President Trump and Michael Flynn in December 2016.(Photo: JIM WATSON, AFP/Getty Images)CONNECT>TWEET> 2 LINKEDIN 11 COMMENTEMAILMORE
Special counsel Robert Mueller is investigating Russian government interference in the 2016 presidential election and any connections to President Trump's campaign, leading to criminal charges against four people involved in the Trump campaign so far. Here's a timeline of key events:
November 9, 2013
Donald Trump and family members attend the 2013 Miss Universe competition in Moscow. The pageant, owned by Trump at the time, was sponsored by Aras Agalarov, a Russian real estate developer. Following the pageant, Trump signed a deal with Agalarov to build a Trump Tower in Moscow, though the deal was stalled at some point during Trump's campaign for president.
The Obama White House moves to fire Michael Flynn from his post as director of the Defense Intelligence Agency over his brusque management style.
June 16, 2015
Trump launches his campaign for president.
December 10, 2015
Michael Flynn takes a paid trip to Russia to appear at a gala for the Russian media outlet RT. Flynn dined at a table with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Carter Page shows up at Corey Lewandowski’s office to begin volunteer work for the Trump campaign. That month, attends an initial meeting as a volunteer with an unpaid informal committee: the “initial foreign policy committee.”
Early March 2016
George Papadopoulos, an international energy and oil consultant who was living in London at the time, learned he would be a foreign policy adviser for the Trump campaign.
March 6, 2016
George Papadopoulos spoke with a Trump campaign official identified in court records as just "Campaign Supervisor” and says that he learned that a principal foreign policy focus of the Trump campaign was an improved U.S. relationship with Russia.
March 14, 2016
Traveling in Italy, George Papadopoulos met an individual who was a professor based in London. Later identified in federal court records as “The Professor," the man initially seemed uninterested in Papadopoulos. However, after Papadopoulos informed the Professor he had joined the Trump campaign, the Professor appeared to take great interest, court documents said. Papadopoulos was interested in the Professor because he claimed to have substantial connections with Russian government officials, which Papadopoulos thought could increase his importance as a policy adviser to the Trump campaign.
March 17, 2016
The campaign's senior policy advisor, Stephen Miller, announces on Fox News that U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., will choose Trump’s foreign policy team.>
Attorney General Jeff Sessions testifies before the House Judiciary Committee in Washington during an oversight hearing on the Department of Justice. (Photo: Jack Gruber, USA TODAY)
March 19, 2016
Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta's email is hacked.
March 21, 2016
In a meeting with The Washington Post editorial board, Trump provides a list of five foreign policy advisers: Walid Phares, Carter Page, Joe Schmitz, ret. Lt. Gen. Keith Kellogg and George Papadopoulos. "George Papadopoulos, he’s an energy and oil consultant, excellent guy," Trump said.
March 24, 2016
Trump adviser Papadopoulos met with "The Professor" in London, according to federal court records about his guilty plea. The Professor brought with him a woman — identified in court records as the “Female Russian National” — who was introduced as a relative of Russian President Vladimir Putin with connections to senior Russian government officials. Papadopoulos emailed a person identified in court records as "Campaign Supervisor" and several members of the campaign’s foreign policy team: “Just finished a very productive lunch with a good friend of mine ... who introduced me to both Putin’s niece and the Russian Ambassador in London — who also acts as the Deputy Foreign Minister,” according to court records. Papadopoulos added: “The topic of the lunch was to arrange a meeting between us and the Russian leadership to discuss U.S.-Russia ties under President Trump. They are keen to host us in a ‘neutral’ city, or directly in Moscow. They said the leadership, including Putin, is ready to meet with us and Mr. Trump should there be interest. Waiting for everyone’s thoughts on moving forward with this very important issue.” The person identified in court records only as "Campaign Supervisor" responded that he would “work it through the campaign,” but that no commitments should be made at that point. The Campaign Supervisor added: “Great work,” according to the court records.>
Paul Manafort, accompanied by his lawyers, arrives at federal court in Washington on Nov. 2, 2017. (Photo: Jose Luis Magana, AP)
March 28, 2016
Trump campaign hires Paul Manafort, a longtime domestic and international political consultant, to oversee delegate operations for campaign.
Late March 2016
Carter Page is among a group of people on the Trump campaign's national security advisory committee, who received an email from George Papadopoulos concerning a professor, according to Page’s 2017 testimony to Congressional investigators.
