by: Lori Geary Updated:ATLANTA —
As the FBI looks into possible criminal violations in the IRS scandal, Channel 2 Action News has learned the National Tea Party Patriots based in Georgia say the individual agents involved need to be held accountable.
Attorney General Eric Holder said federal employees involved could be facing criminal charges of civil rights violations and false statements.
But that's not all. A board member for the National Tea Party Patriots, based out of Cobb County, told Channel 2's Lori Geary the group is preparing for its own legal action.
Debbie Dooley, co-founder of the Atlanta Tea Party and board member of the National Tea Party Patriots, told Geary, "We believe our constitutional rights were violated."
Tea Party Patriots applied for tax-exempt status more than three years ago and is still waiting on approval from the IRS.
"Not only should the IRS be held accountable, but so should individual employees and agents that discriminated against all these tea parties and conservative groups," Dooley said.
Dooley said her group is considering suing not only the IRS but also the individual agents involved in targeting these conservative groups, delaying the application process.
Geary spoke to Jenny Beth Martin, of Woodstock, just before she left for Washington to attend congressional hearings on the issue.
She heads the national group.
"It concerned me they were asking for information they had no right to ask for," Martin said.
Dooley gave Geary more information on what the IRS demanded.
"They wanted to know names of congressmen that supported us. They wanted us to take a screen shot of our Facebook page. They wanted our volunteer list. This is tyranny," Dooley said.
Channel 2 Action News crews also tracked down U.S. Rep. Tom Price, R-Fulton County, in Washington. He said he wants to know who ordered the IRS employees to target conservative groups.
"This wasn't a
low-level decision. Low-level workers at the IRS don't make these decisions independently," Price said.
Price sits on the House Ways and Means Committee, which will hold a hearing on the issue Friday. He is questioning the trustworthiness of the Obama administration.
"We need answers right now. That's why I've called on the president to come clean with the American people," Price said.
Dooley had a warning for other group leaders.
"Every group, whether you're on the left or right in America, you should be extremely afraid of all this. The IRS had an enemies list much like Richard Nixon had," Dooley said.
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