#RealNews on Trump et L'Affaire Russe: A Resource Page

 

Last updated: December 5, 2017

This resource page compiles information on President Donald Trump and associates’ alleged ties to Russia.

Developments are loosely divided into story arcs for readability but are otherwise organized by chronology. Efforts have been made to provide available primary source materials and the most definitive secondary source accounts. Dates for secondary source materials are noted in brackets wherever they differ from the dates of the events reported.

Apparent gaps in timeline under particular story arcs may be addressed under other arcs. Materials have been organized and annotated and naming conventions are consistent throughout to facilitate simple Ctrl+F searches.

This page is still a work in progress but is designed to provide up-to-date, accurate and comprehensive coverage of Trump-Russia developments and allegations. We welcome you to submit comments and suggestions to that end to Shannon Togawa Mercer.

***

  1. Donald Trump’s Statements on Putin/Russia/Fake News Media
  2. Russia Hacks and Data Dumps by DC Leaks/WikiLeaks/Guccifer 2.0
  3. Intelligence Community Statements and Actions
  4. House and Senate Intelligence Committee Investigations and Hearings
  5. Putin Statements, Russian Media, and Russia Developments
  6. Donald Trump and Trump Organization's Alleged Ties to Russia
  7. Trump Associates’ Alleged Ties to Russia
  8. FBI Investigation and Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Probe
  9. The Christopher Steele Dossier and Alleged Trump Kompromat
  10. Trump’s Obama Wiretapping Claims and Devin Nunes
  11. Trump's Alleged Interference with Russia Investigation
  12. Trump Administration's Russia Policies, Actions and Official Statements
  13. GOP Opposition Researcher Peter W. Smith

***

1. Donald Trump’s Statements on Putin/Russia/Fake News Media

  • June 18, 2013: Donald Trump tweets:

  • Oct 17, 2013: On the Late Show with David Letterman, Trump says he has done "a lot of business with the Russians" and says he met Putin once. [YouTube]

  • November 9, 2013: In an interview with MSNBC in Moscow, Trump is asked whether he has a relationship with Putin. Trump states, "I do have a relationship, and I can tell you that he’s very interested in what we’re doing here today." [MSNBC]

  • November 10, 2013: Trump tweets,

  • November 11, 2013: On “Fox & Friends,” Trump says of his time with the Miss Universe pageant: “I was in Moscow and I was in Russia and they treated me so fantastically . . . . I met so many incredible people.” [Fox News (video)]

2014

  • March 6, 2014: At the Conservative Political Action Committee conference, Trump describes his time in Moscow for the Miss Universe pageant and states: “Putin even sent me a present, beautiful present, with a beautiful note, I spoke to all of his people." [C-SPAN]

  • March 13, 2014: Trump says on NBC's "Today" show that the US should “definitely do sanctions” against Russia for sending troops into Crimea. [NBC (video)]

  • March 21, 2014: Trump issues a series of Putin-related tweets:

  • March 24, 2014: Trump states on "Fox & Friends" that "Russia's our biggest problem, and Russia is, you know, really something." [CNN, January 17, 2017; YouTube (video)]

2015

  • June 16, 2015: Trump announces his presidential candidacy. [Time (speech transcript)]

  • October 17, 2015: On the "Savage Nation" radio show, Trump says he met Putin. “Yes, a long time ago. We got along great, by the way.” [CNN]

  • November 10, 2015: In the Fox Business GOP debate, Trump explains why he understands Putin: "I got to know him very well because we were both on 60 Minutes, we were stablemates," he said. "We did well that night." [Time, November 11, 2015]

  • November 17, 2015: In an appearance on Sean Hannity's show, Trump states: “Now all of a sudden, Putin’s going wild with bombing ISIS, and that’s a good thing, not a bad thing. Who needs to take the credit? Let him have some credit.” [Fox News, November 18, 2015]

  • December 17, 2015: After Putin describes Trump as a "talented person" and "the absolute leader” in the presidential race, Trump responds: "It is always a great honor to be so nicely complimented by a man so highly respected within his own country and beyond.” [Reuters]

  • December 18, 2015: On "Morning Joe," in response to host Joe Scarborough's observation that Putin "kills journalists that don't agree with him," Trump states: “Well I think our country does plenty of killing also, Joe.” When asked to clarify whether he condemned Putin's killings, Trump stated he "absolutely" does. [Politico (video)]

2016

  • March 27, 2016: In an interview with ABC’s "This Week," Trump calls NATO "obsolete" and "extremely expensive to the United States, disproportionately so. And we should readjust NATO." [ABC (transcript & video)]

  • April 27, 2016: In a foreign policy speech at the Mayflower Hotel, on the invitation of the Center for National Interest, Trump states that “this horrible cycle of hostility must end and ideally will end soon” between the United States and Russia. Russian ambassador to the U.S., Sergey Kislyak, attends and greets Trump at the reception preceding the address. [Time (transcript); [Wall Street Journal, May 13, 2016]

  • June 9, 2016: Trump tweets about Hillary Clinton's "deleted" emails:

  • July 22, 2016: Three days before the start of the Democratic National Convention, WikiLeaks releases almost 20,000 emails hacked from the Democratic National Committee. [Washington Post] A WikiLeaks page invites visitors to "Search the DNC email database."

  • July 25, 2016: Trump tweets:

  • July 26, 2016: Trump tweets:

  • July 27, 2016:

    • Two days after the start of the Democrat National Convention,  Trump states at a press conference in Florida, regarding candidate Hillary Clinton’s emails: “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing.” [ABC (video)]​ ​

    • Earlier in the day, Trump tweets:

  • July 31, 2016: When asked by ABC anchor George Stephanopoulos about Putin, Trump states: “I’ve never met him. I have no relationship with Putin. I don’t think I’ve ever met him. I never met him . . . . I mean if he’s in the same room or something. But I don’t think so.” Trump also states that “the people of Crimea, from what I've heard, would rather be with Russia than where they were.” [ABC (transcript)]

  • September 7, 2016: At NBC's commander-in-chief forum, Trump states that Putin has "been a leader far more than our president has been a leader." [CNBC]

  • October 5, 2016: At a campaign rally in Henderson, Nevada, Trump states: "I will say if we get along with Russia and Russia went out with us and knocked the hell out of ISIS, that’s okay with me, folks.” [Reuters, October 6, 2016]

  • November 8, 2016: Trump wins the U.S. election.

  • November 28, 2016: In an interview with Time, Trump denies that Russia interfered with the election. [Time]

  • December 2016: On an unspecified date, Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner and Flynn meet with Russian ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak in Trump Tower. [New York Times, March 2, 2017; New Yorker, March 6, 2017]

  • December 15, 2016: Trump transition team releases “[a] very nice” holiday letter from Putin to Trump expressing the hope that Trump will “restore the framework of bilateral cooperation in different areas as well as bring our level of collaboration on the international scene to a qualitatively new level.”

  • December 30, 2016: The day after Flynn’s five calls with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak, Putin states in an official statement that he will not retaliate against the U.S. sanctions.

2017

  • January 4, 2017: Trump tweets

  • January 6, 2017: Trump transition team releases a statement after a briefing with Intelligence Community leaders. It states in part: “While Russia, China, other countries, outside groups and people are consistently trying to break through the cyber infrastructure of our governmental institutions, businesses and organizations including the Democrat National Committee, there was absolutely no effect on the outcome of the election including the fact that there was no tampering whatsoever with voting machines. There were attempts to hack the Republican National Committee, but the RNC had strong hacking defenses and the hackers were unsuccessful."

  • January 7, 2017: Trump tweets in series about Russia:

  • January 10, 2017: CNN reports that Trump and Obama are briefed on kompromat and received two-page summary of the Steele dossier. [CNN] BuzzFeed publishes 35 pages of Steele dossier [BuzzFeed]

  • January 11, 2017In his first press conference since the election, Trump admits Russian hacking for the first time: “As far as hacking, I think it was Russia. Hacking’s bad, and it shouldn’t be done. But look at the things that were hacked, look at what was learned from that hacking.” He further states: “And I have to say this also, the Democratic National Committee was totally open to be hacked. They did a very poor job." He tells a CNN reporter, “You are fake news.” [Washington PostNew York Times (transcript, video)] Earlier in the day, Trump issues a series of tweets denying the contents of the Steele dossier and accusing the Intelligence Community of leaks:

  • January 13, 2017:

    • Trump tells the Wall Street Journal he may lift sanctions on Russia: "If you get along and if Russia is really helping us, why would anybody have sanctions if somebody’s doing some really great things?" [Wall Street Journal]

    • Senators Richard Burr and Mark Warner, chairman and ranking member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, issue a joint statement announcing a bipartisan Committee investigation of Russian hacking of DNC and possible Trump/Russia ties.

  • February 5, 2017: In an interview with Bill O’Reilly, when his interviewer says Putin is "a killer," Trump responds: "There are a lot of killers. You think our country's so innocent?" [Fox]

  • February 7, 2017: Trump tweets:

  • February 10, 2017: On Air Force One, Trump states he didn't know about reports that Flynn had conversations with the Russians about sanctions prior to the Inauguration. [CNNTwitter (Dan Merica)]

  • February 15, 2017: Trump issues a series of tweets denying the Russia story and accusing the Intelligence Community of leaks.

  • February 16, 2017Trump holds his first solo press conference. He states, "I’m here today is to tell you the whole Russian thing, that’s a ruse. That’s a ruse." He also states: "I can tell you, speaking for myself, I own nothing in Russia. I have no loans in Russia. I don't have any deals in Russia." [New York Times (transcript)] Earlier in the day, Trump issues a series of tweets on leaking.

  • February 17, 2017: Trump issues two tweets about the news media; he deletes the first. [New York Times]

Tweet 1 (deleted): <The FAKE NEWS media (failing @nytimes, @CNN, @NBCNews and many more) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American people. SICK!>

Tweet 2:

  • February 24, 2017: Trump tweets in series:

  • February 26, 2017: Trump tweets

  • March 2, 2017: Addressing revelations on communications between Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Russian officials, Trump tweets in series:

  • March 3, 2017: Trump tweets in series:

​Tweet 1:

Tweet 2 (deleted): <I hear by demand a second investigation, after Schumer, of Pelosi for her close ties to Russia, and lying about it. https://t.co/qCDljfF3wN>

Tweet 3 (deleted): <I hearby demand a second investigation, after Schumer, of Pelosi for her close ties to Russia, and lying about it. https://t.co/qCDljfF3wN>

Tweet 4:

  • March 4, 2017: Trump issues a series of tweets claiming that former President Barack Obama wiretapped him in Trump Tower, as well as tweets about Attorney General Jeff Sessions

  • March 5, 2017: Trump issues a series of tweets about Russia:

  • March 7, 2017: Trump tweets:

  • March 28, 2017: Trump tweets:

  • March 30, 2017: Trump tweets:

  • April 1, 2017: Trump issues tweets calling the Trump/Russia story a "scam" and reiterating his claims of improper surveillance under Obama:

  • April 2, 2017: Trump tweets

  • April 3, 2017: Trump tweets in series:

  • April 5, 2017: In an interview with the New York Times, Trump says that Rice may have committed a crime by unmasking the identities of Trump associates. He does not offer evidence. [New York Times]

  • April 12, 2017: In a joint press conference with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, Trump affirmed the United States’ commitment to NATO: "The secretary general and I had a productive discussion about what more NATO can do in the fight against terrorism. I complained about that a long time ago and they made a change, and now they do fight terrorism. I said it was obsolete. It's no longer obsolete." [NATO]

  • April 13, 2017: Trump tweets:

  • April 28, 2017: Trump retweets @foxnation:

  • April 30, 2017: In an interview on CBS's "Face the Nation," Trump states that his former national security adviser Michael Flynn "was on the Obama clearance" when he went to Russia in 2015. When asked if the Russians tried to interfere in the U.S. election, Trump points to John Podesta's company in Russia, Bill Clinton's speeches in Russia, and Hillary Clinton's "uranium deal with Russia," and then states, "With that being said, I'll go along with Russia. It could have been China. It could have been a lot of different groups." [CBS (transcript), May 1, 2017]
  • May 1, 2017: In an interview on the debut of "The Fox News Specialists," Trump states: “I'm not talking, not all of the media. I'll tell you just, that is unfair the way they cover me because they say I'm against the media. I'm not against the media; I'm against the fake media.” [Fox News (video)]
  • May 2, 2017:
    • In a phone call, Trump and Putin "agree[] that the suffering in Syria has gone on for far too long and that all parties must do all they can to end the violence." The White House readout states that the "conversation was a very good one" and included discussion of "safe, or de-escalation zones" and that the U.S. will send a representative to the May 3-4 ceasefire talks in Kazakhstan. The Kremlin readout describes the focus on "creat[ing] preconditions for launching a real settlement process in Syria" and describes the call as "businesslike and constructive."
    • Trump tweets:
  • May 7, 2017: Trump issues one tweet regarding Russia and one seemingly related retweet regarding the media:
  • May 8, 2017: Trump issues a series of tweets in advance of and then during the testimony of former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates and former DNI Director James Clapper before the Senate Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism:
  • May 10, 2017
    • Trump states that he fired FBI Director James Comey "because he wasn't doing a good job." [CNN]
    • Trump tweets about Comey and the reaction to Comey's firing:
  • May 11, 2017: ​
    • Earlier in the day, Trump tweets:
  • Trump issues a series of tweets, including one that critics construe as a threat of former FBI Director James Comey:
  • May 15, 2017: The Washington Post reports that Trump disclosed highly classified information to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during their May 10 visit to the Oval Office. [Washington Post]
  • May 16, 2017: President Trump defends his disclosure of classified information to Russian officials in a series of tweets:
  • May 17, 2017: Shortly after Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appoints special counsel Robert Mueller to head the Russia investigation, Trump releases a short official statement: "As I have stated many times, a thorough investigation will confirm what we already know – there was no collusion between my campaign and any foreign entity. I look forward to this matter concluding quickly. In the meantime, I will never stop fighting for the people and the issues that matter most to the future of our country."
  • May 18, 2017:
    • Trump tweets:
  • May 28, 2017: Trump tweets:
  • May 30, 2017: Trump tweets:
  • May 31, 2017: Trump tweets:
  • June 1, 2017: Trump tweets:
  • June 27, 2017: Trump issues several of his own tweets as well as a series of retweets:
  • June 30, 2017: Trump tweets:
  • July 2, 2017: Trump tweets:
  • July 3, 2017: Trump tweets: 
  • July 7, 2017: Trump tweets:
  • July 8, 2017: Trump tweets:
  • July 9, 2017: Trump tweets:
  • July 10, 2017: Trump tweets:
  • July 11, 2017: Trump re-tweets
  • July 13, 2017: Remarks by President Trump and President Macron in Press Conference

As far as my son is concerned, my son is a wonderful young man.  He took a meeting with a Russian lawyer, not a government lawyer, but a Russian lawyer.  It was a short meeting.  It was a meeting that went very, very quickly, very fast.  Two of the people in the room, they -- I guess one of them left almost immediately and the other one was not really focused on the meeting.

I do think this:  I think from a practical standpoint, most people would have taken that meeting.  It's called opposition research, or even research into your opponent.  I've had many people -- I have only been in politics for two years, but I've had many people call up – 'Oh, gee, we have information on this factor or this person, or, frankly, Hillary.' That’s very standard in politics. Politics is not the nicest business in the world, but it's very standard where they have information and you take the information.

In the case of Don, he listened.  I guess they talked about -- as I see it, they talked about adoption and some things.  Adoption wasn’t even a part of the campaign.  But nothing happened from the meeting.  Zero happened from the meeting.  And, honestly, I think the press made a very big deal over something that, really, a lot of people would do. Now, the lawyer that went to the meeting, I see that she was in the halls of Congress, also.  Somebody said that her visa or her passport to come into the country was approved by Attorney General Lynch.  Now, maybe that's wrong.  I just heard that a little while ago.  But a little surprised to hear that.  So she was here because of Lynch. So, again, I have a son who’s a great young man.  He’s a fine person.  He took a meeting with a lawyer from Russia.  It lasted for a very short period, and nothing came of the meeting.  And I think it’s a meeting that most people in politics probably would have taken.

 

What pressure? I didn’t -- I did nothing. Hey, now it's shown there’s no collusion, there's no obstruction, there's no nothing. Honestly, the whole thing, it is really a media witch hunt. It's been a media witch hunt. And it’s bad for the country. You know, when you talk about Russia, if Russia actually did whatever they want to do, they got to be laughing, because look at what happens....They feel it’s a witch hunt, the people. There are a lot of people. And those people vote. They don't stay home because it’s drizzling. We proved that. But every single party chairman said that my base is substantially stronger than it was in November. That's a big compliment. That’s a big compliment. And I feel it. And I think what's happening is, as usual, the Democrats have played their card too hard on the Russia thing, because people aren't believing it. It's a witch hunt and they understand that. When they say 'treason' -- you know what treason is? That’s Julius and Ethel Rosenberg for giving the atomic bomb, okay?

Question: Do you think you'll invite Putin to the White House?
 
Trump: I would say yes, yeah. At the right time. I don't think this is the right time, but the answer is yes I would. Look, it's very easy for me to say absolutely, I won't. That's the easy thing for me to do, but that's the stupid thing to do. Let's be the smart people not the stupid people. The easiest thing for me to tell you is that I would never invite him. We will never ever talk to Russia. That all of my friends in Congress will say, oh he's so wonderful, he's so wonderful. Folks, we have perhaps the second most powerful nuclear country in the world. If you don't have dialogue, you have to be fools. Fools. It would be the easiest thing for me to say to Maggie and all of you, I will never speak to him, and everybody would love me. But I have to do what's right.
 
And, by the way, I only want to make great deals with Russia. 

I heard tonight, and I saw tonight, and I read tonight that they’re making a big mistake. And I a lot of the Democrats feel -- they say, we’re putting all our money into this Russia stuff and it’s making Trump stronger. Because my people and the people that support me, who are incredible people, those people are angry because they feel it's being unfair and a witch hunt.

Russia makes its money through selling of oil, and we've got underneath us more oil than anybody, and nobody knew it until five years ago. And I want to use it. And I don't want that taken away by the Paris Accord. I don't want them to say all of that wealth that the United States has under its feet, but that China doesn't have and that other countries don't have, we can't use. So now we no longer have the advantage. We have a tremendous advantage. We have more natural resources under our feet than any other country. That's a pretty big statement. Ten years ago, five years ago even, you couldn't make that statement. We're blessed. I don't want to give it up. I don't want to say oh, okay, we won't use it. But think of it. So, if Hillary is there, you're going to have a far less amount of fuel. Therefore, energy prices will be much, much higher. That's great for Russia.
 
So, the next time I'm with Putin, I'm going to ask him: who were you really for? Because I can't believe that he would have been for me. Me. Strong military, strong borders -- but he cares less about the borders -- but strong military, tremendous. We're going to be an exporter of fuel this year. We're going to be exporting. What was the first thing I signed when I got in? The Keystone Pipeline, and the Keystone Pipeline goes from Canada all the way through our country right into the Gulf, and the ships are there to take it all over and compete with Russia.
  • July 19, 2017: Trump interview with the New York Times

We talked about Russian adoption. Yeah. I always found that interesting. Because, you know, he ended that years ago. And I actually talked about Russian adoption with him, which is interesting because it was a part of the conversation that Don [Jr., Mr. Trump’s son] had in that meeting. As I’ve said — most other people, you know, when they call up and say, “By the way, we have information on your opponent,” I think most politicians — I was just with a lot of people, they said [inaudible], “Who wouldn’t have taken a meeting like that?” 

Look, Sessions gets the job. Right after he gets the job, he recuses himself. . . . Well, Sessions should have never recused himself, and if he was going to recuse himself, he should have told me before he took the job, and I would have picked somebody else. . . . So Jeff Sessions takes the job, gets into the job, recuses himself. I then have — which, frankly, I think is very unfair to the president. How do you take a job and then recuse yourself? If he would have recused himself before the job, I would have said, “Thanks, Jeff, but I can’t, you know, I’m not going to take you.” It’s extremely unfair, and that’s a mild word, to the president.

Question 1: Last thing, if Mueller was looking at your finances and your family finances, unrelated to Russia — is that a red line?

Question 2: Would that be a breach of what his actual charge is?

Trump: I would say yeah. I would say yes. By the way, I would say, I don’t — I don’t — I mean, it’s possible there’s a condo or something, so, you know, I sell a lot of condo units, and somebody from Russia buys a condo, who knows? I don’t make money from Russia. In fact, I put out a letter saying that I don’t make — from one of the most highly respected law firms, accounting firms. I don’t have buildings in Russia. They said I own buildings in Russia. I don’t. They said I made money from Russia. I don’t. It’s not my thing. I don’t, I don’t do that. Over the years, I’ve looked at maybe doing a deal in Russia, but I never did one. Other than I held the Miss Universe pageant there eight, nine years...

