Lois Lerner fights release of her deposition, says “exceedingly low public interest”

 

Who could forget?

Who knew that this old horse was still kicking around? So we learn that Lois Lerner of IRS fame, has her deposition up for grabs in federal court. Yes, I for one want to see her deposition. I might also add as well, why hasn’t Sessions taken another look-see and tried to figure out if they could nail her? Let’s get her depo out in the fresh air and sunshine. I would love to know who is fronting her legal bill:

Former IRS senior executive Lois G. Lerner told a federal court last week that there’s “no legitimate” reason why the public should see her testimony about her role in tea party targeting, pleading with a judge to keep her deposition permanently sealed. Ms. Lerner and her former chief lieutenant, Holly Paz, have said they faced death threats in the past, and say they fear any more attention to their behavior would spur a new round of harassment. They said there’s “exceedingly low” public interest in having their depositions released, and they said tea party groups are pushing for disclosure out of “spite.”

“The public disclosure of this personal and sensitive information and details of the harassment would further no legitimate end while undermining substantial privacy and physical safety interests,” the women said in briefs filed by their lawyers.

The IRS has reached settlements with hundreds of tea party groups and the government admitted it bungled its handling of their nonprofit status applications during the Obama administration. The government, in one of the settlements, even singled out Ms. Lerner for specific criticism, saying she failed to stop the targeting and even hid it from her supervisors.

But Ms. Lerner’s own defense of her actions, as well as Ms. Paz’s testimony, remain secret, with the transcripts of their depositions sealed and all references to the information from those depositions redacted from other documents.

Ms. Lerner and Ms. Paz also have not revealed much about the threats they said they faced, other than to cite “graphic, profane and disturbing language.”

The one specific instance of a threat they have cited in public documents was a June 2013 speech by Mark Meckler, a tea party leader who had helped drive the class action lawsuit against the IRS.

In that speech — just weeks after Ms. Lerner revealed the IRS’s illegal behavior — Mr. Meckler said tea party advocates could “have a lot of fun abusing these government employees.”

Ms. Lerner’s lawyer didn’t respond to requests from The Washington Times for more details on the threats.

Mr. Meckler told The Times that if Ms. Lerner manages to keep her deposition sealed it would “set an outrageous legal precedent, allowing the testimony of egregious acts by public servants to be permanently hidden.”

“The irony of this argument is astounding. The government has admitted that these people unconstitutionally targeted people based on their political beliefs. Now the individuals most responsible for the targeting wish to finish off their secret scheme to illegally target their fellow citizens, in secrecy,” he said.

He said when Ms. Lerner accuses him of fomenting threats, it’s a continuation of the targeting she oversaw while at the IRS, and said the Obama administration repeatedly tried to force Mr. Meckler to give up the legal challenge.

“It is time to blow this scandal wide open, and the unsealing of the Lois Lerner and Holly Paz depositions would be a good first step,” he said.

Some of the two women’s information is public, including emails sent and received during the targeting.

But what that information shows has been heatedly debated.

The Justice Department under President Barack Obama cleared Ms. Lerner of any wrongdoing and even praised her for stopping the targeting when she learned of it. Under President Trump, the same department agreed to settlements admitting illegal behavior by the IRS, and blaming Ms. Lerner in particular. More at the Washington Times

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