Over the course of 2017, as revelations unfolded about the investigation into President’s Trump’s 2016 campaign and any connections to Russian actors, we compiled a lengthy timeline of what we had learned. It was built on an understanding of the state of play and was necessarily refined multiple times as we learned more. Originally created in May, it ended with the appointment of Robert S. Mueller III as special counsel investigating Russian meddling.
Given those limitations, we’ve decided to overhaul it, extending what we know about the Mueller investigation and including newly relevant dates and information. Ideally, this structure will allow for better expansion as needed moving forward. We’ve also added color-coding to the names of central players, which hopefully will aid in scanning the list for information related to particular people.
Many — or probably most — of the items on this timeline will prove to be unimportant or coincidental. For those hoping to get a broad sense of the investigation that’s underway, though, we hope it’s informative.
Do you think Putin will be going to The Miss Universe Pageant in November in Moscow – if so, will he become my new best friend?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 19, 2013
Before the election
Energy industry consultant Carter Page meets a man named Victor Podobnyy at a conference in New York and begins sharing with him “basic immaterial information and publicly available research documents” (in Page’s words). Podobnyy was an officer with Russia’s foreign intelligence service and is later charged with being an agent of the Russian government.
The FBI interviews Page after Podobnyy is recorded by U.S. intelligence officials identifying Page as a possible target for recruitment. “It’s obvious that he wants to earn lots of money,” Podobnyy says of Page.
Aug. 25, 2013
In a letter sent to a publisher making the case for his expertise on Russia, Page writes, “Over the past half year, I have had the privilege to serve as an informal advisor to the staff of the Kremlin in preparation for their Presidency of the G-20 Summit next month, where energy issues will be a prominent point on the agenda.”
Sept. 4, 2013
James B. Comey becomes director of the FBI, succeeding Robert S. Mueller III.
Nov. 9, 2013
The Miss Universe pageant, at this point part of the Trump Organization, is held in Moscow. The event’s location was secured thanks to licensing fees of nearly $20 million paid by a Moscow real estate development firm called the Crocus Group. Its president is a man named Aras Agalarov. Agalarov’s son, Emin, is a vice president of Crocus Group and a pop singer.
Former Defense Intelligence Agency head Michael Flynn begins advising ACU Strategic Partners, a company that seeks to build nuclear power plants in the Middle East in partnership with a sanctioned Russian company.
June 16, 2015
Donald Trump announces his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination.
July 24, 2015
Rob Goldstone, publicist for Emin Agalarov, emails Trump’s assistant to offer to set up a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. There’s no indication the Trump team explored the offer.
Hackers believed to be linked to the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) gain access to the network of the Democratic National Committee, according to U.S. intelligence agencies.
An associate of Trump’s named Felix Sater reaches out to the Trump Organization about a proposed development project in Moscow. It is to be financed by Russia’s government-owned bank Vnesheconombank, which was being sanctioned by the U.S. government. Trump at some point signs a letter of intent to move forward with the project.
The conservative website the Washington Free Beacon hires a firm called Fusion GPS to conduct research on several Republican presidential candidates, including Trump.
Nov. 3, 2015
Sater emails Trump’s attorney Michael Cohen to outline his idea of having a Moscow ribbon cutting that Putin would attend. “I will get Putin on this program and we will get Donald elected,” Sater writes.
Dec. 10, 2015
Flynn is part of a panel discussion in Moscow for the 10th anniversary of the government-backed media outlet Russia Today, for which he is paid. Officials notice an increase in communication between Flynn and the Russian ambassador to the United States, Sergey Kislyak, following the Russia Today event.
British intelligence agencies detect suspicious interactions between Russia and Trump aides that they pass on to U.S. intelligence agencies.
Cohen emails Putin’s personal spokesman seeking help in advancing the proposed development in Moscow. “As this project is too important, I am hereby requesting your assistance. I respectfully request someone, preferably you, contact me so that I might discuss the specifics as well as arranging meetings with the appropriate individuals. I thank you in advance for your assistance and look forward to hearing from you soon,” he writes.
