Lois Lerner, the former IRS exec. at the heart of the Tea Party targeting scandal that prevented conservative groups from obtaining tax-exempt status, is now demanding secrecy for an upcoming deposition in a class-action lawsuit.
Lerner says she is willing to testify, but that by doing so it could put her life in “serious jeopardy.” Lerner says she has already faced “harassment and death threats” for her role in the tax agency’s targeting scandal, and worries what will happen to her and her family if her version of the story becomes public.
The groups suing the IRS have objected to Lerner’s secrecy demand, leaving the matter up to Judge Barrett.
Lois Lerner miraculously escaped prosecution in 2015 when Obama’s justice department decided not to file charges against anyone involved in the targeting scandal. Now that the Trump Administration is in charge, Republicans are asking AG Jeff Sessions to consider prosecuting her.
Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX), Chairman of the tax policy-writing Ways and Means Committee, has asked Sessions to take a “fresh look” at the case. His committee referred Lerner for prosecution in 2014.
“The notion of weaponizing the IRS is so corrosive to our democracy, we ought not to let the statute of limitations lapse without taking another look at it,” said Peter Roskam (R-IL), another member of the Ways and Means Committee.
When Obama’s DOJ decided not to punish Lerner, “the agency was following President Obama’s signal on how he wanted the investigation to be handled,” wrote Brady and Roskam in a joint letter to Sessions. “Taxpayers deserve to know that the DOJ’s previous evaluation was not tainted by politics.”
The IRS started targeting conservative groups’ applications for tax-exempt status in 2010, delaying approval in the years and months leading up to the 2012 presidential election. Without tax-exempt status, these groups were unable to fully operate during that time. Some groups are still waiting for approval.
Lois Lerner was head of the IRS tax-exempt status division as the time. In 2013, she said low-level employees were responsible for targeting groups based on political ideology.
As I mentioned above, the House Ways and Means Committee voted to refer Lerner for criminal prosecution in 2014.
“The Committee found that Ms. Lerner used her position to improperly influence IRS action against conservative organizations, denying these groups due process and equal protection rights under the law,” said Roskam and Brady. “The Committee also found she impeded official investigations by providing misleading statements in response to questions from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration.”
“Finally, Lerner risked exposing, and may actually have disclosed, confidential taxpayer information, in apparent violation of Internal Revenue Code section 6103 by using her personal email to conduct official business.”
Despite all the evidence, the Obama Administration did nothing.
Editor’s note: Lois Lerner is a political hack whose actions contradict the Constitution itself.