March 31, 2016
George Papadopoulos attended a “national security meeting” in Washington with then-candidate Trump, Jeff Sessions and other foreign policy advisers for the campaign. When Papadopoulos introduced himself, he said he had connections that could help arrange a meeting between Trump and Putin. After this trip to Washington, court documents show Papadopoulos worked with the Professor and the Female Russian National to arrange a meeting between the campaign and the Russian government, and took steps to advise the Trump campaign of his progress.>
In this photo from President Donald Trump's Twitter account, George Papadopoulos, third from left, sits at a table with then-candidate Trump and others at what is labeled at a national security meeting in Washington that was posted on March 31, 2016. Papadopoulos, a former Trump campaign aide belittled by the White House as a low-level volunteer was thrust on Oct. 30, 2017, to the center of special counsel Robert Muellers investigation, providing evidence in the first criminal case that connects Trumps team and intermediaries for Russia seeking to interfere in the campaign. (Photo: AP)
Early April 2016
George Papadopoulos sent multiple emails to other members of the campaign’s foreign policy team regarding his contacts with “the Russians” and his “outreach to Russia.”
April 10, 2016
George Papadopoulos emailed the Female Russian National, according to court records citing documents obtained by federal investigators, re-introducing himself and noting that “[w]e met with [“Professor”] in London. The reason for my message is because [“Professor”] sent an email that you tried contacting me." Papadopoulos added: “It would be a pleasure to meet again. If not, we should have a call and discuss some things.” He ended the email with his mobile number and asking the woman's mobile number.
April 11, 2016
The person identified in court records as a "Female Russian National” responded to Papadopoulos’ April 10 email, saying she was “now back in St. Petersburg” but “would be very pleased to support your initiatives between our two countries and of course I would be very pleased to meet you again.” Papadopoulos responded, copying The Professor, saying: “I think a good step would be for me to meet with the Russian Ambassador in London sometime this month.” Papadopoulos said he would “like to discuss with him, or anyone else you recommend, about a potential foreign policy trip to Russia." The court records go on to say that the Professor responded to Papadopoulos later that same day: “This is already been agreed. I am flying to Moscow on the 18th for a Valdai meeting, plus other meetings at the Duma.” The Female Russian National responded that she had "already alerted my personal links to our conversation and your request…As mentioned we are all very excited by the possibility of a good relationship with Mr. Trump. The Russian Federation would love to welcome him once his candidature would be officially announced.”>
This undated image posted on his Linkedin profile shows George Papadopoulos posing on a street of London. Former Trump campaign aide, George Papadopoulos, pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his Kremlin-related contacts, and more specifically on a Moscow-linked professor who was offering "dirt" on Trump's election rival Hillary Clinton. (Photo: -, AFP/Getty Images)
April 12, 2016
Papadopoulos receives an email from a person identified in court records as "Russian MFA Connection" - referencing the Russia Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The emailer said: “I have already alerted my personal links to our conversation and your request. The Embassy in London is very much aware of this. As mentioned we are all very excited about the possibility of a good relationship with Mr. Trump. The Russian Federation would love to welcome him once his candidature would be officially announced.”
April 18, 2016
The man identified in federal court records as the "Professor" emailed Papadopoulos, saying that he had a “long conversation in Moscow with my dear friend [“Russian MFA Connection”] …about a possible meeting between the two of you. [“Russian MFA Connection”] is ready to meet with you in London (or USA or Moscow). I am putting the two of you in touch to discuss when and where this potential meeting can actually take place.” The court records say that the Russian MFA Connection was copied on the email. Papadopoulos responded by offering to “try and come to Moscow” and setting up a Skype call with the Russian MFA Connection for 3:00 p.m. “Moscow time.” Over the next several weeks, the court records describe that Papadopoulos and the Russian MFA Connection had multiple conversations over Skype and email about setting “the groundwork” for a “potential” meeting between the campaign and Russian government officials.
April 22, 2016
The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Connection sent Papadopoulos an email thanking him “for an extensive talk” and proposing “to meet in London or in Moscow.” Papadopoulos replied by suggesting that “we set one up here in London with the Ambassador as well to discuss a process moving forward.”
April 25, 2016
George Papadopoulos emailed a senior policy adviser for the campaign: “The Russian government has an open invitation by Putin for Mr. Trump to meet him when he is ready. The advantage of being in London is that these governments tend to speak a bit more openly in ‘neutral’ cities.”
April 26, 2016
Papadopoulos met the man identified in court records as the "Professor" for breakfast at a London hotel. During this meeting, the Professor told Papadopoulos that he had just returned from a trip to Moscow where he had met with high-level Russian government officials. The Professor told Papadopoulos that on that trip he learned that the Russians had obtained “dirt” on Hillary Clinton. The Professor told Papadopoulos, according to Papadopoulos' later description to the FBI, that “they [the Russians] have dirt on her”; that “the Russians had emails of Clinton”; and that “they have thousands of emails.” George Papadopoulos continued to correspond with Trump campaign officials, and continued to communicate with the Professor and the Russian MFA Connection, in an effort to arrange a meeting between the campaign and the Russian government.
