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Former IRS commissioner to testify on Capitol Hill

WASHINGTON (AP) — Lawmakers are getting their first chance to question the former head of the Internal Revenue Service, the man who ran the agency when agents were improperly targeting tea party groups.

Some of the questions on Tuesday will be direct: What did you know, and when did you know it?

They also want to know why former IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman didn't tell Congress that agents had been singling out conservative political groups for additional scrutiny when they applied for tax-exempt status — even after he was briefed.

Shulman, who was appointed by President George W. Bush, left the IRS in November when his five-year term ended. He could prove to be a significant player in a scandal that has driven the Obama administration to distraction. Shulman is testifying before the Senate Finance Committee, which has launched a bipartisan investigation into the matter.

On Monday, the White House revealed that chief of staff Denis McDonough and other senior presidential advisers knew in late April that an upcoming inspector general's report was likely to find that IRS employees had inappropriately targeted conservative political groups.

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