Jan. 29, 2016
Goldstone emails Donald Trump Jr. to pitch the Trump team on setting up a page on Russian social media site Vkontakte. Trump Jr. passes it on to Dan Scavino, the person in charge of Trump’s social media. “Please feel free to send me whatever you have,” Scavino replies. Konstantin Sidorkov, director of partnership marketing for Vkontakte, follows up a few days later. “Nice to meet you and your team,” he writes in an email to Scavino, Trump Jr. and Trump’s assistant.
Late January 2016
The Moscow development is abandoned.
Feb. 1, 2016
Republican primary voting begins in Iowa.
March 6, 2016
George Papadopoulos is named a foreign-policy adviser by the campaign.
March 14, 2016
Papadopoulos meets in Italy with a London-based professor named Joseph Mifsud, director of the London Academy of Diplomacy. Until he learns that Papadopoulos is tied to the Trump campaign, Mifsud is uninterested in talking.
March 19, 2016
Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta is sent an email that encourages him to change his email password, probably precipitating the hack of his account.
March 21, 2016
During an interview with The Washington Post, Trump lists Page as part of his foreign-policy team. Page had been recommended by a son-in-law of President Richard Nixon, New York Republican Party Chairman Ed Cox. Trump also mentions Papadopoulos.
March 28, 2016
Political veteran Paul Manafort is hired to help the Trump campaign manage the delegate process for the Republican National Convention. He is recommended by Trump confidant Roger Stone. Before joining the campaign, Manafort lobbied on behalf of Oleg Deripaska, a Putin ally. That business relationship followed a memo from Manafort in which he offered a plan that could “greatly benefit the Putin Government.” His relationship with Deripaska ended in 2009. Manafort also worked on behalf of the Russia-friendly Party of Regions in Ukraine, helping guide the party’s leader, Viktor Yanukovych, to the country’s presidency. Yanukovych was later ousted.
March 31, 2016
Trump’s foreign-policy team meets. Included in the meeting are Papadopoulos, Trump and then-Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions (R). Papadopoulos says he can facilitate a meeting between Trump and Putin based on his interactions with Mifsud, the professor. Sessions says it shouldn’t happen.
Hackers believed to be linked to Russia’s Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU) also gain access to the DNC network.
The same month, Fusion GPS is hired by the law firm Perkins Coie on behalf of the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee.
April 11, 2016
Manafort emails longtime aide Konstantin Kilimnik (who himself may have ties to Russian intelligence) to ensure the oligarch Deripaska’s “operation” has seen his media coverage, presumably about the Trump campaign. “How do we use to get whole?” he asks.
April 18, 2016
Papadopoulos is introduced via email to someone who has contacts at Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Papadopoulos and the contact begin communicating regularly to try to set up a meeting between Trump and Putin.
April 26, 2016
Papadopoulos is told by Mifsud that the Russians have “dirt” on Clinton. “They have thousands of emails,” he is told.
April 27, 2016
Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law, meets Kislyak at a reception at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington before a foreign-policy speech given by Trump. Sessions may have spoken with Kislyak, as well.
The same day, Papadopoulos emails senior campaign adviser Stephen Miller to say he had “some interesting messages coming in from Moscow about a trip when the time is right.”
During a night of drinking in London, Papadopoulos tells Australian High Commissioner to Great Britain Alexander Downer that he is aware that Russia has dirt on Clinton.
During this month, two different people who support Trump email the campaign to set up a meeting between a Trump staffer and a Russian official named Alexander Torshin. The emails, sent to adviser Rick Dearborn, are titled “Kremlin Connection” and “Russian backdoor overture and dinner invite.” Kushner rejects the latter overture.
May 20 or 21, 2016
Torshin and Trump Jr. meet at a dinner related to the National Rifle Association convention in Louisville.
May 26, 2016
Trump clinches the Republican nomination on paper.
The new joke in town is that Russia leaked the disastrous DNC e-mails, which should never have been written (stupid), because Putin likes me
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 25, 2016
During the general election
At a closed-door meeting of foreign-policy experts and the prime minister of India, Page praises Putin effusively.
