The fight over whether the IRS targeted Tea Party or progressives more in the agency's latest scandal escalated Tuesday when a new House analysis found that the tax man also interrogated conservative groups far more than liberal ones.
A review Internal Revenue Service documents by the House Ways and Means Committee found that the IRS typically asked conservative groups applying for special tax status three times as many questions as they did progressive groups.
The findings were a shock to Republican Chairman Dave Camp who said in a statement: "The facts are very clear - not only were conservative groups targeted by the IRS, but they received much higher scrutiny than progressives."
The panel used special powers to gain access to individual taxpayer cases. Here's what they found:
» Conservative groups were asked three times as many questions on average than progressives.
» Less than half of conservative groups received approval while all progressive groups did.
» As of May 31, 2013, there are still 56 conservative groups who have outstanding cases or have withdrawn while there are no progressive groups.
Camp suggested that the results could get worse for conservative groups whose names include "Tea Party," "patriot," or "9/12."
Camp said, "this is just the tip of the iceberg; we have received less than three percent of the documents responsive to the investigation. So, Congress will continue to investigate how the targeting began, why it was allowed to continue for so long, and what the IRS is doing to resolve this. Americans deserve to know the full truth."
Paul Bedard, The Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.