April 27, 2016
Papadopoulos emailed a person identified in court records as a Trump senior policy adviser: “Have some interesting messages coming in from Moscow about a trip when the time is right.” Papadopoulos also emailed another person identified in court records as “high-ranking" campaign official “to discuss Russia’s interest in hosting Mr. Trump. Have been receiving a lot of calls over the last month about Putin wanting to host him and the team when the time is right.”
April 29, 2016
Papadopoulos wrote in an email to the Russian MFA Connection: “I am now in the process of seeing if we will come to Russia. Do you recommend I get in touch with a minister or embassy person in Washington or London to begin organizing the trip?” The Russian MFA Connection replied: “I think it would be better to discuss this question with [The Professor].” Papadopoulos responded: “Ok. I called him.”
April 30, 2016
Papadopoulos thanked the Professor for his “critical help” in arranging a meeting between the Trump campaign and the Russian government. “It’s history making if it happens," he said, according to court records.
May 4, 2016
The Russian identified in court records as a Ministry of Foreign Affairs Connection sent an email to Papadopoulos and the Professor, saying: “I have just talked to my colleagues from the MFA. The[y] are open for cooperation. One of the options is to make a meeting for you at the North America Desk, if you are in Moscow.” Papadopoulos responded that he was “[g]lad the MFA is interested.” Papadopoulos forwarded the Russian's email to the High-Ranking Campaign Official, adding: “What do you think? Is this something we want to move forward with?”
May 5, 2016
George Papadopoulos had a phone call with the Campaign Supervisor, and then forwarded the May 4 email from the Russian ministry of foreign affairs to him, adding to the top: “Russia updates.”
May 8, 2016
The person identified in federal court records as “Russian MFA Connection” emailed Papadopoulos and “The Professor” about putting Papadopoulos in touch with the ministry's “head of US desk.” In subsequent weeks, the Russian foreign ministry connection set up Skype calls with Papadopoulos and discussed, among other things, the fact that “Russian MFA Connection” reported “good reaction from the US desk at MFA.”
May 13, 2016
"The Professor” emailed Papadopoulos with “an update” of what they had discussed in their “recent conversations," according to federal court records. The Professor said: “We will continue to liaise through you with the Russian counterparts in terms of what is needed for a high level meeting of Mr. Trump with the Russian Federation.”
May 14, 2016
Papadopoulos emailed the person identified in court records as "High-Ranking Campaign Official" and said the “Russian government ha[s] also relayed to me that they are interested in hosting Mr. Trump.”
May 19, 2016
Michael Flynn describes himself as an informal advisor to Trump in Al Jazeera English interview.
May 21, 2016
George Papadopoulos emailed an unnamed Trump campaign official, with the subject line “Request from Russia to meet Mr. Trump,” according to federal court records. The email included the May 4 message that Papadopoulos received from the Russian ministry of foreign affairs connection and added: “Russia has been eager to meet Mr. Trump for quite sometime and have been reaching out to me to discuss.” The campaign official forwarded that email to another Trump campaign official (without including Papadopoulos), saying: “Let[']s discuss. We need someone to communicate that DT is not doing these trips. It should be someone low level in the campaign so as not to send any signal.”
May 26, 2016
Trump's primary victories give him enough delegates to be deemed the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.
June 1, 2016
George Papadopoulos emails the person identified in court records as "High-Ranking Campaign Official" asking about Russia. The High-Ranking Campaign Official referred him to another person identified in court records only as "Campaign Supervisor" because “[h]e is running point.” Papadopoulos then emailed the Campaign Supervisor, with the subject line “Re: Messages from Russia." “I have the Russian MFA asking me if Mr. Trump is interested in visiting Russia at some point. Wanted to pass this info along to you for you to decide what’s best to do with it and what message I should send (or to ignore).” Federal court records related to his guilty plea say that from mid-June through mid-August 2016, Papadopoulos pursued an “off the record” meeting between one or more campaign representatives and “members of President Putin’s office and the MFA.”
June 3, 2016
Donald Trump Jr. receives an email from entertainment publicist Rob Goldstone saying that Trump's business associate in Russia, an oligarch named Aras Agalrov, was contacted by someone he identified as the crown prosecutor of Russia, who wanted to provide the Trump campaign with damaging information about Hillary Clinton. Goldstone said the information "would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father." Goldstone, in emails later released by Donald Trump Jr., continued: "This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government's support for Mr. Trump — helped along by Aras and Ermin." Minutes later, Trump Jr. responded: “If it’s what you say I love it especially later in the summer.”
