms. Lerner and Ms. Paz was left out of the public record because of their earlier request for privacy.

Now Ms. Lerner and Ms. Paz say that since the case has been settled, there is no reason for their testimony to ever become public.

“The voluminous record of harassment and physical threats to Mss. Lerner and Paz and their families during the pendency of this litigation provides a compelling reason to seal the materials,” the women’s attorneys said.

They particularly blamed Mark Meckler, a tea party leader whose organization helped fund the class-action lawsuit, saying he helped stoke the threats against them by calling IRS agents “criminal thugs.”

Mr. Meckler laughed when he learned about the filing.

“Four years of harassing innocent American citizens for their political beliefs, and she’s scared of a guy in a cowboy hat talking to a bunch of little old ladies at a tea party event?” he said, recounting the speech where he called IRS agents “thugs.”

“The reality is because she knows she is guilty as the day is long and she doesn’t want people to know what she actually did,” he said.

“It’s hard to have any sympathy for the women. And frankly, I don’t believe she’s genuinely scared,” he added.

 
 
 

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