IRS knew Tea Party was being targeted in tax probes


Andrew Langer, head of the Tea Party-affiliated Institute for Liberty, holds a copy of the Declaration of Independence at Boston's harbor.

The Tea Party and other conservative political groups were put under the microscope last year by the Internal Revenue Service, a new government report shows.

Not only that, but IRS officials knew about the targeting of conservative groups as early as 2011, the Associated Press reported. Republicans are furiously calling on Obama to apologize. 

"I think it's very disappointing that the president hasn't personally condemned this and spoken out," Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) told The Hill today.

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"His spokesman has said that it should be investigated, but the president needs to make crystal clear that this is totally unacceptable in America."

The IRS's targeting of conservatives was revealed in a draft report, Treasury Department's Inspector General For Tax Administration, requested by Representative Darrell Issa. The AP had obtained a copy of the draft report ahead of time. 

Reacting to the news, House Republican Rep. Mike Rogers says that giving extra scrutiny to the tax information of conservative groups counts as intimidation. The IRS “engaged in intimidation of political groups,” Rogers told Fox News today. “This should send a chill up your spine.”