  • July 15, 2017: Trump tweets
  • July 16, 2017: Trump tweets: 
  • July 17, 2017: Trump tweets:
  • July 22, 2017: Trump issues a series of tweets:
  • July 23, 2017: Trump tweets
  • July 24. 2017: Trump issues a series of tweets
  • July 25, 2017: Trump tweets
  • July 26, 2017: Trump issues a pair of tweets
  • July 27, 2017: Trump tweets twice: 
  • July 29, 2017: Trump tweets:
  • August 7, 2017: Trump issues a series of tweets
  • ​August 15, 2017: Trump tweets
  • September 22, 2017: Trump issues a pair of tweets
  • September 27, 2017: Trump tweets
  • October 5, 2017: Trump tweets
  • October 19, 2017: Trump issues a series of tweets
  • October 21, 2017: Trump tweets
  • October 25, 2017: Trump tweets
  • Ocotber 26, 2017: Trump retweeted @seanhannity: 
  • October 27, 2017: Trump tweets

October 29, 2017: Trump issues a series of tweets following the news that the special counsel probe had filed its first indictments: 

  • October 30, 2017: Trump issues a series of tweets in response to Manafort's indictment: 
  • November 2, 2017: Trump issues a series of tweets:
  • November 3, 2017:
    • During a radio interview, Trump makes the following statement​:

But you know, the saddest thing is, because I am the President of the United States, I am not supposed to be involved with the Justice Department. I’m not supposed to be involved with the FBI. I’m not supposed to be doing the kind of things I would love to be doing and I am very frustrated by it. I look at what’s happening with the Justice Department, why aren’t they going after Hillary Clinton with her emails and with her dossier, and the kind of money… I don’t know, is it possible that they paid $12.4 million for the dossier…which is total phony, fake, fraud and how is it used? It’s very discouraging to me. I’ll be honest, I’m very unhappy with it, that the Justice Department isn’t going…maybe they are but you know as President, and I think you understand this, as a President you’re not supposed to be involved in that process. But hopefully they are doing something and at some point, maybe we are going to all have it out. [WMAL]

    • Before boarding a helicopter, Trump issues this statement: "All I can tell you is this. There was no collusion. There was no nothing. It's a disgrace frankly that they continue." [NPR]

    • In an interview with Fox News, Trump stated, “[t]hat dossier, which is totally fake and made up it’s like a novel … is a disgrace and it should not have been allowed to be used and then I hear the kind of money they spent. I think it’s a disgrace that a thing like that can take place.” [Fox News]

    • Trump issues a series of tweets:
  • November 11, 2017:
    • Onboard Air Force One when travelling between cities in Vietnam, Trump spoke about his brief meeting with Putin, “He said he didn't meddle. He said he didn't meddle. I asked him again. You can only ask so many times. Every time he sees me, he says, 'I didn't do that. And I believe, I really believe, that when he tells me that, he means it." [CNN]

    • In the same appearance, Trump made the following statement about Intelligence Community officers: I mean, give me a break, they are political hacks. So you look at it, I mean, you have Brennan, you have Clapper and you have Comey," he continued. "Comey is proven now to be a liar and he is proven now to be a leaker. So you look at that and you have President Putin very strongly, vehemently says he had nothing to do with them.” [The Hill]

    • After receiving significant pushback, Trump claimed that he believes our intelligence agencies. By his earlier comments, he meant that Putin believes Russia did not meddle in the election. [The Hill]

    • Trump issued the following series of tweets:

  • November 14, 2017: During his Asian trip, Trump said the following about Putin: "[W]e seem to have a very good feeling for each other, a good relationship considering we don’t know each other well. I think it’s a very good relationship.” [ABC News]

  • November 21, 2017: After an hour and a half phone call with Putin, Trump said: “We had a great call with President Putin. We're talking about peace in Syria – very important – we’re talking about North Korea. We had a call that lasted almost an hour and a half." [USA Today]

  • November 27, 2017: Trump tweets

  • November 30, 2017: Trump tweets (Note: Later that day, Trump's personal lawyer John Dowd said he was the author of the tweet and not Trump. [Axios]: 
  • December 2, 2017: Trump issues a series of tweets
  • Trump retweets the following tweets
  • Trump makes comments to NBC News that he is not concerned about the special counsel investigation. [NBC News]
  • December 3, 2017: Trump issues a series of tweets
  • December 4, 2017: Trump tweets

 2. Russia Hacks and DC Leaks, WikiLeaks and Guccifer 2.0 Data Dumps

  • September 2015: FBI informs the DNC that at least one DNC computer system had been breached by a Russian group that investigators dubbed "the Dukes," and later as "Cozy Bear" and "Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) 29." [New York Times, December 13, 2016] A GRU-controlled unit dubbed “Fancy Bear,” or “APT 28,” is believed to have created Guccifer 2.0 and DC Leaks, as fora for disclosing the stolen documents. [New York Times, December 9, 2016]

2016

  • June 14, 2016:

    • The Washington Post reports that Russian government hackers penetrated the computer network of the Democratic National Committee and gained access to an entire database of opposition research. [Washington Post]

    • DC Leaks releases internal documents belonging to Clinton campaign staff.

    • CrowdStrike, a cybersecurity firm hired by the DNC, announces that two Russia-linked hacker groups are responsible for breaching the DNC's servers, dubbed Cozy Bear and Fancy Bear. [CrowdStrike (report updated June 15, 2016); Washington Post, June 14, 2016]

    • Hours later, self-proclaimed hacker Guccifer 2.0 starts a WordPress blog refuting CrowdStrike’s attribution, claiming sole credit for the hack, and publishing the first in a series of stolen DNC documents. [New York Times, July 27, 2016] Security researchers and U.S. officials later conclude Guccifer is a Russian propaganda effort. [ThreatConnect, June 29, 2016; Washington Post (transcript of testimony of James Comey), May 3, 2017]

  • July 22, 2016: WikiLeaks releases almost 20,000 emails hacked from the Democratic National Committee. A WikiLeaks page invites visitors to "Search the DNC email database." [Washington Post]

  • July 24, 2016: Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, issues a statement announcing her resignation in response to material contained in the leaked emails. [New York Times]

  • July 25, 2016: The Democratic National Convention begins in Philadelphia. [New York Times]

  • July 27, 2016: At a press conference in Florida, regarding candidate Hillary Clinton’s emails, Trump states: “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing.” [ABC; The Guardian (video)]

  • July 29, 2016: The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) announces it has been hacked. A senior U.S. official tells NBC News the FBI is investigating the intrusion. [NBC]

  • August 2, 2016: DNC CEO Amy Dacey, CFO Brad Marshall, and Communications Director Luis Miranda all resign after the DNC convention in the wake of the email dump. [Washington Post]

  • August 5, 2016: On “Real Time With Bill Maher,” WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange addresses the release of the DNC emails: "I'm super happy with how that's gone. We've had four people in the DNC resign...that shows a kind of instant accountability." [YouTube]

  • August 12, 2016:

    • DC Leaks releases about 300 emails of select Republican targets, including the 2016 campaign staff of Russia-hardliners Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham, and former Congresswoman Michele Bachmann. [Politico, August 13, 2017]

    • A hacker named Guccifer 2.0 takes credit for releasing information, including personal phone numbers, of over 200 Democratic lawmakers and says the information was stolen from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee [CNN, August 13, 2017]

    • The digital security firm ThreatConnect identifies DC Leaks as "another Russian-backed influence outlet,” as later corroborated by other U.S. security firms [ThreatConnect; Senate Testimony of FireEye CEO Kevin Mandia, March 30, 2017]

  • August 15, 2016: DC Leaks releases 2,576 files, mostly related to internal activities of George Soros's Open Society Foundation. [The Hill] DC Leaks describes Soros as "an oligarch sponsoring the Democratic party, Hillary Clinton, hundreds of politicians all over the world.” [DC Leaks]

  • August 17, 2016: as a major party presidential nominee, Trump receives his first classified briefing by intelligence agencies. NBC News later reports that the briefing included information about the “direct links” between the hacking incidents and the Russian government. [NBC News, October 10, 2016]

  • September 26, 2016: At the first presidential debate of the general election, Trump states: “I don't know if we know it was Russia who broke into the DNC. She's saying Russia, Russia, Russia. Maybe it was. It could also be China, it could be someone sitting on their bed that weighs 400 pounds.” [Politico (transcript & video)]

  • October 7, 2016:

    • The Intelligence Community and DHS issue a joint statement concluding the Kremlin is responsible for the DNC hack: "The U.S. Intelligence Community (USIC) is confident that the Russian Government directed the recent compromises of e-mails from U.S. persons and institutions, including from U.S. political organizations."

    • A controversial 2005 videotape of Trump’s comments caught on an Access Hollywood hot mic is released  [CNNMoney, October 7, 2016; Washington Post, October 8, 2016]

    • WikiLeaks publishes the first in a series of emails belonging to Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta. [Twitter (WikiLeaks)]

  • October 10, 2016: At a Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania rally, Trump states, “I love WikiLeaks,” and cites some of the hacked emails to criticize Hillary Clinton. [The HillYouTube]

  • October 11, 2016: Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta tells reporters there may be a connection between Trump and WikiLeaks through Trump ally Roger Stone: “I think it’s a reasonable assumption to—or at least a reasonable conclusion—that Mr. Stone had advance warning and the Trump campaign had advance warning about what Assange was going to do.” [Washington Post]

  • October 12, 2016: Roger Stone tells CBS Miami that he had “back-channel communications” with Assange about the release of the stolen DNC emails but denies being involved in the timing of their release. [CBS Miami]

  • October 19, 2016: At the final presidential debate, Clinton criticizes Trump for refusing to admit that the Russians have engaged in cyberattacks against the United States. [New York Times (transcript)]

  • October 31, 2016: The New York Times publishes story with the headline, “Investigating Donald Trump, F.B.I. Sees No Clear Link To Russia.” [New York Times]

2017

  • February 16, 2017: At his first solo press conference at the White House, Trump criticizes the leaks that led to the resignation of national security adviser Michael Flynn as a "real problem." In response to a reporter's observation that the president had encouraged leaks during the campaign, Trump stated: "So in one case you’re talking about highly classified information. In the other case you’re talking about John Podesta saying bad things about the boss."

  • April 20, 2017: CNN reports that the United States is preparing charges against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, based on statements from unnamed U.S. officials. [CNN]

  • August 16, 2017: Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks, meets with U.S. congressman Dana Rohrabacher  promising to prove Russia didn’t provide him the leaked documents. [The Hill]

  • September 20, 2017: Wikileaks releases 35 documents, dubbed “Spy Files Russia”, about Russian government surveillance. [Wired]

  • October 5, 2017: Russian hackers used Kaspersky anti-virus software to steal hacking tools and documents from NSA contractor. [Wall Street Journal]

  • October 11, 2017: Israeli intelligence officers found Russian hackers searching for American intel secrets. [New York Times]

  • October 25, 2017: Cambridge Analytica, a data-analytics firm that worked for Trump’s campaign, reveals that it emailed Julian Assange about Hilary Clinton’s 33,000 missing emails during the campaign. Assange confirms that the approach was rejected by WikiLeaks. [The Daily Beast]

  • October 27, 2017: As part of the Senate Judiciary committee, Sen. Dianne Feinstein asked Twitter to disclose direct message history of @wikileaks, @WLTaskForce, @JulianAssange_, @JulianAssange, @GUCCIFER_2, and @granmarga.  [Letter]

  • November 2, 2017: According to people familiar with the investigation, the Department of Justice has identified six Russian government officials involved in the DNC hack. [Wall Street Journal]

  • November 3, 2017: Business Insider reports that when Guccifer 2.0 leaked the first DNC document, the hacker altered the original document by photoshopping the word “classified” onto it. [Business Insider]

  • November 4, 2017: Hackers took over 195 web addresses belonging to the Trump Organization or the Trump family; visitors to the sites were redirected to malware-ridden servers in Russia. [The Hill]

  • November 8, 2017: Robert Johnston, one of the cybersecurity experts who cleaned up the DNC hack stated that the June 2016 Washington Post story that identified the DNC hackers as Russians likely accelerated their timeline. After the story, Guccifer 2.0 and WikiLeaks began releasing information they claimed to have obtained from the hack. Johnston believes they would have held onto this information until the week or so preceding the election. [BuzzFeed News]

  • November 9, 2017: WikiLeaks claims to publish CIA source code for Hive, a tool that allows the CIA to masquerade itself as Kaspersky Lab software. [Twitter]

  • November 10, 2017: Data firm Cambridge Analytica reached out to WikiLeaks for Clinton emails after it had already started working for the Trump campaign. [The Wall Street Journal]

3. Intelligence Community Statements and Actions

  • September 2015: FBI informs the DNC that at least one DNC computer system had been breached by a Russian group that investigators dubbed "the Dukes," and later as "Cozy Bear" and "Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) 29." [New York Times, December 13, 2016] A GRU-controlled unit dubbed “Fancy Bear,” or “APT 28,” is believed to have created Guccifer 2.0 and DC Leaks, as fora for disclosing the stolen documents. [New York Times, December 9, 2016]

2016

  • Summer 2016: Intelligence officials begin briefing senior members of Congress about Russian interference operations designed to help elect Donald J. Trump president. In August, then-CIA director John O. Brennan begins a series of individual briefings for the Gang of Eight (the Republican and Democratic leaders of the House and the Senate and their intelligence committees). [New York Times, April 6, 2017]

  • Late July 2016: FBI begins counterintelligence investigation into possible links between Trump campaign and Russia. FBI Director James Comey confirms this timeline during the first hearing held by the House Intelligence Committee on Russian interference [Washington Post (transcript & video), March 20, 2017]

  • August 4, 2016: CIA Director John Brennan warns Alexander V. Bortnikov, the director of Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) not to interfere in the U.S. election. [New York Times]

  • September 7, 2016At the Intelligence and National Security Summit in D.C., Director of National Intelligence James Clapper declines to discuss the hacks of the DNC or DCCC and says “I won’t get out ahead of the president on this, particularly while the FBI is conducting an investigation,” but he observes that "[t]he Russians hack our systems all the time." [The Hill]

  • October 7, 2016: The day WikiLeaks publishes the first in a series of emails to or from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta [Twitter (WikiLeaks)], the Intelligence Community and DHS issue a joint statement publicly charging the Kremlin with “direct[ing] the recent compromises of e-mails from U.S. persons and institutions, including from U.S. political organizations" and “disclosures of alleged hacked e-mails on sites like DCLeaks.com and WikiLeaks and by the Guccifer 2.0 online persona . . . to interfere with the U.S. election process.”

  • October 30, 2016: In a letter to FBI Director James Comey, Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) says the FBI chief has withheld “explosive information” about Trump-Russia ties [Associated Press, October 31, 2016]

  • November 8, 2016: Trump wins the U.S. election.

  • November 15, 2016: Admiral Mike Rogers, NSA director and head of U.S. Cyber Command, attributes DNC hacks to Russia at the Wall Street Journal CEO Summit: “There shouldn't be any doubt in anybody's mind. This was not something that was done casually. This was not something done by chance. This was not a target that was selected purely arbitrarily. This was a conscious effort by a nation-state to attempt to achieve a specific effect.” [Wall Street JournalThe Hill, November 16, 2017]

  • December 29, 2016:

    • The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the FBI release a joint report that "provides technical details regarding the tools and infrastructure used by the Russian civilian and military intelligence Services (RIS) to compromise and exploit networks and endpoints associated with the U.S. election," activity which the report dubs GRIZZLY STEPPE.

    • The White House issues a fact sheet formally accusing Russia of cyber activities intended to influence the election and undermine confident in U.S. institutions and processes. President Obama amends Executive Order 13964 (originally issued in April 2015) to authorize sanctions on those found to be “tampering with, altering, or causing a misappropriation of information with the purpose or effect of interfering with or undermining election processes or institutions.” [Executive Order 13964 (April 1, 2015)Annex to Executive Order 13694 (December 29, 2016)Sanctions include the expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats suspected of being spies and penalization of two Russian intelligence agencies and four officers of GRU. [New York Times]

  • December 30, 2016: In a post on his personal website, Robert Lee, a cybersecurity fellow at New America, CEO of cybersecurity company Dragos, and former Air Force cyberwarfare officer, supports the White House statement as "a strong and accurate statement" but criticizes the joint DHS/FBI report for "read[ing] like a poorly done vendor intelligence report stringing together various aspects of attribution without evidence."

  • December 31, 2016: In a Medium post, cybersecurity researcher Jeffrey Carr criticizes the DHS/FBI report for "add[ing] nothing to the call for evidence that the Russian government was responsible" for the election hacks.

2017

  • January 6, 2017:

    • President Obama and President-elect Trump and leaders of House and Senate intelligence committees are briefed on the Intelligence Community’s unanimous conclusion that Russia waged a sophisticated cyberattack to harm Hillary Clinton and advantage Trump in the race for the White House. Obama and Trump are also briefed on ex-MI6 agent Christopher Steele’s dossier alleging Russia’s kompromat material on Trump, as revealed by the press four days later. [Washington Post, January 10, 2017]

    • The Intelligence Community releases a declassified version of its report concluding the Kremlin interfered with the U.S. election to elect Trump. The 25-page report, entitled “Background to ‘Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections’: The Analytic Process and Cyber Incident Attribution,” states: “Russia’s goals were to undermine public faith in the US democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency. We further assess Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump. We have high confidence in these judgments.”

  • January 11, 2017: Regarding the Steele dossier, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper states the Intelligence Community "has not made any judgment that the information in the document is reliable, and we did not rely on it in any way for our conclusions. However, part of our obligation is to ensure that policymakers are provided with the fullest possible picture of any matters that might affect national security." [CNN]

  • April 4, 2017: The Pentagon opens a probe into Flynn's payments; the Inspector General for the DoD confirms the probe on April 27, 2017. [Wall Street Journal]

  • May 17, 2017: Rod Rosenstein appoints former FBI Director Robert Mueller Special Counsel for the Russia investigation. [New York Times]
  • May 22, 2017: The Washington Post reports that Trump personally asked two top intelligence officials, Dan Coats, the director of national intelligence, and Adm. Michael S. Rogers, the chief of the National Security Agency, to make public statements denying evidence of collusion between his campaign and Russian officials. [Washington Post]
  • May 23, 2017: Former CIA Director John Brennan says he is convinced that the Russians were aggressively interfering in the election during testimony before the House Intelligence Community. [NPR]

  • June 7, 2017: Admiral Mike Rogers during Senate Intelligence testimony: “We continue to focus analytic and collection effort trying to generate insights as to what the Russians and others are doing particularly with respect to U.S. infrastructure, U.S. processes like elections, we continue to generate insights on a regular basis. If my memory is right, I testified before the SSCI, we did open threat assessment. In that hearing, I think it was the 11th of May, I reiterated that we continue to see similar activity that we identified and highlighted in the January report. Those trends continue, much of that activity continues.” [CNN Transcript]

  • June 8, 2017: FBI Director James Comey during Senate Intelligence testimony: “It's not a close call. That happened. That's about as unfake as you can possibly get. It is very, very serious, which is why it's so refreshing to see a bipartisan focus on that.” [CNBC]

  • July 7, 2017: Sally Yates tweets that Trump’s refusal to acknowledge Russian interference is an insult to IC. 

     

  • July 20, 2017: CIA Director Mike Pompeo says: "I am confident that the Russians meddled in this election, as is the entire intelligence community."  [NBC]

  • July 21, 2017: DNI Dan Coats says that U.S. intelligence agencies agree about 2016 Russian election interference. [NBC]

  • September 23, 2017: Former DNI James Clapper says that Russian interference “casts doubt on the legitimacy” of Trump’s election. [Business Insider]

  • October 19, 2017: At an event for the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, CIA Director Mike Pompeo stated that U.S. intelligence agencies determined the outcome of the presidential election was not altered by Russia’s inference. However, the January report reached no conclusion about the outcome. [Washington Post]

  • October 26, 2017: Robert Litt, former General Counsel to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, stated that the dossier played no role in the coordinated intelligence assessment that Russia interfered in the presidential election. [Lawfare]

  • October 30, 2017: Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper believes that “the Russians have succeeded beyond their wildest expectations.” [Politico]

  • November 4, 2017: Former CIA Director Michael Hayden told Newsweek reporters that the Papadopoulos indictment was the “big one” because it showed how eager Trump staff were to collude with Russian officials when negative information about Hilary Clinton was on the table. [Newsweek]

  • November 6, 2017: CIA Director Mike Pompeo made the following statements at a Wichita Kansas rotary club meeting:

You may be referring to these stories about the president hating the intelligence community and everybody being in angst. I have not seen that. Indeed, I would argue that today they are thrilled with the change in administration. Not because of me, but because we’re allowing them to do what it is that they signed up to go do. My predecessor talked about the fact that we didn’t steal secrets. . . . I came in saying, ‘Hell yeah, [w]e steal secrets.’ That’s what we do. It’s in our charter.” When asked about Trump, he said: “He is largely the human being that you see. He is energetic. He has instincts that are incredible, truly. We’ve got folks that have been staring at problems an awfully long time, and he will provide insights, thinking about things in a way that we haven’t. He sends us back to the drawing board to do better, just in the way good leaders do. . . . This is a patriot of the most extraordinary level.” [Wichita Eagle]

  • November 7, 2017: Upon Trump’s Request, CIA Director Mike Pompeo met with William Binney, an NSA whistleblower who argues that the DNC information was leaked by insiders rather than hacked by the Russians. [The Intercept]

  • November 8, 2018:

    • During the inaugural guest speech at Penn State’s Center for Security Research and Education, retired Gen. Clapper, former DNI, said: “Russia is, right now and for the foreseeable future, our greatest adversary. With the sophistication of their intelligence gathering, we are only beginning to see what they did in our election, and what they continue to do, since they have been emboldened by their success.” [Penn State News]

    • Both former CIA Director Gen. Michael Hayden and Gen. Clapper expressed concern that CIA Director Pompeo met with a former NSA employee who denies the Russian hack of the DNC. Gen. Hayden said, “Why did the President turn to the CIA director rather than the DNI? Structurally, this should have been a DNI question since the Binney article challenged an overall community assessment." Gen. Clapper said, “"this episode, I think, adds to the image (perhaps unjustifiably) that Pompeo is a political activist, as a 'go-to' guy for Trump. [It is] not a good place for a director of the CIA to be." Both believed that Pompeo reluctantly took the meeting under pressure. [CNN]

  • November 11, 2017:
    • Despite Trump’s statements that Putin believes Russia did not interfere with the election, CIA Director Mike Pompeo stands behind the Intelligence Community’s assessment that Russia interfered with the election. [The Hill]
    • In response to Trump’s statements that Comey was a political hack, a leaker, and a liar, Comey tweeted:

“If you want truth to go round the world you must hire an express train to pull it; but if you want a lie to go round the world, it will fly; it is light as a feather and a breath will carry it.” Rev. Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1855). pic.twitter.com/YZf4q88wyi

— James Comey (@Comey) November 11, 2017

I️ included the picture of the Great Falls of the Potomac because I️ like it and because it reminds me of my favorite scripture verse, from Amos: “But let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.”

— James Comey (@Comey) November 11, 2017

  • November 12, 2017: Responding to Trump calling multiple intelligence officials “political hacks,” former CIA Director John Brennan said, “[w]ell first of all, he was referring to us as political hacks because he was trying to delegitimize the intelligence community assessment that was done.” [The Hill]

4. House and Senate Intelligence Committee Investigations and Hearings

  • January 13, 2017: Senators Richard Burr (R-NC) and Mark Warner (D-VA), chairman and vice-chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, issue joint statement announcing a bipartisan inquiry into Russian intelligence activities.
  • January 25, 2017: The House Intelligence Committee issues press release announcing bipartisan investigation into Russian interference with U.S. election.
  • March 20, 2017: At the House Intelligence Committee’s first hearing, FBI Director James Comey publicly announces an ongoing investigation into potential coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia. [Washington Post (transcript & video)] He states: "I have been authorized by the Department of Justice to confirm that the FBI, as part of our counterintelligence mission, is investigating the Russian government's efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election and that includes investigating the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia's efforts. As with any counterintelligence investigation, this will also include an assessment of whether any crimes were committed."

  • March 22, 2017: In a letter to White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, House Oversight Committee chairman Jason Chaffetz and ranking member Elijah Cummings request documents related to Flynn’s hiring and forced resignation as Trump’s national security adviser.

