The Washington Times - May 15, 2013, 03:01PM

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. told Congress Wednesday his investigation into the IRS scandal will be nationwide and not limited to the agency’s Cincinnati office where agents targeted tea party and other conservative groups for extra scrutiny.

“The facts will take us wherever they take us,” said Mr. Holder while testifying before the House Judiciary Committee.

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Mr. Holder also vowed his probe will “dispassionate.”

“This will not be about (political) parties, this will not be about ideological persuasions on anybody,” he said. “Anybody who broke the law will be held accountable.”

Mr. Holder said the investigation will look into possible criminal violations, including civil rights violations and giving false statements.

The attorney general said he ordered his investigation last Friday, the same day the IRS admitted that organizations with “tea party” or “patriot” in their names that were applying for tax exemptions were singled out for extra scrutiny.

Lois Lerner, who heads the IRS division that oversees tax-exempt groups, apologized Friday for the “inappropriate” practice and said the cases were initiated by low-level workers in Cincinnati,

But in subsequent days it has been revealed that IRS officials in Washington and at least two other offices were involved.

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Ms. Lerner is scheduled to testify before the House Ways and Means Committee Friday.