Transcript for FBI Reviews IRS Targeting of Tea Party
You're watching America this morning America's number 1 in the early morning news. -- the scandal surrounding the -- this morning it is a lot more serious right now. And it wasn't we told you about a 24 hours ago a criminal investigation is now under way and that means some people involved could eventually face jail time ABC's Devin Dwyer joining us from Washington with the very latest good morning -- Good morning John good morning -- investigators say the IRS improperly targeted at least seventeen conservative groups last year putting a chilling effect on their activities and possibly breaking the law. In a dramatic turn the FBI is now investigating the Internal Revenue Service we are examining. The -- to see if there -- criminal violations. At issue whether -- -- officials illegally engaged in partisan politics while on duty and whether they violated the civil rights of Tea Party in conservative groups their applications for tax exempt status were singled out for extra review. A new agency watchdog report blames ineffective management and IRS offices in Washington in Cincinnati. Seen agents -- overly aggressive with more than half the targeted groups asking for irrelevant and unnecessary information. For them to target and profile organizations and individuals based on ideology. Should scare everyone. In a statement the -- -- pushed back -- it's required by law to determine if organizations are engaging in -- legally permissible level of political activity. But the agency acknowledged -- inappropriate shortcuts were used. The White House says it had no knowledge of the I arrest tactics after reading the new report President Obama called that intolerable an inexcusable. The I arrests must apply the law in a fair and impartial way mr. Obama said in -- statement. This report shows that some of its employees failed that test does suggest to me -- there's a culture of rot in this will get to the bottom of this. Three congressional committees are reviewing the IRS activities but it's the Justice Department investigation that could have the most -- The maximum penalty for violating that -- statute. -- ten years in prison John. All right Devin Dwyer in Washington thank --
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