Politics

FBI investigators have not contacted any of the 41 conservative groups involved in class-action IRS lawsuit

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Patrick Howley
Political Reporter

Federal Bureau of Investigation and Internal Revenue Service investigators working on the federal government’s probe into the IRS targeting scandal have not contacted any of the conservative groups involved in a class-action lawsuit against the tax agency.

“No one from the FBI or the IRS investigative team has contacted any of the 41 conservative groups we represent or any of our attorneys,” American Center for Law and Justice spokesman Gene Kapp told The Daily Caller. ACLJ is representing tea party and other conservative groups in the lawsuit.

At least five different IRS offices in Cincinnati, Ohio; Baltimore, Maryland; Chicago, Illinois; Laguna Niguel and El Monte, California; improperly demanded extensive information from conservative groups applying for tax-exempt nonprofit status between 2010 and 2012. The IRS demanded copies of training materials distributed by conservative groups, as well as personal information on college interns and even the contents of a religious group’s prayers.

FBI director Robert Mueller and acting IRS commissioner Danny Werfel have both launched investigations into the matter, but have not contacted any of the conservative groups involved in the ACLJ’s class-action suit.

The IRS targeting scandal broke in the media in early May. Mueller was excoriated by Republican Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio at a June 13 hearing for knowing very little about his own bureau’s investigation into IRS conduct.

“You’ve had a month now to investigate. This has been the biggest story in the country and you can’t even tell me who the lead investigator is. You can’t tell me the actions the inspector general took which are not typically how investigations are done. You can’t tell me if that’s appropriate or not. This is not speculation. This is what happened,” Jordan said to Mueller.

Acting IRS commissioner Werfel also garnered criticism from congressional investigators at a June 6 hearing for knowing little about the scandal he is investigating.

“I have been here for two weeks. There is a lot to cover. I am not ready to make assurances because I have not completed the review,” Werfel said at the hearing in response to a tough line of questioning from North Carolina congressman Mark Meadows.

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