  • March 29, 2017: Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and ranking member Mark Warner (D-Va.) hold a joint press conference and promise a thorough inquiry into Russian interference. Burr states: “This investigation’s scope will go wherever the intelligence leads." [New York Times]

  • April 19, 2017: In a response letter, the White House declines to submit the documents requested by the House Oversight Committee and says it cannot conduct such a search "[g]iven that these activities and payments predate Lt. Gen. Flynn's service at the White House."

  • April 24, 2017: Senate Intelligence Committee announces hiring of two new staffers for its Russia investigation. [CNN]

  • April 25, 2017:

    • Chaffetz and Cummings tell reporters that, after reviewing two classified memos and Flynn's financial disclosure form, they believe Flynn did not fully disclose or receive permission for income he received from foreign governments as required by law. [Washington Post]

    • Press Secretary Sean Spicer says it is “ridiculous” and “pretty outlandish” to expect the White House to produce documents dating back to before Trump took office. [The Hill]

    • The Senate Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism announces that former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper will testify before the subcommittee on May 8 as part of its Russia investigation. [ReutersCNN]

  • April 26, 2017: The Senate Judiciary Committee announces that FBI Director James Comey will testify before it at a public hearing on May 3. CNN reports the hearing relates to FBI oversight "and is not necessarily related to congressional investigations into alleged Russian involvement in the 2016 presidential election." [CNN]

  • April 28, 2017: The Senate Intelligence Committee sends letters to at least four Trump campaign associates—Roger Stone, Carter Page, Paul Manafort and Michael Flynn—requesting information about any meetings they had with Russian officials or businesspeople occurring from June 16, 2015, through Jan. 20, 2017, along with all records of communications with Russian officials or businesspeople in that time period.  [Wall Street Journal, May 5, 2017; New York Times, May 5, 2017]

  • May 3, 2017: Susan Rice's lawyer, Kathryn Ruemmler, sends a letter to Senators Lindsey Graham and Sheldon Whitehouse, chair and ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism, declining to participate in the upcoming May 8 hearing on Russian interference in the election in light of the non-bipartisan nature of the invitation. Ruemmler indicates that Rice received a letter directly from Whitehouse indicating his disagreement with the subcommittee's decision to invite her.  [CNN]

  • May 5, 2017: The day after Page responds to the Senate Intelligence Committee inquiry with a letter asserting that the U.S. government already possesses many of the communications requested by the Committee, Senators Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.), chair and ranking member, issue a joint statement stating, "Should Mr. Page choose to not provide the material requested by those dates, the Committee will consider its next steps at that time." In an email to the Post, Page describes his letter as a "preliminary response" to the Committee's "request for even more irrelevant data." [The HillThe Washington Post]

  • May 8, 2017: Senate Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism holds a hearing on "Russian Interference in the 2016 United States Election" at 2:30 pm. Former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper testify. [Senate Judiciary Committee (livestream)]

    • Clapper testifies that to his knowledge there is no evidence of collusion between Trump campaign members and Russians. [Washington Post (transcript)]

    • Yates testifies that on January 27, 2017 White House Counsel Donald McGahn called her to the White House to discuss four topics regarding Flynn's misleading statements to White House officials regarding his discussions with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak: "The first topic in the second meeting was essentially why does it matter to DOJ if one White House official lies to another. The second topic related to the applicability of criminal statutes and the likelihood that the Department of Justice would pursue a criminal case. The third topic was his concern that their taking action might interfere with an investigation of Mr. Flynn. And the fourth topic was his request to see the underlying evidence."  [Sally Yates Senate testimony, May 9, 2017]

    • Trump issues a series of tweets in advance of and then during the testimony of former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates and former DNI Director James Clapper before the Senate Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism.
  • May 11, 2017: In his testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee, Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe states that Comey enjoyed "broad support" within the FBI and that "[t]he majority, the vast majority of FBI employees enjoyed a deep, positive connection to Director Comey." [Washington Post (transcript)]
  • May 12, 2017: In a letter, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley and Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein request a briefing from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe to the full committee on matters related to the Russia investigation.
  • May 17, 2017: House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes issues a statement praising appointment of Robert Mueller as special counsel in the Russia investigation.

  • May 23, 2017: Former CIA Director John Brennan testifies before the House Intelligence Committee in open and closed sessions on Russian active measures during the 2016 election campaign. Brennan states he was concerned about contacts between Trump associates and Russian officials in the summer before the election and that on August 4, 2016, he warned Alexander V. Bortnikov, the director of Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) not to interfere. [New York Times]

  • May 26, 2017: Senate Intelligence Committee requests all Trump campaign documents dating to June 2015. He publicly confirms he was concerned about possible ties between Russia and the Trump campaign. [Washington Post]

  • May 31, 2017

  • June 7, 2017:

    • Senate Intelligence Committee releases former FBI Director James Comey's prepared statement one day in advance of his scheduled testimony. He reveals he had nine in-person conversations and six phone calls with Trump between January 6 and April 11. He states he wrote the memos because “I was honestly concerned he might lie about the nature of our meeting.”

    • Four senior officials—Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, National Security Agency Director Adm. Mike Rogers, acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein—testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee. The subject is reauthorization of Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, but about half of the questions are about the Russia probe. Coats and Rogers are questioned about news reports that Trump asked them to state publicly that there was no evidence of Trump campaign collusion with Russia. Rogers states that he was "never been directed to do anything" improper, and Coats states that he has "never felt pressured to intervene or interfere" with any investigation. Each declines to answer questions about whether doing anything with respect to the Russia investigation was merely raised or requested by Trump.  [Washington Post]

  • June 8, 2017: Former FBI Director James Comey testifies before Senate Intelligence Committee on the Russia investigation and his private interactions with and concerns about Trump prior to his May firing. [New York Times (transcript & video)]

    • In reference to Trump's statements that the FBI was in disarray and had lost confidence in its leader, Comey states: "Those were lies, plain and simple."

    • Regarding Trump's private February 14 request, Comey states, "I had understood the President to be requesting that we drop any investigation of Flynn in connection with false statements about his conversations with the Russian ambassador in December. I did not understand the President to be talking about the broader investigation into Russia or possible links to his campaign."

    • He states that he had written memos of all of his conversations with Trump and had given those memos to special counsel Robert Mueller.

    • Comey states he shared a memo of his May 15 conversation with Trump with a friend, Daniel Richman, a law professor at Columbia.

    • Comey states the FBI leadership decided not to share with Attorney General Jeff Sessions concerns about Trump's February 14 request, regarding the Flynn investigation, that Comey "let this go" because they anticipated Sessions would soon recuse himself from the Russia probe (Sessions recused two weeks later, on March 2).

  • June 13, 2017

    • In testimony on the FY2018 Justice Department budget before a Senate Appropriations subcommittee, Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein states that, per Justice Department regulations, he would not fire special counsel Robert Mueller without "good cause." [PBS (video)]

    • Attorney General Jeff Sessions delivers an opening statement and answers questions in testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee. [Politico (transcript)]

      • Sessions states he does not recall private conversations with the Russian ambassador to the U.S., Sergey Kislyak, at the Mayflower Hotel in April 2016.

      • Sessions refuses to discuss his conversations with Trump. “Consistent with longstanding Department of Justice practice, I cannot and will not violate my duty to protect confidential communications with the president."

      • Sessions states that Comey had not explained why he was uncomfortable being left alone with Trump.

      • Sessions expressed anger at the suggestion he part in or was aware of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

  • June 21, 2017: The House and Senate Intelligence Committees hold separate morning hearings on the Russia investigation.

    • The Senate Intelligence Committee questions two panels of experts on the subject of state and local election systems hacks: Dr. Samuel Liles (DHS Acting Director of Cyber Division, Office of Intelligence and Analysis); Jeanette Manfra (DHS Acting Director of Undersecretary, National Protection and Programs Directorate); and Bill Priestap (FBI Assistant Director of Counterintelligence Division); Michael Haas (Midwest Regional Representative of the National Association of State Election Directors); Dr. J. Alex Halderman (Professor of Computer Science & Engineering at the University of Michigan); Connie Lawson (President-Elect of National Association of Secretaries of State and the Secretary of State of Indiana); and Steve Sandvoss (Executive Director of the Illinois State Board of Elections).

    • Former DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson testifies before the House Intelligence Committee on what DHS knew about Russian cyberattack on election infrastructure in the lead-up to the election.

  • July 24, 2017: Jared Kushner testifies before the Senate and House Intelligence committees, says that he did not collude in public statement afterward: “I did not collude with Russians, nor do I know of anyone in the campaign who did.” [New York Times]

  • August 14, 2017: Trump lawyer Michael Cohen writes a letter to House Intelligence Committee denying the substance of the Steele dossier. [New York Times]

  • August 31, 2017: Trump calls Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley to promise federal support for ethanol ahead of son’s testimony before Grassley’s committee. [The Guardian]

  • September 7, 2017: Donald Trump, Jr. testifies about meeting with Russian lawyer before the Senate Judiciary Committee and releases a public statement. [The New Yorker]

  • September 19, 2017: Senate Intel committee cancels meeting with Trump lawyer Michael Cohen after he releases a public statement in advance of private testimony. [New York Times & CNN]

  • September 22, 2017: Facebook provides congressional investigators over 3,000 ads linked to Russia (both committees). [New York Times]

  • September 26, 2017: Roger Stone testifies before the House Intelligence Committee, accuses lawmakers of spreading "falsehoods, misstatements, and misimpressions." [CNN]

  • September 28, 2017: Twitter briefs Congressional intelligence committees on over 200 accounts it suspended. Senator Mark Warner, ranking Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, called Twitter's statements "deeply dissapointing" and "inadequate on almost every level." [Reuters]

  • October 2, 2017: Politico reports that Rep. Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, is attempting to make at least some of the Russia-linked Facebook ads public. Facebook turned over 3,000 ads to Congress the previous week. [Politico]
  • October 4, 2017: Senate Intelligence Committee leaders describe what they have learned so far during Russia investigation. Summary here: [CNN]

    • Lawfare posted the video and transcript from the Senate Intelligence Committee’s update. [Lawfare]
  • October 11, 2017: After a closed-door meeting with Facebook’s CEO, Rep. Conaway and Rep. Schiff announced that the committee intends to publicize the Facebook ads tied to Russia. [Politico]

  • October 18, 2017: Two Fusion GPS partners Peter Fritsch and Thomas Catan invoked the Fifth Amendment when they appeared before the House Intelligence Committee. [CNN]

  • October 20, 2017: Fusion GPS asks a federal court to keep its bank from having to turn over financial records subpoenaed by the House Intelligence Committee. [CNN]

  • October 22, 2017: The New York Times reports gridlock in the congressional investigations. It details efforts by Rep. Trey Gowdy to minimize the political impact of an interview that Jared Kushner gave to House intelligence committee members in July and internal divisions in the Senate Judiciary committee about the scope of its investigation. [New York Times]

  • October 24, 2017: Trump’s attorney Michael Cohen answered questions in a closed hearing of the House Intelligence Committee. [ABC]

  • October 28, 2017: An agreement over a subpoena of Fusion GPS’s financial records is reached between Fusion GPS, its bank, and the House Intelligence Committee. [CNN]

  • October 29, 2017: In response to Trump’s statement that the fact he did not collude with Russia was “commonly agreed” upon, Sen. Angus King, who sits on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said, “[i]t’s certainly not commonly agreed in our committee, and we’re the ones doing the investigation. So I don’t think he has any basis for that statement.” [CNN]

  • November 3, 2017:

    • Testifying before the House intelligence committee, Carter Page admits that he met with Russian officials during a July 2016 trip to Moscow. [New York Times]

    • During his testimony before the House intelligence committee, Page stated that he told Attorney General Sessions that he was traveling to Russia during a dinner with then-Candidate Trump’s national security team. [CNN]

    • The House intelligence committee called Trump’s former bodyguard and longstanding confidant, Keith Schiller, to testify before the Committee next week. [Washington Post

  • November 4, 2017: Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee threaten to subpoena FBI Deputy Director McCabe if he does not agree to testify before them next week. The effort is led by Rep. Nunes and is focused on whether the FBI conducted the Flynn investigation appropriately. [Stripes]

  • November 5, 2017: Sen. Feinstein, the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, wants Attorney General Sessions to testify once again about contacts between Russian officials and campaign staff. [Huffington Post] This call was echoed by Sen. Graham [The Hill] Appearing on Face the Nation, Sen. Warner from the Senate Intelligence Committee said that Attorney General Sessions should reappear before Congressional investigators if there is anything that he needs to clarify. [CBS]

  • November 7, 2017:

    • The House Intelligence Committee released a transcript of Carter Page’s testimony. [CBS News]

    • Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee spoke to the AP and said, "I do feel our democracy is under threat. [Trump's approach to governing] is a serious problem and in many respects far more grave a threat than anything coming from outside the country." One of the problems with Trump’s approach to governing that Schiff highlighted was Trump’s disparaging of the special counsel and all of the Congressional investigative committees. Such disparaging allows Trump to question the validity of whatever these investigations produce. [US News]

  • November 8, 2017:

    • Glen Simpson, a co-founder of Fusion GPS, the private investigation firm that commissioned a dossier on Trump, will testify before a closed session of the House Intelligence Committee next week. [Politico]

    • Sen. Chris Coons, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, is writing Attorney General Sessions to inquire about Sessions’ request for Dana Boente’s resignation as U.S. Attorney of the Eastern District of Virginia in late October. Sen. Coons concerns stem from the timing and the connections between the Muller investigation and EDVA. [The Hill]

  • November 9, 2017:

    • The Hill reported that during his testimony in a closed session of the House Intelligence Committee, Trump’s former bodyguard Keith Schiller said that during Trump’s 2013 visit to Russia, a Russian offered to send five Russian women to Trump’s hotel room but the offer was refused. [The Hill]

    • CNN reported that the House Intelligence Committee will question Rinat Akhmetshin next week. Akhmetshin, a Russian-American lobbyist, met with Don Jr. in Trump Tower. [CNN]

  • November 10, 2017:

    • House Intelligence Committee Democrats say that Republicans on the Committee are not enforcing subpoenas and are rushing through the investigation to comply with a political deadline. [USA Today]

    • Before the inauguration, Rep. Devin Nunes, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, attended a breakfast in the company of Michael Flynn and the Turkish foreign minister. According to a Turkish newspaper, the foreign minister was the only foreign official among the 50 to 60 attendees. According to Nunes’ attorney, there were ten foreign dignitaries and officials. [Business Insider]

    • Rep. Eric Swalwell, a member of the House Intelligence Committee, wants to know whether Russia paid for Papadopoulos’ European trip prior to the election. [Business Insider]

  • November 11, 2017: In response to Trump’s statement that Putin believes that Russia did not meddle in the election, Rep. Schiff, the leading Democrat in the House Intelligence Committee made the following statement: The president fools no one. He understands that the Russians intervened through the hacking and dumping of his opponent’s emails, the fruits of which he exploited time and again on the campaign trail. He understands that they mounted an unprecedented effort on social media to help him, hurt [Hillary] Clinton and divide and damage the country he is now supposed to serve. And he understands that his victory was razor thin, and all protestations to the contrary, he lost the popular vote. He understands all this and more. He just doesn’t understand how to put country over self. Or to put it in terms he is more familiar with — Mr. Trump simply can’t bring himself to put America first. [The Hill]

  • November 13, 2017: Also in response to Trump calling him a political hack, retired Gen. Clapper said, "[t]he threat posed by Russia, as John just said, is manifest and obvious. To try to paint it in any other way is, I think, astounding, and in fact, poses a peril to this country." [CNN]

  • November 14, 2017: In a closed session, the House Intelligence Committee heard testimony from Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson. Rep. Schiff said that the committee “learned a great deal” from the testimony. [The Hill]

  • November 15, 2017: Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, send a letter to White House counsel Donald McGahn asking for any document on Comey and Flynn’s firings that was sent, received, or reviewed by Kushner, as well ask documents on the Trump Tower meeting and Don Jr.’s statements on it. [The Hill]

  • November 16, 2017: According to CNN, Simpson testified that Christopher Steele did not pay for any of the sources that led to the contents of the dossier. [CNN]

  • November 18, 2017: According to the AP, the committees have been investigating a meeting between Rinat Akhmetshin, a Russian-American lobbyist, and Ike Kaveladze, a business associate of a Moscow- based developer and a former Trump business partner, in Moscow in June 2017. Both men attended the Trump Towers meeting. [AP]

  • November 21, 2017: Erik Prince, the former head of Blackwater, will testify before the House Intelligence Committee during “an open hearing in a closed space.” In April, The Washington Post reported that Prince met with a Russian close to Putin regarding a backchannel for communication between then President-elect Trump and the Russian government. [The Hill]

  • November 28, 2017: Sen. Feinstein sent Carter Page a request for all documents related to his trip to Russia and adjusting the Republican platform on Russia and Ukraine, as well as his communications with Trump campaign staff, Russian officials, and specified information. [Letter]

  • November 29, 2017:

    •  On December 6, Don Jr. is set to testify during a close session of the House Intelligence Committee. [CNN]

    • The House Intelligence Committee interviewed Anatoli Samochornov, who was present during the Trump Tower meeting and functioned as a translator for Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya. [Bloomberg]

  • November 30, 2017:

    • The House Intelligence Committee interviewed Erik Prince, a military contractor and Trump donor, during a closed session. Prince traveled to the Seychelles in January to attend a secret meeting with a Kremlin business man reportedly in attempt to set up backchannel communications between President-elect Trump and the Russians. During his testimony, Prince denied that he was representing the Trump transition team and named the Russian businessman as Kirill Dmitriev [The Hill, Washington Post]

    • Attorney General Sessions testified during a closed hearing before the House Intelligence Committee. Afterwards, Rep. Schiff said: I asked the attorney general whether he was ever instructed by the president to take any action that he believed would hinder the Russia investigation and he declined to answer the question. [Reuters]

    • The New York Times reported that over the summer, Trump pressed Republicans to end the Senate Intelligence Committee’s investigation. Sen. Burr, the intelligence committee chairman said that Trump’s comments to him were along the lines of ‘I hope you can conclude this as quickly as possible.” [New York Times]

  • December 1, 2017: Both Sen. Warner, the vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, and Rep. Schiff released statements on the Flynn plea. Both statements affirmed the credibility of the special counsel’s investigation and stressed the need for the Congressional investigations to continue in their work without inappropriate presidential pressure. [Talking Points Memo]

  • December 3, 2017: According to CNN, the Department of Justice is making the FBI agent who served as the main contact for the dossier available for testimony before the House Intelligence Committee. [CNN]

 

5. Putin Statements, Russian Media, and Russia Developments

  • February 2014: Russia begins military operations against eastern Ukraine and annexes Crimea.

  • March 6, 2014: President Obama issues a statement and signs the first of a series of executive orders authorizing sanctions "on individuals and entities responsible for violating the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, or for stealing the assets of the Ukrainian people." [C-SPAN (video); (Executive Order 13660 (March 6, 2014); Executive Order 13661 (March 17, 2014); Executive Order 13662 (March 20, 2014); Executive Order 13685 (December 24, 2014)]

2016

  • January 3, 2016: GRU chief Igor Dmitrievich Sergun, who invited then-Defense Intelligence Agency director Flynn to Moscow in June 2013, dies of reported heart attack. [New York Times]

  • September 5, 2016:

    • At the G20 summit in Hangzhou, China, four days after U.S. imposes sanctions on dozens of companies and people building "Putin's bridge" to Crimea. [Reuters, September 1, 2016], President Obama has what he describes as a "candid, blunt and businesslike" 90-minute meeting with Putin, during which he delivers a direct warning to Russia about cyber war and addressed the "gaps of trust that exist" on Syria. [CNN]

    • In a press conference with Russian journalists, Putin says he and Obama “did raise the sanctions matter in passing, but we did not discuss it in detail because I see no sense in discussing matters of this sort. It was not our initiative to impose these sanctions." [The Kremlin (transcript)]

  • October 3, 2016: Putin orders the suspension of the U.S.-Russia agreement for the disposal of plutonium because of "unfriendly actions by the United States." [TASS; The Kremlin; Washington Post] The U.S.-Russia Plutonium Management and Disposition Agreement, signed in 2000, obligated each country to dispose of a minimum of 34 tons of weapons-grade plutonium, enough for 17,000 nuclear weapons. [2017 State Department Fact Sheet]

  • November 8, 2016: The morning of the U.S. election, a Russian national is found dead at the Russian Consulate in New York. BuzzFeed later identifies him as Sergei Krivov, a consular duty commander, and reports that contrary to consular officials' claim that Krivov died of a heart attack in the security office of the consular building, initial reports stated he plunged from the roof of the consulate. [BuzzFeed, February 15, 2017]

  • November 10, 2016: Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Rybakov, tells Interfax news agency “There were contacts” between the Russian government and the Trump campaign in the lead-up to the election. [Reuters] Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks denies the assertion, and Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov tells the Associated Press that Russian experts had contacts with both campaigns. [Associated Press]

  • December 4, 2016: In an interview with state-controlled NTV TV, Putin praises Trump: “Because he achieved success in business, it suggests that he is a clever man." [BBC]

  • December 7, 2016: In surprise deal, Russia’s largest oil producer, Rosneft PJSC, sells 19.5 percent ($11 billion) stake to Glencore Plc and Singapore's sovereign wealth fund. [Bloomberg]

  • December 19, 2017: Petr Polshikov, chief advisor to the Russian Foreign Affairs ministry's Latin American affairs department, is shot dead in his Moscow apartment. [The Independent] Andrei Karlov, Russian Ambassador to Turkey, is assassinated by a gunman at an Ankara art exhibit. [New York Times]

  • December 26, 2016: Oleg Erovinkin, former KGB general reportedly suspected of helping the former MI6 agent Christopher Steele compile his dossier on Trump, is found dead in the back of his car in Moscow. [The Telegraph, January 27, 2017]

  • Dec. 29, 2016:

    • President Obama announces he has expelled 35 Russian diplomats suspected of being spies and imposed sanctions on two Russian intelligence agencies and four officers of GRU for their involvement in hacking U.S. political groups. [New York Times]

    • Flynn has five phone calls with Russian ambassador Kislyak. [Washington Post, January 12, 2017; Reuters, January 23, 2017]

  • Dec. 30, 2016: Putin announces in an official statement that he will not retaliate against the U.S. sanctions. Trump tweets:

  • December 2016: Sergei Mikhailov, deputy head of FSB's Centre for Information Security, and Dmitry Dokuchaev are arrested on treason charges for allegedly passing information to the CIA. [AP, January 31, 2017]

2017

  • January 5, 2017: The Washington Post reports that U.S. intelligence agencies intercepted communications of Russian officials congratulating themselves on Trump's presidential win. [Washington Post]

  • January 9, 2017: Andrei Malaninuk, Russian Consul in Athens, Greece, is found dead in his apartment. [Reuters]

  • January 17, 2017: Responding to the release of the Steele kompromat dossier, at a joint press conference with Moldovan President Igor Dodon, Putin says dossier is fake and being used to “smear” Trump. He states: “Why would he run to a hotel to meet up with our girls of limited social responsibility? Although they are, of course, the best in the world. But I doubt that Trump fell for it.” [The Kremlin]

  • January 26, 2017: Alexander Kadakin, Russian Ambassador to India, dies of reported heart attack. [The Hindu]

  • January 28, 2017: Kremlin issues press statement on phone call between Trump and Putin, stating that they discussed "restoring mutually beneficial trade and economic ties between business circles of the two countries."

