U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder says the FBI's criminal investigation of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) could include potential civil-rights violations, false statements and potential violations of the Hatch Act, which prohibits federal employees from engaging in some partisan political activities.
Holder, who testified Wednesday to the House Judiciary Committee, ordered the investigation last week after the IRS publicly admitted it had singled out conservative groups for extra tax scrutiny.
Meanwhile, White House spokesman Jay Carney says President Barack Obama is to meet with Treasury Secretary Jack Lew after reviewing a government report showing the tax agency targeted conservative groups for extra scrutiny.
Obama has called for those responsible for the IRS' actions to be held accountable. Carney did not go into details about what consequences the president would seek.
But House Speaker John Boehner raised the possibility of jail time for IRS law violations. The top Republican in Congress said Wednesday "... my question is who is going to jail over this scandal."
Two other congressional committees have announced hearings for Friday and next Wednesday about the IRS matter.
The report released Tuesday by the Treasury inspector general said ineffective management allowed IRS agents to improperly target Tea Party groups. The report blames IRS supervisors in Washington who oversaw a group of specialists in Cincinnati that screened applications for tax exempt status.
The agency started targeting groups with "Tea Party,'' "Patriots'' or "9/12 Project'' in their applications for tax exempt status in March 2010, the inspector general's report said.