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Few Believe IRS Will Be Punished For Tea Party Targeting

The Internal Revenue Service's decision to target tea party and other conservative groups created a lot of controversy earlier this year, but while most American voters believe the IRS broke the law, very few think government employees will be charged with any crime.

A new Rasmussen Reports poll found 53 percent of likely U.S. voters believe the IRS broke the law when it targeted tea party and other conservative groups, while only 24 percent disagree.

But only 17 percent believe it is even somewhat likely that criminal charges will be brought against any government employees for IRS's targeting of these groups. Seventy-four percent consider criminal charges unlikely. This number includes 27 percent who say charges are not at all likely.

Just this week, the senior IRS official whose office probed the conservative groups resigned and is allegedly seeking immunity before she testifies before the congressional committee investigating the issue.

The IRS originally said the decision was made by low-level officials in its Cincinnati office, but has since backed away from that claim.

The survey of 1,000 likely voters was conducted Sept. 24-25. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95 percent level of confidence.

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