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The IRS has said that it wasn’t motivated by politics, but rather an influx in applications from tea party-related groups seeking tax-exempt status and the movement geared.

Jenny Beth Martin, the head of Tea Party Patriots, called Thursday for an independent audit of the IRS, saying that the IRS cannot police itself and the Justice Department also lacks credibility at the moment.

Tea party groups have been waiting for years for the IRS to treat us fairly and equally,” she said. “Instead, they have singled us out for discrimination and persecution. Government agents have used the IRS as a weapon to silence speech, harass innocent Americans, and perhaps sway elections.”