Arizona Congressman calls out White House on IRS scandal - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Arizona Congressman calls out White House on IRS scandal

PHOENIX (CBS5) -

The Internal Revenue Service is the government agency everyone loves to hate.

It is now facing even greater scrutiny because of self-proclaimed improper audits that were done during last year's election season.

Any group last year that applied to the IRS for tax-exempt status that had the words Tea Party or Patriot in its name went through much greater scrutiny by IRS agents.

Those groups were ordered to hand over additional paperwork and specific information to the IRS about their donors, which violates the law.

"That was wrong," said IRS spokeswoman Lois Lerner in a phone call with reporters. "The IRS would like to apologize for that."

A simple apology, however, is unlikely to make this scandal disappear.

"They really were targeting conservative groups. They also apparently broke the law. They were demanding lists of those groups' contributors," says Rep. David Schweikert, a second-term Republican Congressman who represents Arizona's sixth district.

At the White House today, press secretary Jay Carney was focused on damage control.

"It is certainly does seem to be based on what we have seen to be inappropriate action that we would want to see thoroughly investigated," said Carney.

Schweikert says the White House needs to be more forthcoming. He points to the administration's lack of disclosure about the U.S. embassy attack in Benghazi, Libya, and another alleged government coverup.

"If the White House says it was 'low-level staff,' we've heard that same story before. Go back to Fast and Furious," said Schweikert.

The IRS and Treasury department have already launched investigations. Congressional Republicans are demanding the White House investigate as well.

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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