Reports show that the Internal Revenue Service was aware as early as 2011 that requests for tax-exempt status from politically conservative organizations were given special scrutiny. Groups with "tea party" or "patriot" in their titles or those that "criticize how the country is being run" or seek to educate Americans about the Constitution and the Bill of Rights were singled out according to the agency's inspector general. The news has drawn criticism from conservatives including several Members of Congress.

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