TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron
Pepperdine University School of Law

Saturday, April 15, 2017

The IRS Scandal, Day 1437: Lois Lerner Fears For Her Life, Asks Federal Court To Seal Her Upcoming Deposition Testimony

IRS Logo 2Washington Times, Lois Lerner Demands Secrecy, Blames Death Threats Over IRS Tea Party Targeting:

Former IRS senior executive Lois G. Lerner told a federal court this week that she faces the possibility of death threats if her role in the tax agency’s tea party-targeting becomes public, and asked a judge to forever seal her upcoming deposition in a class-action lawsuit brought by hundreds of groups that were targeted.

Mr. Lerner and Holly Paz, another figure from the IRS tea party targeting, told the judge they’ve already faced “harassment and death threats” before, and said they fear another media firestorm if their version of events from the tea party targeting were to become public.

The two women said they are willing to testify, but said they could be putting “their lives in serious jeopardy.”

“Mss. Lerner and Paz have demonstrated that the public dissemination of their deposition testimony would expose them and their families to harassment and a credible risk of violence and physical harm,” they said in documents submitted by their lawyer to Judge Michael R. Barrett. ...

The class action lawsuit involves 428 groups who were snared by the IRS targeting procedures. That case, which is being heard in a federal court in Ohio, is in the discovery phase, and Ms. Lerner and Ms. Paz are supposed to give testimony. ...

Meanwhile, in Washington, D.C., two cases brought by tea party groups are proceeding. A judge on Wednesday granted limited discovery in those cases, ordering the IRS to detail its past and current approval processes for tax-exempt organizations. Judge Reggie B. Walton also said the groups could depose Tamera L. Ripperda, a former IRS employee who ran the Cincinnati office that processed the applications. The groups also can depose the unnamed IRS employee who currently holds that same post.

http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2017/04/the-irs-scandal-day-1437-lois-lerner-fears-for-her-life-asks-federal-court-to-seal-her-upcoming-depo.html

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Comments

Yet when this unelected Bureaucrat attempted to destroy countless lives the Citizens didn't have any protection from the IRS.

America has a crime syndicate, not a Govt.

Posted by: Fisht | Apr 15, 2017 8:56:01 AM

I do not understand how these two former USG employees expect any anonymity. If the employee is in a classified capacity, sure, but with the IRS? Seems ridiculous.

Posted by: AnneG | Apr 15, 2017 9:07:23 AM

These political bureaucrats should be facing long, long jail sentences. C'mon Sessions, where's the special prosecutor?

Posted by: VoteOutIncumbents | Apr 15, 2017 9:54:48 AM

With the assumption of innocence that all are granted, we must assume that nothing Mrs. Lerner will say can, or will, be detrimental to her. The Truth will set you Free, Mrs. Lerner!

Posted by: Thomas Hazlewood | Apr 15, 2017 10:26:19 AM

Leaving aside the fact that there have been no reports of actual violence committed against either of these former officials or their families, which I'll interpret as more dishonesty by these career lawyers, this is just another attempt to obfuscate the facts and prevent the public from learning the whole story. I'm all broken up about these folks, given their excuses, pleading the 5th, or refusing the cooperate with a Congressional investigation. Absolutely gorgeous...

It's ironic considering that actual violence has been perpetrated against real and perceived Trump supporters on certain college campuses, who've been sent to the hospital. And the parties responsible, I'm still waiting to see any kind of prosecutorial justice...

Posted by: MM | Apr 15, 2017 10:38:57 AM

Paul, Thank you for your amazing and tenacious devotion to this ongoing issue. When future histories are written about the politicization and weaponizing of the IRS, your role as archivist is going to play a major role in providing source material for those histories. Bravo, sir!

Posted by: Joe F. | Apr 15, 2017 11:20:19 AM

This is easy. If Ms. Lerner and Ms. Paz are in fear we should absolutely protect them from being targeted. I'm thinking we should protect them from any harm in someplace like the Supermax facility in Colorado. This would seem to be a place where those nasty people who were targets of Ms. Lerner and Ms. Pas could be kept at bay.

Posted by: Cara Bu | Apr 15, 2017 12:01:58 PM

She should be afraid. If one-quarter of what she has been accused of is true, she should expect to remain behind bars for the remainder of her natural life, along with a considerable number of her former IRS colleagues and most of the Obama Administration. Using the IRS against political enemies was a terrible blow to freedom in this country and we will be a long time in recovering from it.

Posted by: mac | Apr 15, 2017 2:14:58 PM

Jeez, I thought women were supposed to clean up politics because they go there to "make a difference."

Posted by: Dave Mc | Apr 15, 2017 4:31:30 PM

Lerner either should be prosecuted or immunized. But neither will happen, because she is far more valuable as an "issue."

Posted by: Old Hand | Apr 16, 2017 6:59:40 AM

Good point, Joe F.

Posted by: Anon | Apr 17, 2017 7:32:51 PM