June 3, 2016
Goldstone emails Trump Jr.:
“The Crown prosecutor of Russia met with [Emin Agalarov’s] father Aras this morning and in their meeting offered to provide the Trump campaign with some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father,” Goldstone wrote. “This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and it’s government’s support for Mr. Trump — helped along by Aras and Emin.”
“Seems we have some time and if it’s what you say I love it especially later in the summer,” Trump Jr. replied.
June 6, 2016
Goldstone appears to connect Emin Agalarov and Trump Jr. by phone.
June 7, 2016
Goldstone and Trump Jr. finalize “a meeting with you and The Russian government attorney.”
Trump formally clinches the nomination later in the day. During a speech that evening, Trump says he is “going to give a major speech on probably Monday of next week, and we’re going to be discussing all of the things that have taken place with the Clintons. I think you’re going to find it very informative and very, very interesting.”
June 9, 2016
Trump Jr., Manafort and Kushner meet at Trump Tower with a Kremlin-connected attorney named Natalia Veselnitskaya. Veselnitskaya’s efforts to reverse a law passed in 2012 sanctioning Russians suspected of human rights violations at some point drew the attention of the FBI. The meeting was not initially reported to the government by Kushner as required when he took a position with the administration. After the meeting was originally reported, Trump, Jr. admitted that the pretext for the conversation was that he believed Veselnitskaya to have information incriminating Hillary Clinton.
The meeting also included a lobbyist named Rinat Akhmetshin, who also has links to Russian intelligence.
June 12, 2016
In an interview with ITV, WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange says the organization has more emails from Hillary Clinton.
June 13, 2016
Instead of his promised speech about the Clintons, Trump talks about national security in the wake of the shooting massacre in Orlando
June 20, 2016
Former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele, working for Fusion GPS, compiles the first of 17 reports that will become part of a dossier of information alleging contacts between the Trump campaign and Russian actors. The first report cites conversations suggesting that Russia actively sought to compromise Trump beginning in 2011 and that the Russians had compromising information on Trump and Clinton.
June 29, 2016
Goldstone reaches out to Scavino again about Vkontakte.
“I’m following up on an email [from] a while back of something I had mentioned to Don and Paul Manafort during a meeting recently,” he wrote in an email, cc-ing Sidorkov. “At the time, Paul had said he would welcome it …”
June 30, 2016
Page tells Sessions he plans to travel to Moscow to give a speech. He later indicates the campaign approved his travel as long as he made clear he wasn’t representing the campaign.
At some point this month, the FBI begins investigating possible links between the Russian government and Trump’s campaign. The investigation is triggered when Australian authorities contact the agency — realizing that Papadopoulos‘s May mention of Russian dirt to Downer, the diplomat, was validated by the release of stolen data.
Early in July, Fusion GPS’s Steele contacts the FBI to inform them about what he’s heard concerning Trump. (Steele had been a source for the FBI in the past.)
July 7, 2016
Page travels to Moscow to give a lecture.
The same day, Manafort contacts Kilimnik again to invite Deripaska to get a private briefing on the campaign.
July 8, 2016
Page sends a memo to campaign staff with an overview of his travel. It reads, in part, “Russian Deputy Prime Minister and [New Economic School] Board Member Arkadiy Dvorkovich also spoke before the event. In a private conversation, Dvorkovich expressed strong support for Mr. Trump and a desire to work together toward devising better solutions in response to the vast range of current international problems.”
July 11 or 12, 2016
Trump campaign staffers apparently intervene with the committee developing the Republican Party’s national security platform to remove language calling for arming Ukraine against Russian aggression.
July 18, 2016
At an event hosted by the Heritage Foundation as part of the Republican National Convention, Sessions and Kislyak have a brief conversation.
Flynn delivers a speech at the Republican convention, joining in the crowd’s “lock her up” chant, cheering Clinton’s imprisonment. “If I, a guy who knows this business, if I did a tenth of what she did,” Flynn said, “I would be in jail today.”
July 19, 2016
Steele files a report in which he alleges that Page‘s trip to Moscow included meetings with the chief executive of the energy firm Rosneft and Kremlin official Igor Diveykin, the latter of whom mentioned the possession of compromising material on Clinton.
July 22, 2016
WikiLeaks releases emails stolen from the Democratic National Committee. The Democratic convention begins on the 25th.
