NBC News reported on Tuesday that an attorney for a number of conservative groups said his clients received extra scrutiny from Internal Revenue Service offices other than the Cincinnati unit, which has been embroiled in the agency’s recent scandal.
The attorney, Jay Sekulow, provided NBC News with letters requesting extra information that the IRS sent to his clients, including one that was signed by the head of the agency’s Exempt Organizations Department, Lois Lerner.
Lerner was suspended in the wake of the scandal, in which the agency admitted staffers in the Cincinnati office improperly targeted tea party and other conservative groups. It is unclear specifically which groups were targeted and whether Sekulow’s clients were among them. Lerner’s signature appeared on a letter sent to Ohio Liberty Council Corp requesting additional information for its tax-exempt status application.
Sekulow said that he has dealt with 15 agents from four different offices, including the Treasury Department in Washington, D.C., “so the idea that this is a couple of rogue agents in Cincinnati is not correct.” Earlier this month, the Washington Post reported on similar accusations from some of Sekulow’s clients.
Correction: This post has been updated to show that it’s unclear whether Sekulow’s clients are among the groups targeted by the IRS. It has also been updated to correct the spelling of Cincinnati.