Newly-released FBI documents reveal the IRS used bureaucratic delays to stall tax exemption applications by conservative groups in a bid to crush opposition to President Barack Obama's reelection bid.
The documents, obtained by the government watchdog group Judicial Watch,
show tea party bids being automatically denied approval.
They were assigned to a special "Group 7822" for an extended "inventory" process all the way up to the 2012 general election.
One IRS manager in Cincinnati told the FBI that "Group 7822" was simply a place for the tea party cases to be held in inventory while guidance from the agency's Washington office was received.
But, according to the documents, there had been no precedence previously on these issues. If the case said it supports politics and political activity, it would be put into "Group 7822," the documents reveal.
"We know from previous IRS documents obtained by Judicial Watch that the IRS specifically targeted tea party and other conservative groups," Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said.
"But, these new 302 FBI interview documents reveal for the first time just how carefully orchestrated the IRS program for silencing opposition to Obama's reelection actually was. Group 7822 was clearly the political equivalent of purgatory."
The Justice Department and FBI investigations into the Obama IRS scandal resulted in no criminal charges.
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