Justice Department to update Congress on IRS probe; missing emails now part of investigation

A Justice Department investigation into the Internal Revenue Service is expanding to include an inquiry into the disappearance of emails from a former senior IRS official.

Deputy Attorney General James Cole is updating Congress on Thursday about the department's investigation into whether the agency targeted conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status. He also is expected to tell a House committee that investigators are now also looking into emails that went missing from the computer of the former head of the IRS division that deals with tax-exempt organizations, Lois Lerner.

Lerner's disclosure last year that IRS agents had improperly scrutinized conservative groups set off a political firestorm that continues to flare this election year.

Republican members of Congress have accused the Obama administration of not cooperating with their investigation.