Jenny Beth Martin, co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots, said she has had several tea party donors say they have been audited by the IRS because of their association with tea party groups.
"Donors, local leaders from around the country, people who have liked us on our Facebook page, but especially the donors and the local leaders who have said that they think that they're undergoing unusual scrutiny because of their involvement with the tea party," Martin told J.D. Hayworth on "America's Forum" on Newsmax TV.
"It's something that we had suspected and we've been working with people on Capitol Hill to do what we can to get to the bottom of it," she said Friday.
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The Internal Revenue Service agreed in March to turn over the emails of former IRS official Lois Lerner — who the House voted to hold in contempt on Wednesday
— to the House Ways and Means Committee. Lerner has been at the center of the IRS scandal in which tea party and conservative groups applying for nonprofit status were put under additional scrutiny.
The legal group Judicial Watch obtained emails in April, connecting the Justice Department
to the IRS targeting scandal.
Martin said it remains to be seen what other government agencies will be implicated in those emails.
"It could be the Internal Revenue Service, it could be the Department of Justice, it could be the Federal Election Commission, or the [Obama] administration," Martin said.
In the emails obtained by Judicial Watch, "[Lerner] admitted to the targeting. Earlier that week she'd been in touch with the Department of Justice trying to find an example of the tea party case so they could prosecute," Martin said.
The Tea Party Patriots co-founder said those involved must be "held accountable."
"We cannot have the most powerful government agency abusing its powers this way and Congress is the proper role of oversight," she said. "They must continue to investigate."
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