Lois Lerner’s Tea Party-Targeting Testimony Can Stay Secret

Critics seek transparency in IRS probe

Lois G. Lerner and Holly Paz, two key figures in the IRS‘ tea party-targeting, can keep testimony about their role in the targeting secret, at least for now, a federal judge ruled Thursday.

The two women had said they feared death threats and other harassment if their depositions in a class action lawsuit against the IRS became public.

U.S. District Judge Michael R. Barrett had originally ordered their depositions be sealed, but on Thursday he removed that prohibition and instead said the testimony should be deemed “confidential,” keeping it secret until he can see what the women had to say and what effect releasing it to the public would have.

He said the parties in the case can eventually ask to make the information public, and at that point the burden will be on Ms. Lerner and Ms. Paz to explain why it should be kept secret….continue reading

Tea Party Bias Case: IRS Execs Say Lives At Risk

Details about tea party bias claims against the IRS could remain secret because current and former agency officials say their lives are in danger if they publicly testify about the case.

Lois Lerner and Holly Paz both have argued in recent court filings that the threat to their lives outweighs the public’s right to hear their testimony about how IRS employees in Cincinnati and Washington, D.C., handled applications for tax-exempt status from tea party groups.

They recently filed evidence to support their claim under seal in U.S. District Court in Cincinnati. Though that evidence has not been made public, court records indicate it relates to death threats and other harassment the women say they endured after their names were connected to the bias claims against the IRS several years ago…. continue reading

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