Lois Lerner Demands Privacy Protections the IRS Denies Everyday Americans

IRS seizeFile this under “Greatest Ironies in American Political History.”

Disgraced former Internal Revenue Service (IRS) official Lois Lerner recently asked the presiding judge in a recently settled Tea Party lawsuit to seal her testimony to keep it secret from the public.

Readers will recall Ms. Lerner as the central figure in the 2014 scandal that targeted conservative and pro-Israel nonprofit organizations because of their philosophical beliefs.  The resulting outrage was swift, intense and justified.  Even Barack Obama condemned the behavior, before his administration circled its wagons, refused to prosecute her and joined the effort to sweep the entire ordeal under the rug.

When compelled to testify before Congress to answer for her transgressions, Lerner defiantly refused to answer any questions by invoking her Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination.  She ultimately obtained an early retirement, with a full pension paid by the same taxpaying American public whose rights she violated.

Groups whom Lerner and the IRS targeted subsequently sued, resulting in an enormous settlement payout.

Lerner and fellow defendants and her attorneys, however, now seek to seal her testimony forever and impede the American public from ever getting to the bottom of this scandal.  According to their filing, “Public dissemination of their deposition testimony would expose them and their families to harassment and a credible risk of violence and physical harm.”  They further pleaded that Lerner and other defendants’ families, children and other associates might be exposed to harm as well.

You don’t say.  That’s exactly the sort of danger to which everyday Americans have been exposed for simply participating in the political process.

It would be outrageous for the judge to grant Ms. Lerner’s motion, because the American public has a right to examine the entirety of evidence in this scandal, including her testimony.  The IRS is among the most fearsome federal government organizations, and we cannot tolerate the slightest degree of abuse if we hope to maintain a functioning civil society.

Of course, Ms. Lerner’s transgressions are hardly the only example of IRS abuse over the years and decades.  Recently, the IRS settled another lawsuit filed by the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) after IRS officials leaked NOM’s confidential donor information to a hostile organization named the Human Rights Campaign, which subsequently released it to the public.  These and other episodes illustrate the degree to which IRS practices and officials threaten our First Amendment freedoms of speech, association and to petition government for redress of grievances.

Fortunately, Congress and the White House possess a perfect opportunity to prevent future IRS abuses and protect private American donors.

Specifically, lawmakers can eliminate what’s known as the IRS “Schedule B” form containing sensitive identifiable information on donors to nonprofit organizations.  That’s the form by which NOM was targeted, as referenced above.

And this is an easy win for Congress on an issue that maintains not just consensus support among conservatives and libertarians, but unanimous support.

Last year, the House of Representatives passed legislation entitled the “Preventing IRS Abuse and Protecting Free Speech Act,” sponsored by Representative Peter Roskam (R – Illinois).  On the Senate side of Capitol Hill, Republican Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina introduced legislation under the same title.   With the Obama Administration occupying the White House, it stood no chance of becoming law.

Today, however, there’s no conceivable reason for the White House to decline signing it into law, or for Congress to shrink from speeding through a bill that already passed just one year ago.

Even the IRS acknowledges that Schedule B information is inapplicable to the legally permissible handling of 501(c) organization tax filings.  Accordingly, eliminating the Schedule B mandate will only make tax compliance easier and help limit the ability of the IRS and others, including state officials with access to the information, to chill free speech and civic participation among the public. Indeed, the IRS’s own Director of Exempt Organizations has supported eliminating the Schedule B form requirement.

There’s simply no excuse for Congress not to act, which would only allow this threat of IRS or outside abuse to continue.  Eliminating the Schedule B requirement will safeguard Americans’ First Amendment rights, and constitute a victory for private citizens and organizations across the political spectrum against potentially abusive actors inside and outside of government.  The time to act is now.

From - CFIF.org - by Timothy H. Lee

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3 years ago

“According to their filing, “Public dissemination of their deposition testimony would expose them and their families to harassment and a credible risk of violence and physical harm.” They further pleaded that Lerner and other defendants’ families, children and other associates might be exposed to harm as well.” Ms Lerner should have though about the consequences before she and those of her ilk BROKE THE LAW! It seems many dimocrats and those in the “deep state,” plus Hillary and those with which she surrounds herself, think they are simply above the law, and that it doesn’t apply to them. Do we really have two sets of laws in this country? One set for normal, ordinary, tax paying citizens, the other set of laws for those involved with dimocrats, obama, lerner, clinton, abedin and many others who support these misfits of our world and society. They break the laws, then think they should get special treatment because they worked for our United States Government. HA! DON’T THINK SO. Every dog has his/her day. FINALLY, we’re getting ours. It’s been a long time coming. All of the these aforementioned criminals must be routed out and sent to jail. “LOCK THEM UP!” And believe me folks, they are criminals and lawbreakers. There used to be punishment such as hanging, cutting off of hands, fingers, toes, pulling out of teeth without anesthesia, stretching of body parts. But now we are civilized! They have committed TREASON against the peace and dignity of the people of the USA. JUST LOCK THEM UP! NOW! Oh, and by the way, I agree, strip them of any and ALL benefits, otherwise available to government employees upon retirement.

3 years ago

I love Donald Trump, but he sure has picked some losers for high positions. Sure, this lerner woman is spitting in our faces, but nothings going to happen over that. Remember what a big deal it was to get sessions on board? He’s been a major bust. Manafort, mooch,flynn,kushner, many more, i guess Donald has to learn along the way, just like all of us. I do wish he would use his own wit, instead of taking advice from the flavor of the day. Lerner will never be punished

3 years ago

I demand that Lois Lerner spend the rest of her life in prison. Think it will happen? She is a pathetic Liberal, socialist, pig!

