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Holder: Lawbreakers will be held accountable

Eric Holder
Posted at 6:31 PM, May 15, 2013
and last updated 2013-05-15 18:31:00-04

WASHINGTON (AP) — When it comes to the IRS targeting of conservative groups, Attorney General Eric Holder vows, "Anybody who has broken the law will be held accountable."

But he told lawmakers today that it will take time to determine if there was any criminal wrongdoing.

Holder says the criminal investigation will cover possible civil rights violations, false statements, and potential violations of the federal ban on some partisan political activities by federal employees.

He told the House Judiciary Committee that the investigation won't be about parties or about ideologies.

Three congressional committees are investigating the IRS for singling out tea party and other conservative groups during the 2010 and 2012 elections. One panel on Friday will hear from the acting IRS commissioner, Steven Miller. Another one has a hearing next week that will feature former IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman and Lois Lerner, who heads the division that oversees tax-exempt organizations.

A report yesterday from a Treasury inspector general said ineffective management at the IRS allowed agents to improperly target tea party groups for more than 18 months.