June 6, 2016
The publicist Goldstone emails Trump Jr. asking him when he is available to speak over the phone "about this Hillary info.">
Senior Advisor to President Trump Jared Kushner, who has been involved in some of the meetings with Russians that are under scrutiny by the special counsel. (Photo: MICHAEL REYNOLDS, EPA-EFE)
June 7, 2016
The final primaries of the 2016 election season take place. The Russian oligarch family's publicist, Rob Goldstone, emails Trump Jr. again asking him to meet with "a Russian government attorney." Trump Jr. responds, agreeing to the meeting and stating he would most likely bring Donald Trump's son-in-law and now-adviser Jared Kushner and Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort. Separately, in a speech that day, Trump promotes a "major speech" to reveal damaging information about Clinton "probably" June 13.
June 9, 2016
Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya meets with Trump Jr., Kushner and Manafort in Trump Jr.'s office at Trump Tower in New York.>
A picture taken on November 8, 2016, shows Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya speaking during an interview in Moscow. (Photo: YURY MARTYANOV, AFP/Getty Images)
June 13, 2016
Trump acknowledges that he had promised a major speech about Clinton, but instead said he would discuss her failings in depth another time. "This was going to be a speech on Hillary Clinton and how bad a President, especially in these times of radical Islamic terrorism, she would be," Trump said. "There will be plenty of opportunity to discuss these important issues at a later time, and I will deliver that speech soon."
June 15, 2016
Democratic National Committee opposition research files are released by a hacker called Guccifer 2.0. The release of the files is allegedly tied to Russian hackers.
June 19, 2016
After several email and Skype exchanges with the Russian ministry of foreign affairs connection, the foreign policy adviser Papadopoulos emailed the Trump team member described in court records as "High-Ranking Campaign Official," with the subject line “New message from Russia." “The Russian ministry of foreign affairs messaged and said that if Mr. Trump is unable to make it to Russia, if a campaign rep (me or someone else) can make it for meetings? I am willing to make the trip off the record if it’s in the interest of Mr. Trump and the campaign to meet specific people."
June 21, 2016
Corey Lewandowski departs as Trump's campaign manager. Paul Manafort, who had been leading the wrangling of delegates for Trump during the primaries, replaces Lewandowski.>
Corey Lewandowski is the former campaign manager for President Trump. (Photo: John Minchillo, AP)
June 22, 2016
WikiLeaks releases private emails from DNC officials in the days leading up to the Democratic National Convention. Some emails show DNC staffers favoring Clinton over Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont.
June 27, 2016
Trump says he doubts Russian involvement in the DNC hack. But he invites them to hack emails Clinton had deleted for her official account when she was Secretary of State. “I will tell you this, Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing. I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.”
Late June 2016
Some members of the Trump campaign national security advisory committee meet at the Capitol Hill Club, a meeting organized by Sessions that also included Keith Kellogg and George Papadopoulos. At the end, Page said he mentioned his Moscow trip to Sessions.
Early July 2016
Carter Page mentioned in an email to Corey Lewandowski, Hope Hicks and J.D. Gordon that he received an invitation to speak at the New Economic School. Page’s email states “Please let me know if you have any reservations or thoughts on how you’d prefer me to focus these remarks.”
July 8, 2016
Carter Page gives commencement speech at New Economic School in Moscow. Page says he met Arkadiy Dvorkovich, a senior Russian government official. Page “greeted him briefly as he was walking off the stage” after his speech. Page communicates back to the campaign about his trip, including an email to campaign colleagues Tera Dahl and J.D. Gordon: “On a related front, I’ll send you guys a readout soon regarding some incredible insights and outreach I’ve received from a few Russian legislators and senior members of the Presidential administration here."
July 14, 2016
George Papadopoulos emailed the Russian foreign ministry connection and proposed “a meeting for August or September in the UK (London) with me and my national chairman, and maybe one other foreign policy adviser and you, members of President Putin’s office and the MFA to hold a day of consultations and to meet one another. It has been approved from our side,” according to federal court records associated with his guilty plea.
July 15, 2016
George Papadopoulos sent a private Facebook message to a Facebook account identified with Russian ministry of foreign affairs connection, stating: “We can chat on this, this weekend if you can’t tonight,” according to court records. The Russian connection messaged back, via Facebook, a “thumbs up."