  • February 17, 2017: Komsomolskaya Pravda, Russia's most popular tabloid, says President Trump is making "contradictory" statements about NATO. [The Hill]

  • February 20, 2017: Vitaly Churkin, Russia's UN ambassador, dies in New York of reported cardiac arrest. [New York Times]

  • April 7, 2017: Russian foreign ministry issues statement calling U.S. Tomahawk cruise missile strike on Syria "clearly an act of aggression against a sovereign Syria" and "an egregious and obvious violation of international law." In a Facebook post, Prime Minister Dmitri A. Medvedev says that the strike has "completely ruined" the Russia-U.S. relationship.

  • April 19, 2017: Reuters reports that U.S. intelligence officials have acquired document prepared by Kremlin-controlled, Moscow-based think tank, the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies [en.riss.ru/], recommending Putin launch a propaganda campaign to persuade U.S. voters to elect a president good for Russian interests. [Reuters, April 21, 2017]

  • May 10, 2017: The Russian state news agency, TASS, publishes pictures of Trump standing with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Russian ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislak in the Oval Office during a closed-door meeting that excluded U.S. media. [TASSNew York Times, May 11, 2017]

  • May 17, 2017: At a news conference in Sochi, Putin offers to provide the U,S, Congress with a record of the May 10 closed-door meeting between Trump, the Russian ambassador, and Russia’s foreign minister. [New York Times]

  • June 1, 2017: Putin suggests to reporters, for the first time, that “patriotically minded” private Russian hackers might have been involved in cyberattacks connected to the U.S. election. He says hackers “are like artists” who choose their targets depending how they feel “when they wake up in the morning.” [New York Times]

  • September 12, 2017:
    • BuzzFeed News reports that in early 2017, Russia delivered a plan to the Trump administration detailing a full normalization of relations with the U.S. The Russian proposal offered the reopening of numerous cybersecurity, defense, and law enforcement channels and high-level meetings with U.S. officials. Sources within the Trump administration said only a few of the meetings took place. [BuzzFeed News]
    • Yahoo News reports that the FBI is investigating whether Sputnik and RT, the Russian news agencies, are in violation of requirements under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). The Bureau obtained thousands of internal Sputnik documents and emails. The Justice Department notified one of RT’s U.S. affiliates that it must register as a foreign agent that is disseminating propaganda in the United States. [Yahoo News: September 11, September 12]
  • October 4, 2017: Putin claims that he has “no personal relationship” with Trump and that they have only met once. [Politico]

  • October 19, 2017: Putin said, quoting the Reuters article, “that if President Donald Trump is unpredictable, it is because his domestic opponents are stopping him from delivering on many of his election promises.” [Reuters]

  • October 20, 2017: Putin stated that Americans should show respect to Trump, saying “Mr. Trump was elected by the American people. And at least for this reason, it is necessary to show respect for him, even if you do not agree with some of his positions.” [The Hill]

  • November 11, 2017: Putin stated that Manafort had no ties to Russia and that the transactions between Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Russians were simply business and had nothing to do with politics. [The Hill]
  • November 14, 2017: The Russian Ambassador to the United States, Anatoly Antonov, told press that the meeting between Trump and Putin and the documents they both approved shows that they have “common goals and common tasks” and “can work together.” [Novinite]

  • November 16, 2017: Russian Lt. Gen. Leonid Reshetnikov, the head of the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies (RISS), the Kremlin's think tank said that the RISS did not produce documents about how to influence the election in Trump’s favor or to discredit the results if he lost. Instead, he said that “[t]he American intelligence services are a machine that is always working, constantly making up anti-Russian cases.” [The Daily Beast]

  • November 17, 2017: Russian government ran Sputnik News featured an interview with Bill Binney, the ex-NSA employee who argues that Russia was not involved in the DNC hack. In the interview, Binney reportedly said that NSA intelligence agents do not report problems with data collection and offensive capabilities so that they “can exploit them on their own without their superiors knowing about it.” Reportedly, Binney also said that “vulnerabilities have become a feature, not a bug, of the intelligence community.” [Sputnik]

  • November 22, 2017: The Russian News Agency reported the following statement by Russian senator Konstantin Kosachev on Trump and Putin’s phone call: “The long-lasting and substantial conversation between Putin and Trump, according to mutual assessments, confirmed that a vast agenda remains in Russian-US relations, which may and should be discussed without preconditions and on an equal basis.” The statement was originally made on Facebook. [TASS]

  • November 25, 2017: Putin signs a bill that forces foreign media organizations to register with the Russian government. The new law could allow crackdowns against media organizations such as Voice of America and Radio Free Europe. The move is seen as retaliation for U.S. enforcement of the Foreign Agents Registration Act against RT and Sputnik for their role promoting pro-Russian propaganda. Notably, the Russian law goes much further than FARA.  [NBC News]

  • December 2, 2017: Two Russian lawmakers made statements about Flynn’s plea. Russian Senator Franz Klintsevich said that “[t]he former US national security adviser Michael Flynn was just the one they caught. The main object of this attack is of course Donald Trump.” Russian Senator Alexey Pushkov tweeted, “In the United States they continue to inflate a 'sack of smoke.’ With Manafort and Papadopoulos, nothing came out. Now they are hyping up the no less empty 'Flynn case.' [CNN]

6. Donald Trump and Trump Organization's Alleged Ties to Russia

  • 1996-2008: Trump hires the Russian intellectual property law firm Sojuzpatent to file at least eight trademarks in Russia, including "Trump” and "Trump Tower." [CNNMoney, July 31, 2016]
  • 2003-10: Trump works on various business projects  with Felix Sater—the Russian-born managing director of real estate development fund Bayrock Group LLC who later pleads guilty to stock fraud in a scheme linked to the Russian mobster. [New York Times, January 16 2017; LA Times, February 23, 2017] In 2005, Trump signed a one-year deal with Bayrock Group to explore a Trump Tower in Moscow; Sater testifies in 2008 that Trump gave Bayrock Group an exclusive deal to develop the project, which failed. [Washington Post, June 17, 2016; Forbes, October 25, 2016]

  • July 16, 2008: Trump sells a mansion he acquired for $41 million to County Road Property LLC for $95 million, a front for actual buyer Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev. [CNNMoney, July 27, 2016; deed 1 (2005)deed 2 (2008)]

  • September 15, 2008: Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr., says about the Trump Organization: "And in terms of high-end product influx into the US, Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets . . . ." [eTurboNews]

  • 2013: Trump’s attempts at real estate deals are unsuccessful, but he inks a multi-million dollar agreement with billionaire Aras Agalarov to hold the 2013 Miss Universe pageant event in Moscow [Crocus Group, November 13, 2013; [Associated Press, March 4, 2017]

2016

  • May 26, 2016: Donald Trump secures the Republican presidential nomination. [New York Times]

  • July 26, 2016: Trump tweets:

  • October 5, 2016: An anonymous online report states that a computer server related to the Trump Organization engaged in a high level of activity with servers connected to Russia’s largest private bank. A Slate investigation cites several unnamed computer scientists and their findings regarding the unusual server activity. [Slate, October 31, 2016] In an email to Mother Jones, the Trump campaign states: "The Trump Organization is not sending or receiving any communications from this email server. The Trump Organization has no communication or relationship with this entity or any Russian entity." [Mother Jones, October 31, 2016]

2017

  • January 11, 2017: Trump tweets

  • February 16, 2017: At his first solo press conference as president, Trump states: "I can tell you, speaking for myself, I own nothing in Russia. I have no loans in Russia. I don't have any deals in Russia."  [New York Times (transcript)]

  • February 19, 2017: The New York Times reports that a proposal for a "peace plan" for Ukraine and Russia and for lifting sanctions against Russia was "hand-delivered" to Flynn's office the week before his resignation by Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen and convicts Felix Sater and Ukrainian politician Andrii Artemenko. [New York Times]

  • March 2, 2017: Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs ranking member Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) issues a letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin requesting an inquiry into Trump's businesses and asserting that his refusal to disclose his dealings and divest from the Trump Organization exposes him to risk. [The Hill]

  • March 8, 2017: A letter from Trump's attorney to Trump and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) states that "[w]ith a few exceptions" Trump's last 10 years of tax returns do not reveal "any income of any type from Russian sources." [Associated Press, May 12, 2017]
  • March 17, 2017: Reuters reports that at least 63 people with Russian passports or addresses have purchased at least $98.4 million in property in seven Trump-branded luxury towers in Florida. [Reuters]

  • March 20, 2017: In an exclusive interview with Forbes, Emin Agalarov—the Russia pop singer, real estate mogul, and son of billionaire oligarch Aras Agalarov—details his ongoing relationship with the Trump family and his post-election contact with Trump. [Forbes] Father Aras has reportedly served as a liaison between Trump and Putin. [Washington Post, June 17, 2016] In 2013, son Emin released a music video featuring the 2013 Miss Universe contestants and a cameo by Trump. [YouTube] That year, Trump tweeted:

  • March 22, 2017: The New York Times reports on the Dallas hotel project being pursued by the Trump Organization under the leadership of his sons. The Times says that records show that Alterra Worldwide, the real estate firm that would own the hotel and partner with the Trump Organization, has business ties in Russia, Kazakhstan, and other countries. [New York Times]

  • May 12, 2017: The Associated Press releases a letter from Trump's attorney to Trump and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) that states that "[w]ith a few exceptions" Trump's last 10 years of tax returns do not reveal "any income of any type from Russian sources." [Associated Press]

  • July 11, 2017: Yahoo News reports that Trump entered into a contract with Aras Agalarov at the Miss Universe pageant in 2013 to build a Trump Tower in Moscow and that Trump assigned his son Donald Trump Jr. to oversee the project. Rob Goldstone, the publicist who arranged the meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and a Russia-linked lawyer, was the source. He said that the project was farther along than previously reported and that it even led to a trip by Ivanka Trump to Moscow to identify potential sites. [Yahoo News]

  • July 20, 2017: Bloomberg reports that Special Counsel Robert Mueller is expanding the focus of his investigation to cover Trump Organization business ties to Russia, including Russian purchases of apartments in Trump buildings, Trump’s involvement in a New York SoHo development with Russian associates, the 2013 Miss Universe Pageant, and Trump’s sale of a Florida mansion to a Russian oligarch. Mueller’s team issued subpoenas to banks and filed requests for bank records. [Bloomberg]

  • August 27, 2017: The Washington Post reports that discussions about Trump Tower Moscow began in earnest in 2015 during the Trump campaign, with Felix Sater urging Trump to come to Moscow and promising that he could get Russian President Vladimir Putin to compliment Trump. The Trump Organization abandoned the project in January 2016 when it became clear they lacked the land and building permits to proceed. Trump attorney Michael Cohen was the lead negotiator for the Trump Organization in the talks. [Washington Post]

  • September 5, 2017: CNN reports that Trump attorney Michael Cohen contacted the Kremlin’s press office regarding the Trump Tower project three times in late 2015. In a public statement, Cohen denied any connection between the Moscow Trump Tower project and the Trump campaign. Cohen said he discussed the project with Trump three times. Felix Sater confirmed to CNN that he worked on developing the project and submitted a proposal to Cohen in late 2015. [CNN]

  • October 2, 2017: The Washington Post reports that Cohen had two previously undisclosed contacts with Russians in role at the Trump Organization. The first was an invitation from Felix Sater to attend the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, where Sater suggested Cohen could meet senior Russian leaders. The second was a proposal from Moscow billionaire Sergei Gordeev to build a Trump-branded residential development in Moscow. Cohen rejected both offers. [Washington Post]

  • October 13, 2017: Andrey Kostin, the chairman of Russia’s second largest bank, told the New York Times he never met Felix Sater despite Sater’s claim that Kostin would finance a Trump building in Moscow. [New York Times]

  • October 25, 2017: Cambridge Analytica, a data-analytics firm that worked for Trump’s campaign, emailed Julian Assange about Hilary Clinton’s 33,000 missing emails during the campaign. Assange confirms that the approach was rejected by WikiLeaks. [The Daily Beast]

  • November 2, 2017: Gleb Pavlovsky, a former top advisor to Putin, tells Frontline PBS that Putin believes that he helped elect Trump. [PBS]

  • November 6, 2017: New analysis of Twitter data shows that Russian-backed Twitter accounts began supporting Trump within weeks after he announced his candidacy, much earlier than previously expected. [Wall Street Journal]

  • November 7, 2017: According to a GQ story on the Trump campaign during election night, Felix Sater ordered a late-night car to an invite only election party. Sater has come under scrutiny for trying to broker a relationship between Trump and Putin and writing to Trump’s lawyer, “I will get Putin on this program and we will get Donald elected.” Since then, Trump has tried to distance himself from Sater and has even claimed that he could not recognize him if they were in the same room. [GQ]
  • November 17, 2017: Alexander Torshin, a former senator, deputy governor of Russia’s central bank, and close confidant of Putin, attempted to arrange a meeting between Putin and then-Candidate Trump in May 2016. [New York Times]

7. Trump Associates’ Alleged Ties to Russia

  • Week of July 11, 2016: According to an op-ed the next week by Josh Rogin of the Washington Post, at the Republican Party’s national security platform meeting, Trump staffers intervene to change language in Diana Denman's amendment originally calling on the U.S. to provide “lethal defensive weapons” to Ukraine to fight Russian and rebel forces. In final form, the GOP platform instead proposed providing "appropriate assistance." [Washington Post, July 18, 2016]

2017

  • January 19, 2017: The New York Times reports that Trump campaign aides—Roger Stone, Paul Manafort, Carter Page, and Michael Flynn—were investigated by US counterintelligence and law enforcement officials for links to Russia. [New York Times]

  • February 14, 2017: The New York Times reports that Trump associates had "repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials in the year before the election." [New York Times]

  • February 18, 2017: In an interview with CBS's "Face the Nation," White House chief of staff calls stories about Trump associates' contact with Russian officials and the Wall Street Journal's story that the Intelligence Community was not giving the president a full intelligence briefing "grossly inaccurate, overstated, overblown, and it’s total garbage.” [CBS (video)]

  • February 24, 2017: The Washington Post reports that the Trump administration enlisted members of Congress and the Intelligence Community to refute news stories about Trump associates' ties to Russia, including Senate Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence chairman Richard Burr. (R-N.C.) and House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes (R. Calif.) [Washington Post]

  • March 24, 2017: Stone, Page and Manafort volunteer to testify before the House Intelligence Committee as part of the committee's Russia investigation. [CNN; NBC News]

  • May 18, 2017: Reuters reports the Trump campaign had at least 18 undisclosed contacts with Russians. After the election, Flynn and Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak "discussed establishing a backchannel for communication between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin that could bypass the U.S. national security bureaucracy." [Reuters]

  • May 19, 2017: The Washington Post reports that a senior White House official has been identified as a significant person of interest during a probe into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. [Washington Post]

  • November 2, 2017: Sam Clovis, the nominee for the Department of Agriculture’s chief scientist, withdrew his nomination. Earlier in the week, Papadopoulos’ guilty plea was unsealed; in it, Papadopoulos claimed that Clovis encouraged him to have an “off the record” meeting with Russian officials. In his letter withdrawing his nomination, Clovis wrote, “[t]he political climate in Washington has made it impossible for me to receive balanced and fair consideration for this position. The relentless assault on you and your team seem to be a blood sport that only increases with intensity each day.” [Washington Post]

  • November 5, 2017:

    • More than 13 million documents are released by the offshore law firm Appleby. They reveal that Yuri Milner, a Russian billionaire who has held significant stakes in Twitter and Facebook, invested in Cadre, a real estate technology company that Kushner and his brothers founded. [New York Times]

    • Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said that he was already in the process of selling his interest in the shipping company with ties to Putin’s inner circle. Ross was careful to note that the Paradise Papers were not the reason behind the sale. [Reuters]

  • November 8, 2017: Corey Lewandowski, a former Trump campaign manager, retracted previous denials that he did not know Carter Page by saying that his “memory has been refreshed.” However, he denied that Page’s Russian visit was linked to the campaign by stating, “[a]ll I was clear about was if you’re going to travel, please do not pretend to be a part of the campaign and say that you are part of the campaign, because you are not.” [Politico]

  • December 3, 2017: The New York Times reported that a NRA member emailed Trump campaign manager Rick Dearborn in May 2016 and offered to use the member’s Kremlin ties to connect Trump to Putin and asked for advice on how to go about it. The email said that Russia was “quietly but actively seeking a dialogue with the U.S.” [New York Times]

Roger Stone*

  • 1980/81: Roger Stone and Paul Manafort co-found a lobbying firm. [Washington Post, January 3, 1991] Trump hires Stone to represent his business interests. [PBS Frontline (interview with Stone), September 27, 2016]

  • July 22, 2016: Three days before the start of the Democratic National Convention, WikiLeaks releases almost 20,000 emails hacked from the Democratic National Committee. [Washington Post] A WikiLeaks page invites visitors to "Search the DNC email database."

  • August 5, 2016: Roger Stone writes a detailed article for Breitbart stating that "the real culprit" of the DNC hack was not the Russians but a hacker named Guccifer 2.0. [BreitbartTwitter (Guccifer 2.0)]

  • August 8, 2016: The Trump campaign and Stone sever ties, but he reportedly continues to advise and support the campaign. [NBC News, Twitter (Stone)]

  • August 9, 2016: At a Florida event, Stone states: "I actually have communicated with Assange. I believe the next tranche of his documents pertain to the Clinton Foundation, but there's no telling what the October surprise may be." [YouTube] WikiLeaks tweets a denial:

  • August 21, 2016: Roger Stone tweets

  • October 3, 2016: Stone tweets

  • October 7, 2016WikiLeaks publishes the first in a series of emails belonging to Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta.

  • October 11, 2016: Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta tells reporters there may be a connection between Trump and WikiLeaks through Trump ally Roger Stone: “I think it’s a reasonable assumption to—or at least a reasonable conclusion—that Mr. Stone had advance warning and the Trump campaign had advance warning about what Assange was going to do.” [Washington Post]

  • October 12, 2016: Stone tells NBC News that he had “back-channel communications” with Assange about the release of the stolen DNC emails but denies being involved in the timing of their release. [NBC News]

2017

  • March 9, 2017: In an email to Business Insider, Stone says he had a private conversation with Guccifer 2.0 but that it was meaningless. [Business Insider, March 10, 2017]

  • March 20, 2017: At the House Intelligence Committee’s first hearing, Rep. Adam Schiff asks FBI Director James Comey for information on Stone. Comey says he is familiar with Stone but declines to discuss any specific person. [New York Times]

  • March 26, 2017: Stone called the Russian investigation a “scandal in search of evidence.” [Guardian]

  • July 12, 2017: Democratic campaign contributors filed suit against Trump’s presidential campaign and Stone, alleging that they violated federal civil rights laws and DC privacy laws by conspiring with Wikileaks and Russia to release hacked emails. [National Law Journal]

  • August 3, 2017: Stone launched a website to pay for his legal bills—www.whoframedrogerstone.com.  [Politico]

  • September 7, 2017: Stone filed a motion to dismiss in the suit against both him and Trump’s presidential campaign. [National Law Journal]

  • September 25, 2017: Before his testimony in front of HPSCI, Stone threatened committee members, saying “I will systematically go through the exact words of every committee member. I will take their exact words and I will shove them down their throats," he vowed. "I will prove that they have knowingly lied.” [Newsweek]

  • September 26, 2017: Stone testified before HPSCI, where he reportedly denied any collusion with Russia and stated that his only connection to Russia is his affinity for Russian vodka. [CNN] Before testifying, Stone released his prepared opening statement to the Post. [Washington Post]

  • October 12, 2017: The House Intelligence Committee threatened Stone with a subpoena if he didn’t reveal the name of the intermediary between him and Julian Assange. [CNN]

  • October 15, 2017: Grant Smith, Stone’s attorney, said Stone provided the name of the intermediary between him and Julian Assange to the House Intelligence Committee. [CNN]

  • October 26, 2017: Upon murmurs that Mueller had filed the first charges in the Russia investigation, Stone tweeted about the investigation and at CNN reporters throughout the night. The tweets included: “Breaking: Mueller indicts @PaulManafort’s driver for double parking,” and “If Carl Bernstein says something the overwhelming odds are that it’s false lied about Watergate lying lying now.” However, there were much more inflammatory tweets, which can be found here: [Deadline]

  • October 28, 2017: Due to his rant on Friday night, Stone’s Twitter account was suspended. [Business Insider

  • November 6, 2017: Soliciting additional contributions to his legal defense fund, Stone released a new YouTube video in which he calls the Congressional inquiries “witch-hunt campaigns.” He notes that his legal bills threaten to bankrupt him but, he states, “more importantly, [they] distract me from the coming fight to save Donald Trump from the attacks of a special prosecutor Robert Mueller.” [YouTube]

  • November 7, 2017: In Naples, Florida, Stone spoke to the Collier for Trump Club, stating, “Mueller has an obvious conflict of interest. And this is clearly an effort to flip (Manafort). I think this is a political witch hunt." The conflict of interest? Trump interviewing Muller for FBI director but not hiring him. Stone denied any Russian interference, calling it "the Russian collusion delusion." [The Naples Daily News]

  • November 30, 2017: Roger Stone revealed that Randy Credico, a New York radio personality, was the previously unnamed intermediary between Stone and WikiLeaks. [CNN]

Paul Manafort*

  • February 29, 2016: Manafort pitches Trump on why he should be hired by the Trump campaign in a series of letters and memos. One memo stated: “I am not looking for a paid job." A mutual friend, Thomas J. Barrack Jr., passed the memo to Trump with a cover letter that stated Manafort "would do this in an unpaid capacity.” [New York Times, April 8, 2017]

  • March 28, 2016: Trump confirms he has hired Paul Manafort, a principal business partner of Roger Stone who did previous work for Viktor Yanukovych, the former Ukrainian President and pro-Kremlin politician who fled Ukraine during the street protests and found sanctuary in Russia before Putin annexed Crimea. [New York Times, March 28, 2016;  New York Times, July 31, 2016]]

  • March 29, 2016: The Trump campaign issues statement formally naming Manafort his campaign's convention manager.

