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  • February. IRS abuses hit the media for the first time but attract little attention.
  • 22 March. IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman testifies before the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Oversight that there was "absolutely no targeting" by the IRS of conservative and/or Tea Party organizations.
  • 19 April. National Organization for Marriage Human Rights Campaign announced that IRS disclosed copies of their tax returns to Obama political allies. IRS later admitted to theft of government property and paid damages for illegal disclosure to unauthorized persons of a citizen's confidential information.[1]


  • 11 May. The Wall Street Journal publishes an article entitled, The President's Hit List. "Idaho businessman Frank VanderSloot has become the target of a smear campaign since it was disclosed earlier this year that he had donated $1 million to a super PAC supporting Mr. Romney. President Obama's campaign website teed him up in April as one of eight "less than reputable" Romney donors and a "bitter foe of the gay rights movement." One sin: His wife donated to an anti-gay-marriage campaign, of the kind that have passed in 30 or so states. Now we learn that little more than a week after that Presidential posting, a former Democratic Senate staffer called the courthouse in Mr. VanderSloot's home town of Idaho Falls seeking his divorce records. Ms. Strassel traced the operative, Michael Wolf, to a Washington, D.C. outfit called Fusion GPS that says it is "a commercial research firm."[2]
    Fusion GPS is run by a former Wall Street Journal reporter, Glenn Simpson, who wouldn't say who is paying him for this high-minded slumming but said in an email that Mr. VanderSloot was a "legitimate" target because of "his record on gay issues."[3] FusionGPS is the same oufit that later produces the Steele dossier.
  • 12 May. The Associated Press publishes a story based on leaks of FISA information about a CIA operation which foiled a terrorist plot to detonate an explosive device on a commercial airline.[4] Michelle Obama refers to Kenya as Barack Obama's homeland in public speech.[5]
  • 4 June. Inspector General informs Treasury Department general counsel he will be investigating the IRS's targeting of conservative groups.[6]
  • July. Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) inquiry begins.
  • 29 August. Trump tweets, "What a coincidence--Michelle Obama called Kenya @BarackObama's "homeland" in 2008"[7]


  • 11 September. Benghazi massacre on the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
  • 16 September. Susan Rice appears on 5 Sunday talk shows to put out a fake news narrative​ that the Benghazi massacre was a "spontaneous demonstration" rather than a terrorist attack.[8] The presidential election is less than two months away, and the White House is fearful of upsetting President Obama's chance of winning by giving the public the truth.


  • 6 November. Obama elected to second term. His opponent Mitt Romney does not allege any improper surveillance of Romney's campaign. Republicans retain control of House Oversight Committee investigating IRS abuse.
  • 11 November. Shulman steps down as IRS Commissioner.
  • 14 December. President Obama signs the Magnitsky Act.[9] John McCain is a chief sponsor.[10] Russian parliament retaliates banning Americans from adopting Russian children. European Union stymied, under pressure from the US to pass similar legislation, but with much closer social and economic ties to Russia, fails to act. The incident is seen by some as a provocation for a new, brewing Cold War.
  • Ingram, David (May 13, 2013). Associated Press says U.S. government seized journalists' phone records. Reuters Canada.