Last week Lois Lerner, the former IRS director, told the federal court that she fears she and her family might face death threats and attacks if her testimony of why tea party groups were targeted while she was responsible is revealed to the public.
Lerner and Holly Paz, her former deputy at the IRS, filed documents Thursday, stating their depositions should stay sealed from the public forever.
“Whenever Mss. Lerner and Paz have been in the media spotlight, they have faced death threats and harassment,” their attorneys stated.
The IRS settled two lawsuits October accusing the agency of illegally targeting conservatives while Obama was president.
One of the settlements required the IRS to issue a public apology for their treatment of the conservative and tea party groups because of their political stances.
And the settlement with the NorCal Tea Party with 428 members required the IRS to pay $3.5 million.
Lerner said that she and her family are facing death threats ever since the scandal broke in 2013.
“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,” their lawyers stated.
Their lawyers pointed out to statements by Mark Meckler, a tea party activist whose group was helping in the class-action lawsuit. He called the IRS agents involved in the scandal a “criminal thugs.”
“These words matter. They have created a fertile environment where threats and harassment against Mss. Lerner and Paz have flourished,” their lawyers stated.
“This documentation, as the court will see, makes very personal references and contains graphic, profane and disturbing language that would lead to unnecessary intrusion and embarrassment if made public,” their lawyers stated.
“Public dissemination of their deposition testimony would put their lives in serious jeopardy,” they added.
Anyhow, Meckler said Lerner and Paz were guilty of deliberate deceit.
“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 stated.
Meckler said Lerner hiding her disposition, “because she knows she is guilty as the day is long and she doesn’t want people to know what she actually did.”
“It’s hard to have any sympathy for the women. And frankly, I don’t believe she’s genuinely scared,” Meckler stated.
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