July 18-21, 2016
While attending events coinciding with the Republican convention in Cleveland, Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak spoke with then-Senator Jeff Sessions, who was chairman of the Trump campaign's national security advisory committee, along with committee member Carter Page and J.D. Gordon, who managed the committee as the campaign's director of national security.
July 19, 2016
Trump officially becomes the GOP presidential nominee at the Republican National Convention.
July 18, 2016
At the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Michael Flynn leads chants of “Lock Her Up!” aimed at Hillary Clinton during speech endorsing Trump. “You know why we’re saying that? We’re saying that because if I, a guy who knows this business, if I did a tenth of what (Clinton) did I would be in jail today.”>
Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn speaks about American exceptionalism during the 2016 Republican National Convention. (Photo: Robert Hanashiro, USA TODAY)
July 21, 2016
George Papadopoulos sent another private Facebook message to Russian ministry of foreign affairs connection, according to court records. “How are things?" he asked the Russian, adding, "Keep an eye on the speech tonight. Should be good" Trump gives his speech accepting the Republican nomination that night.
July 22, 2016
On the Friday before the Democratic National Convention began, WikiLeaks released emails dating from January 2015 to May 2016 believed to have been stolen from the DNC by the Russian government or its agents. Papadopoulos messaged Russian ministry of foreign affairs connection on Facebook to ask whether the connection knew a particular individual with extensive ties to Russian-based businesses and persons. Papadopoulos asked Russian MFA Connection “[i]f you know any background on him that is noteworthy before I see him, kindly send my way.” In the following weeks, Papadopoulos continued further communications regarding a potential “off the record” meeting with Russian officials.
August 14, 2016
The New York Times publishes a story raising questions about Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort's work in the Ukraine, detailing handwritten ledgers showing "$12.7 million in undisclosed cash payments designated for Mr. Manafort from Mr. Yanukovych’s pro-Russian political party from 2007 to 2012, according to Ukraine’s newly formed National Anti-Corruption Bureau."
August 15, 2016
Following several weeks of communications regarding a potential "off the record" meeting with Russian officials, federal court records say that the Trump Campaign Supervisor told George Papadopoulos that “I would encourage you” and another foreign policy adviser to the campaign to “make the trip, if it is feasible.” The trip did not take place.
August 17, 2016
Trump receives his first intelligence briefing as the Republican nominee for president. Michael Flynn is in attendance.
August 19, 2016
Paul Manafort resigns from the Trump campaign.
August 21, 2016
Trump's friend and informal adviser Roger Stone tweets: "Trust me, it will soon the Podesta's time in the barrel."
September 21, 2016
Donald Trump Jr. responds to a Twitter direct message from WikiLeaks about an anti-Trump site. "Off the record I don't know who that is but I'll ask around. Thanks," Trump Jr. wrote, according to copies of the private messages that Trump Jr. later released himself via Twitter.
September 23, 2016
Yahoo News reports that U.S. intelligence officials were investigating whether Carter Page met privately with Russian officials while visiting Moscow in July.>
Carter Page, a foreign policy adviser to Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign, speaks with reporters following a day of questions from the House Intelligence Committee, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017. (Photo: J. Scott Applewhite, AP)
September 26, 2016
Trump, in his first debate with Clinton, continues to express skepticism about Russian involvement. “I mean it could be Russia, but it could also be China. It could also be lots of other people. It could be somebody sitting on their bed that weighs 400 pounds, OK?” That same day, Carter Page says he is taking a leave of absence from the Trump campaign.
September 30, 2016
The Russian news agency Interfax publishes an interview with the Trump foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos in which he expresses critical views toward U.S. sanctions against Russia. The next day, according to federal court records, George Papadopoulos sent the person identified in federal court records only as "The Professor" a private Facebook message with a link to the article.
October 3, 2016
In response to a WikiLeaks message on Twitter suggesting he "push" a story about Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump Jr. writes two messages: "Already did that earlier today. It's amazing what she can get away with," followed by "What's behind this Wednesday leak I keep reading about?"
October 7, 2016
In a joint statement, U.S. intelligence agencies express confidence the Russian government has attempted to interfere in the election: “The U.S. Intelligence Community (USIC) is confident that the Russian Government directed the recent compromises of e-mails from US persons and institutions, including from US political organizations.” That same day, Wikileaks begins publishing Clinton campaign aide John Podesta’s emails, which had been hacked in March 2016.