July 27, 2016
During his last news conference of the campaign, Trump asks Russia to release emails hacked from Clinton’s private server. He later says he was joking.
Aug. 9, 2016
Flynn Intel Group, a consulting firm founded by Flynn, signs a contract with Inovo BV, a firm run by a Turkish businessman close to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, for more than $500,000.
Aug. 14, 2016
The New York Times reports on secret ledgers from the Party of Regions showing off-the-books payments to Manafort‘s consulting firm. Those payments allegedly were hidden by being passed them through third parties, according to Ukrainian leaders.
Aug. 21, 2016
Stone tweets, “Trust me, it will soon [be] Podesta’s time in the barrel.”
Aug. 23, 2016
Stone communicates with Guccifer 2.0 privately over Twitter.
At some point in September, congressional leaders are briefed about the CIA’s belief that Russia was intervening in the election to benefit Trump.
Sept. 8, 2016
Sessions and Kislyak meet in Sessions‘s Senate office.
Sept. 20, 2016
WikiLeaks messages Trump Jr. privately over Twitter, pointing to a new site linking Putin to Trump. The next day, Trump Jr. responds to say he’ll “ask around” about it. Trump Jr. then emailed senior campaign staff about the message. “Do you know the people mentioned,” he wrote, apparently referring to those behind the Putin-Trump site, “and what the conspiracy they are looking for could be?”
Sept. 23, 2016
Yahoo News, apparently after interviews with Steele, reports that Page may have met with officials from Rosneft and the Kremlin.
Sept. 26, 2016
In an interview with The Post, Page separates publicly from the Trump campaign.
Early October 2016
Steele again meets with the FBI, this time in Rome, to discuss what he’s heard in his research.
Oct. 2, 2016
Stone tweets about upcoming WikiLeaks revelations: “Wednesday [Oct. 5] @Hillary Clinton is done. #Wikileaks.”
Oct. 3, 2016
WikiLeaks again contacts Trump Jr. This time, WikiLeaks asks him to have the campaign offer a response to a quote from Hillary Clinton. Trump Jr. replies that he already had. Shortly afterward, he asks about the new information apparently referenced by Stone, but he gets no response.
Oct. 7, 2016
The director of national intelligence and the head of the Department of Homeland Security release an unusual joint statement in which they warn of Russian efforts to meddle in the election and suggest that Russia had a hand in the WikiLeaks document releases.
Shortly after the publication of a 2005 “Access Hollywood” video in which Trump discusses sexually assaulting women, WikiLeaks releases the first emails from Podesta’s email account. The leaks continue for weeks.
Oct. 11, 2016
Trump Jr. travels to Paris to give a paid speech to a group that supports Russian interests. After his speech, one of the hosts travels to Moscow, where she discusses the speech with a senior Russian official.
Oct. 12, 2016
WikiLeaks again contacts Trump Jr. to share a link to file archives. Shortly afterward, the candidate tweets about the leaks.
Stone tells a reporter from a local news station in Florida that he has “back-channel communication with [WikiLeaks’ Julian] Assange,” although he’d never spoken to Assange directly. WikiLeaks later denies the assertion.
Oct. 14, 2016
Trump Jr. tweets the link he’d received two days earlier. In an interview with Fox News, Mike Pence denies any connection between the campaign and WikiLeaks.
Oct. 18, 2016
Steele files a report suggesting that Page‘s discussions with Rosneft in July included an exchange of a stake in the company for the lifting of sanctions against Russia.
Oct. 19, 2016
During the final presidential debate, Trump says Putin has no respect for his opponent, Hillary Clinton. She responds, “That’s because he’d rather have a puppet as president of the United States.”
“No puppet,” Trump replies. ““You’re the puppet.”
Trump then argues that Clinton doesn’t know who’s behind the hacking, if it’s “Russia, China, or anybody else.”
Oct. 21, 2016
The FBI applies for and is granted a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant to surveil Page, by this point no longer part of the Trump campaign.
Oct. 28, 2016
FBI Director Comey sends a letter to Congress announcing the discovery of new emails related to an investigation into Clinton’s use of a private server while she was secretary of state.
