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Attorney General Eric Holder pauses as he testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, March 6, 2013, before the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing: "Oversight of the U.S. Department of Justice." Holder urged Congress to confront gun violence by requiring universal background checks, imposing tougher penalties on traffickers and banning high-capacity magazines and military-style assault weapons.

Evan Vucci, Associated Press - Ap

Justice Dept. opens inquiry into IRS audits of conservative groups

  • Associated Press
  • May 14, 2013 - 2:34 PM

WASHINGTON - Attorney General Eric Holder says he's ordered a Justice Department investigation into the Internal Revenue Service's targeting of conservative groups for extra tax scrutiny.

He said the FBI was coordinating with the Department of Justice to see if any laws were broken.

At a news conference Tuesday at the Justice Department, Holder called the practice, in his words, "Outrageous and unacceptable."

Holder's comments come a day after President Barack Obama said that, if the agency intentionally targeted such groups, "that's outrageous and there's no place for it."

Steven Miller, the IRS acting chief, has acknowledged "a lack of sensitivity" in the agency's screenings of political groups seeking tax-exempt status and insisted those mistakes won't be repeated.

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