  • May 19, 2016: Trump formally names Manafort campaign chairman. [New York Times]

  • June 9, 2016: At Trump Tower, Donald Jr. (and possibly Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner) meet with Natalia Veselnitskaya, a Russian lawyer with Kremlin ties, after being promised negative information about then-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. [New York Times, July 9, 2017] 

  • June 20, 2016: Trump fires campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, reportedly after months of conflict about campaign direction with chief strategist Manafort. Lewandowski’s duties are principally assumed by Manafort. [New York Times]

  • July 1, 2016: Trump campaign announces the hiring of Kellyanne Conway as senior advisor to campaign chairman Manafort. [Washington Post]

  • August 14, 2016: The New York Times reports that handwritten ledgers show $12.7 million in undisclosed cash payments to Manafort from Yanukovych. The transactions allegedly included an $18 million deal put together by Manafort and Putin ally and oligarch Oleg Deripaska. The Times publishes one page of the "black ledger," considered a party slush fund and obtained by Ukraine's National Anti-Corruption Bureau. [New York Times]

  • August 17, 2016: Kellyanne Conway is named Trump's campaign manager. [CNN] Stephen Bannon, chairman of the Breitbart News website, is named the Trump campaign’s chief executive. Manafort retains his title as campaign chairman but is reportedly "widely seen as being sidelined." [New York Times]

  • August 19, 2016: Trump campaign issues statement announcing Manafort's resignation. [New York Times]

2017

  • February 14, 2017: Manafort dismisses as "absurd" the assertion of four unnamed U.S. officials that Trump campaign members and other associates had repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials in the year leading up to the U.S. election. Manafort says, "I have never knowingly spoken to Russian intelligence officers, and I have never been involved with anything to do with the Russian government or the Putin administration or any other issues under investigation today.” He further observes, “It’s not like these people wear badges that say, ‘I’m a Russian intelligence officer.'" [New York Times]

  • February 16, 2017: At his first solo press conference as president, Trump addresses media reports that Manafort communicated with Russian intelligence officials before the election: "He denied it. Now, people knew that he was a consultant over in that part of the world for a while, but not for Russia. I think he represented Ukraine or people having to do with Ukraine.” [New York Times (transcript)]

  • March 20, 2017: Press Secretary Sean Spicer states that Manafort “played a very limited role for a very limited amount of time” in the Trump campaign. [Politico (video)]

  • March 21, 2017: Ukrainian lawmaker and journalist Serhiy Leshchenko releases a purported invoice printed on letterhead of Manafort's consulting company, dated October 14, 2009, listing payment of $750,000 to a Belize-based company for 501 computers. The date reportedly matches a $750,000 entry containing Manafort's name listed in a previously released "black ledger." At a news conference, Leshchenko alleges Manafort laundered payments from the party of ousted ex-Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych using offshore Belize and Kyrgyzstan accounts. [Washington Post]

  • March 22, 2017:

    • The Associated Press reports that Manafort “secretly worked” for Oleg Deripaska, a Russian billionaire with close ties to Putin and quotes excerpt from a 2005 memo from Manafort to Deripaska on boosting Putin's agenda and undermining anti-Russian opposition in the U.S. and elsewhere. The memo states, "We are now of the belief that this model can greatly benefit the Putin Government if employed at the correct levels with the appropriate commitment to success" and that it "will be offering a great service that can re-focus, both internally and externally, the policies of the Putin government." [Associated Press]

    • White House press secretary Sean Spicer states that Trump had not been aware of Manafort's work on behalf of Deripaska and that suggesting the contrary "is a bit insane." [Associated Press (video)]

  • March 23, 2017: Manafort confirms that he worked for Deripaska but denies the Associated Press’s allegation that the work sought to further the political interests of Putin’s government. [CNN]

  • April 2017: The Justice Department requests Manafort's bank records from Citizen Financial Group. [Wall Street Journal, May 12, 2017]

  • May 14, 2017: Citing an unnamed source, Bloomberg News reports that New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman (D) is in the early stages of an investigation into Manafort's real estate deals. [Bloomberg]

  • May 16, 2017: NBC News confirms that another subpoena has been issued relating to a $3.5 million loan Manafort took out immediately after resigning from the Trump campaign. [NBC]

  • September 18, 2017: The Times reported that the FBI raided Manafort’s house in July and after the raid, prosecutors told Manafort that they planned to indict him. [New York Times]

  • September 19, 2017: CNN reported that the FBI obtained FISA warrants to wiretap Manafort twice, once in 2014 and once in 2016. [CNN]

  • September 20, 2017: The Post reported that Manafort offered to give a Russian billionaire with close ties to the Kremlin briefings about the presidential campaign. [Washington Post]

  • September 21, 2017: The Journal reports that the surveillance of Manafort did not listen to his communications in real-time. The surveillance may have involved reading electronically stored copies of his correspondence or physical surveillance. It clarifies that the surveillance began after Manafort left the Trump campaign in September 2016. [Wall Street Journal]

  • September 26, 2017: Roger Stone said that Manafort expects to be indicted. [New York Times]

  • September 26, 2017: Senator Richard Blumenthal said he was “99 percent sure” that Flynn and Manafort will be criminally charged. [Politico]

  • September 27, 2017:

    • Senators decided to subpoena Manafort to testify before SSCI in a public session. [CNN]

    • CNN reports that the IRS is sharing information with Special Counsel Robert Mueller about Manafort’s financial activities. The report indicates that the IRS and Mueller’s team had disputed about the proper scope of Mueller’s inquiry, with the IRS going so far as to refuse to participate in the July raid on Manafort’s home. The financial investigation into Manafort goes back 11 years in connection with tax crimes and financial activities. [CNN]

  • October 2, 2017: The Atlantic reports that in the emails Manafort sent to intermediaries with Oleg Deripaska Manafort attempted to use his leadership role in the Trump campaign to cultivate a better relationship with Deripaska. Manafort was deeply in debt at the time. [The Atlantic]

  • October 25, 2017: The Wall Street Journal reports that the U.S. attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York is investigating Manafort for money laundering. The Manhattan U.S. attorney is coordinating with the Mueller probe and has reached out to the separate investigation being conducted by the New York attorney general. [The Wall Street Journal]

  • October 29, 2017: Buzzfeed News reports that the FBI investigation into Manafort has a keen focus on 13 separate wire transfers that Manafort made involving offshore companies between 2012 and 2013. The transfers went through offshore accounts in countries often linked to money laundering, such as Cyprus and directed funds to the U.S. [BuzzFeed News]

  • October 30, 2017: Special Counsel Robert Mueller indicts Manafort and business partner Rick W. Gates III on twelve counts related to money laundering, failing to disclose bank transfers and violating the Foreign Agents Registration Act. Lawfare posted Mueller’s filing at the D.C. federal district court. The Wall Street Journal reports that Manafort surrendered to the FBI. [New York Times] [Wall Street Journal]

    • The indictment reads

In furtherance of the scheme, MANAFORT used his hidden overseas wealth to enjoy a lavish lifestyle in the United States, without paying taxes on that income. MANAFORT, without reporting the income to his tax preparer or the United States, spent millions of dollars on luxury goods and services for himself and his extended family through payments wired from offshore nominee accounts to United States vendors. MANAFORT also used these offshore accounts to purchase multi-million dollar properties in the United States. MANAFORT then borrowed millions of dollars in loans using these properties as collateral, thereby obtaining cash in the United States without reporting and paying taxes on the income. In order to increase the amount of money he could access in the United States, MANAFORT defrauded the institutions that loaned money on these properties so that they would lend him more money at more favorable rates than he would otherwise be able to obtain...

… In total, more than $75,000,000 flowed through the offshore accounts. MANAFORT laundered more than $18,000,000, which was used by him to buy property, goods, and services in the United States, income that he concealed from the United States Treasury, the Department of Justice, and others. GATES transferred more than $3,000,000 from the offshore accounts to other accounts that he controlled.

  • October 30, 2017: Politico reports that Mueller’s team convinced a district court judge to require a lawyer for Manafort and Richard Gates III to testify before a grand jury. Judge Beryl Howell ruled that under the crime-fraud exception, the attorney had to testify about her interactions with the Justice Department about Manafort’s Foreign Agents Registration Act status. [Politico]
  • November 1, 2017: Manafort and Gates approached a NY publicist and offered to pay him for Ukraine lobbying work via offshore accounts. They also discussed avoiding filing as foreign agents with the Department of Justice. [Business Insider]

  • November 6, 2017: A federal judge orders Manafort and Gates to remain under house arrest with GPS monitors until they produce additional bail money. [USA Today]

  • November 8, 2017: Judge Berman Jackson issues a gag order in Manafort and Gates’ case that applies to “all interested participants in the matter, including the parties, any potential witnesses, and counsel for the parties and the witnesses.” [CNN]

  • November 14, 2017: A Ukraine prosecutor expressed frustration that he has sent requests in both 2014 and 2015 to question Manafort along with others. There are two cases under investigation in Ukraine: one surrounding the Tymoshenko report and the other Yanukovich’s Party of Regions’ slush fund payments to Manafort and others. [Reuters]

  • November 21, 2017: Both Manafort and Gates were granted limited release for the Thanksgiving holiday via court order. The details about their travels were sealed. [ABC News]
    November 23, 2017: Flight records show that Manafort travelled to Moscow at least 18 times. He also travelled to Ukraine 19 times while working for the pro-Russian Opposition Bloc party. This travel is more extensive than previously known. [McClatchy]

  • November 30, 2017: Manafort reached a bail deal to the tune of $11 million and tied to four real properties. [Politico]

Carter Page*

  • March 21, 2016: Trump tells the Washington Post editorial board that Carter Page will be one of his campaign advisers for foreign policy. [Washington Post]

  • Summer 2016: FBI obtains Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant for Carter Page after demonstrating to FISA court that that there was probable cause to believe Page was acting as an agent of a foreign power. [Washington Post, April 11, 2017]

  • July 7, 2016: Page delivers speech at Moscow's New Economic School during a trip reportedly approved by Trump’s then-campaign manager Corey Lewandowski. [Politico, March 7, 2017]

  • July 19, 2016:

    • Page and Trump campaign official J.D. Gordon meet with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak at the RNC in Cleveland. Page states that he does not deny the meeting.  [USA Today, March 2, 2017; MSNBC (video), March 2, 2017]

    • Date of a report in Steele dossier alleging that Page held a secret meeting with Igor Sechin, head of the Rosneft state-owned oil company and a Putin lieutenant, and Igor Divyekin, an internal affairs official with an intelligence background who allegedly warned Page that Moscow had kompromat on Trump [BuzzFeed, January 10, 2017]

  • August 27, 2016: In a letter to FBI Director James Comey, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid asks for investigation into Page’s alleged meeting with "high-ranking sanctioned individuals" in Russia during Page's July trip.

  • September 25, 2016: Kellyanne Conway says Page is not part of the campaign team during an interview with CNN. [CNN (transcript)] Page sends a letter to FBI Director James Comey saying that he is subject of a "witch hunt" and has not met with any "sanctioned official" in Russia in the past year.

  • September 26, 2016: Page informs the Washington Post's Josh Rogin that he is taking a leave of absence from the Trump campaign. [Washington Post]

  • October 13, 2016: Page pens op-ed for Kremlin-sponsored Sputnik News, titled "Mutual Respect or Mutual Assured Destruction: Reversing Steps to Nuclear Brink.

  • December 8, 2016: Page travels to Moscow. He states that he "will be meeting with business leaders and thought leaders." [New York Times; Sputnik News]

2017

  • January 11, 2017: At Trump’s first news conference since the election, incoming press secretary Sean Spicer says,"Carter Page is an individual who the president-elect does not know and was put on notice months ago by the campaign." [Washington Post (transcript)]

  • February 12, 2017: Page writes the Department of Justice's Civil Division a letter asking it to investigate "the severe election fraud in the form of disinformation, suppression of dissent, hate crimes and other extensive abuses led by members of Mrs. Hillary Clinton’s campaign and their political allies last year.”

  • March 8, 2017: Page sends a letter to Senate Intelligence Committee and BuzzFeed News stating that "“If prior media reports may be believed that surveillance was indeed undertaken against me and other Trump supporters, it should be essentially deemed as a proven fact that the American people’s concerns that Trump Tower was under surveillance last year is entirely correct.” [BuzzFeed News]

  • April 11, 2017: The Washington Post reports that Page was the subject of a FISA court warrant. [Washington Post]

  • April 18, 2017: CNN reports that the FBI used the Steele dossier to persuade judge to grant FISA warrant to monitor Page’s communications in the summer of 2016. [CNN]

  • May 1, 2017: Page tells Fox News he is cooperating with the Senate Intelligence Committee's Russia investigation. [Fox News, May 2, 2017]

  • May 4, 2017: Page responds to the Senate Intelligence Committee inquiry for 2015-17 communications with Russian officials and businesspeople with a letter asserting that the U.S. government already possesses many of the communications requested by the Committee. In an email to the Post, Page describes his letter as a "preliminary response" to the Committee's "request for even more irrelevant data." [The Washington Post, May 5, 2017]

  • June 26, 2017: The Post reported that over five separate meetings in March, the FBI questioned Page for a total of 10 hours about the Russian investigation. [Washington Post]

  • September 14, 2017: Page filed a defamation lawsuit in SDNY against Oath, the parent company of Yahoo!, for a story ran in September 2016 that included Christopher Steele’s dossier and alleged that Page met with Russian officials. [New York Law Journal]

  • October 10, 2017: Page states that he will invoke the Fifth Amendment when called before the Senate Intelligence Committee so he does not have to surrender a large number of documents that he believes to fall outside of the scope of the committee. At the same time, Page asked that he be able to testify in an open session about Russian election influence through social media. [CNN]

  • October 17, 2017: The Senate Intelligence Committee subpoenas Carter Page. [CNN]

  • October 27, 2017: In a five hour long closed-door session, Carter Page meets with the Senate Intelligence Committee. [NBC]

  • October 27, 2017: The House Intelligence Committee intends to release a transcript of Carter Page’s testimony after he testifies in an “open in a closed space” session next Thursday. [CNN]

  • November 2, 2017: Politioc reports that after lengthy testimony before the House Intelligence Committee, Page invoked the Fifth Amendment and refused to produce subpoenaed documents. [Politico]

  • November 3, 2017: Testifying before the House Intelligence Committee, Carter Page admitted that he met with Russian officials during a July 2016 trip to Moscow. [New York Times]

  • November 3, 2017: During his testimony before the House Intelligence Committee, Page stated that he told Attorney General Sessions that he was traveling to Russia during a dinner with then-Candidate Trump’s national security team. [CNN]

  • November 7, 2017:

    • The House Intelligence Committee released a transcript of Carter Page’s testimony. [CBS News]
    • Those transcripts revealed that Page sent an email to Trump aides that Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich “expressed strong support for Mr. Trump and a desire to work together toward devising better solutions in response to a vast range of current international problems.” Also, Page stated that “senior members” of Putin’s administration provided “incredible insights and outreach.” [Washington Post]
  • November 8, 2017:

    • Corey Lewandowski, a former Trump campaign manager, retracted previous denials that he did not know Carter Page by saying that his “memory has been refreshed.” However, he denied that Page’s Russian visit was linked to the campaign by stating, “[a]ll I was clear about was if you’re going to travel, please do not pretend to be a part of the campaign and say that you are part of the campaign, because you are not.” [Politico]

    • JD Gordon, the Trump campaign’s National Security Advisory Committee director, said that he refused to send Page’s request for approval of the Moscow speech onward. As a result, Page went around Gordon and straight to party leadership. [Business Insider]
  • November 16, 2017: Carter Page delivers subpoenaed documents to the House and Senate Intelligence Committees. [The Hill

  • November 20, 2017: ABC reports that Jeno Megyesy, a close advisor to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, met with Carter Page at the request of Reka Szemerkenyi, the Hungarian ambassador to the United States, in September 2016. [ABC News]

  • November 28, 2017: Sen. Feinstein sent Carter Page a request for all documents related to his trip to Russia and adjusting the Republican platform on Russia and Ukraine, as well as his communications with Trump campaign staff, Russian officials, and specified information. [Letter]

Michael Flynn*

  • April 30, 2014: Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn announces his retirement. [Washington Post]

  • October 8, 2014: In response to an inquiry from Flynn, Defense Intelligence Agency issues a written opinion to Flynn stating that foreign compensation requires advance approval.

2015

  • July 31, 2015: Flynn is paid $11,250 by Russia-based cargo airline Volga-Dneper Airlines. [Washington Post, March 16, 2017]

  • August 29, 2015: In an interview with Der Spiegel, Flynn calls for U.S. cooperation with Russia in the Middle East. [Der Spiegel]

  • December 10, 2015: Flynn speaks at Kremlin network Russia Today (RT) 10th anniversary gala, where he is seated next to Putin. He is paid more than $45,000 by RT. [Washington Post, March 16, 2017]

2016

  • January 16, 2016: To keep his access to classified security information, Flynn submits routine SF-86 security questionnaire. [Defense Intelligence Agency letter, April 7, 2017]

  • February 12, 2016: In an interview with Jake Tapper of CNN, Flynn states: I am advising any candidate that has asked me for advice on a range of issues, national security, foreign policy. But [Trump] is one of the candidates that I have advised.” [CNN (transcript)]

  • May 3, 2016: Trump wins the Indiana primary and becomes the presumptive Republican Party nominee. [CNN]

  • July 15, 2016: Flynn tells Der Spiegel that "Putin will be a reliable partner for certain things for the United States, yes. Absolutely." [Der Spiegel]

  • July 18, 2016: In an interview with Yahoo News, Flynn admits for the first time that he was paid for his trip to Moscow. He says he was paid by his speakers' bureau. [Yahoo News]

  • August 9, 2016: Flynn Intel Group (FIG) enters into a contract with Dutch company Inovo BV with the stated aim of “improving U.S. business organizations’ confidence regarding doing business in Turkey, particularly with respect to the stability of Turkey and its suitability as a venue for investment and commercial activity.” [Flynn FARA Filings, Exhibits A&B]

  • August 15, 2016: In an interview with the Washington Post, Flynn admits he was paid by Kremlin network Russia Today (RT) but says RT is no different from CNN. [Washington Post]

  • November 8, 2016: Flynn publishes an op-ed for The Hill titled "Our ally Turkey is in crisis and needs our support" and describing the "primary bone of contention" between the countries as Fethullah Gülen, "a shady Islamic mullah" and "radical Islamist." [The Hill]

  • November 10, 2016: President Obama meets with then-President-elect Trump and reportedly personally advises him against hiring Michael Flynn as his national security adviser. [NBC, May 8, 2017; Washington Post, May 8, 2017]

  • November 18, 2016: Trump names Flynn as his pick for national security adviser, along with Jeff Sessions as Attorney General and Mike Pompeo as director of the Central Intelligence Agency. [Washington Post]

  • December 19, 2016: Flynn reportedly calls Kislyak to express condolences about the assassination of Andrey G. Karlov, the Russian ambassador to Ankara. [Washington Post, January 12, 2017]

  • December 28, 2016: Obama administration informs Trump transition tream that President Obama intends to impose sanctions on Russia. [Washington Post, February 16, 2017]

  • December 29, 2016:

    • President Obama announces he has expelled 35 Russian diplomats suspected of being spies and imposed sanctions on two Russian intelligence agencies and four officers of GRU for their involvement in hacking U.S. political groups. [New York Times]

    • Flynn has five phone calls with Russian ambassador Kislyak. [Washington Post, January 12, 2017; Reuters, January 23, 2017] Reportedly, transcripts of the calls show that Flynn urged the Russians not to respond to the recent sanctions. [New York Times, March 1, 2017]

  • Dec. 30, 2016: Putin announces in an official statement that he will not retaliate against the U.S. sanctions. That day, Trump tweets:

2017

  • January 2, 2017: Obama administration officials learned that Kislyak called Flynn on December 29 and that the two spoke multiple times in the subsequent 36 hours. [New York Times, March 1, 2017]

  • January 4, 2017: Flynn tells the Trump team, including incoming White House counsel Donald McGahn, that he is under investigation for working as a paid lobbyist for a firm furthering Turkish interests. [New York Times]

  • January 12, 2017: Citing a senior government official, David Ignatius of the Washington Post breaks that "Flynn phoned Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak several times on Dec. 29." [Washington Post]

  • January 13, 2017: In a conference call with reporters, incoming White House press secretary Sean Spicer says Flynn and Kislyak's discussions “centered around the logistics” and did not touch on sanctions.  [New York Times]

  • January 14, 2017: Flynn informs Pence that he did not discuss sanctions with Russian ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak. [Time]

  • January 15, 2017: Multiple incoming Trump officials deny Flynn spoke to Kislyak about sanctions.

    • On CBS’s “Face the Nation,” Mike Pence vouches that Flynn did not speak with Kislyak about sanctions: "I talked to General Flynn about that conversation and actually was initiated on Christmas Day he had sent a text to the Russian ambassador to express not only Christmas wishes but sympathy for the loss of life in the airplane crash that took place. It was strictly coincidental that they had a conversation. They did not discuss anything having to do with the United States’ decision to expel diplomats or impose censure against Russia." [CBS (transcript)]

    • On NBC's "Meet the Press," Reince Priebus says: "The subject matter of sanctions or the actions taken by the Obama administration did not come up in the conversation." [NBC (transcript)]

  • January 17, 2017: President Obama directed national security adviser Susan Rice to give Trump's team the plan for arming the Kurds, considered by the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as terrorists and their chief enemy. Trump's national security team rejects plan. [Washington Post]

  • January 19, 2017: Sally Yates and outgoing DNI director and CIA chief James Clapper and John Brennan reportedly argued internally for briefing the incoming administration on Flynn and Kislyak's conversations. [Washington Post]

  • January 20, 2017: Trump takes office.

