Washington (CNN) - Officials at the Internal Revenue Service knew in June 2011 that their agents were targeting conservative groups for additional scrutiny on tax documents, an inspector general report to be released this week is expected to say, according to a congressional source familiar with the inquiry.
Further, an early timeline of events compiled by the inspector general and obtained by CNN indicates the agency's practice of singling out conservative groups began as early as March 2010, and in July of that year, unidentified managers within the agency "requested its specialists to be on the lookout for tea party applications." In August, specialists were warned to be on the lookout for "various local organizations in the tea party movement" applying for tax-exempt status. The specific criteria would change several times over the next two years, according to a portion of the report.
(CNN) - Illinois legislators weren’t thinking about harmless flash mobs, like countless renditions of the Harlem Shake or over-the-top marriage proposals, when crafting new legislation recently.
A bill which passed the state assembly on Friday and the state Senate earlier would allow judges to "impose an extended term sentence" when new-age “mob action” involves "electronic communication."
(CNN) - Sarah Palin said the Internal Revenue Service's recent scrutiny of conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status is a sign of "corruption at the heart of big government" in Washington.
"So many Americans knew this was happening, but many felt defenseless and even helpless against a government that seems to roll along without accountability or sense of obligation to the people it's supposed to serve. These Americans were mocked for being concerned about this, but now we see light shining on the truth, finally," she wrote in an online posting shortly after the IRS acknowledged it made "mistakes" in handling the applications of tea party groups.
Washington (CNN) - Honoring police officers at the White House on Saturday, President Barack Obama made another call on Congress to enact tough restrictions on guns.
At the annual “Top Cops” event in the East Room, Obama said the nation needs new “common sense” laws that could make it “harder for dangerous criminals to get their hands on lethal weapons."
(CNN) - Former President Bill Clinton called on Howard University's class of 2013 to create a world that does not leave behind individuals like the two young men accused of bombing the Boston Marathon last month.
"They were not as empowered as you were," he said at Saturday's commencement ceremonies.
Washington (CNN) - The top Democrat on the committee considering President Barack Obama's nominee to lead the Environmental Protection Agency indicated late Friday she may attempt to break an impasse over the nomination this week.
Republicans prevented a Thursday vote on the nomination of Gina McCarthy, the assistant administrator of the agency, by boycotting a meeting of the Environment and Public Works committee. GOP members said their questions for McCarthy and the EPA have gone unanswered, a contention the White House disputed.
Washington (CNN) - The West Wing of the White House, including the press area, was evacuated Saturday out of an abundance of caution as authorities investigate the source of smoke coming out of what is believed to be a mechanical closet, a Secret Service spokesman told CNN.
Five fire trucks responded to the White House, including a ladder truck, but all departed shortly thereafter.
The scene was calm, and soon people were allowed to return inside the White House.
– CNN's Athena Jones contributed to this report
(CNN) – President Barack Obama described America’s housing market as “healing” on Saturday in his weekly address, touting his own record on the subject and encouraging Congress to act on more of his proposals, including approving his nominee for a key housing post.
“From the day I took office, I’ve made it a priority to help responsible homeowners and prevent the kind of recklessness that helped cause this crisis in the first place,” Obama said. “My housing plan has already helped more than two million people refinance their mortgages, and they’re saving an average of $3,000 per year.”
(CNN) – A measure recently approved by the U.S. House altering federal overtime laws that was sharply opposed by Democrats, and isn’t expected to pass the Democrat-led Senate, was the subject of Saturday’s weekly Republican address.
Rep. Martha Roby, R-Alabama, who authored the Working Families Flexibility Act, said the measure “provides options for working moms and dads who need more time to take care of family responsibilities” and “demonstrates how applying conservative principles can help working Americans in their everyday lives.”