Oct. 30, 2016
Then-Senate Minority Leader Harry M. Reid sends a public letter to Comey alleging that the FBI “possess[ed] explosive information about close ties and coordination between Donald Trump, his top advisors, and the Russian government.”
Oct. 31, 2016
The New York Times runs a story suggesting that the FBI didn’t see a clear link between Russia and the Trump campaign.
Hours later, Mother Jones reports on the existence of the Steele dossier. The FBI subsequently cuts off its relationship with Steele.
Nov. 5, 2016
Vkontakte again pitches setting up a page for Trump on the site, saying it would be “the top news in Russia.”
Nov. 8, 2016
An opinion piece supporting the Turkish government runs at the Hill under Flynn‘s byline.
Trump is elected president.
If Russia, or some other entity, was hacking, why did the White House wait so long to act? Why did they only complain after Hillary lost?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 15, 2016
During the transition
Nov. 10, 2016
In his Oval Office meeting with Trump, Barack Obama warns the president-elect against hiring Flynn as national security adviser.
Late November 2016
Trump transition team members warn Flynn that his communications with Kislyak will be monitored by U.S. intelligence agencies. To impress upon Flynn the risks of cozying up to the Russian ambassador, the team requests a dossier on Kislyak to share with Flynn. It’s not known whether he ever read it.
Nov. 28, 2016
In an interview with Time magazine, Trump denies interference from Russia. “I don’t believe they interfered,” he said. “That became a laughing point, not a talking point, a laughing point. Any time I do something, they say, ‘Oh, Russia interfered.’”
He also addressed the hacking: “It could be Russia. And it could be China. And it could be some guy in his home in New Jersey.”
Nov. 30, 2016
The Justice Department informs Flynn that he is under investigation for his unreported lobbying on behalf of Turkey.
Dec. 1, 2016
Flynn and Kushner meet with Kislyak at Trump Tower. Kushner allegedly proposes setting up a back-channel of communication between the administration and Putin, perhaps going so far as to use secure communications systems at the Russian Embassy. The FBI believes that the conversation may have included a suggestion by the Russians that easing sanctions would allow Russian banks to offer financing to people with ties to Trump. Individuals close to Kushner indicate the only focus of the back-channel would be Syria.
Dec. 8, 2016
Page is back in Moscow to meet with “business leaders and thought leaders.”
Dec. 13, 2016
Steele’s final report is filed, focused on trip allegedly taken by Cohen to Prague in August. Cohen denies taking such a trip; no evidence to the contrary has emerged.
At Kislyak’s urging, Kushner meets with Sergey Gorkov, chairman of Vnesheconombank and a Putin confidant. The bank is under sanctions from the U.S. government.
Dec. 14, 2016
Gorkov apparently flies to Japan, as Putin was visiting.
Dec. 25, 2016
Flynn texts Kislyak to wish him a merry Christmas.
Dec. 29, 2016
Flynn calls Kislyak multiple times about the sanctions. At some point, he communicates with incoming deputy K.T. McFarland about the conversation, who shares thoughts with other transition team officials. She outlines the political assessment of the Obama administration in her view, including that Russia had just “thrown the election” to Trump. Flynn asks Russia not to retaliate on sanctions.
Dec. 30, 2016
In a tweet, Trump praises Putin’s decision not to respond in kind to the U.S. sanctions.
Dec. 31, 2016
Kislyak tells Flynn that the Russian response was a function of the Trump team’s request.
Jan. 4, 2017
Flynn informs Donald McGahn, chief attorney for the transition, that Flynn is under investigation by the FBI.
Jan. 6, 2017
American intelligence agencies release a report outlining why they believe Russia was behind the campaign hacking. Comey attends a briefing at Trump Tower, in which he first informs the president-elect that Trump isn’t personally under investigation as part of the agency’s counterintelligence case. He also details the contents of Steele’s dossier.
Jan. 9, 2017
The Trump transition team announces that Kushner will join the administration as an unpaid senior adviser.
