Southern California Offices Named in IRS Tea Party Scandal

The SoCal IRS offices directed inquiries to the Washington D.C. headquarters

Two Southern California offices were named Tuesday in an Internal Revenue Services scandal where offices singled out Tea Party organizations during the 2012 election.

Offices in El Monte and Laguna Niguel came under fire after allegedly targeting conservative social welfare groups with the words “tea party” or “patriot” in their names in the national scandal. IRS officials sent questionnaires to the groups, probing about their donor lists and requesting other information after the groups filed for tax exempt status.

The IRS letters were released by the American Center for Law and Justice, which represented 27 of the groups.

Calls to the IRS in El Monte and Laguna Niguel were directed to the Washington D.C. headquarters. No spokesperson has returned calls to NBC4.

Attorney General Eric Holder ordered an investigation into the IRS Tuesday. 

Reports surfaced Friday that IRS agents in the Cincinnati office apologized for targeting Tea Party organizations, performing additional reviews if words like “tea party,” “patriot” or appeared in their 501(c)(4) applications.  

Another report surfaced revealing top officials knew that tea party groups were targeted by the IRS a year before then-Commissioner Douglas H. Shulman testified that no targeting occurred.

The controversy came at a time when the Obama administration faced allegations that the Justice Department secretly obtained Associated Press phone records.

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