Camp: IRS actions 'almost inconceivable'

On Monday, the IRS said that Steven Miller, now the agency's acting commissioner, found out about the extra scrutiny Tea Party groups were receiving on May 3, 2012. Miller was then a deputy commissioner at the agency.

According to GOP aides on Capitol Hill, Treasury's inspector general for tax administration also briefed Doug Shulman, the then-IRS commissioner, on the issue last May.

Shulman had testified in March – including before a Ways and Means subcommittee – that the IRS did not single out groups based on political ideology.

"This revelation goes against the very principles of free speech and liberty upon which this country was founded, and the blatant disregard for which the agency has treated Congress and the American taxpayer raises serious concerns about leadership at the IRS," Camp said.

"There is simply no excuse for trampling on the rights of the American people. An apology is not sufficient, there have been enough excuses and delays, and now it is time for the IRS to answer to the American people.”

The IRS acknowledged last week that Tea Party groups applying for tax-exempt status had faced extra scrutiny. The tax administration inspector general, in a report to be released this week, said that targeting started some three years ago, and that senior IRS officials were briefed on the matter in June 2011.