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Tea Party Groups Threaten to Sue IRS

Comstock Images/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- What is the next step for the tea party groups who feel they were unfairly scrutinized by the Internal Revenue Service?  For many of them, it may be lawsuits against the agency.

Jay Sekulow, the chief counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice, said the group will be bringing a lawsuit on behalf of many of those groups next week.

"It's the logical next step," he said.

"The admission and apology by the IRS that the criteria used [in tea party applications] was not correct and inappropriate" is grounds for a suit, Sekulow said in an interview with ABC News, because groups he represents are "still getting letters requesting information" and he believes "if we don't file suit we won't bring an end to this."

ACLJ represents 27 tea party organizations that feel they were unfairly targeted by the IRS.  Ten of the groups ACLJ represents still have pending applications to get tax-exempt status, while 15 did receive tax-exempt status.

ACLJ is preparing a lawsuit against the Department of Treasury and the IRS on behalf of at least 17 of those groups, Sekulow said -- and more groups, possibly even potential new clients beyond the 27 the ACLJ currently represents, could be added.

Sekulow said he plans on filing the suit this week.

"We are going to focus on a lack of standards and the treatment they were given and the wrong criteria utilized, much of what was in the IG report," Sekulow said.

Other government officials might be added to the suit, he said, including IRS agents named in the documents and department heads.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

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