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News Summary: Investigators research IRS claims

The Associated Press

THE NEWS: Congressional investigators are starting to see cracks in the Internal Revenue Service argument that a small group of agents in the Cincinnati office solely targeted conservative political groups.

THE DETAILS: Investigators have not uncovered any direct evidence that senior officials in Washington ordered the agents to target tea party groups, or why they may have done so, but two agents in the IRS's Cincinnati office say they believe their work was being closely monitored by higher-ups in Washington.

THE BACKGROUND: The IRS was screening the groups' applications to determine their level of political activity. IRS regulations say tax-exempt social welfare organizations may engage in some political activity but the activity may not be their primary mission.