FBI takes 1st steps on tea party targeting
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