Jan. 10, 2017
The Senate holds confirmation hearings for Sessions‘s attorney general bid. In that hearing, Sessions is asked what he would do if “anyone affiliated with the Trump campaign communicated with the Russian government in the course of this campaign.” Sessions replies that “I have been called a surrogate at a time or two in that campaign, and I did not have communications with the Russians, and I’m unable to comment on it.”
Departing national security adviser Susan E. Rice asks Flynn to approve an operation in Syria in alliance with Kurdish forces that would extend into Trump’s presidency. The alliance with the Kurds is opposed by the Turkish government. Flynn declines.
Jan. 11, 2017
At a news conference, Trump discusses the hacking that took place during the election. “As far as hacking, I think it was Russia, but I think we also get hacked by other countries and other people,” he said.
Jan. 15, 2017
On CBS, Pence denies that Flynn and Kislyak discussed sanctions.
Jan. 17, 2017
Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.) sends a list of questions to Sessions, including one that reads, “Have you been in contact with anyone connected to any part of the Russian government about the 2016 election, either before or after Election Day?” Sessions responds no.
Jan. 18, 2017
Kushner submits his application for top-secret security clearance, excluding a number of meetings with foreign officials, including the one in December.
Jan. 20, 2017
Trump is inaugurated.
FAKE NEWS – A TOTAL POLITICAL WITCH HUNT!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 11, 2017
The presidency begins
Jan. 20, 2017
Minutes after Trump is sworn in, Flynn allegedly texts a partner at ACU, the nuclear plant company, suggesting that sanctions would soon be gone and that the project was “good to go.”
Jan. 22, 2017
Flynn is sworn in as national security adviser.
Jan. 24, 2017
The FBI interviews Flynn about his conversations with Kislyak the previous month. Flynn lies about the conversations.
Jan. 25, 2017
Acting Attorney General Sally Yates receives a breakdown of the Flynn interview and decides to inform the White House about what was said.
Jan. 26, 2017
Yates meets with McGahn, now White House counsel, and explains that public statements from the vice president contradict what was known about Flynn, making it possible that the Russians could compromise the national security adviser by threatening to leak that information. McGahn “immediately” briefs Trump on the conversation.
A Trump lawyer later acknowledges that Trump believed that Flynn had lied to the FBI by the end of this month.
Jan. 27, 2017
Yates returns to the White House to meet with McGahn again at his request. McGahn asks to review the evidence against Flynn.
Trump calls Comey at noon to see whether he could come to the White House for dinner. During that meeting, Trump allegedly asks Comey to pledge his loyalty to the president. Instead, Comey offers only his honesty. Comey again tells Trump that the president isn’t under investigation.
Trump signs his executive order barring residents of certain countries from entering the United States.
Papadopoulos is interviewed at the FBI, where he says untrue things about his interactions with Mifsud.
Jan. 30, 2017
Yates invites McGahn to come to the FBI and review the evidence against Flynn.
Trump fires Yates after she refuses to enforce his immigration ban.
Week of Feb. 6, 2017
Trump Organization lawyer Cohen and business associate Sater partner with a Ukrainian lawmaker on a proposal for easing Russian-Ukrainian tensions, which is delivered to Flynn‘s office.
Flynn‘s spokesman says Flynn had actually discussed sanctions.
Flynn files a financial disclosure that omits his payment from Russia Today.
Flynn resigns as national security adviser.
During a meeting in the Oval Office, Trump asks Comey to move away from his investigation of Flynn. “He is a good guy,” Trump said, according to a memo drafted at the time by Comey. “I hope you can let this go.”
In the wake of Trump’s request, Comey tells Sessions he did not want to be put into a position in which the FBI director and Trump were alone, citing concerns about propriety.
At some point after a Feb. 14 New York Times report about communication between Trump staff and Russia during 2016, the White House allegedly asks Comey and Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe to publicly deny the report. Comey later indicates that he told Trump that such communications between the White House and FBI were inappropriate.
Sessions announces he will recuse himself from any Russia investigation after his meetings with Kislyak are revealed.
In an interview on NBC, former director of national intelligence James R. Clapper Jr. acknowledges he had no knowledge of evidence proving Russia and the Trump campaign colluded during the course of the campaign. He later clarifies that he would not necessarily have known about such evidence and that he was not aware of the FBI’s investigation.
