Lois Lerner, who oversaw tax-exempt organizations at the Internal Revenue Service, slowed the consideration of Tea Party groups’ applications, House Republicans said in a letter today.

The Republicans, who are seeking more information from the agency, cited statements made to congressional investigators by IRS employees.

Carter Hull, a recently retired IRS lawyer based in Washington, told investigators that Lerner’s office made an unusual request to delay decisions on applications when he thought he had enough information to decide whether the groups were impermissibly involved in political activities. Instead, Hull said, the IRS chief counsel’s office wanted to gather more information on what the groups did in the 2010 election cycle.