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Senator: Obama should apologize for IRS targeting

Associated Press

…Lawmakers said President Barack Obama personally should apologize for targeting tea party organizations and they challenged the tax agency’s blaming of low-level workers.

“I just don’t buy that this was a couple of rogue IRS employees,” said Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine. “After all, groups with ‘progressive’ in their names were not targeted similarly.”

If it were just a small number of employees, she said, “then you would think that the high-level IRS supervisors would have rushed to make this public, fired the employees involved, apologized to the American people and informed Congress. None of that happened in a timely way.”

The IRS said Friday that it was sorry for what it called the “inappropriate” targeting of the conservative groups during the 2012 election to see if they were violating their tax-exempt status. The agency blamed low-level employees, saying no high-level officials were aware.

But according to a draft of a watchdog’s report obtained Saturday by The Associated Press that seemingly contradicts public statements by the IRS commissioner, senior IRS officials knew agents were targeting tea party groups as early as 2011.

… Collins said the revelations about the nation’s tax agency only contribute to “the profound distrust that the American people have in government. It is absolutely chilling that the IRS was singling out conservative groups for extra review.”

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