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President Obama is facing demands to apologize and intervene in a growing scandal over U.S. tax collectors targeting his right-wing political opponents for excessive scrutiny in the run-up to the last general election.
Republicans have seized on the scandal, which emerged after conservative grass-roots Tea Party groups complained they were being subjected to spurious inquiries over their tax-exempt status from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
Although there is no suggestion that Mr. Obama or the White House knew about the IRS tactics, several leading conservatives said the practices had disturbing echoes of Richard Nixon using the IRS to audit and harass his political enemies.
“It is absolutely chilling that the IRS was singling out conservative groups for extra review and I think that it’s very disappointing that the president hasn’t personally condemned this and spoken out,” said Susan Collins, the Republican senator for Maine.
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