October 12, 2016
WikiLeaks messages Donald Trump Jr. with a suggestion that Donald Trump tweets a link to wlsearch.tk. Fifteen minutes later, Donald Trump tweets: "Very little pick-up by the dishonest media of incredible information provided by WikiLeaks. So dishonest! Rigged system!" Two days later, Trump Jr. tweets the link WikiLeaks provided to him: "For those who have the time to read about all the corruption and hypocrisy all the @wikileaks emails are right here: http://wlsearch.tk.">
Donald Trump Jr. at Trump Tower in New York City on January 18, 2017. (Photo: Albin Lohr-Jones, epa/Pool)
October 21, 2016
WikiLeaks messages Donald Trump Jr. on Twitter "btw we just released Podesta Emails Part 4" at 8:31 a.m. At 8:38 a.m., WikiLeaks publicly tweets out a link to the Podesta emails.
November 8, 2016
Donald Trump is elected the 45th President of the United States, defeating Hillary Clinton.
November 17, 2016
President-Elect Trump names Michael Flynn his national security adviser.
December 9, 2016
President Obama orders a review of foreign attempts to tamper with U.S. elections. Trump dismisses the CIA’s finding that the Russians sought to sway the election in his favor. “These are the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.”
December 12, 2016
Republican leaders announce that congressional committees will investigate the CIA findings.
December 16, 2016
President Obama says the Russian government, at the “highest levels,” initiated the hacks of emails, not voting machines. He vows to retaliate. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Richard Burr announces plans to “continue its review of the intelligence surrounding” Russian influence in U.S. elections
December 22, 2016
A person identified in federal court records as a "very senior member of the Presidential Transition Team" directed Michael Flynn to contact government officials from foreign countries, including Russia, to determine their positions on a United Nations Security Council resolution about Israeli settlements that was set for a vote the next day. Flynn called the Russian ambassador, told him the incoming president opposed the resolution, and he asked the Russian ambassador to delay the vote on or defeat the resolution, according to the documents about Flynn's subsequent guilty plea entered Dec. 1, 2017, to charges he lied to the FBI about those discussions. The Russian ambassador informed Flynn the following day that his country would oppose the resolution.>
Sergey Kislyak speaks during a chess tournament at the Russian embassy in Washington, on May 13, 2017. (Photo: Brendan Smialowski, AFP/Getty Images)
December 28, 2016
President Obama signs an executive order announcing sanctions against Russia, including expelling 35 diplomats and the closing of Russian compounds in Maryland and New York that had been suspected of spying. Trump insists the issue should be put to bed, but agrees to meet with intelligence officials for a briefing. “It’s time for our country to move on to bigger and better things,” Trump says. Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak contacts Michael Flynn, the incoming administration's National Security Adviser, according to court records related to Flynn's Dec. 1, 2017, guilty plea to federal charges including lying to the FBI about those discussions.
December 29, 2016
Michael Flynn called someone identified in court records only as "a senior official of the Presidential Transition Team" at Trump's Mar-A-Lago in Palm Beach with other members of the presidential transition team. Flynn asked "what, if anything, to communicate to the Russian ambassador about the U.S. sanctions," according to the court records. Immediately after that phone call, Flynn called the Russian ambassador and asked him not to "escalate the situation" in response to the sactions, according to the court records.
December 30, 2016
Russia's Putin announces his country will not retaliate, a message that the ambassador also relayed to Flynn, according to Flynn's guilty plea in the federal case against him. Trump later praises Putin in a tweet.
Jared Kushner, Trump's son in law and a leader on the campaign, accepts a job as a White House adviser. He is cleared to take it on Jan. 21. As part of security clearance, he is required to report meetings with foreign officials such as the one he'd had with the Russian lawyer, Veselnitskaya, in Donald Trump Jr.'s office at Trump Tower.
January 6, 2017
The Office of the Director of National Intelligence releases its report “Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent U.S. Elections." Then FBI Director James Comey said that he met with the president-elect that same day at Trump Tower in New York, a meeting that Comey would later testify was tense and made him so uncomfortable that he immediately created a written record of it.
January 10, 2017
BuzzFeed publishes a document prepared by Christopher Steele, a former British spy who compiled a dossier on Donald Trump and his alleged ties to the Russian government. The dossier alleges that Russian operatives obtained potentially compromising personal and financial information about Trump. Moscow has denied having any "compromising materials" on Trump, who dismissed the reports.
A former British spy who compiled an explosive and unproven dossier on President Donald Trump's purported activities in Russia has returned to work Time
January 11, 2017
Trump says in a news conference that while Russia was most likely behind the DNC election-year hack, “we also get hacked by other countries and other people.”
January 12, 2017
The Washington Post first reports that Michael Flynn and Russian Ambassador Kislyak had secretly spoken on Dec. 29.
January 13, 2017
Trump press aide Sean Spicer acknowledges one call between Flynn and Kislyak, but ge says it was for “logistical information.”