3 years ago

She used the power of the federal government to harass and deprive Americans and American organizations. When called by Congress, she evoked the 5th Amendment in refusing to testify, but first began testifying that she did “nothing wrong”. So which was it … testify, or the 5th Amendment. I guess Lois was allowed to start and stop her 5th Amendment rights as she saw fit, did whatever she needed to do, got away with it, suffered no consequence, and retired with a pension. Can’t say “Only In The U.S.” because this lawless junk goes on frequently in countries like Venezuela, El Salvador, etc.. Just remember to buckle your seat belt, there IS a consequence for the “underlings” who fail to obey that law.

3 years ago

This is one of the best reasons to get rid of the IRS and institute FairTax

Thomas Haj
3 years ago

So, the same IRS which knowingly released personal information on conservatives to violent leftists is now being asked to protect a leftist’s personal info. Well, if your side controls the media, you are above the laws reserved for us peons!

Wayne D. Peterkin
3 years ago

The only privacy that Lois Lerner should have should be from her prison cell. Using the IRS as a political weapon cannot ever be tolerated, and that is exactly what she did. Lock her up!

3 years ago

My question is Why was she allowed to retire with taxpayer paid pension and not charged with a felony and put into prison. She should be stripped of any pension and/or retirement benefits other than what she could have saved. But certainly be doing JAIL time

Thomas Haj
3 years ago
Reply to  BILL STOUT

Answer: Obama!

Alfred Amoroso
3 years ago

The only way that bureaucrats can be held accountable from administration to administration is that they are held personally responsible for their actions and not allowed to hide from the things they did while in the government positions.

3 years ago

She has the gall to ask for favors. What she did was criminal and she doesn’t warrant privileges.

Duane L.
3 years ago

If anyone believes Barak Obama is clearly innocent of this happening with the IRS and Lois Lerner, you are very naive. I wrote to my congressman and asked why Lois Lerner is not in jail until she is ready to answer questions, about this abuse of power. Anyone in government employ should not be allowed to take the fifth and not testify. Lois Lerner was and is in Contempt of Congress, and should serve jail until ready to answer to congress for her actions. All government benefits revoked and serve jail time. If any private citizen refused to answer to congress we would be serving time until we were ready to testify.

David Campbell
3 years ago

“Public dissemination of their deposition testimony would expose them and their families to harassment and a credible risk of violence and physical harm.”

To me, this is the argument to keep these records public. Not that I wish to see harm come to anyone, but if what happened was that bad, all the more reason we should know.

Thomas Haj
3 years ago
Reply to  David Campbell

Strange that Lois is suddenly worried about the inflicting of harm!

3 years ago

Legalized bullying. The reward – early retirement. It seems our government has been infiltrated with usurpers.

C. Poirier
3 years ago

Since it is Americans that were violated in the IRS, all Americans should have access to all info on this scandal in every state and town. Its call TRANSPARENCY.

Dan Micka
3 years ago
Reply to  C. Poirier

‘We the people’ are entitled to full disclosure from a PUBLIC SERVANT, period, end of discussion. Lerner violated the publics trust and should be he held accountable!!

3 years ago

If they allow this than they will be no better than the FBI and all their shenanigans. In other words crooked.

3 years ago
Reply to  Dee

Thank you. I agree with all of you. But, how can we get Lois and all her ilk, arrested and sent to prison, no benefits at all!! We seniors have been refused our COLA for a couple of years. We have struggled and PAID OUR DUES! We want AMERICA to be HONORABLE AGAIN. We deserve our COLA because when we go to the grocery, etc, nobody says, “Give the seniors a break!” She may live to her 90s…still getting a pension she doesn’t deserve! Shameful. You break the law, you serve time.

Thomas Haj
3 years ago
Reply to  Angela

Very simple solution – take the media back from the liberals and they lose their “special” powers.

3 years ago
Reply to  Angela

Not a good analogy, Many supermarkets and other retailers have senior day where I myself have gotten up to 10% off.

Joe Edwards
3 years ago

She should be given all the privacy she seeks and deserves in GITMO!

3 years ago

Once agin we have a different justice system for special people like Lois Lerner, James Comey, Hillary Clinton and most of top people in the FBI.

3 years ago

The LAW should be “anyone breaking the law, in any way, while in public office, appointed or elected, shall not receive a pension or any other compensation, for the time spent in office. EVER! “

3 years ago

She was a public servant, she discriminated against part of the public in the name of the public and said as much in e-mails which were sent from a server owned by the public, the public paid her salary – the public has a right to full disclosure of her testimony and what deals were made, PERIOD! If she wanted privacy she should have stayed out of public service, or with her partiality and bias kept from acting upon it while employed by the public. She filled her cup, she needs to drink it!

3 years ago

How disgusting is this? She gives a long speech pleading her innocence, pleads the Fifth in questions afterwards (she should not have been allowed to plead innocence if she chose to take the Fifth). She then testifies in a civil case resulting in huge payouts by the Federal government to the wronged parties (funded by us taxpayers, not her) and now she wants that testimony hidden forever? Let’s get the tar and feathers out right now. Something obvious to hide here. Oh, and by the way. She’s collecting a big fat government pension to boot.

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