This article was updated on April 24, 2018.
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.
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.
Use the tool below to highlight particular individuals or threads of the investigation.
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 lobbyist and political consultant Paul Manafort. It’s not clear what the interview pertains to.
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. 8, 2013
Trump arrives in Moscow for the Miss Universe pageant, at this point part of the Trump Organization. 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. Trump’s itinerary that day included a trip to Nobu with Emin Agalarov and, that evening, a birthday party for Aras.
According to various reports, Trump spends the night in a suite at the Moscow Ritz-Carlton. Former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele, based on information apparently from a Belarusan American businessman named Sergei Millian, later reports that Trump’s stay at the hotel included an encounter with Russian sex workers — an encounter documented by Russian intelligence. Trump’s long-time aide Keith Schiller testified that on the morning of Trump’s arrival, someone offered to send several prostitutes to Trump’s room, an offer that Schiller says he declined.
Nov. 9, 2013
The pageant is held. Trump departs Moscow before dawn the next day, according to flight records.
Russians working for a group called the Internet Research Agency begin their efforts to meddle in the election and American politics more broadly.
June 4-26, 2014
Two Internet Research Agency employees travel around the United States to collect intelligence. Stops include “Nevada, California, New Mexico, Colorado, Illinois, Michigan, Louisiana, Texas, and New York,” according to an indictment released in Feb. 2018.
The FBI again interviews Manafort. He later says that this interview is about “offshore consulting activities.” The same month, the FBI interviews Manafort’s long-time partner Rick Gates.
Nov. 26-30, 2014
Another Internet Research Agency employee travels to Atlanta.
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. 8, 2015
A delegation from the National Rifle Association arrives in Moscow to meet with supporters of a gun-rights organization there. One of their hosts is Alexander Torshin, a deputy at the Russian central bank and lifetime member of the NRA.
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. At a dinner, he sits at a table with Putin. 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.
Feb. 1, 2016
Republican primary voting begins in Iowa.
Russian hackers begin targeting infrastructure systems inside the U.S.
The FBI again interviews Carter Page.
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.
At some point during the spring, long-time Trump confidante Roger Stone tells an associate that he had spoken with Assange and learned about emails WikiLeaks possessed that would be problematic for Democrats, including Podesta.
March 28, 2016
Political veteran Manafort is hired to help the Trump campaign manage the delegate process for the Republican National Convention. He is recommended by 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 business 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, though Papadopoulos later reportedly tells Mueller that Trump encouraged the meeting.
Hackers believed to be linked to Russia’s Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU) also gain access to the DNC network. The Internet Research Agency begins buying ads on social media aimed at promoting Trump’s candidacy and undermining Hillary Clinton.
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 the banker 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.
During the general election
At a closed-door meeting of foreign-policy experts and the prime minister of India, Page praises Putin effusively.
The Internet Research Agency begins promoting real-world events aimed at influencing the election.
In an effort to keep the proposed Moscow Trump Tower deal moving forward, Felix Sater encourages Michael Cohen to join him at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. An invitation is reportedly arranged by a former Russian intelligence officer. Neither attends and the project is tabled.
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 15, 2016
A hacker calling himself Guccifer 2.0 releases the Democratic National Committee’s research file on Donald Trump. News reports already link the stolen data to Russian hackers. Eventually, he is identified as likely being an intelligence officer with the GRU.
June 20, 2016
Steele, working for Fusion GPS, compiles the first of the 17 reports that will become part of his 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. The compromising information on Trump includes the alleged events at the hotel in Moscow in 2013.
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.
Early July 2016
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.
July 31, 2016
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.
Aug. 8, 2016
Stone tells a Republican group that he has been in contact with Assange and that the next documents to be released were related to the Clinton Foundation.
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.
WikiLeaks denies having had contact with Stone.
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.
Stone begins a conversation with Guccifer 2.0 privately over Twitter.
Aug. 21, 2016
Stone tweets, “Trust me, it will soon [be] Podesta’s time in the barrel.”
At some point in September, congressional leaders are briefed about the CIA’s belief that Russia was intervening in the election to benefit Trump.
By this point, the Internet Research Agency is spending $1.25 million monthly on interfering with the election.
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.” He continues to tease upcoming leaks over the next few days.
