An important campaign has been commenced at GoPetition calling for a thorough investigation into alleged corrupt handling of Tea Party cases by the IRS. The petition can be seen here.

Former IRS official Lois Lerner will only testify about the IRS handling of Tea Party cases in exchange for an immunity agreement, her lawyer has told a congressional committee as recently as February.

Until immunity is granted, Lerner will not answer questions unless ordered to do so by a federal judge, her attorney has said.

The response from her attorney William Taylor came after the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee ordered Lerner to reappear at a hearing. When Lerner appeared before the committee last May, she asserted her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.

Lerner, the former director of the IRS's Exempt Organizations, is a key figure in the controversy over how the agency treated conservative groups seeking tax exemptions. Lerner stated at a legal conference last year that the agency improperly subjected groups to extra scrutiny only because they had the words "tea party" or "patriots" in their designated names. She originally attributed the actions to low level workers in Cincinnati, but those workers later told congressional investigators that they were acting on orders from Washington.

Lerner retired from the IRS in September.

The petition at GoPetiton concerning this issue reads: "It has become clear that Lois Lerner will not testify due to the fact that she does not want to inadvertently incriminate herself during the process. This is a Fifth Amendment right that all American citizens are privileged to receive. This issue has gone unresolved for long enough."

According to the petition, "Though it may be an injustice to let a potential key player off the hook for a suspected federal crime, we should not and cannot let this stand in the way of a better future for America. Lerner has told the House Oversight Committee that she plans to invoke her fifth amendment right should she not be granted immunity for the second time."

The petition call for the following action: "Please sign this petition to grant Lois Lerner immunity for her testimony so that America can move forward and bring others to justice."


and Gregory Korte, USA TODAY

Pic: Lois Lerner taken from