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IRS apologizes for singling out conservative groups: How did it happen?

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“The IRS has demonstrated the most disturbing, illegal and outrageous abuse of government power,” Jenny Beth Martin, national coordinator for Tea Party Patriots, said in a statement. “This deliberate targeting and harassment of Tea Party groups reaches a new low in illegal government activity and overreach.”

Top Republican lawmakers are calling for a White House investigation into the agency.

“Today, I call on the White House to conduct a transparent, government-wide review aimed at assuring the American people that these thuggish practices are not underway at the IRS or elsewhere in the administration against anyone, regardless of their political views,” said Sen. Mitch McConnell (R) of Kentucky in a statement.

Rep. Charles Boustany (R) of Louisiana told The Hill that he wanted the IRS to hand over the names of the employees involved with the matter.

“My greatest concern is what would have come from this blatant abuse of power if Ways and Means, as well as others, had not spoken up and stepped in to question the IRS about these activities,” said Representative Boustany, who brought up the issue in hearings of the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Oversight last year.

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