Comey testifies before the House Intelligence Committee and, for the first time, confirms the existence of the investigation into Russian hacking and possible links to the Trump campaign.
Shortly after being confirmed by the Senate as director of national intelligence, Daniel Coats attends a briefing at the White House with several other officials. As it wraps up, Trump asks Coats and CIA Director Mike Pompeo to remain in the room. During the private conversation that ensues, Trump asks Coats and Pompeo to try to intervene with the FBI to end the investigative focus on Flynn.
Trump and Comey speak by phone. Trump asks Comey what can be done to “lift the cloud” of the Russia investigation. Trump asks Comey to announce publicly that Trump isn’t under investigation.
Flynn amends his financial disclosure report.
April or May
The FBI focuses on Kushner as a person of interest in its investigation as that effort intensifies.
Trump calls Comey to ask what had been done to make it clear publicly that Trump wasn’t under investigation. Comey suggests he have McGahn speak with the acting deputy attorney general about the issue. It’s the last time the two speak.
Comey testifies before Congress.
Trump drafts an initial letter explaining why he believed Comey should be fired, including that Comey wouldn’t publicly clear Trump’s name.
Trump fires Comey, citing the recommendation of Sessions. In the final letter firing Comey, Trump includes a line saying that he appreciates Comey’s telling him “on three separate occasions” that he is not under investigation. Individuals indicate that Kushner was a prominent voice behind the firing.
In a private meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Kislyak, Trump reveals classified information shared with the United States by an ally, later reported to be Israel. He also reportedly disparages Comey as a “nut job” to Lavrov and Kislyak, and says he “faced great pressure because of Russia,” which was now “taken off” with the firing of Comey.
The president tells NBC’s Lester Holt that the firing was because “this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story.”
Lawyers representing Trump release a statement indicating that the president’s tax returns don’t show income from Russian sources, “with a few exceptions.”
Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein appoints former FBI director Robert S. Mueller III as special counsel to oversee the Russia investigation.
Most politicians would have gone to a meeting like the one Don jr attended in order to get info on an opponent. That's politics!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 17, 2017
Mueller takes over
Shortly after Mueller assumes control of the Russia investigation, Trump allegedly seeks to have him fired. McGahn declines to instruct Mueller to be fired, telling associates he would quit before doing so.
At some point this month, Comey speaks with Mueller’s team.
Yates meets with Mueller’s team.
The Times contacts the administration after learning about the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting with the Kremlin-linked lawyer. The president, en route from Europe to the United States, helps craft a response from Trump Jr. that implies that the meeting was predicated on a discussion of Russian adoptions. Communications staffer Hope Hicks allegedly assures a spokesman for Trump’s legal team that emails demonstrating that this isn’t true “will never get out.”
The Times’ story breaks.
After the Times reports on the existence of Goldstone’s emails about the meeting, Trump Jr. releases them on Twitter.
Papadopoulos is arrested at Washington Dulles International Airport.
Christopher A. Wray takes over as director of the FBI.
Akhmetshin testifies before Mueller’s grand jury.
Manafort spokesman Jason Maloni testifies.
Keith Kellogg, chief of staff for the National Security Council, is interviewed by special counsel investigators.
Papadopoulos signs a statement admitting that his comments to the FBI in January were false. This admission isn’t made public until later in the month.
Former White House chief of staff Reince Priebus is interviewed by Mueller’s team.
Former press secretary Sean Spicer is interviewed.
Week of Oct. 23
Sam Clovis, the Trump campaign’s foreign-policy advisory committee lead, is interviewed.
Mueller’s team unveils a 12-count indictment against Manafort and his associate Rick Gates. The charges include conspiracy to launder money and making false statements. Papadopoulos‘s admission of guilt is made public.
Kushner is interviewed by Mueller’s team for 90 minutes, with questions apparently focused on Flynn.
Trump adviser Miller is also interviewed this month.
McGahn is interviewed by Mueller’s team.
Flynn pleads guilty to lying to the FBI in his Jan. 24 interview.
Dec. 7 and 8
Hicks is interviewed by Mueller’s team.
Week of Jan. 15, 2018
Sessions is interviewed.