WASHINGTON (AP) — Newly released emails show a former IRS official at the center of the agency's tea party controversy calling right-wing Republicans "crazies" and more.

The revelation is fueling GOP claims of a political conspiracy at the IRS to target conservative groups.

The official, Lois Lerner, headed the IRS division that handles applications for tax-exempt status. In a series of emails with an associate in November 2012, Lerner made two disparaging remarks about some members of the GOP. One of the remarks was vulgar.

The chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Republican Rep. Dave Camp, released the emails Wednesday.

In one email, Lerner called some conservatives "crazies."

Congress and the Justice Department are investigating whether the IRS improperly scrutinized applications for tax-exempt status from conservative groups.

(Story by: Stephen Ohlemacher, The Associated Press)