January 15, 2017
On CBS’s “Face the Nation,” Vice President-Elect Pence appears discusses the calls between Flynn and the Russian ambassador, saying it was "strictly coincidental that they had a conversation."
January 19, 2017
The New York Times reports that the FBI is leading an interagency task force probing ties between Russia and three close Trump associates: Paul Manafort, Carter Page and Roger Stone.
January 20, 2017
Trump takes the oath of office, becoming the 45th President of the United States.>
President Trump and first lady Melania Trump applaud during the traditional Inaugural Parade. (Photo: Jasper Colt, USA TODAY)
January 22, 2017
Michael Flynn is sworn in as national security adviser, a position that does not require Senate confirmation.
January 24, 2017
Michael Flynn denies to FBI agents in an interview that he discussed U.S. sanctions with Russia before Trump took office, a statement he has since contradicted in a guilty plea to federal charges brought by the special counsel that he lied to the FBI in that interview.
January 26, 2017
Acting Attorney General Sally Yates informs the White House counsel that Flynn lied about the nature of his calls with Kislyak and is vulnerable to blackmail. Trump would later fire Yates in the midst of the controversy over his travel ban.
January 27, 2017
Then FBI Director James Comey has testified he had a private dinner with President Trump at the White House. Comey's written testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee months later described how the president told him at that dinner, "I need loyalty. I expect loyalty." Comey said of the exchange: "I didn’t move, speak or change my facial expression in any way during the awkward silence that followed."
February 13, 2017
White House adviser Kellyanne Conway tells MSNBC that Trump has “full confidence” in Flynn. Hours later, Flynn resigns, saying he had “inadvertently briefed the Vice President-Elect and others with incomplete information regarding my phone calls with the Russian ambassador.”
February 14, 2017
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer says Trump asked Flynn to resign because of an “erosion of trust.” That same day is when James Comey, then director of the FBI, has since testified that President Trump met with him privately and pressed him to drop the investigation of Flynn. “I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go," Comey quoted the president as saying. "He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go." Comey told the Senate Intelligence Committee during testimony months later that he was "so stunned by the conversation that I just took it in."
February 15, 2017
The New York Times reports that telephone records and intercepted calls show that "members of Donald J. Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and other Trump associates had repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials in the year before the election."
Carter Page “was in a lobby near Lincoln Center in the upper west side of Manhattan" and FBI agents "just walked up to me,” according to his testimony to Congressional investigators. Page said this is when the FBI “first approached” him.
March 16, 2017
Documents released by U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings, the top Democrat on the House Oversight Committee, show Michael Flynn received $33,750 from Russia's state-owned television network for a 2015 speech he made in Moscow.
March 20, 2017
During a public hearing with the House Intelligence Committee, FBI Director James Comey publicly acknowledged that the bureau is investigating whether there was collusion between members of Donald Trump's campaign and Russia. Additionally, Comey dismissed Trump's claims that Trump was wiretapped by the Obama administration.
Former FBI Director James Comey appears to have resurfaced on social media, and by the looks of it, he is living it up. USA TODAY
May 9, 2017
President Trump fires FBI Director James Comey.
May 10, 2017
Trump met with top Russian diplomats in the White House, during which he reportedly revealed classified information. According to a later New York Times report, the president also told them that day, "I just fired the head of the FBI. He was crazy, a real nut job. I faced great pressure because of Russia. That’s taken off."
May 11, 2017
In an interview with NBC News, Trump called out Comey publicly: "Look he’s a showboat, he’s a grandstander. The FBI has been in turmoil. You know that, I know that. Everybody knows that. You take a look at the FBI a year ago, it was in virtual turmoil – less than a year ago. It hasn’t recovered from that." He also said that the Russia investigation was indeed on his mind when firing Comey. Trump told NBC's Lester Holt that he said to himself, in making the decision to fire the FBI director: "You know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made up story. It's an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should have won."
May 16, 2017
News breaks that Trump had asked Comey to close the investigation into Michael Flynn, the resigned national security adviser back in February. Comey kept detailed memos of his conversations with Trump, including of a dinner in which the president reportedly said, "I hope you can let this go."
May 17, 2017
The Justice Department taps former FBI director Robert Mueller as special counsel to lead an investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. Sources tell the New York Times that Trump’s team knew Flynn was under investigation for secretly working as a paid lobbyist for Turkey during the presidential campaign.
May 22, 2017
Flynn tells the Senate Intelligence Committee he will invoke his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination in declining to provide the committee documents related to its investigation into collusion between associates of Trump's campaign and the Russian government.
