WASHINGTON -- A federal watchdog's upcoming report says senior Internal Revenue Service officials knew agents were targeting tea party groups in 2011.
The disclosure contradicts public statements by former IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman, who repeatedly assured Congress that conservative groups were not targeted.
On Friday, the IRS apologized for what it acknowledged was "inappropriate" targeting of conservative political groups during the 2012 election to see if those groups were violating their tax-exempt status.
The Treasury's inspector general for tax administration is expected to release the results of a nearly yearlong investigation in the coming week.
The Associated Press obtained part of the draft report.
That report says the head of the IRS division that oversees tax-exempt groups learned that groups were being targeted in June 2011. It does not say whether Shulman was notified.