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By Eric Weisfeld

(WOLO) Columbia, SC- The Justice Department is opening a criminal investigation into the Internal Revenue Service's targeting of Tea Party groups for extra scrutiny of their applications for tax exempt status. Attorney General Eric Holder calls the practice ``outrageous and unacceptable.'' A government watchdog is blaming ineffective management for allowing the practice to go on for 18 months.
The targeting of conservative groups by the Internal Revenue Service could be more widespread than the agency has acknowledged. IRS officials have said the behavior was limited to an office in Cincinnati. But lawyers representing conservative groups have provided A-B-C news with evidence showing that multiple offices were involved.
In addition, The South Carolina G-O-P says it has evidence The Tea Party Organization in Laurens County was also targeted.

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