Top IRS officials knew of conservative targeting
According to multiple reports, top IRS officials in Washington were informed in May, 2012 of the practice by the agency's tax-exempt office of scrutinizing conservative groups, some with "tea party" or "patriot" in the name, others that strongly criticized the government.
According to the Washington Post:
[D]etails of the IRS’s efforts to target conservative groups reached the highest levels of the agency in May 2012, far earlier than has been disclosed, according to Republican congressional aides briefed by the IRS and the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) on the details of their reviews.
Then-Commissioner Douglas Shulman, a George W. Bush appointee who stepped down in November, received a briefing from the TIGTA about what was happening in the Cincinnati office in May 2012, the aides said. His deputy and the agency’s current acting commissioner, Steven T. Miller, also learned about the matter that month, the aides said.