Ethan Barton of the Daily Caller shines light on tactics the IRS used to thwart Tea Party groups.

Internal Revenue Service (IRS) officials orchestrated a complex scheme to dump conservative and Tea Party non-profit applicants into a bureaucratic “black hole,” according to FBI documents made public Monday by a government watchdog group.

The documents describe how the IRS targeted the groups applying for tax exemptions beginning in 2010 and continuing beyond the 2012 election in a scandal that culminated in top agency official Lois Lerner’s retirement following a series of investigations.

The IRS sent applications associated with the Tea Party to “Group 7822,” a special team apparently developed specifically to snare targeted organizations’ tax exemption requests, FBI narratives of interviews called “302s” obtained by watchdog Judicial Watch show.

“The FBI 302 interviews with Cincinnati IRS employees reveal that the agency adopted a series of policies seemingly assuring that Tea Party and other conservative group tax exempt applications would not be approved before the November 2012 presidential election,” a Judicial Watch statement said.

The scheme’s full extent was shrouded in bureaucratic complexity. The IRS normally sorts tax-exempt applications into four categories, ranging from automatically-approved to automatically-declined.

The agency issued a document that ordered officials to look for groups connected with certain names, including the Tea Party, records show. IRS policy prohibited any groups associated with that document from being automatically approved.

But the IRS took an additional step for Tea Party applicants.