The Internal Revenue Service asked tea party groups to see donor rolls.
It asked for printouts of Facebook posts.
And it asked what books people were reading.
A POLITICO review of documents from 11 tea party and conservative groups that the IRS scrutinized in 2012 shows the agency wanted to know everything — in some cases, it even seemed curious what members were thinking. The review included interviews with groups or their representatives from Hawaii, New Mexico, Ohio, Texas and elsewhere.
The long-awaited Treasury Department inspector general report released Tuesday says the agency itself decided some of its questions to conservative groups were way over the line — especially the one about donors.
The report shows that top IRS officials put a stop to some of the questions in early 2012, including the ones that asked tea party groups who their donors were, what issues were important to them and whether their top officers ever planned to run for office. And they told the investigators they planned to destroy the donor lists that had already been sent in.
But interviews with members of the groups paint a more dramatic picture than the bland language of the report, which just says the IRS “requested irrelevant (unnecessary) information because of a lack of managerial review, at all levels, of questions before they were sent to organizations seeking tax-exempt status.”
“They were asking for a U-Haul truck’s worth of information,” said Toby Marie Walker, the president of the Waco Tea Party.
Read more here.