  • January 22, 2017: The Wall Street Journal reports that U.S. counterintelligence officials have examined Flynn's links to Russia. Status of investigation not made clear. [Wall Street Journal]

  • January 23, 2017: The Washington Post reports that "FBI reviewed Flynn’s calls with the Russian ambassador Kislyak but found nothing illicit." [Washington Post]

  • January 24, 2017: FBI agents interview Flynn about his calls with the Russian ambassador Kislyak. [New York Times, February 14, 2017]

  • January 26, 2017: Acting Attorney General Sally Yates and a senior national security official inform White House counsel Donald McGahn that Yates believed Michael Flynn misled senior administration officials about his communications with Russian ambassador Kislyak, exposing himself to potential blackmail. [Washington Post; Sally Yates Senate testimony, May 9, 2017]

  • January 27, 2017:

    • White House Counsel Donald McGahn calls Acting Attorney General Sally Yates back to the White House to discuss four topics. In May 2017, Yates testifies that those topics were as follows: "The first topic in the second meeting was essentially why does it matter to DOJ if one White House official lies to another. The second topic related to the applicability of criminal statutes and the likelihood that the Department of Justice would pursue a criminal case. The third topic was his concern that their taking action might interfere with an investigation of Mr. Flynn. And the fourth topic was his request to see the underlying evidence."  [Sally Yates Senate testimony, May 9, 2017]

    • On “Fox & Friends,” White House senior advisor Kellyanne Conway states the Trump administration is considering lifting sanctions on Russia. [Fox & Friends]

  • January 28, 2017: Trump and Putin have an hour-long phone call; pictures show Flynn was present for the call [Call readout; NPR (picture), January 29, 2017; Twitter (Sean Spicer)]

  • January 30, 2017: White House issues an official statement on the firing of Acting Attorney General Sally Yates, purportedly for her “betrayal” in refusing to enforce Trump’s immigration executive order. [Executive Order 13769]

  • February 8, 2017: In an interview with the Washington Post, Flynn denies discussing sanctions with Russian ambassador Kislyak. [Washington Post, February 13, 2017]

  • February 9, 2017: Flynn appears to revise his account and tells the Washington Post through a spokesman that he “couldn’t be certain that the topic [of sanctions] never came up” in his conversation with Kislyak. The Washington Post reports, “National security adviser Flynn discussed sanctions with Russian ambassador, despite denials, officials say.” [Washington Post] Pence is informed the Justice Department warned White House about Flynn two weeks prior, according to Pence press secretary Marc Lotter. [NBC]

  • February 10, 2017: On Air Force One, Trump states he didn't know about reports that Flynn had conversations with the Russians about sanctions prior to the Inauguration. [CNN, Twitter (Dan Merica)]

  • February 13, 2017:

    • On MSNBC, White House senior advisor Kellyanne Conway affirms that Flynn has Trump's "full confidence." [MSNBC (video)]

    • Commenting on Flynn's alleged wrongdoing, House Intelligence Committee chairman Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) tells Bloomberg reporter Steven Dennis, <It just seems like there's a lot of nothing there.> [Twitter (Steven Dennis)] Nunes further states: <He's in a Catch-22 situation. Did he have substantive conversations? No. It’s easy to play ‘gotcha.> [Twitter (Steven Dennis)] Some minutes later, appearing on Fox News, Nunes says Flynn should not step down and that he has "great confidence" in Flynn, who is "being attacked maliciously by the press.” [Washington Post (video)]

    • Flynn resigns as White House national security adviser, 24 days after taking office. In his White House statement, he says: "I inadvertently briefed the VP-elect and others with incomplete information regarding my phone calls with the Russian Ambassador."

    • The Washington Post reports that acting Attorney General Sally Yates informed White House Counsel Donald McGahn that she believed Flynn had misled administration officials about his communications with Kislyak and warnedFlynn could be vulnerable to Russian blackmail. [Washington Post]

  • February 14, 2017:

    • White House spokesman Sean Spicer said Flynn did not violate any laws but he mislead. When asked if Trump instructed Flynn to discuss sanctions with the Russians, Spicer says, "absolutely not." [Washington Post]

    • House Intelligence Committee chairman Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) Nunes says that it is “very hard to believe” that Flynn was acting as “some sort of secret Russian agent” and questions why intelligence officials eavesdropped on Flynn's calls. “I expect for the FBI to tell me what is going on, and they better have a good answer. The big problem I see here is that you have an American citizen who had his phone calls recorded.” [Washington Post]

  • February 15, 2017: Fielding a question at a press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Trump says of Flynn, “I think he’s been treated very, very unfairly by the media — as I call it, the ‘fake media,’ in many cases — and I think it’s really a sad thing that he was treated so badly.” [Washington Post]

  • February 19, 2017: On NBC's "Meet the Press," Reince Priebus says he learned he had been misled about Flynn's discussions with Kislyak "sometime after January 27." [NBC (transcript)]

  • March 7, 2017: Flynn retroactively registers with the Justice Department disclosing he served as an agent of a foreign government while advising candidate Trump. His filings include revelations that he was paid $530,000 before the U.S. election for lobbying work for a Dutch-based firm seeking to further interests of Turkish government: [AP, March 8, 2017; Flynn FARA filings: Registration Statement, Short Form 1, Short Form 2, Exhibits A&B, Exhibit C)]

  • March 10, 2017: White House officials acknowledge that the Trump transition team learned before the Inauguration that Flynn might need to register as a foreign agent under FARA. [Associated Press]

  • March 16, 2017:

    • Documents released by House Oversight Committee ranking member Re. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) show previously unknown details about Russia-related payments that Flynn collected in 2015: (1) more than $45,000 from Kremlin network Russia Today (RT) in connection with his December 2015 trip to Moscow, and for DC speaking speeches, (2) $11,250 from the U.S. subsidiary of Russian cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab and (3) $11,250 by a U.S. air cargo company affiliated with the Volga-Dnepr Group, which is owned by a Russian businessman. [Washington Post; New York Times]

    • Cummings issues a letter to President Trump, Defense Secretary Mattis and FBI Director James Comey that includes a detailed request for information about whether Flynn fully disclosed his communications with Russian agents as part of the security clearance and vetting process. The letter also requests that the DOD initiate steps to recover all funds Flynn accepted in violation of the Emoluments Clause.

  • March 24, 2017: The Wall Street Journal reports that Flynn met with senior Turkish government officials on September 19, 2016 to strategize about resorting to extralegal measures to remove Gulen from the U.S. [Wall Street Journal]

  • March 30, 2017: Michael Flynn offers to testify to the FBI and the Senate Intelligence Committee for a grant of immunity. [WSJ] Flynn’s lawyer, Robert Kelner, issues a statement.

  • April 7, 2017: Defense Intelligence Agency confirms in a letter to the House Oversight Committee that it has not been able to identify any records regarding Flynn's receipt of money from a foreign source.

  • April 11, 2017: The Defense Intelligence Agency Inspector General issues a letter to House Oversight Committee chairman Jason Chaffetz confirming the initiation of an investigation into whether Flynn obtained required approval before receiving foreign payments (Foreign Emoluments Clause; DoD 5500.07-R, Joint Ethics Regulation, Foreign Employment Restrictions; Section 9-601, Foreign Employment Restrictions; Army Regulation 600-291, Foreign Government Employment]

  • April 25, 2017: House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) and ranking member Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.) tell reporters that, after reviewing two classified memos and Flynn's financial disclosure form, they believed Flynn did not fully disclose or receive permission for income he received from foreign governments as required by law. [Washington Post]

  • April 27, 2017: House Oversight Committee chairman Jason Chaffetz sends letter to Acting Army Secretary requesting information about whether Flynn requested approval for foreign payments from Army Secretary and Secretary of State as required by 37 U.S.C. § 908.

  • April 28, 2017:

    • Rachel Maddow reports that a source told NBC news the Trump transition team knew about Flynn's ties to Turkey but hired him anyway. [MSNBC (video)]

    • Sessions states on NBC's "Today" show that his recusal from Justice Department investigations into the 2016 election likely includes inquiries into Flynn's ties to foreign governments. [NBC (video)]

  • May 5, 2017: The Washington Post reports that senior members of the Trump transition team warned Flynn in November 2016 that U.S. intelligence agencies were "almost certainly" monitoring Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak's conversations, a month before Flynn was recorded discussing U.S. sanctions against Russia. Marshall Billingslea, who led Trump's national security transition team from November on, reportedly was so concerned that "Flynn did not fully understand the motives" of Kislyak that he asked Obama officials for a classified CIA profile of Kislyak. [Washington Post]

  • May 8, 2017:

    • Former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism.

    • Trump issues a series of negative tweets about Yates and former DNI Director James Clapper in advance of and then during their Senate testimony.

  • May 9, 2017: CNN reports that federal prosecutors have issued grand jury subpoenas seeking business records from associates of former Trump national security advisor Michael Flynn. [CNN]

  • May 17, 2017: The New York Times reports that on January 4, Flynn told the Trump team, including incoming White House counsel Donald McGahn, that he was under investigation for working as a paid lobbyist for a firm furthering Turkish interests—16 days before Trump entered office and Flynn became Trump's national security advisor. [New York Times]

  • May 18, 2017: Reuters reports the Trump campaign had at least 18 undisclosed contacts with Russians. After the election, Flynn and Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak "discussed establishing a back channel for communication between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin that could bypass the U.S. national security bureaucracy." [Reuters]

  • May 22, 2017:

    • Michael Flynn refuses to comply with a House Intelligence Committee subpoena and invokes his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. [Associated Press; New York Times]

    • Elijah Cummings, the ranking member of the House Oversight Committee, issues a letter stating Flynn misled Pentagon investigators about his income from Russian companies and contact with Russian officials when he applied for removal of his top-secret security clearance last year. [Associated PressNew York Times]

  • September 12, 2017: Politico reports that while in office, Flynn backed a for-profit nuclear power scheme in the Middle East. The private backers of the plan paid Flynn to promote the scheme, and Flynn corresponded with other administration officials during the transition about it. [Politico]

  • September 13, 2017:

    • Flynn’s son, Flynn Jr., is also reported as a subject of the Russian investigations. [NBC]

    • Flynn refused a renewed request from SSCI to testify. [CNN]

  • September 18, 2017: Flynn’s family created a fund to help pay Flynn’s legal fees stemming from the Russian investigations. [NBC]

  • September 20, 2017: The Times reports that Special Counsel Robert Mueller requested documents from the White House related to Flynn’s firing and his interview with FBI agents about contacts with the Russian ambassador. [New York Times]

  • September 26, 2017: Senator Richard Blumenthal said he was “99 percent sure” that Flynn and Manafort will be criminally charged. [Politico]

  • October 17, 2017: Reuters reports that the Senate Intelligence Committee asked Flynn’s son Michael Flynn Jr. to provide documents about his father’s business dealings. [Reuters]

  • November 5, 2017: NBC News reports that according to sources familiar with the investigation, Mueller has enough evidence to bring charges against Flynn and his son. [NBC]

  • November 9, 2017: CNN reports that Mike Flynn is concerned about his son’s legal exposure. On the surface, Flynn Jr. is less concerned. The previous week, he tweeted “The disappointment on your faces when I don't go to jail will be worth all your harassment.” [CNN]

  • November 10, 2017: Mueller is investigating a plan where Mike Flynn and Flynn Jr. were offered $15 million to kidnap Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, the chief political rival of Turkish President Erdogan, and deliver him to Turkey. [The Wall Street Journal]

  • November 10, 2017: According to NBC, Mueller is investigating a meeting between Flynn and Dana Rohrabacher, a senator known for his advocacy for pro-Russian policies. [NBC News]
    November 22, 2017: Bijan Kian, a former business associate of Michael Flynn, has become a subject of the special counsel’s investigation. [NBC News]
    November 23, 2017:

    • A White House ethics official told CBS that Trump is not paying Manfort or Flynn’s legal bills. [CBS News]

    • One of Flynn’s lawyers told one of Trump’s lawyers that the two could no longer discuss the special counsel’s investigation. [New York Times]

  • December 1, 2017:
    • Michael Flynn pleads guilty to lying to the FBI about his conversations with the Russian ambassador. Mueller charged Flynn with one count of making false statements to the FBI about meetings with Ambassador Sergei Kislyak in which they discussed U.S. sanctions and a U.N. Security Council resolution. Flynn agreed to cooperate with the FBI. [New York Times] On the released charging information sheet, statement of offense and plea agreement, the FBI said that:

On or about January 24, 2017, FLYNN agreed to be interviewed by agents from the FBI (“January 24 voluntary interview”). During the interview, FLYNN falsely stated that he did not ask Russia’s Ambassador to the United States (“Russian Ambassador”) to refrain from escalating the situation in response to sanctions that the United States had imposed against Russia. FLYNN also falsely stated that he did not remember a follow-up conversation in which the Russian Ambassador stated that Russia had chosen to moderate its response to those sanctions as a result of FLYNN’s request.

  • December 2, 2017: Based on emails they obtained, the New York Times reported that Flynn was in conversation with senior members of the transition team regarding his conversations with Russian ambassador Kislyak. This cuts against the narrative that Flynn was a rogue actor. [New York Times]

Trump Children*: Ivanka*, Donald Jr.*, Eric*

  • May 26, 2017: Donald Trump secures the Republican presidential nomination. [New York Times]

  • June 9, 2016: At Trump Tower, Donald Jr. meets with Natalia Veselnitskaya, a Russian lawyer with Kremlin ties, after being promised negative information about then-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. [New York Times, July 9, 2017]

  • July 24, 2016: On CNN's "State of the Union," Jake Tapper asks Donald Jr. to respond to the suggestion that Russians are behind the hacking and release of the DNC emails, and "that this is part of a plot to help Donald Trump and hurt Hillary Clinton." Donald Jr. responds: "Well, it just goes to show you their exact moral compass. I mean, they will say anything to be able to win this. I mean, this is time and time again, lie after lie." [CNN (transcript)]

  • October 11, 2016: Donald Jr. is likely paid at least $50,000 to speak at the French think tank Center of Political and Foreign Affairs, founded by pro-Kremlin businessman Fabien Baussart, who has since nominated Putin for the Nobel Peace Prize [Wall Street Journal, March 2, 2017; ABC News, March 2, 2017]

  • November 11, 2016: Spokeswoman Hope Hicks states, "There was no communication between the campaign and any foreign entity during the campaign." [Associated Press]

2017

  • January 19, 2017: Ivanka invites Dasha Zhukova, wife of Russian billionaire industrialist Roman Abramovich to be her personal guest at the Inauguration.

  • July 19, 2017: Twenty-two House Democrats wrote the FBI asking that it investigate the veracity of Ivanka’s application for her security clearance. [Newsweek]
  • September 7, 2017: The New York Times reports that Trump Jr. said in a statement to the Senate intelligence committee that he agreed to set up the meeting with the Russian lawyer in June 2016 so he could assess Hillary Clinton’s “fitness” for office. He tells Senate investigators that nothing came out of the meeting and that he did not speak with his father about the draft statement crafted on Air Force One that minimized the meeting. [New York Times
  • September 21, 2017: According to Politico, Muller requested phone records regarding the statement written on Air Force One that defended Don Jr.’s meeting with the Russian lawyer during the campaign. [Politico]

  • September 24, 2017: Politico reports that Kushner used a private email account while working in the White House, using it at times for official business. Kushner and Ivanka Trump set up a private email server during the presidential transition to use for personal communications. [Politico]

  • September 28, 2017: After breaking that Kushner used private email to conduct government business, Politico reported that Ivanka also used private email and the White House began an investigation into the matter. [Politico]

  • October 3, 2017: Under increased scrutiny about their personal email accounts, Kushner and Ivanka rerouted their emails to Trump Organization servers on September 26th or 27th. [USA Today]

  • October 9, 2017: A new email about the Trump Tower meeting was disclosed to the Post by the U.S. layer representing Aras Agalarov, who helped Natalia Veselnitskaya secure the Trump Tower meeting. The email is from Veselnitskaya to a music promoter who helped arrange the meeting and it talks only of the Magnitsky Act not of Hilary Clinton, seemingly corroborating Veselnitskaya’s claim that the meeting had nothing to do the Russian government assisting Trump’s presidential campaign. [The Washington Post]

  • October 16, 2017:

    • Ivanka played a key role in getting Michael Flynn a position in the White House by praising his “amazing loyalty.” [Newsweek

    • Business Insider reports that Natasha Veselnitskaya, the Russian lawyer who met with Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort on June 9, 2016 brought a memo that echoed Kremlin talking points about the Magnitsky Act. Veselnitskaya’s memo resembled a memo prepared by Russian prosecutor general Yuri Chaika to be delivered to Rep. Dana Rohrabacher on his visit to Moscow in April 2016. [Business Insider]
  • October 29, 2017: Eric Trump appeared on Watters’ World on Fox News claiming a distinction between opposition research and an alleged payment from the Clinton Campaign and the DNC to Fusion GPS for the Russian dossier. In Eric’s words, “[Opposition research is] very different from paying $9 million to have somebody go out and fabricate a story. You’re effectively committing fraud.” [Fox News]

  • November 6, 2017: According to Veselnitskaya, during her meeting with Don Jr., he stated that if she could produce records that linked the Clintons to illegal donations, then Trump would reevaluate the Magnitsky Act if he was elected. [Vanity Fair]

  • November 13, 2017: During the election, WikiLeaks frequently direct messaged Don Jr. on Twitter. At times, Don Jr. either responded to WikiLeaks or acted on the information provided. This goes against the campaign’s denial that it was in cahoots with WikiLeaks. [The Atlantic]

  • November 14, 2017: Don Jr. released all of the Twitter direct messages exchanged with WikiLeaks during the campaign. [CNN]

  • November 19, 2017: In a Fox News interview, Eric said: “I’ve said this a million times: The Russia thing is a total sham. It is total nonsense. There is zero collusion with Russia.” Eric also denied meeting with the special prosecutor. [Fox News]

  • November 13, 2017: Don Jr. posted on Instagram: “More nothing burgers from the media and others desperately trying to create a false narrative. Keep coming at me guys!!!” [Instagram]
    November 20, 2017: The Trump campaign has stopped paying Don Jr.’s legal bills. Instead, a legal defense fund was set up for Don Jr. as well as other campaign staffers. [Bloomberg]

Jared Kushner*

  • December 2016:

    • On an unspecified date, Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner and Flynn meet with Russian ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak in Trump Tower. [New York Times, March 2, 2017; New Yorker, March 6, 2017]

    • On an unspecified date, Kushner later meets with Sergey Gorkov, chief of Vnesheconombank, a Russia-owned bank on the U.S. sanctions list since shortly after Putin's annexation of Crimea. [New York Times]

  • January 7, 2017: The New York Times reports on ties between Kushner and his family’s empire and various Russian and Chinese investors. Russian billionaire investor Yuri Milner is an investor in Cadre, a company started by Kushner, his brother and a friend. [New York Times]

  • March 27, 2017: The New York Times reports that the Senate Intelligence Committee plans to question Jared Kushner, and that the White House has confirmed that Kushner not only met with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak and Michael Flynn at Trump Tower in early December but Kushner's meeting with Sergey N. Gorkov, the chief of the Russian bank Vnesheconombank, which the United States  put on its sanctions list after Russia annexed Crimea. [New York Times]

  • May 19, 2017: The Washington Post reports that the FBI's Russia investigation has "identified a current White House official as a significant person of interest" and that the person is "close to the president." [Washington Post]

  • May 25, 2017: The Washington Post reports that the person of interest is Jared Kushner, who is a focus in the Russia investigation "because of the extent and nature of his interactions with the Russians." [Washington Post]

  • May 26, 2017: The Washington Post reports that Jared Kushner and Russian ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak discussed the possibility of setting up a secret, secure communications backchannel between the Trump transition team and the Kremlin using Russian diplomatic facilities "in an apparent move to shield their pre-inauguration discussions from monitoring." [Washington Post]

  • May 28, 2017: In three Sunday morning talk show appearances, Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly states that it was a “good thing” and not a "big deal" if Kushner was trying to a create a backchannel to communicate with the Kremlin. [Fox; NBC (video); ABC (transcript)]

  • June 15, 2017: The Washington Post reports that special counsel Mueller is investigating Jared Kushner's financial dealings. [Washington Post]

  • June 18, 2017: In response to reports that Kushner is seeking a new lawyer in light of the link between his lawyer, Jamie Gorelick and special counsel Robert Mueller, who were partners together at WilmerHale, Gorelick states, “After the appointment of our former partner Robert Mueller as special counsel, we advised Mr. Kushner to obtain the independent advice of a lawyer with appropriate experience as to whether he should continue with us as his counsel.” [New York Times]

  • September 11, 2017: Business Insider reported that Trump lawyers wanted Kushner to resign because he failed to disclose on his original SF-86 that he met with Russian nationals during the campaign. [Business Insider]

  • September 15, 2017: Vanity Fair drew connections between comments from Kushner in a 2016 interview about how he utilized Facebook micro-targeting during the campaign and the revelation that Russian groups bought advertising on Facebook in attempts to sway the election. [Vanity Fair]

  • September 24, 2017: Kushner used a private email account to conduct official business. [Politico]

  • September 29, 2017: Kushner’s lawyers released a statement that there were no emails related to the ongoing Russia investigations on Kushner’s private email account that he used to conduct some official business on after joining the administration. [ABC News]

  • October 3, 2017: Under increased scrutiny about their personal email accounts, Kushner and Ivanka rerouted their emails to Trump Organization servers on September 26th or 27th. [USA Today]

  • October 17, 2017: Kushner adds Charles Harder to his legal team. Harder has represented Hulk Hogan and Melania Trump. [Vanity Fair]

  • November 3, 2017: Similar to what he turned over to the Congressional investigators, Kushner turned over documents about the campaign, transition, and Russian involvement to Mueller. According to CNN, Mueller’s investigators have started asking questions about Kushner’s role in the firing of Director Comey. [CNN]
  • November 7, 2017: Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, made the following statement to The Daily Beast: “I certainly want Jared Kushner back because I felt that the way he gamed the committee before and made that public statement, ‘we don’t rely on the Russians for financing’—’rely’ is a very subjective word. So you bet, he ought to be back.” [The Daily Beast]

  • November 12, 2017: Sen. Warner, the vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, says he wants testimony from other individuals, including Don Jr. [The Hill]

  • November 15, 2017: Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, send a letter to White House counsel Donald McGahn asking for any document on Comey and Flynn’s firings that was sent, received, or reviewed by Kushner, as well ask documents on the Trump Tower meeting and Don Jr.’s statements on it. [The Hill]

  • November 16, 2017: Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Sen. Chuck Grassley wrote a letter to Abbie Lowell, Kushner’s attorney. The letter stated that they had not received all of the documents that they had previously requested. [USA Today]

  • November 18, 2017:

    • Kushner failed to disclose contact been Aleksander Torshin, a former senator, deputy governor of Russia’s central bank, and close confidant of Putin, and the campaign. Torshin wanted to meet with high-level campaign officials and may have had a message from Putin for Trump. While Kushner said he rebuffed the request, Torshin said he set next to Don Jr. at the event he inquired about. [NBC News]

    • Kushner’s attorney, Abbie Lowell, wrote back to Sen. Feinstein and Sen. Grassley. Lowell claimed that there were no missing documents and said that he “would have assumed that, if there were any questions about our productions or exchanges, that would have been communicated to me directly before you made this a media event.” [CNN]

  • November 21, 2017:

    • Vanity Fair reported that Kushner showed concern about the scope of Muller’s investigation to a friend; Kushner asked, “[d]o you think they’ll get the president?” [Vanity Fair]

    • The Wall Street Journal reported that Muller’s investigators have questioned Kushner about his contact with foreign officials, including those involved in the December 2016 U.N. resolution condemning Israeli citizens from constructing settlements on disputed territory. [Wall Street Journal]

  • November 27, 2017: Today, Abbe Lowell said that there was no current deadline for Kushner to produce the documents that the Senate Judiciary Committee requested. The deadline in Sen. Grassley and Sen. Feinstein’s request letter was today, November 27, 2017. [Axios]

    November 30, 2017: CNN reported that when Kushner met with Muller’s team earlier in the month, he was questioned about his interactions with Flynn. [CNN]

    December 2, 2017: According to CNN, sources identified Kushner as the “very senior member’ of the transition team named in the Flynn plea agreement filings who instructed Flynn to contact the Russian ambassador about a U.N. Security Council vote on Israeli settlements. [CNN]

Jeff Sessions*

  • February 28, 2016: Jeff Sessions formally endorses Trump for president.

