The long line of conservatives targeted by the IRS

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Since then, he has electrified the conservative world and fueled talk of a presidential run with speeches and other works, including his weekly column for The Times.

Dr. Carson said IRS agents contacted him in June and asked to look at his real estate holdings. After finding nothing that concerned them, the agents informed him that they were conducting a full audit of his finances and asked to go back an additional year to review his records, he said.

They ended the review in August after finding no problems.

“They told me everything was in good standing and left,” Dr. Carson said.

Asked whether he thought the audit was a retaliation for his speech, Dr. Carson quipped: “I guess I’m surprised it took them that long.”

He said the more serious issue is that the IRS has been politicized — “something that never should have happened” — and that leaves all of its activities open to suspicion.

Indeed, Dr. Carson isn’t the first high-profile conservative figure to come under fire from the IRS.

Earlier this year, Ms. O’Donnell — a former Senate candidate from Delaware who rose to prominence amid heavy tea party backing — revealed to The Times that she, too, had been audited and also had her personal tax information breached.

Ms. O’Donnell’s tax records were accessed by David Smith, an investigator with Delaware’s Division of Revenue.

Revelations about that access, which took place in March 2010, spawned an inquiry by the U.S. Treasury Department and denials by Delaware officials that anything inappropriate had taken place.

It also has spawned a congressional investigation spearheaded by Sen. Chuck Grassley, a powerful Iowa Republican.

Ms. O’Donnell’s story, which also includes an erroneous lien placed on a home she no longer owned, broke just as the IRS inspector general acknowledged that at least four politicians or political donors have had their personal tax records improperly accessed since 2006. One of those cases involved a willful violation of federal law.

The Justice Department has declined to prosecute any of the cases.

Also this year, Mr. Graham, son of legendary evangelist the Rev. Billy Graham, wrote a letter to Mr. Obama in which he accused the IRS of targeting two of his nonprofit organization for political purposes.

Mr. Graham heads the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan’s Purse, a worldwide relief group.

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