Years have passed since news broke that the IRS unfairly and illegally targeted tea party groups for extra screenings regarding their nonprofit status tax exemptions. While the mainstream media has denied or outright ignored the existence of the issue, legal battles have been taking place all the while to hold IRS officials accountable.
Lois Lerner, former IRS director of the Exempt Organizations Unit, spoke in federal court last week. As The Washington Times reported, Lerner said she and her family have faced death threats over the IRS scandal, causing her to fear physical harm if documents go public.
Lerner and her former IRS deputy, Holly Paz, and their legal team, filed documents last week arguing that recordings and transcripts of their court depositions from last year must remain sealed. They say that Lerner’s and Paz’s explanation for targeting tea party groups would enrage Americans and cause them to retaliate.
“Whenever Mss. Lerner and Paz have been in the media spotlight, they have faced death threats and harassment,” the legal team claimed. “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.”
Any harassment received is unarguably wrong and should be immediately condemned. It has no place in a civil society, and is especially uncalled for when the victims are already on trial and employing their right to due process. The justice system can and should prevail without threats from the public. Furthermore, it is wrong and unfortunate for the accused to fear for their lives.
However, it seems unlikely that average Americans would take time out of their day to issue harassment and threats to Lerner or Paz. Right-leaning Americans typically call for justice, not violence. The Right mostly consists of peaceful people who just want to see Lerner meet justice in a federal court for her crimes.
Americans’ frustration — not violent behavior — is warranted. Lerner’s activities at the IRS violated the First Amendment rights of tea party groups and other patriotic Americans. She shut down the legal activities of American taxpayers over the course of four years, and the Obama administration helped cover it up.
Mark Meckler, a tea party leader involved in funding the class-action lawsuit against Lerner, was accused of provoking threats against Learner when he called IRS agents “criminal thugs.” When Meckler learned about the accusation, he laughed at the ridiculousness of the claim. “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 of the speech at which he made the remark.
“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,” Mr. Meckler said. “It’s hard to have any sympathy for the women. And frankly, I don’t believe she’s genuinely scared,” he added.
The Justice Department and the IRS both said Lerner failed to stop IRS employees from targeting the groups, and even helped conceal the acts. The government also admitted that the IRS’ actions included “forc[ing] tea party groups into illegal delays and unconscionable scrutiny, including questions about their political beliefs, plans to run for office and names of financial backers.” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said the actions are inexcusable.
Lois Lerner says she and her family have received death threats as a result of the IRS scandal. Did she treat conservative organizations unfairly when she worked for the IRS?
More than 450 groups were a part of two separate lawsuits against the IRS concerning the IRS targeting, both of which were settled. The case in Ohio resulted in a $3.5 million settlement from the federal government to the groups.
Although the cases are settled, Lerner has not been properly held accountable for her actions. Former-President Obama refused to prosecute her, and Attorney General Sessions has similarly said he will not investigate her — an announcement for which he has been criticized. She appears to evade consequences for her actions, just as Hillary Clinton, and other Obama administration cronies have done.
Hopefully, Lerner’s fate is one of peace. One thing is for certain: the documents must be made public so Americans can know the truth.