  • March 3, 2016: Sessions is named chairman of Trump campaign’s national security advisory committee. [donaldjtrump.com]

  • March 17, 2016: At an American Council for Capital Formation event, Sessions addresses foreign policy and Putin: “I think an argument can be made there is no reason for the U.S. and Russia to be at this loggerheads. Somehow, someway we ought to be able to break that logjam. Strategically it’s not justified for either country. It may not work. Putin may not be able to be dealt with, but I don’t condemn his instincts that we ought to attempt to do that.” [C-SPAN]

  • July 18, 2016: After delivering a speech at an event hosted by the Heritage Foundation during the Republican National Convention, Sessions speaks to a group of ambassadors, including Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak. [CNN, March 1, 2017; NBC News, March 3, 2017; Knoxville News Sentinel (delegate diary), July 19, 2016]

  • July 31, 2016: In an interview with CNN, Sessions addresses Trump’s posture on Russia: “This whole problem with Russia is really disastrous for America, for Russia and for the world,” he said. “Donald Trump is right. We need to figure out a way to end this cycle of hostility that’s putting this country at risk, costing us billions of dollars in defense, and creating hostilities. [CNN (transcript)]

  • September 1, 2016: U.S. imposes sanctions on dozens of companies and people building "Putin's bridge" to Crimea. [Reuters]

  • September 5, 2016:

    • At the G20 summit in Hangzhou, China, President Obama has what he describes as a "candid, blunt and businesslike" 90-minute meeting with Putin, during which he delivers a direct warning to Russia about cyber war and addressed the "gaps of trust that exist" on Syria. [CNN]

    • In a press conference with Russian journalists, Putin says he and Obama “did raise the sanctions matter in passing, but we did not discuss it in detail because I see no sense in discussing matters of this sort. It was not our initiative to impose these sanctions." [The Kremlin (transcript)]

  • September 8, 2016:

    • Trump appears on Kremlin network Russia Today (RT) and says "it's probably unlikely" when asked about findings that the DNC hacks and WikiLeaks dumps were directed by Putin. [Washington Post]

    • Sessions and his staff meets with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak in Sessions’s office. [Washington Post, March 1, 2017]

  • November 18, 2016: Trump’s names Sessions as his pick for U.S. attorney general.

2017

  • January 10, 2017: At Sessions's confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) asks Sessions: "If there is any evidence that anyone affiliated with the Trump campaign communicated with the Russian government in the course of this campaign, what will you do?" Sessions responds: "Senator Franken, I'm not aware of any of those activities. I have been called a surrogate at a time or two in that campaign and I didn't have -- did not have communications with the Russians, and I'm unable to comment on it." [Time (transcript)C-SPAN (video)]

  • March 2, 2017:

    • Senator Al Franken publicly issues a letter to Sessions asking him to account for denying communications with the Russian government during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

    • Jeff Sessions recuses himself "from any existing or future investigations of any matter relating in any way to the campaigns for president of the United States." [Washington Post (transcript)] He issues a formal press release announcing his recusal after the press conference.

  • April 28, 2017: Sessions states on NBC's "Today" show that his recusal from Justice Department investigations into the 2016 election likely includes inquiries into Flynn's ties to foreign governments. [NBC (video)]

  • May 9, 2017:  Trump fires FBI Director James Comey. In announcing Comey’s dismissal, the White House releases a bundle of documents, including Attorney General Jeff Sessions's recommendation for Comey's dismissal.

  • May 12, 2017: Rankings Democrats of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and the House Judiciary Committee send a letter to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein requesting a report on the role of Attorney General Jeff Sessions in the firing of former FBI Director James Comey.

  • May 24, 2017: In response to the controversy surrounding Session’s failure to disclose his meetings with Kislyak, a DOJ spokesperson stated that the FBI investigator and others advised Sessions that he need not disclose these interactions on his SF-86. [New York Times

  • June 1, 2017: Senators Al Franken of Minnesota and Patrick Leahy of Vermont disclosed a letter that they sent to the FBI in April that asked that Sessions connections to Russia be investigated after he failed to disclose in his confirmation hearings that he had contact with Ambassador Kislyak during the campaign. [USA Today]

  • June 13, 2017: Sessions testified before SSCI on Russia. [Politico, PBS]

  • June 15, 2017: A lobbyist for Russian interests said that he attended two dinners that Sessions hosted during the presidential campaign. During his testimony before SSCI earlier in the week, Sessions said that he had no contact with lobbyists for Russian interests during the campaign. [Guardian]

  • June 20, 2017: Sessions hired Chuck Cooper to represent him in matters regarding Russia. [Business Insider]

  • July 21, 2017: US agencies intercepted communication where Russian ambassador Kislyak told his boss in Moscow that he met with Sessions twice during the presidential campaign. [Washington Post]

  • September 6, 2017: Devin Nunes threatened to hold Sessions in contempt if he continued to not respond to HPSCI’s subpeona regarding documents related to the dossier. [Business Insider]

  • September 13, 2017: American Oversight, on behalf of People for the American Way, filed another suit claiming the government violated FOIA by not disclosing documents related to Sessions’ failure to disclose his Russian contacts on his security clearance application (SF-86). [Newsweek]

  • October 20, 2017: Attorney General Sessions testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee, where he stated that the Department was not doing enough to prepare itself to handle future Russian info ops threats and that he had not yet been interviewed by Mueller, as well as refused to discuss any “confidential conversations with the president.” [Foreign Policy, CNN]

  • November 6, 2017: Reuters reports that Attorney General Sessions is testifying before the House Judiciary Committee on November 14 as part of routine oversight of the Department. On the same day, he will testify in a closed session before the House Intelligence Committee. [Reuters]

  • November 14, 2017:

    • In his testimony before the House Judiciary Committee, Attorney General Sessions said that he had forgotten a discussion that included Papadopoulos but that seeing news reports refreshed his memory. As to the conversation, he had “no clear recollection of the details of what [Papadopoulos” said,” but remembered that he “pushed back against [Papadopoulos’] suggestion.” [New York Times, USA Today]

    • Attorney General Sessions also said that he has “no basis to dispute” the assessment that Russia interfered with the election. [Talking Points Memo]

  • November 17, 2017: Attorney General Sessions opened up a speech to the National Lawyers Convention with this comment: “Is Ambassador Kislyak in the room? Any Russians? Anybody been to Russia? Got a cousin in Russia, so . . . .” [Washington Post]

  • November 30, 2017:

    • Attorney General Sessions testified during a closed hearing before the House Intelligence Committee. Afterwards, Rep. Schiff said: I asked the attorney general whether he was ever instructed by the president to take any action that he believed would hinder the Russia investigation and he declined to answer the question. [Reuters]

    • Sixteen members of the House Judiciary Committee sent Attorney General Sessions a request for a briefing on vulnerabilities in the election system, how the Department of Justice is addressing those vulnerabilities, and any necessary statutory updates. [Letter]

Mike Pence*

  • January 15, 2017:
    • On "Fox News Sunday," Christopher Wallace asks Mike Pence, "Was there any contact in any way between Trump or his associates and the Kremlin or cutouts they had?" Pence responds, "I joined this campaign in the summer, and I can tell you that all the contact by the Trump campaign and associates was with the American people." Wallance follows up with, "if there were any contacts, sir, I’m just trying to get an answer." Pence responds, "Yes. I — of course not. Why would there be any contacts between the campaign? Chris, the — this is all a distraction, and it's all part of a narrative to delegitimize the election and to question the legitimacy of this presidency. The American people see right through it." [Fox News (transcript)]
    • On CBS's "Face the Nation," John Dickerson asks Mike Pence, "Just to button up one question, did any advisor or anybody in the Trump campaign have any contact with the Russians who were trying to meddle in the election?" Pence responds, "Of course not. And I think to suggest that is to give credence to some of these bizarre rumors that have swirled around the candidacy." [CBS News (transcript)]
  • May 18, 2017: Pence stood by his claim that he learned about Flynn’s connection to Turkey through the media on March 9, 2017 despite the fact that the Times reported the day before that Flynn notified the transition team two weeks before the inauguration of the investigation. [Politico, CNN]

  • June 15, 2017: Pence hired Richard Cullen as his personal lawyer to assist him with the Russian investigations. [Washington Post]

  • July 13, 2017: A spokesperson for Pence stated that Pence never met with Russian officials during the presidential campaign. Earlier in the week, the same spokesperson stated that he was “unaware” of any meetings between Pence and Russian officials. [CNN]

  • August 14, 2017: Pence claimed that he “never witnessed” any collusion between Russia and Trump’s presidential campaign. [CBS News]

  • September 28, 2017: Politico reported that Pence sent his private lawyer, Richard Cullen, to talk with Mueller over the summer. [Politico]

  • November 5, 2017: Sen. Feinstein, the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, wants Attorney General Sessions to testify once again about contacts between Russian officials and campaign staff. [Huffington Post] This call was echoed by Sen. Graham [The Hill] Appearing on Face the Nation, Sen. Warner from the Senate Intelligence Committee said that Attorney General Sessions should reappear before Congressional investigators if there is anything that he needs to clarify. [CBS
  • November 13, 2017: Pence stated that a recent Atlantic report was the first he had heard of contact between WikiLeaks and the campaign. This came after he faced criticism for his statement that “nothing could be further from the truth” than the campaign being in cahoots with WikiLeaks. [Politico]

George Papadopoulos

  • April 26, 2017: George Papadopoulos, a Trump campaign foreign policy adviser, corresponds with a professor whom he believes has substantial ties to Russian government officials. [Wall Street Journal, October 30, 2017]

  • January 27, 2017: The FBI interviews Papadopoulos in connection with his contacts with the Russian professor. During the interview, Papadopoulous misleads the FBI, saying that he had only interacted with the professor before joining the Trump campaign. [AP, October 30, 2017]

  • July 27, 2017: The FBI arrests Papadopoulos at Dulles airport. He begins cooperating with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team. [New York Times, October 30, 2017]

  • October 5, 2017: Papadopoulos enters into a plea agreement with the FBI admitting he lied about his contacts with the Russian professor. [New York Times, October 30, 2017]

  • October 30, 2017: The Journal reports that Papadopoulos pleaded guilty of lying to the FBI about his contacts with a Russian professor who said he had connections to Russian government officials. Papadopoulos admitted to misleading the FBI in a January interview. The D.C. federal district court unseals the plea agreement, the statement of the offense, and the filed indictment. [Wall Street Journal]

    • The statement of the offense includes:

Defendant PAPADOPOULOS claimed that his interactions with an overseas professor, who defendant PAPADOPOULOS understood to have substantial connections to Russian government officials, occurred before defendant PAP ADO POULOS became a foreign policy adviser to the Campaign. Defendant PAPADOPOULOS acknowledged that the professor had told him about the Russians possessing "dirt" on then-candidate Hillary Clinton in the form of "thousands of emails," but stated multiple times that he learned that information prior to joining the Campaign. In truth and in fact, however, defendant PAPADOPOULOS learned he would be an advisor to the Campaign in early March, and met the professor on or about March 14, 2016; the professor only took interest in defendant PAPADOPOULOS because of his status with the Campaign; and the professor told defendant PAPADOPOULOS about the "thousands of emails" on or about April 26, 2016, when defendant PAPADOPOULOS had been a foreign policy adviser to the Campaign for over a month.

  • November 1, 2017: CNN reports that when Papadopoulos suggested that the campaign meet with Putin, Trump “did not say yes and he did not say no.” [CNN

8. FBI Investigation and Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Probe

  • Late July 2016: FBI begins counterintelligence investigation into possible links between Trump campaign and Russia. FBI Director James Comey confirms this timeline during the first hearing held by the House Intelligence Committee on Russian interference [Washington Post (transcript & video), March 20, 2017] Comey states:

I have been authorized by the Department of Justice to confirm that the FBI, as part of our counterintelligence mission, is investigating the Russian government's efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election and that includes investigating the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia's efforts. As with any counterintelligence investigation, this will also include an assessment of whether any crimes were committed.

  • September 2016: The FBI obtains a FISA warrant to monitor former Trump foreign policy adviser Carter Page’s communications. A subsequent New York Times report says that the warrant began after Page left the campaign. A Washington Post report says the FBI obtained the warrant during summer 2016. [Washington Post, April 11, 2017] [New York Times, April 19, 2017]

  • September 2016: The FBI obtained a second FISA warrant to wiretap Manafort.  A later Journal report says that the surveillance of Manafort did not listen to his communications in real-time. The surveillance may have involved reading electronically stored copies of his correspondence or physical surveillance. The reporting clarifies that the surveillance began after Manafort left the Trump campaign in September 2016. [CNN] [Wall Street Journal]

  • March 2017: The Post reports that over five separate meetings in March, the FBI questioned Page for a total of 10 hours about the Russia investigation. [Washington Post]

  • January 24, 2017: FBI agents interview Michael Flynn about his calls with the Russian ambassador Kislyak. [New York Times, February 14, 2017]

  • January 27, 2017: The FBI interviews George Papadopoulos in connection with his contacts with a Russian professor. During the interview, Papadopoulos misleads the FBI, saying that he had only interacted with the professor before joining the Trump campaign. [AP, October 30, 2017]

  • May 9, 2017:  Trump fires FBI Director James Comey. In announcing Comey’s dismissal, the White House releases a bundle of documents, including Attorney General Jeff Sessions's recommendation for Comey's dismissal.

  • May 18, 2017: The Washington Post reports that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed Robert Mueller III as special counsel. Rosenstein says in a press release: “[B]ased upon the unique circumstances, the public interest requires me to place this investigation under the authority of a person who exercises a degree of independence from the normal chain of command.”The order appointing Mueller authorizes him to conduct the FBI investigation is below:

By virtue of the authority vested in me as Acting Attorney General, including 28 U.S.C. §§ 509, 510, and 515, in order to discharge my responsibility to provide supervision and management of the Department of Justice, and to ensure a full and thorough investigation of the Russian government's efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election, I hereby order as follows:

(a) Robert S. Mueller III is appointed to serve as Special Counsel for the United States Department of Justice.

 

(b) The Special Counsel is authorized to conduct the investigation confirmed by then-FBI Director James 8. Corney in testimony before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on March 20, 2017, including:

(i) any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump; and

            (ii) any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation; and

            (iii) any other matters within the scope of 28 C.F.R. § 600.4(a).

(c) If the Special Counsel believes it is necessary and appropriate, the Special Counsel is authorized to prosecute federal crimes arising from the investigation of these matters.

(d) Sections 600.4 through 600. l 0 of Title 28 of the Code of Federal Regulations are applicable to the Special Counsel

  • May 19, 2017: Reuters reports that the White House is looking to use an ethics regulation, 28 C.F.R. § 45.2, to undermine special counsel Robert Mueller. The regulation bars government lawyers from investigating their prior law firm's clients within a year of their hiring. [Reuters]

  • May 19, 2017: The Washington Post reports that the FBI's Russia investigation has "identified a current White House official as a significant person of interest" and that the person is "close to the president." [Washington Post]

  • May 25, 2017: The Washington Post reports that the person of interest is Jared Kushner, who is a focus in the Russia investigation "because of the extent and nature of his interactions with the Russians." [Washington Post]

  • June 12, 2017: On PBS’s “NewsHour," Trump confidant Christopher Ruddy says of Trump, “I think he’s considering perhaps terminating the special counsel." Ruddy also states that Mueller, who served as FBI director before Comey, was being considered by Trump for FBI director before he was appointed special counsel. Ruddy insists that Mueller has conflicts of interest. [PBS]

  • June 13, 2017: In testimony on the FY2018 Justice Department budget before a Senate Appropriations subcommittee, Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein states that, per Justice Department regulations, he would not fire special counsel Robert Mueller without "good cause."[PBS News Hour]

  • June 14, 2017: Citing five anonymous officials, the Washington Post reports that special counsel Robert Mueller is investigating Trump for possible obstruction of justice. [Washington Post]

  • June 15, 2017: The Washington Post reports that special counsel Mueller is investigating Jared Kushner's financial dealings. [Washington Post]

  • Week of June 12, 2017: Dan Coats, Director of National Intelligence, and Adm. Michael Rodgers, Director of the National Security Agency, tell special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe that Trump suggested they say there was no collusion between the campaign and Russia. The intelligence officials told investigators they did not receive orders to do so, merely suggestions. [CNN, June 22, 2017]

  • June 18, 2017: Former FBI Director James Comey testifies before the Senate intelligence committee on the Russia investigation and his private interactions with and concerns about Trump prior to his May firing. He states that he had written memos of all of his conversations with Trump and had given those memos to special counsel Robert Mueller. [New York Times]

  • June 18, 2017: In response to reports that Jared Kushner is seeking a new lawyer in light of the link between his lawyer, Jamie Gorelick and special counsel Robert Mueller, who were partners together at WilmerHale, Gorelick states, “After the appointment of our former partner Robert Mueller as special counsel, we advised Mr. Kushner to obtain the independent advice of a lawyer with appropriate experience as to whether he should continue with us as his counsel.” [New York Times]

  • Summer 2017: Mueller’s team meets with Christopher Steele, the author of the Steele dossier. [CNN, October 25, 2017]

  • June or July 2017: Mueller’s team interviews Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein about Trump’s firing of James Comey. Rosenstein is himself overseeing the special counsel probe at the time but has not taken action to recuse himself. Rosenstein’s office says “if there comes a time when he needs to recuse, he will. However, nothing has changed.”

  • July 20, 2017: Bloomberg reports that Special Counsel Robert Mueller is expanding the focus of his investigation to cover Trump Organization business ties to Russia, including Russian purchases of apartments in Trump buildings, Trump’s involvement in a New York SoHo development with Russian associates, the 2013 Miss Universe Pageant, and Trump’s sale of a Florida mansion to a Russian oligarch. Mueller’s team issued subpoenas to banks and filed requests for bank records. [Bloomberg]

  • July 20, 2017: Trump says in an interview with the New York Times that he would never have nominated Jeff Sessions for Attorney General if he knew he would recuse himself from oversight of the Russia probe. Trump also says that if the Special Counsel starts to investigate his or his family’s personal finances, that would be a red line and a “violation.” [New York Times]

  • The weekend of June 26, 2017: The FBI conducts a pre-dawn raid of Paul Manafort’s home, seizing documents and evidence related to the Russia investigation. The FBI’s search warrant requested documents related to taxes, banking and other financial activities. [Washington Post, August 9, 2017]

  • July 27, 2017: The FBI arrests George Papadopoulos at Dulles airport. He begins cooperating with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team. [New York Times, October 30, 2017]

  • July 27, 2017: George Papadopoulos pleads guilty to misleading the FBI about his contacts with a source who claimed to have links to Russian government officials. Papadopoulos agrees to cooperate with Mueller’s investigation. [Washington Post, October 30, 2017]

  • August 3, 2017:

    •  The Wall Street Journal reports that Mueller has impaneled a grand jury in the Washington area to assist in the investigation. The federal D.C. district court granted Mueller’s request. [Wall Street Journal]

    • Reuters reports that the grand jury issued subpoenas related to the June 2016 Trump tower meeting between Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and a Russia lawyer. [Reuters]

  • August 4, 2017: Mueller’s team asks the White House to hand over documents about Michael Flynn. Mueller also asks Flynn to provide documents related to his work that could be linked to the Turkish government. The special counsel  interviewed witnesses about Flynn’s relationship to the Turkish government. [New York Times]

  • August 10, 2017: Bloomberg reports that Mueller issued subpoenas to banks for account information and transaction history related to Paul Manafort and his business partner Rick Gates. Mueller’s team has also made contact with Manafort’s business partners. Prosecutors from the Southern District of New York also provided material on Manafort to Mueller.  [Bloomberg]

  • August 23, 2017: Politico reports that Trump called Senator Thom Tillis, who was drafting a bill to protect Special Counsel Robert Mueller from arbitrary firing, and expressed his frustration about the bill. [Politico]

  • August 25, 2017: NBC News reports that the special counsel subpoenaed executives from public relations firms that worked with Paul Manafort on an international campaign he organized lobbying for a Ukrainian group. [NBC News]

  • August 28, 2017:

    • CNN reports that Mueller has subpoenaed Manafort’s former lawyer, Melissa Laurenza, and his spokesperson, Jason Maloni. [CNN]

  • August 31, 2017:

    • The Wall Street Journal reports that the Trump legal team sent a letter to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team that attempted to preempt charges of obstruction of justice against the president. [Wall Street Journal]

    • The AP reports that Mueller heard testimony from Rinat Akhmetshin, the Russian-American lobbyist who attended the June 2016 Trump tower meeting. [AP]

  • September 6, 2017: CNN reports that House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes sent a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions demanding responses to subpoenas Nunes filed on August 24 demanding all information the FBI had about any contacts with Christopher Steele and if any information from the Steele dossier was used in the Special Counsel investigation, including for any FISA warrant applications. Nunes threatened to force Sessions and FBI Director Christopher Wray to publicly testify about the subpoenas. [CNN]

  • September 7, 2017: Politico reports that FBI Director Christopher Wray said he had no “whiff of interference” with the Special Counsel probe since he entered office. [Politico] CNN reports that Mueller’s team has approached White House officials about interviewing them regarding the Air Force meeting where Trump drafted the initial misleading statement about the June 2016 meeting with the Russian lawyer. [CNN]

  • September 20, 2017:

    • The Times reports that Special Counsel Robert Mueller requested documents from the White House related to Flynn’s firing and his interview with FBI agents about contacts with the Russian ambassador. [New York Times]

    • The New York Times reports that Mueller’s team asked the White House to provide documents related to Trump’s conduct while in office, including those that pertain to the firings of Michael Flynn and James Comey. Another request related to the meeting Trump had with Russian officials in which he said Comey’s firing relieved great pressure on him. [New York Times] The Washington Post reports that the requests indicate Mueller’s team is investigating whether the president interfered with the FBI investigation prior to Comey’s firing. [Washington Post]

