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[VIDEO] Congress, Holder continue sparring over IRS, AP

By Megan Hickey and John Burfisher -- Medill News Service   |   May 16, 2013 at 6:03 PM   |   Comments

http://cdnph.upi.com/sv/em/upi/UPI-5341368740936/2013/1/b40f4d7b2687e016fb2ddae77c19cd50/VIDEO-Congress-Holder-continue-sparring-over-IRS-AP.jpg
WASHINGTON, May 16 -- Attorney General Eric Holder spent four hours testifying on Capitol Hill Wednesday, enduring withering questioning from congressman from both political parties.

It all started with an incriminating Inspector General Report released Tuesday that provide new details on the growing scandal. The report confirmed conservative groups were “inappropriately” targeted during their applications for tax exemptions reviewing criteria including Donor names, member lists, and even political stances.

Holder has already launched an FBI investigation into the matter. “We'll let this committee know and hopefully work with this committee so that kind of activity never happens again," Holder said.

That was not enough for many congressmen who took the opportunity to vent at the attorney general.

"That is a threat to our democracy and quite possibly an individual organization's first amendment rights," said Rep. Lamar Smith, D-Texas. Smith said it was a crime for government employees to deprive taxpayers of their “honest services.”

Many conservatives who had complained about this practice have demanded more than an apology. Hans von Spakovsky of the Heritage Foundation said, “Individuals of the IRS who were involved in doing this need to be disciplined and terminated.”

"Anyone who has broken the law will be held accountable," Holder said.

Already president Obama has forced the resignation of the acting IRS commissioner who is alleged to have known about the practice a year ago.

During the four hours, Holder was also challenged on issues ranging from the FBI handling of the Boston Bombing and leads about the brothers alleged to have committed it, and the FBI’s subpoenaing of the Associate Press phone records during the confrontations hearing.

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