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IRS scandal: Lois Lerner will testify before Congress, but fears for her life

Lois Lerner, the former Director of the Exempt Organizations unit at the Internal Revenue Service, will apparently appear as summoned before the the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Wednesday, March 5, 2014 according to multiple media reports this weekend.

Her lawyer, however, has stated that she fears for her life, according to Politico. Quoting from a letter written by Lerner's lawyer William Taylor III to Issa:

“Ms. Lerner has been the subject of numerous threats on her life and safety, and on the life and safety of her family.”

That letter from Lerner's lawyer came after a summons letter from Vista Representative and Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa, in which Issa states how important her testimony is to the investigation. Quoting from Issa's letter:

“Documents and testimony obtained by the Committee show that she played a significant role in scrutinizing applications for tax exempt status from conservative organizations.”

Off plan

Issa also stated that Lerner had played a part in the "off plan" and could answer questions regarding that as well.

The former IRS employee Lerner "is at the center" of the targeting scandal and Vista's Representative Darrell Issa is expecting her to finish testimony this week on March 5.

Lerner, the former Director of the Exempt Organizations unit at the Internal Revenue Service, will be available to testify before Issa and the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee which he chairs, according to a written statement made by her attorney and reported by the HuffingtonPost.

The press statement released on Feb. 26 by the official House Oversight Committee states:

“Ms. Lerner’s testimony will allow the Committee to better understand how and why the IRS targeted certain organizations.

The so-called "off-plan" work is mentioned in a letter from Ruth Madrigal at the Treasury Department to IRS employee Lois G. Lerner, and it is uploaded onto the House WaysandMeans website.

Among the Witness and Testimony Documents available to this point, there are the written answers to Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration from Lois Lerner Entered into Hearing Record as well as the a pdf of the session from May 22, 2013.

Lerner’s attorney is telling CNN that "she intends to continue to assert her Fifth Amendment rights." Lerner, who retired last year after being placed on administrative leave and admitting "the IRS applied extra scrutiny to political groups seeking tax-exempt status between 2010 and 2012," did testify in May 2013 before Issa's committee that she had not broken any laws, but she did invoke her Fifth Amendment privileges and refused to answer questions.

Issa believes that Lerner is now willing to testify because of interviews done with people around her and mounting evidence against her. According to Issa:

"We've interviewed the people all around her to build a case for why she is at the center of this targeting."

Issa's original confirmation about Lerner was made on "Fox News Sunday."

A Sunday retweet by Darrell Issa: "We did not offer Lois Lerner immunity."

Last year President Barack Obama stated, per the attached video from HuffPost, people need to be concerned about it. The President said:

"If you've got the IRS operating in anything less than a neutral and nonpartisan way, then that is outrageous. It is contrary to our traditions, and people have to be held accountable ...."

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