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House investigators to question Cincinnati IRS employees

IRS sign with magnifying glass Internal revenue Service tax taxes
CBS/iStockphoto

House investigators will question four Internal Revenue Service employees from the Cincinnati office in the next two weeks about their involvement in the targeting controversy where conservative groups received additional review for their 501(c)4 applications, two House GOP aides told CBS News.

In the transcribed interviews to take place behind closed doors, investigators from the House Ways and Means and House Oversight committees are seeking answers about why the agency flagged tax-exempt status requests with "tea party," "patriot" and "9/12 project." With two interviews scheduled for next week, and two for the following, the time and days of these appointments are not yet public.

House investigators will later request additional interviewees from the Cincinnati office, where the agency reviews tax-exempt status applications, one House GOP aid told CBS News.

Earlier this month, House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., asked to interview IRS employees John Shafer, Gary Muthert, Elizabeth Hofacare and Joseph Herr; it's likely those are the interviewees, however the committees would not confirm who they'll be talking to. Issa interviewed Holly Paz, the IRS director of the rulings and agreements division, last week about her interactions with the inspector general and IRS employees - she sat in on interviews between the two parties.

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    Jill Jackson is a CBS News senior political producer.