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Tea party groups settle lawsuits over IRS mistreatment

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WASHINGTON DC — The Trump administration has settled lawsuits with dozens of tea party groups who said they received extra, often burdensome scrutiny when applying for tax-exempt status.

Court documents filed Wednesday show the Internal Revenue Service apologized and agreed not to single out applications based on an organization’s political views. A judge must still approve the agreements.

The IRS in 2013 admitted targeting hundreds of groups with words like “Tea Party” or “Patriot” in their names when they applied for tax-exempt status. Many had their applications delayed for months and years. The organizations sued, alleging constitutional rights violations.

The issue became a major embarrassment for the Obama administration, which declined to prosecute anyone for the mistreatment.

The Trump Justice Department has also said it lacks the evidence to reopen the criminal investigation.

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