An accidental email alerted IRS officials in Washington about extra scrutiny applied to conservative groups a year early than previously acknowledged, Reuters reported Friday.
According to transcripts of interviews between congressional investigators and IRS employees obtained by Reuters, a July 2010 email from an IRS worker in Cincinnati was accidentally blasted out to a large number of officials in the Washington office.
Elizabeth Hofacre, coordinating "emerging issues" for the IRS' tax-exempt unit in Cincinnati, intended to send the message to a small group of employees, including some workers in Washington's tax-exempt unit. The contents of the email summarized Hofacre's findings on groups flagged on a "be-on-the-lookout" list, which included those groups with "Tea Party" and "Patriot" in their names. Officials in the IRS Exempt Organizations Rulings and Agreements unit accidentally received the email.
"Everybody in DC got it by mistake," Hofacre said in the transcripts, as quoted in the Reuters report.