Atty Gen Orders Probe Into IRS Targeting Groups - WSPA.com

Atty Gen Orders Probe Into IRS Targeting Groups

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Updated: May 14, 2013

Atty Gen orders probe into IRS targeting groups

Attorney General Eric Holder says he's ordered a Justice Department investigation into the Internal Revenue Service's targeting of conservative groups for extra tax scrutiny.

He said the FBI was coordinating with the Department of Justice to see if any laws were broken.

At a news conference Tuesday at the Justice Department, Holder called the practice, in his words, "Outrageous and unacceptable."

Holder's comments come a day after President Barack Obama said that, if the agency intentionally targeted such groups, "that's outrageous and there's no place for it."

Steven Miller, the IRS acting chief, has acknowledged "a lack of sensitivity" in the agency's screenings of political groups seeking tax-exempt status and insisted those mistakes won't be repeated.

GOP governors want special prosecutor in IRS case

Two Republican governors are urging President Barack Obama to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the Internal Revenue Service's admission that it targeted conservative political groups.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker call the allegations "Big Brother come to life."

They want a special prosecutor to find out if any laws were broken and say Obama should fire any IRS employees responsible for the situation.

The IRS has apologized for what it calls "inappropriate" targeting of conservative political groups. The agency targeted groups during the 2010 congressional elections and the 2012 presidential election.

Jindal is the chairman of the Republican Governors Association and Walker is the group's vice chairman. Both are potential presidential candidates in 2016.

IRS chief: Agency lacked sensitivity in screenings

The acting commissioner of the IRS says the agency was guilty of a "lack of sensitivity" in screenings of political groups seeking tax-exempt status.

Steven Miller said in an opinion piece in Tuesday's USA Today that there was - in his words - "a shortcut taken in our processes" for determining which groups needed special screening. He said the agency demonstrated "a lack of sensitivity to the implications of some of the decisions that were made."

Miller has emerged as a key figure in the controversy over the IRS' singling out of conservative political groups for extra scrutiny. President Barack Obama said Monday that if the agency intentionally targeted conservative groups, "that's outrageous and there's no place for it."

Miller said new procedures have been implemented.

Tea Party targeting not disclosed by IRS official

Congress was not told that tea party groups were being inappropriately targeted by the Internal Revenue Service, even after acting agency Commissioner Steven T. Miller had been briefed on the matter.

The IRS said Monday that Miller was first informed on May, 3, 2012, that applications for tax-exempt status by tea party groups were inappropriately singled out for extra scrutiny.

At least twice after the briefing, Miller wrote letters to members of Congress to explain the process of reviewing applications for tax-exempt status without disclosing that tea party groups had been targeted.

On July 25, 2012, Miller testified before the House Ways and Means oversight subcommittee but again did not talk about that issue - despite being asked about it.

Posted: May 13, 2013

Senator: President Obama Should Apologize For IRS Targeting

A Republican senator says she's disappointed that President Barack Obama hasn't personally condemned the Internal Revenue Service's targeting of conservative political groups during the 2012 election.

Sen. Susan Collins of Maine says Obama "needs to make crystal clear that this is totally unacceptable."

The agency blames low-level employees and says that no senior officials were aware of the extra scrutiny to see if the conservative groups were violating their tax-exempt status.

But a draft of a federal watchdog's report obtained Saturday by The Associated Press says senior officials knew agents were targeting tea party groups as early as 2011.

Collins says she doesn't "buy that this was a couple of rogue IRS employees."

She says the IRS targeting is "absolutely chilling" and only contributes to the public's "distrust" in government.

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