Judicial Watch Files Amicus Curiae Brief Urging Federal Court to Unseal Depositions of IRS Officials Lerner, Paz in Tea Party Targeting Case
'[T]he IRS continues to this day to withhold from the public in Judicial Watch's main IRS case … email communications with Lois Lerner and/or Holly Paz …' – Judicial Watch Amicus Brief
WASHINGTON, Dec. 18, 2017 /Christian Newswire
/ -- Judicial Watch last week asked a federal court to unseal the depositions of Lois Lerner, the former director of the Exempt Organizations Unit of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and Holly Paz, her top aide and former IRS director of Office of Rulings and Agreements. Both played key roles in the targeting of conservative nonprofit groups opposed to Obama policies in the run up to the 2012 presidential election.
The request came in an amicus curiae brief
filed with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, Western Division supporting NorCal Tea Party Patriots' class action lawsuit seeking the unsealing of the depositions (NorCal Tea Party Patriots, et al. v. The Internal Revenue Service, et al.
(No. 1:13-cv-00341)). The depositions were sealed by a federal judge after Lerner's and Paz's lawyers claimed the two were receiving threats. Judicial Watch's brief argues that the documents sought may shed light on government misconduct, and the shielding of internal government deliberations does not serve the public's interest.
Judicial Watch details how the Lerner and Paz depositions may significantly impact ongoing Judicial Watch lawsuits
seeking information about misconduct of government officials in the IRS targeting scandal:
In addition to the revelation of IRS employees' conduct in the emails uncovered, the records obtained by Judicial Watch [in the course of its FOIA investigation] also sparked investigations into Lois Lerner's emails and IRS' failure to preserve thousands of emails that were potentially relevant to the various investigations about the IRS' treatment of conservative groups. While the federal government has now admitted that the targeting "was wrong" and "for such treatment, the IRS expresses its sincere apology" the IRS continues to this day to withhold from the public in Judicial Watch's main IRS case … email communications with Lois Lerner and/or Holly Paz …
Lerner was actively engaged in the attempted cover-up of IRS misconduct. In July 2016, Judicial Watch revealed that both Lerner and Paz
, knew the agency was specifically targeting "Tea Party" and other conservative organizations two full years before disclosing it to Congress and the public. They also knew donor lists of tax-exempt organizations were being used to target those donors for audits
After refusing to acknowledge
the targeting, Judicial Watch forced the IRS to finally admit in that the agency had used "inappropriate political labels" to screen the tax-exempt applications of conservative organizations. IRS agents were targeting organizations requesting tax-exempt status based on "guilt by association
" and "party affiliation." Judicial Watch brought to light that the IRS was going to require 501(c)(4) nonprofit organizations to restrict their alleged political activities
in exchange for "expedited consideration" of their tax-exempt applications. MORE