FBI takes 1st steps on tea party tar­get­ing

The Washington Times Weekly - - Politics - BY STEPHEN DINAN

The FBI fi­nally has be­gun to con­tact some of the tea party groups tar­geted by the In­ter­nal Rev­enue Ser­vice for in­ap­pro­pri­ate scru­tiny and de­lays, in the first pub­lic signs that the ad­min­is­tra­tion’s crim­i­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tion is pro­gress­ing.

A lawyer rep­re­sent­ing some of the tea party groups that bat­tled the IRS for tax-ex­empt sta­tus told The Wash­ing­ton Times that a “small num­ber” of his clients were con­tacted seven months af­ter the in­ves­ti­ga­tion was sup­posed to have be­gun.

The progress was re­vealed a day af­ter The Times re­ported that the Jus­tice Depart­ment lawyer who is lead­ing the in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the IRS, Bar­bara Kay Bosser­man, has do­nated more than $6,000 to Pres­i­dent Obama’s pres­i­den­tial cam­paigns — a move that, for many Repub­li­cans, has called into ques­tion the en­tire in­ves­ti­ga­tion. that some ac­tion has been taken.

“Af­ter seven months of no con­tact from fed­eral investigators, a small num­ber of our clients re­cently re­ceived a re­quest for an in­ter­view from the FBI,” said Jay Seku­low, chief coun­sel for the Amer­i­can Center for Law & Jus­tice, which rep­re­sents more than three dozen groups.

He said the clients were eval­u­at­ing FBI’s re­quest but were trou­bled by the rev­e­la­tion of Ms. Bosser­man’s po­lit­i­cal lean­ings.

“This de­vel­op­ment cre­ates a se­ri­ous con­flict of in­ter­est and raises more ques­tions and doubts about the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion’s prom­ise to get to the bot­tom of what hap­pened,” he said.

The IRS in­ter­nal au­di­tor found that the agency sin­gled out tea party groups for in­tru­sive scru­tiny, with agency investigators ask­ing ques­tions about groups’ read­ing lists, mem­bers’ po­lit­i­cal af­fil­i­a­tions and vol­un­teer his­to­ries, and work with other tea party groups.

Later rev­e­la­tions showed that some

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