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. (That connection is eventually reported to be a New York radio personality.
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.” This is apparently a reference to the Steele dossier.
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.
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. 15, 2016
The crown price of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, visits Trump advisers including Kushner at Trump Tower in New York. The meeting included George Nader, a businessman with ties to the U.A.E. Obama administration officials became concerned after learning about the meeting only belatedly.
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, including the allegation involving the prostitutes in Moscow. Trump denies that allegation.
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
Erik Prince, brother of Education Secretary nominee Betsy DeVos and founder of Blackwater, meets with a Russian official in the Seychelles. Investigators believe that the meeting may have been part of a continued effort to set up a back-channel with the Russians. The meeting was facilitated by Nader reportedly at the behest of the UAE.
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.
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 tells Comey that Flynn “has serious judgment issues.” He also again denies the allegations involving the Moscow Ritz-Carlton and denies he even spent the night in Moscow.
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.
Comey and Trump speak briefly in the Oval Office. Trump again denies the Ritz-Carlton allegations.
Feb. 9, 2017
Flynn‘s spokesman says Flynn had actually discussed sanctions.
Feb. 11, 2017
Flynn files a financial disclosure that omits his payment from Russia Today.
Feb. 13, 2017
Flynn resigns as national security adviser.
Feb. 14, 2017
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.”
Feb. 15, 2017
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.
March 1, 2017
Comey and Trump speak briefly.
March 2, 2017
Sessions announces he will recuse himself from any Russia investigation after his meetings with Kislyak are revealed.
March 5, 2017
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.
March 20, 2017
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.
March 22, 2017
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.
March 30, 2017
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. Trump asks Comey about a Post report about Sergei Millian, who’d been in contact with Papadopoulos and who claimed that Trump had a “long-standing relationship with Russian officials.” (Millian was also apparently the source of the Moscow allegation, which Trump again denied.) Trump encourages Comey to find out if a “satellite” of the Trump campaign was involved with Russian agents.
March 31, 2017
Flynn amends his financial disclosure report.
April 11, 2017
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.
May 3, 2017
Comey testifies before Congress.
May 7, 2017
Trump drafts an initial letter explaining why he believed Comey should be fired, including that Comey wouldn’t publicly clear Trump’s name.
May 9, 2017
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.
May 10, 2017
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.
May 11, 2017
The president tells NBC’s Lester Holt that the firing was because “this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story.”
May 12, 2017
Lawyers representing Trump release a statement indicating that the president’s tax returns don’t show income from Russian sources, “with a few exceptions.”
May 17, 2017
Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein appoints former FBI director Robert S. Mueller III as special counsel to oversee the Russia investigation.
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.
July 7, 2017
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.”
July 8, 2017
The Times’ story breaks.
July 11, 2017
After the Times reports on the existence of Goldstone’s emails about the meeting, Trump Jr. releases them on Twitter.
July 27, 2017
Papadopoulos is arrested at Washington Dulles International Airport.
Aug. 1, 2017
Christopher A. Wray takes over as director of the FBI.
Aug. 11, 2017
Akhmetshin testifies before Mueller’s grand jury.
Sept. 15, 2017
Manafort spokesman Jason Maloni testifies.
Sept. 28, 2017
Keith Kellogg, chief of staff for the National Security Council, is interviewed by special counsel investigators.
Oct. 5, 2017
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.
Oct. 13, 2017
Former White House chief of staff Reince Priebus is interviewed by Mueller’s team.
Oct. 16, 2017
Former press secretary Sean Spicer is interviewed.
Week of Oct. 23
Sam Clovis, the Trump campaign’s foreign-policy advisory committee lead, is interviewed.
Oct. 30, 2017
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.
Nov. 30, 2017
McGahn is interviewed by Mueller’s team.
Dec. 1, 2017
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.
Jan. 17, 2018
After landing at Dulles Airport, Nader, the businessman linked to the UAE, is subpoenaed by Mueller’s team. He eventually agrees to cooperate.
Feb. 16, 2018
Mueller’s team unveils an extensive indictment against 13 Russian nationals and three organizations linked to the Internet Research Agency.
Feb. 22, 2018
Mueller files additional charges against Gates and Manafort.
Feb. 23, 2018
Gates cuts a deal with Mueller.