In 2008, following all appropriate legal precautions to protect the Institute while exercising her First Amendment rights as a citizen, Michelle Easton temporarily resigned her position as president of the Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute to volunteer with Governor Sarah Palin in the 2008 election.

Three years later, in 2011, the IRS audited CBLPI for the 2008 fiscal year, issuing seven separate requests for massive amounts of information including a “list of contributors and amounts.” Although it complied with all other documentation, CBLPI refused to hand over its supporters’ information.

After months of significant and intrusive questioning, and an appeal of an inaccurate initial audit conclusion, the Institute was totally cleared by the IRS.

“The targeted IRS audit of the Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute was an unnecessary intrusion and diversion of resources from our mission of training the next generation of conservative women,” Easton told the Committee.

“I never believed the IRS selected the Institute randomly. The IRS is a huge government bureaucracy that purposefully targeted conservative individuals and organizations in 2011 to advance the agenda of the Obama Administration and to gain private information of conservative donors to publicly discredit them—a massive abuse of government power. I call on Congress to add new requirements for transparency to the IRS audit policy so that audits are truly ‘randomly’ selected and fair.”

Easton’s full testimony is available upon request.

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