June 7, 2017
Former FBI director James Comey says President Trump privately requested his loyalty and later urged him to drop the investigation into Flynn in written testimony released ahead of Comey's public questioning by the Senate Intelligence Committee.
July 6, 2016
Carter Page testified that he met with Andrey Baranov, head of investor relations at Rosneft, while in Russia. They watch the Portugal versus Wales soccer match at the Europa cup.
July 8, 2017
The New York Times first reveals the previously undisclosed meeting between Trump Jr., Kushner, Manafort and Veselnitskaya. The Times reported that Trump Jr. told them in a statement the meeting was “primarily about an adoption program. The statement did not address whether the presidential campaign was discussed.”>
Donald Trump Jr. at his father's inauguration. (Photo: Saul Loeb, AP)
July 9, 2017
The New York Times reports the presidential campaign was a topic of the meeting between Trump Jr. and the Russian lawyer. The article cited five sources who stated Trump Jr. agreed to the meeting on the premise that damaging information on Hillary Clinton would be provided. Following the article, Trump Jr. confirmed he agreed to the meeting because of the information on Clinton, though the information provided was not useful and the meeting was actually about adoption: “It became clear to me that this was the true agenda all along and that the claims of potentially helpful information were a pretext for the meeting,” Trump Jr. stated.
July 10, 2017
The Washington Post reports the meeting between Trump Jr. and the Russian lawyer was arranged at the request Emin Agalrov by Goldstone. Later that evening, the New York Times reports Goldstone presented the meeting in an email to Trump Jr. promising information on Clinton. According to the article, Trump Jr. did not indicate he believed Veselnitskaya was connected to the Russian government — something she has denied.
July 11, 2017
After several days of increasingly revealing statements, Donald Trump Jr. posts screenshots of the emails between him and Goldstone on Twitter. He also includes a statement saying he believed the meeting would be about "Political Opposition Research" and originally wanted to have the meeting over the phone. "To put this in context," Trump Jr. stated, "this occurred before the current Russian fever was in vogue."
July 12, 2017
President Trump, aboard Air Force One, tells reporters, "Don is — as many of you know Don — he's a good boy. He's a good kid. And he had a meeting, nothing happened with the meeting." The president said, "I only heard about it two or three days ago," but his understanding was the meeting was arranged to discuss some opposition research and nothing came of it. "Honestly, in a world of politics, most people are going to take that meeting," Trump said.
July 13, 2017
Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said he wants Trump Jr. to testify before the committee and would be willing to issue a subpoena to compel his testimony if necessary.>
Undated photo of Rinat Akhmetshin, the Russian lobbyist who was also reported to have been at the June 9, 2016 meeting at Trump Tower in New York City with Donald Trump, Jr., Paul Manafort, Jared Kushner and Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya. (Photo: Courtesy of William Browder)
July 14, 2017
NBC News reported that a Russian-American lobbyist who is a veteran of the Russian military also attended the Trump Tower meeting involving the Russian lawyer, Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort. The lobbyist, Rinat Akhmetshin, confirmed to The Washington Post that he had been in the room, and said he had been invited to the meeting by Veselnitskaya.
August 4, 2017
The New York Times reports Mueller asked the White House for documents related to Michael Flynn. The Times reported investigators questioned witnesses as to whether the Turkish government made secret payments to Flynn during the 2016 campaign.
August 5, 2017
Russia’s former ambassador to the United States, Sergey Kislyak, denies he discussed secrets or sanctions with Flynn. The comments were made during an interview on Russian television.
November 10, 2017
The Wall Street Journal reports Mueller is investigating Flynn and his son Michael Flynn Jr.’s attempts to forcibly remove a Muslim cleric from the United States. The Journal said the two were involved in a plan to deliver Fethullah Gulen to the Turkish government, which views Gulen as an enemy.
November 23, 2017
News breaks that Flynn's lawyers told President Trump's legal team they can no longer share information about special counsel Robert Mueller's probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election. A Trump administration official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, described the move as routine and that it would not affect the president.>
President Trump's former national security adviser Mike Flynn pleaded guilty on Friday to lying to FBI agents about his contacts with Russias ambassador, and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors. (Photo: Jack Gruber, USA TODAY)
December 1, 2017
Special counsel Robert Mueller charged Flynn with lying about his conversations with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak and Flynn pleaded guilty. The court filing, which was made public Dec. 1, states Flynn “did willfully and knowingly make materially false, fictitious and fraudulent statements” to FBI agents during a Jan. 24 interview.
Contributing: Steve Reilly, John Kelly, Brad Heath, Kevin Johnson, Gregory Korte and David Jackson.
Source : https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2017/12/01/timeline-events-related-russia-investigation/914959001/