SHARECOMMENTMORE

CINCINNATI -- Some Ohio conservative activists who say they were targeted by the Internal Revenue Service are heading to Washington as federal investigations widen.

The activists say they are among those who drew extra scrutiny when they applied for tax-exempt status.

The Justice Department is opening a criminal probe, and several congressional hearings are planned.

Several Ohioans plan to attend a Washington news conference Thursday and sit in on a House Ways and Means Committee hearing Friday.

They include leaders of the Portage County and Liberty Township tea parties.

Former Cincinnati tea party spokesman Justin Binik-Thomas is also going to Washington for the hearing.

He says he was surprised and concerned to be mentioned by name in IRS questions sent to the Liberty Township tea party when it applied for tax-exempt status.

DAN SEWELL