TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

The IRS Scandal, Day 1671: Lois Lerner’s Secrets

IRS Logo 2Wall Street Journal editorial, Lois Lerner’s Secrets: The Former IRS Official Wants a Court to Seal Her Testimony:

If only the National Security Agency were as good at keeping secrets as Lois Lerner. When news that the IRS had targeted conservative groups led to congressional hearings, the former director of the Exempt Organizations division declared her innocence and then clammed up. Now she and her former IRS associate, Holly Paz, are asking a federal judge to seal forever their depositions in a lawsuit that the IRS settled last month for $3.5 million.

Ms. Lerner and Ms. Paz say they or their families have endured harassment or death threats. But Edward Greim, the attorney for the roughly 400 tea-party clients who sued, notes in reply that the last threat Ms. Lerner and Ms. Paz cited was from early 2014.

Leave aside that the usual way of dealing with threats or harassment is to notify police or the FBI—not to keep information about an abuse of power by public officials from the public. Every other party is united for disclosure: the defense (i.e., the government, which has admitted wrongdoing and apologized); the plaintiffs; and the Cincinnati Enquirer, which has filed a motion to lift the seal. ...

American taxpayers who will fork out $3.5 million for Ms. Lerner’s actions have a right to hear how she justified what she did at the IRS.

http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2017/12/the-irs-scandal-day-1671-lois-lerners-secrets.html

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Comments

Yes, indeed. Let the sun shine in.

Posted by: Dale Spradling | Dec 5, 2017 4:14:29 AM

So, she commits blatantly illegal acts and abuses her power and we should not learn about it because people would get very angry. HUH? I'm obviously too stupid to understand. If she engaged in abuses of power that would make people very angry, aren't those exactly what we should be learning about? I am obviously not smart enough to figure this one out. Help?

Posted by: Mark Schirmer | Dec 5, 2017 8:50:26 AM

If they aren't released, you can bet some congress critters had their fingers in this pie and they don't want their names associated with it, people like John McCain. You know the Democrats wanted these groups dealt with, but there are a lot of Republicans who wanted this also, which is why we don't know already.

Posted by: bflat879 | Dec 5, 2017 10:11:01 AM

Cry us a river, Lois. Front-line IRS employees (Revenue Officers and Special Agents) get threats all the time, and they testify in open court. You are lucky you aren't in federal prison. What are you hiding? (btw: The job of those front-line employees is more difficult because your actions damaged the reputation of the service.)

Posted by: Smitty | Dec 5, 2017 12:08:01 PM

I wonder who is paying her legal fees.

Posted by: Eric Rasmusen | Dec 6, 2017 6:38:34 AM

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