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Conservatives are fuming as more damning information surfaces regarding the Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of tea party groups for excessive review of their tax-exempt status during the 2012 elections.
An apology Friday by the IRS conceding the “inappropriate” practice of singling out groups with keywords like “Tea Party,” “Patriot” and “9/12 Project” in their names to flag for heightened, typically burdensome, scrutiny is “not sufficient reparation for violating the constitutional rights of United States citizens,” said Jenny Beth Martin, national coordinator for the Tea Party Patriots.
“The Tea Party Patriots rejects the apology from the Internal Revenue Service,” Martin said in a statement. “The IRS lied. They lied before Congress in 2011, and they lied again [in the agency’s apology]. We must know how many more lies they have been telling, and how high up the chain the cover-up goes.”
According to a timline obtained by CBS News, the IRS began singling out tea party groups in the spring of 2010. Though the agency insisted Friday no high-level employees were aware of the targeting, a draft which surfaced over the weekend of an inspector general’s report due to be released this week revealed that Lois Lerner — an IRS official in charge of oversight of tax-exempt groups — knew about it as early as June 2011.