Documentary Takes Aim at Former IRS Official Lois Lerner

"Unfair: Exposing the IRS" is set to screen in 674 theaters nationwide only on Oct. 14

Perhaps unbeknownst to her, former IRS official Lois Lerner will be making her film debut on Oct. 14 in a documentary where she’s one of the villains.

The film is called Unfair: Exposing the IRS, and it will screen in 674 theaters nationwide, though for one night only, courtesy of Fathom Events, a company that brings sports, concerts, speeches and other alternative entertainment to movie screens.

The movie is about alleged abuse at the IRS, the agency responsible for collecting taxes in the U.S. Looming large is a scandal revealed last year wherein Republican and some Democratic lawmakers accused Lerner, at the time the director of the exempt organizations unit of the IRS, of delaying the applications of conservative groups seeking tax-free status from 2010-2013.

The scandal triggered several investigations, with the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration confirming that the IRS did, in fact, subject Tea Party groups and other conservative organizations to far more scrutiny than it did liberal groups. Lerner dismissed calls for her resignation and was eventually called to testify before a House Oversight Committee.

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Scenes in Unfair include Lerner’s testimony, such as it was. “I have not done anything wrong,” she tells congressional representatives, before adding: “I have decided to follow my counsel’s advice and not testify or answer any of the questions today.” Just after the scene, which is embedded above, is a clip of President Barack Obama advising, “The only people who don’t want to disclose the truth are people with something to hide,” though it’s not clear if he was referring to the IRS when he made that observation.

The movie was written and produced by radio host Craig Bergman and directed by Judd Saul. It was executive produced by John Sullivan, who co-directed Dinesh D’Souza’s two films, America this year and 2016: Obama’s America two years ago. The filmmakers are hoping to attract thousands of Tea Partiers to the one-night screening, which is followed by a recorded panel discussion with former GOP presidential candidates Alan Keyes and Mike Huckabee. The former is in the film, along with Glenn Beck, Sen. Ted Cruz and Rep. Michele Bachmann.

“Lois Lerner is the boogie man that the left put out as their scapegoat,” Bergman told The Hollywood Reporter. “This isn’t about rogue agents; this is a systemic problem that has been going on for 100 years, and I make the moral case against the system. Lois Lerner is just one bad guy on a long list of bad guys.”

Be that as it may, Lerner continues to be a favorite target on the political right, even though she retired from the IRS late last year. On Monday, for example, independent ambush journalist Jason Mattera, author of the just-released book Crapitalism: Liberals Who Make Millions Swiping Your Tax Dollars, released video of Lerner threatening to call the police on him while he tried to interview her. “Please let me in. These guys are the press and they aren’t leaving me alone,” she says while knocking on a neighbor’s door. “Why should we leave you alone? You were trying to use the IRS to crush political dissent,” Mattera says in the video, embedded below.

Email: Paul.Bond@THR.com

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