WASHINGTON - Two Internal Revenue Service agents working in the agency's Cincinnati office say higher-ups in Washington directed the targeting of conservative political groups when they applied for tax-exempt status.
That contention contradicts claims made by the agency since the scandal erupted last month.
The Cincinnati agents didn't provide proof that senior IRS officials in Washington ordered the targeting. But one of the agents says her work processing the applications was closely supervised by a Washington lawyer in the division that handles applications for tax-exempt status.
The agents were interviewed last week by congressional investigators. The Associated Press reviewed transcripts of the interviews.
IRS officials have repeatedly said the targeting was initiated by front-line agents in a Cincinnati office and was stopped once senior officials in Washington found out.