The IRS scandal goes beyond the Tea Party: Documents show that over the past two years while evaluating applications for tax-exempt status, officials also zeroed in on groups that criticized the government or educated Americans about the Constitution or the Bill of Rights; as well as groups that were interested in taxes, government spending, or government debt; limiting or expanding the government; improving America; or "social economic reform."
The documents show how the Cincinnati office frequently redefined the types of groups that should be targeted for increased scrutiny, even after division chief Lois Lerner objected in June 2011, the Washington Post reports. In March 2012, then-IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman testified before Congress that the IRS was not singling out conservative groups, the Wall Street Journal reports. It wasn't until May 2012 that a neutral policy was adopted, with the IRS agreeing to target any group that was significantly concerned with political campaigns. The documents don't make it clear who the decision-maker was, Reuters reports.