Newly released IRS documents provide more evidence that progressive groups — including groups affiliated with the Occupy Wall Street movement — were placed on an IRS "watch list" and given secondary screenings for their tax-exempt status.
Those documents "raise serious questions" about the inspector general's report in May that first disclosed the scope of an IRS program to target political groups, said Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., the top Democrat on the House Oversight Committee.
But the documents also suggest that the Internal Revenue Service saw the Tea Party as a separate class. The notes of a July 28, 2010, workshop in Cincinnati, for example, instructed front-line screeners to "err on the side of caution" and "re-emphasize" that all potential political groups were to be marked for more investigation. The notes also said that "'Progressive' applications are not considered 'Tea Parties.'"