Jordan Candler / May 16, 2017

IRS’s Lerner Wants Protection From Tea Party Terrorists

Lerner and her cohorts shouldn’t be protected from testifying just because their political enemies are pursuing justice.

Of all the excuses IRS officials have conjured up in pleading ignorance and maintaining silence with regard to the Tea Party scandal, this one takes the cake. That’s a tentative assessment, of course — there’s no telling what else they’ll cook up. But for the time being, two disgraced officials now reason that anti-liberal hostility and potential violence should preclude them from testifying publicly. The Cincinnati Enquirer reports: “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.”

Maybe they’re hoping the court will agree with the Left’s vitriolic view that Tea Party affiliates are actually closet terrorist cells, as some prominent Democrats have effectively claimed. On the flip side, did it even occur to them that this assertion suggests they have something to hide? Regardless, Ian Tuttle observes, “I have no doubt that Ms. Lerner and Ms. Paz have experienced no little amount of unfriendly mail. (Welcome to the Internet Age, gals!).” But the bottom line is that “Lerner and Paz are pretending like they’re testifying against the Mob; if what we know is true, for thousands of Americans they were the Mob.” If this type of standard was applied everywhere, public officials could literally get away with anything. It’s also painfully ironic that Democrats are jumping on the “Russia-Trump collusion” bandwagon while continuing to belittle the IRS scandal as a nothing burger. The reality is that Americans have far more to fear from the IRS’s documented nefarious behavior than the evidence-empty witch hunt against Donald Trump invented by Democrats.

The FBI was established primarily to investigate and monitor all forms of domestic crime, corruption and terrorism. And it’s important not to understate the importance of stability within the agency for this very reason. However, the IRS is different in terms of perception and real-life consequences — every American fears the IRS regardless of who’s in charge because the agency has nearly unbridled authority when it comes to enforcing tax laws. Even an innocent mistake can land you in hot water. Add to that the fact the IRS is exceptionally corrupt — Barack Obama’s IRS specifically targeted conservatives — and an already very personal and genuine concern becomes harrowingly so. Lerner and Paz shouldn’t be protected from testifying just because their political enemies are pursuing justice. Indeed, it’s been delayed for too long already.

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