The Federal Bureau of Investigation didn’t find the kind of political bias needed to file criminal charges over the Internal Revenue Service’s heightened scrutiny of tea party groups, law enforcement officials told the Wall Street Journal.
“Instead, what emerged during the probe was evidence of a mismanaged bureaucracy enforcing rules about tax-exemption applications it didn’t understand, according to the law-enforcement officials,” the newspaper said.
The case is still being investigated, but officials familiar with the case said it is increasingly unlikely any criminal charges will result.
The investigation was sparked after the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration revealed the IRS had been targeting tea party groups for intrusive scrutiny and wrongly delayed the approval of hundreds of conservative groups’ applications for tax-exempt status.
Last week, The Washington Times reported that the FBI had finally begun contacting the tea party groups that were targeted by the IRS — seven months after the investigation was supposedly launched.
FBI Director James Comey had declined to comment on the probe’s progress, but acknowledged it was ongoing, WSJ reported.