Mon May 13, 2013 AT 11:06 AM EDT
Government investigators have found that the Internal Revenue Service scrutinized conservative groups for raising political concerns over government spending, debt and taxes or even for advocating making America a better place to live, according to new details likely to inflame a widening IRS controversy, The Wall Street Journal is reporting. Republicans said Sunday that the IRS’s heightened scrutiny of conservative political groups was “chilling” and further eroded public trust in government, the AP reports. “I just don’t buy that this was a couple of rogue IRS employees,” said Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine. “After all, groups with `progressive’ in their names were not targeted similarly.” Along with targeting tea-party groups, National Review is reporting the IRS may also have given extra-special attention to the tax-exempt status of some Jewish groups for political reasons. From the Jewish Press: The passionately pro-Israel organization Z STREET filed a lawsuit against the IRS, claiming it had been told by an IRS agent that because the organization was “connected to Israel,” its application for tax-exempt status would receive additional scrutiny.