  • September 27, 2017: CNN reports that the IRS is sharing information with Special Counsel Robert Mueller about Manafort’s financial activities. The report indicates that the IRS and Mueller’s team had disputed about the proper scope of Mueller’s inquiry, with the IRS going so far as to refuse to participate in the July raid on Manafort’s home. The financial investigation into Manafort goes back 11 years in connection with tax crimes and financial activities. [CNN]

  • September 28, 2017:

    • Politico reported that Pence sent his private lawyer, Richard Cullen, to talk with Mueller over the summer. [Politico]

    • Reuters reports that the Justice Department and the FBI are resisting Nunes’ subpoenas about the Steele dossier. The agencies are reported to reluctant to comply because the Special Counsel probe is also covering the Steele dossier. Nunes met with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to discuss the subpoenas on September 28. [Reuters]

  • October 4, 2017: Reuters reports that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe has taken over the FBI’s inquiry into the dossier. [Reuters]

  • October 5, 2017: CNN reports that Mueller’s team met with Christopher Steele over the summer to interview about the dossier. CNN also learns that the intelligence community debated including information from the Steele dossier in its January assessment of Russian interference in the 2016 election, but that intelligence agencies, particularly the CIA, decided to not include it because they would have had to reveal how much it they had corroborated, possibly revealing sources and methods, including those shared by foreign intelligence services. At the time, the FBI, headed by then Director James Comey, was worried that directly briefing the president about the dossier’s claims would be viewed as an attempt by the FBI to hold leverage over him. Following the IC’s objections, Comey briefed Trump about the dossier. [CNN]

  • October 17, 2017: Business Insider reports that Special Counsel Robert Mueller interviewed Matt Tait a few weeks previously in connection with his investigation into Peter Smith and Michael Flynn. [Business Insider]

  • October 20, 2017: Attorney General Sessions testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee, where he stated that the Department was not doing enough to prepare itself to handle future Russian info ops threats and that he had not yet been interviewed by Mueller, as well as refused to discuss any “confidential conversations with the president.” [Foreign Policy, CNN]

  • October 25, 2017: The Wall Street Journal reports that the U.S. attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York is investigating Manafort for money laundering. The Manhattan U.S. attorney is coordinating with the Mueller probe and has reached out to the separate investigation being conducted by the New York attorney general. [The Wall Street Journal]

  • October 25, 2017: CNN reports that Mueller’s team met with Steele during the summer [CNN]

  • October 26, 2017: Upon murmurs that Mueller had filed the first charges in the Russia investigation, Stone tweeted about the investigation and at CNN reporters throughout the night. The tweets included: “Breaking: Mueller indicts @PaulManafort’s driver for double parking,” and “If Carl Bernstein says something the overwhelming odds are that it’s false lied about Watergate lying lying now.” However, there were much more inflammatory tweets, which can be found here: [Deadline]

  • October 29, 2017: Trump issues a series of tweets following the news that the special counsel probe had filed its first indictments:
  • October 30, 2017:

    • Special Counsel Robert Mueller indicts Manafort and business partner Rick W. Gates III on twelve counts related to money laundering, failing to disclose bank transfers and violating the Foreign Agents Registration Act. Lawfare posted Mueller’s filing at the D.C. federal district court. The Wall Street Journal reports that Manafort surrendered to the FBI. [New York Times] [Wall Street Journal]

    • The indictment reads

In furtherance of the scheme, MANAFORT used his hidden overseas wealth to enjoy a lavish lifestyle in the United States, without paying taxes on that income. MANAFORT, without reporting the income to his tax preparer or the United States, spent millions of dollars on luxury goods and services for himself and his extended family through payments wired from offshore nominee accounts to United States vendors. MANAFORT also used these offshore accounts to purchase multi-million dollar properties in the United States. MANAFORT then borrowed millions of dollars in loans using these properties as collateral, thereby obtaining cash in the United States without reporting and paying taxes on the income. In order to increase the amount of money he could access in the United States, MANAFORT defrauded the institutions that loaned money on these properties so that they would lend him more money at more favorable rates than he would otherwise be able to obtain...

… In total, more than $75,000,000 flowed through the offshore accounts. MANAFORT laundered more than $18,000,000, which was used by him to buy property, goods, and services in the United States, income that he concealed from the United States Treasury, the Department of Justice, and others. GATES transferred more than $3,000,000 from the offshore accounts to other accounts that he controlled.

  • Politico reports that Mueller’s team convinced a district court judge to require a lawyer for Manafort and Richard Gates III to testify before a grand jury. Judge Beryl Howell ruled that under the crime-fraud exception, the attorney had to testify about her interactions with the Justice Department about Manafort’s Foreign Agents Registration Act status. [Politico]

  • Trump issues a series of tweets in response to Manafort's indictment:

  • November 3, 2017:

    •  Similar to what he turned over to the Congressional investigators, Kushner turned over documents about the campaign, transition, and Russian involvement to Mueller. According to CNN, Mueller’s investigators have started asking questions about Kushner’s role in the firing of Director Comey. [CNN]

    • Three Republican lawmakers, Rep. Gaetz, Rep. Biggs, and Rep. Gohmert, introduced a resolution asking Mueller to recuse himself from the Russia probe because Mueller was the Director of the FBI during the Uranium One deal and he did not bring any charges when the lawmakers believe he should have. [Business Insider]

  • November 5, 2017: NBC News reports that according to sources familiar with the investigation, Mueller has enough evidence to bring charges against Flynn and his son. [NBC]

  • November 9, 2017:

    • CNN reports that Mueller’s team interviewed White House senior policy adviser Stephen Miller. Miller was at the March 2016 Trump campaign meeting where George Papadopoulos said he could arrange a meeting between Trump and Putin. Miller also assisted in writing the memo justifying the firing of James Comey. [CNN]

    • CNN reports that Michael Flynn is concerned about his son’s vulnerability to legal charges from the special counsel probe. The son, Michael Flynn Jr., was actively involved in Flynn’s business. The spectre of charges for his son could prompt Flynn to cooperate with the investigation. [CNN]

    • According to The Wall Street Journal, DOJ is seeking a plea deal with Jeffrey Yohai, Manafort’s former son-in-law. [The Wall Street Journal]

  • November 10, 2017: The Wall Street Journal reports that the special counsel is investigating Flynn’s role in an alleged plan to kidnap or extradite Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen to Turkey. FBI agents interviewed several individuals about a December 2016 meeting where Turkish officials may have offered Flynn $15 million in exchange for delivering Gulen to Turkey. Flynn’s lawyer denies that Flynn was involved in the plot. [Wall Street Journal] [Reuters]

  • November 16, 2017:
    The Wall Street Journal reports that the special counsel has subpoenaed the Trump campaign for documents referencing a group of Russia-related keywords. The Trump campaign is surprised because it says it has been cooperating with the investigation. [Wall Street Journal]

  • November 16, 2017: Judge Jackson denied Gates’ motion to modify the conditions of his house arrest so he could take his children to school and activities, as well as travel for the holidays. [Politico]

  • November 17, 2017: NBC News reports that Rob Goldstone, the British publicist who helped arrange the June 2016 meeting at Trump tower, is prepared to meet with Mueller’s team. [NBC News]

  • November 19, 2017: ABC News reports that Mueller’s team requested documents from the Justice Department related to the firing of James Comey and Jeff Sessions’ decision to recuse himself. This is the first records request to the Justice Department in the investigation. [ABC News]

  • November 19, 2017: ABC News reports that Mueller’s team requested a swath of documents from the Department of Justice about Sessions’ decision to recuse himself from the Russia investigation and about Comey’s firing.[ABC News]

  • November 21, 2017: The Journal reports that Mueller is investigating Jared Kushner’s interactions with foreign leaders during the presidential transition. Mueller’s team is looking into Kushner’s role in a dispute at the U.N. over a resolution condemning Israeli settlement activity. [Wall Street Journal]

  • November 23, 2017: The New York Times reports that Michael Flynn’s lawyers told Trump’s legal team they were halting their correspondence about the special counsel’s investigation. Flynn’s lawyers cancelled an agreement concluded between Trump and Flynn’s legal teams to share information about the investigation and their responses. Trump’s lawyers said this development suggested Flynn was working on a deal with the special counsel. [New York Times]

  • November 24, 2017: The Wall Street Journal reports that Mueller’s team is looking into Flynn’s work on a Turkish documentary film. The FBI is probing Flynn’s business connections to the Turkish government in connection with a film Flynn attacking cleric Fethullah Gulen that he paid consultants to produce. [Wall Street Journal]

  • November 27, 2017: The Washington Post reports that congressional officials referred allegations about Flynn’s role in a scheme to provide nuclear power to Middle Eastern countries to the special counsel’s investigation. Rep. Trey Gowdy sent a letter to Mueller referring congressional democrats’ concerns about Flynn’s sponsorship of a plan to build nuclear reactors across the Middle East while he was in office. [Washington Post]

  • November 28, 2017: BuzzFeed News reports that Mueller’s probe may now include Flynn’s tenure as head of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) from 2012 to 2014. The DIA cited an ongoing investigation to justify refusing a request from a reporter for information about Flynn’s term as director. Flynn retired early from his post because of conflicts with Obama administration officials.

  • November 30, 2017: CNN reports that Jared Kushner met with Mueller’s team earlier in November to discuss Michael Flynn. [CNN]

  • November 30, 2017: Paul Manafort reaches a deal with Mueller’s prosecutors for a bail agreement, consenting to remain in the U.S. and limit his domestic travel. [Washington Post]

  • December 1, 2017:

    • Michael Flynn pleads guilty to lying to the FBI about his conversations with the Russian ambassador. Mueller charged Flynn with one count of making false statements to the FBI about meetings with Ambassador Sergei Kislyak in which they discussed U.S. sanctions and a U.N. Security Council resolution. Flynn agreed to cooperate with the FBI. [New York Times] On the released charging information sheet, statement of offense and plea agreement, the FBI said that: 

On or about January 24, 2017, FLYNN agreed to be interviewed by agents from the FBI (“January 24 voluntary interview”). During the interview, FLYNN falsely stated that he did not ask Russia’s Ambassador to the United States (“Russian Ambassador”) to refrain from escalating the situation in response to sanctions that the United States had imposed against Russia. FLYNN also falsely stated that he did not remember a follow-up conversation in which the Russian Ambassador stated that Russia had chosen to moderate its response to those sanctions as a result of FLYNN’s request. 

  • CNN reports that Jared Kushner is the unnamed “very senior transition official” referred to in Mueller’s court filings who directed Flynn to contact the Russian Ambassador about the U.N. Security Council resolution vote. The AP reports that another “senior official” named in the documents who directed Flynn on what to say to the Russians about U.S. sanctions was KT McFarland, the former deputy national security adviser. [CNN, AP]
  • December 2, 2017: The Wall Street Journal reports that Mueller removed a top FBI special agent from his team last summer after he was investigated for sending anti-Trump messages during the presidential campaign. [Wall Street Journal]

9. The Christopher Steele Dossier and Alleged Trump Kompromat

  • September 2015: Fusion GPS, an opposition research firm headed by former journalist Glenn Simpson, is hired by a Republican donor to compile a dossier on Trump's weaknesses. Almost a year later, in June 2016, Simpson hires ex-MI6 agent Christopher Steele to investigate Trump, and Steele begins delivering memos to Fusion GPS. [New York Times, January 11, 2017]

2016

  • July 2016: Steele provides material on Trump to an FBI contact in Rome. In October, Mother Jones interviews Steele and, without naming him, reports on Steele’s contact with the FBI. [Mother Jones, October 31, 2016]

  • November 4, 2016: Newsweek reports: “The Kremlin also has both video and audio recordings of Trump in a kompromat file.” [Newsweek]

  • December 9, 2016: After Steele sends the dossier in encrypted form to Fusion with instructions to deliver a hard copy to Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.), Chair of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, McCain passes the dossier to FBI Director James Comey.  After the dossier becomes public in January, McCain confirms he passed the "sensitive information" to Comey. [The Hill, January 11, 2017; The Guardian, April 28, 2017]

  • December 2016: Steele also passes the dossier to a “senior UK government national security official acting in his official capacity, on a confidential basis in hard copy form.” In an April 2017 court filing, Steele confirms that he passed the dossier to UK intelligence and to Senator John McCain. [The Guardian, April 28, 2017]

2017

  • January 6, 2017: Heads of US intelligence agencies brief President Obama and President-elect Trump and leaders of House and Senate intelligence committees on Steele’s kompromat material on Trump, in addition to presenting their unanimous conclusion that Putin directed a sophisticated cyber campaign aimed at putting Trump in the White House. [Washington Post, January 10, 2017]

  • January 10, 2017: CNN breaks news that President Obama and President-elect Trump were briefed on kompromat and received two-page summary of the Steele dossier the previous week. [CNN] BuzzFeed publishes 35 pages of Steele dossier [BuzzFeed]

  • January 11, 2017: Steele goes into hiding.

  • January 12, 2017: Intelligence sources describe Steele as a "very credible" and "highly regarded professional." [The Guardian] ​The Russian Embassy in the UK tweets: 

  • January 16, 2017: In an interview with the Times of London, Trump says about Steele: “Well, that guy is somebody that you should look at, because whatever he made up about me it was false.” [Times of London (transcript)]

  • February 10, 2017: CNN reports that U.S. investigators, for the first time, have confirmed corroboration of some of the communications described in the Steele dossier, including the identity of the communicants, days, and locations. White House press secretary Spicer responds, “We continue to be disgusted by CNN's fake news reporting.” [CNN]

  • March 7, 2017: Steele comes out of hiding. He declines to comment on the dossier. [Washington Post]

  • April 18, 2017: CNN reports that the FBI used the Steele dossier to persuade judge to grant FISA warrant to monitor the communications of Page in the summer of 2016. [CNN]

  • February 3, 2017: CNN Money reports that Russian billionaire Aleksej Gubarev is suing Buzzfeed and its editor Ben Smith for publishing the Steele Dossier, which included allegations that Gubarev was working with the Russian government in their effort to hack the DNC. Gubarev filed a separate lawsuit in the U.K. against Christopher Steele. [CNN Money]

  • August 4, 2017: Politico reports that two Republican House Intelligence committee staffers travelled to London during the summer to attempt to track down Steele. The staffers appeared at Steele’s lawyer’s office while Steele while there but did not speak to him. The visit caused frictions between the Republicans and Democrats on the committee, as well as with the Senate investigations. A congressional source said that Steele’s lawyer was in contact with the committee following the trip. On August 7, the Guardian reports that a top aide to Chairman Devin Nunes sent the staffers without the knowledge of democratic members on the committee. [Politico] [The Guardian]

  • August 31, 2017: The Daily Beast reports that Michael Cohen sent a letter to the House Intelligence Committee in which he attempted to refute all the charges that the Steele dossier made specifically about him and his interactions with Russians. [Daily Beast]

  • August 15, 2017: Politico reports that the judge in the Gubarev v. Buzzfeed case signed an order asking a British court to depose Christopher Steele in the libel suit. Steele objected through counsel, but District Court Judge Ursula rejected his objections. [Politico]

  • August 23, 2017: NPR reports that Senate Judiciary committee staffers interviewed Glenn Simpson, the founder of Fusion GPS, the private investigation firm that hired Steele to write the dossier. The report notes that Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley wanted information about whether Fusion GPS received money from the Russian government for work related to a lobbying campaign against the Magnitsky Act. A lawyer for Simpson said the investigation “began as a desperate attempt by the Trump campaign and its allies to smear Fusion GPS because of its reported connection to the Trump dossier.” [NPR]

  • September 6, 2017: CNN reports that House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes sent a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions demanding responses to subpoenas Nunes filed on August 24 demanding all information the FBI had about any contacts with Christopher Steele and if any information from the Steele dossier was used in the Special Counsel investigation, including for any FISA warrant applications. Nunes threatened to force Sessions and FBI Director Christopher Wray to publicly testify about the subpoenas. [CNN]

  • October 4, 2017:

    • NBC News reports that in an update on the Senate Intelligence Committee’s investigation, Chairman Richard Burr said that the committee had “hit a wall” in its attempts to interview Steele. Burr said that the committee had corroborated parts of the Steele Dossier but that the intelligence community was unable to provide information about the dossier’s allegations pre-June 2016. He said that much still remained uncertain about the dossier’s sources and funding as investigators have been unable to make contact with Steele. [NBC News]

    • Rep. Devin Nunes issues subpoenas to the partners of Fusion GPS. The subpoenas demanded documents and testimony from the partners about the Steele dossier and its funders. Rep. Conaway, the  Republican in charge of the House intelligence committee's investigation, tells CNN in a report published on October 11. [CNN, October 11, 2017]

    • Reuters reports that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe has taken over the FBI’s inquiry into the dossier. [Reuters]

  • October 5, 2017: CNN reports that Mueller’s team met with Christopher Steele over the summer to interview about the dossier. CNN also learns that the intelligence community debated including information from the Steele dossier in its January assessment of Russian interference in the 2016 election, but that intelligence agencies, particularly the CIA, decided to not include it because they would have had to reveal how much it they had corroborated, possibly revealing sources and methods, including those shared by foreign intelligence services. At the time, the FBI, headed by then Director James Comey, was worried that directly briefing the president about the dossier’s claims would be viewed as an attempt by the FBI to hold leverage over him. Following the IC’s objections, Comey briefed Trump about the dossier. [CNN]

  • October 10, 2017: Reuters reports that because of the FBI investigation into the dossier, the Bureau has refused to turn over documents on Steele and the dossier to Rep. Devin Nunes, who subpoenaed them the previous month. [Reuters]

  • October 25, 2017:

    • The Washington Post reports that Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the DNC paid in part for Fusion GPS to produce the Steele dossier. Clinton and DNC lawyer Marc Elias retained Fusion GPS starting in April 2016. Before that date, an unknown Republican backer funded the firm. A disclosed letter from Elias’ firm Perkins Coie to lawyers representing Fusion GPS revealed the connection. [Washington Post]

    • CNN reports that Mueller’s team met with Steele during the summer [CNN]

  • October 27, 2017: The New York Times reports that the Washington Free Beacon, a conservative website funded by Republican donor Paul Singer, hired Fusion GPS to produce research on Donald Trump in 2015. The Free Beacon told Fusion GPS to stop the research in March 2016. The Free Beacon denies any role in the production of the Steele dossier. [New York Times]

  • November 1, 2017: Reuters reports that Fusion GPS paid Christopher Steele $168,000 for work on the dossier. Filings to Congress showed that Fusion GPS used that fraction of the $1.02 million it received from Perkins Coie for the research. [Reuters]

  • November 6, 2017: Foreign Policy reports that BuzzFeed subpoenaed the DNC in the lawsuit in Florida against it over the Steele dossier. The subpoena aims at producing evidence the allegations in the dossier about the DNC hack are true to contradict libel claims filed by Russian billionaire Aleksej Gubarev. [Foreign Policy]

  • November 11, 2017: Foreign Policy reports that Gubarev asked a British court to compel Christopher Steele to testify in his separate libel suit against BuzzFeed in London. [Foreign Policy

  • November 14, 2017: The House Intelligence Committee interviews Glenn Simpson, co-founder of Fusion GPS. [The Hill]

  • November 15, 2017:

    • Christopher Steele tells a Guardian reporter writing a book about the election that he believes 70-90% of the information in the dossier is accurate. [The Guardian]

    • Judge Richard Leon of the D.C. District Court tells lawyers for both the House Intelligence Committee and Fusion GPS that they should be more transparent to the public. Fusion GPS had sued to block the committee’s subpoena for its business records relating to the dossier. [Politico

  • November 30, 2017: Politico reports that the federal judge overseeing the dispute between Fusion GPS and the House Intelligence Committee said that forcing Fusion GPS to disclose more information about its clients would not be a breach of the First Amendment. The judge suggested that forcing the firm to disclose names of the individuals it did business with while producing the Steele dossier would not harm its First Amendment protections for political speech. [Politico]

  • December 4, 2017: CNN reports that the Justice Department agreed to allow the House Intelligence Committee to interview the FBI agent who was the main point of contact with Christopher Steele. Chairman Devin Nunes had threatened the Justice Department with citations of criminal contempt for failing to respond to subpoenas about the dossier, but the Justice Department had shared information about it with the House Intelligence Committee over the last two months. [CNN]

10. Trump’s Obama Wiretapping Claims and Devin Nunes

  • November 11, 2016: Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, is named to the Trump transition team's executive committee. Nunes releases a short public statement.

  • November 17, 2016: In a Flynn profile piece, the Washington Post notes Nunes’s description of Flynn: “This is a guy who has the president’s trust, has credentials with the military, credentials with the Intelligence Community and credibility with Congress.” [Washington Post]

2017

  • February 13, 2017: Hours before Flynn resigns as White House national security adviser, Nunes tells Bloomberg reporter Steven Dennis, <It just seems like there's a lot of nothing there.> [Twitter (Dennis)] Nunes further states: <He's in a Catch-22 situation. Did he have substantive conversations? No. It’s easy to play ‘gotcha.> [Twitter (Dennis)] Some minutes later, appearing on Fox News, Nunes says Flynn should not step down and that he has "great confidence" in Flynn, who is "being attacked maliciously by the press.” [Washington Post (video)]

  • February 14, 2017: Nunes says that it is “very hard to believe” that Flynn was acting as “some sort of secret Russian agent” and questions why intelligence officials eavesdropped on Flynn's calls. “I expect for the FBI to tell me what is going on, and they better have a good answer. The big problem I see here is that you have an American citizen who had his phone calls recorded.” [Washington Post]

  • February 24, 2017: The Washington Post reports that the Trump administration enlisted members of Congress and the Intelligence Community to knock down news stories about Trump associates' ties to Russia, including Nunes and his Senate intelligence counterpart Aaron Burr. Nunes’s spokesman states that Nunes had already been speaking to reporters challenging the story and admits that “at the request of a White House communications aide, Chairman Nunes then spoke to an additional reporter and delivered the same message.”  [Washington Post]

  • February 27, 2017: Nunes says he has no evidence of any phone calls between the Trump team and Russian officials: "What I’ve been told by many folks is that there’s nothing there." He further states that Flynn tried to keep the lines of communications open” and "did us a big favor." [Washington Post, C-SPAN (video)]

  • March 2, 2017: Nunes and ranking member Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) hold joint press conference on House Intelligence Committee’s Russia probe. Reporters ask Nunes if Obama officials may have had reason to disperse intelligence about the Trump team’s conversations, since “this intelligence might be destroyed or ignored.” Nunes says the suggestion is “far-fetched.” [C-SPAN (video)]

  • March 4, 2017:

    • President Trump issues a series of tweets claiming that former President Barack Obama wiretapped him in Trump Tower. These are intermingled with tweets concerning Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Obama spokesman Kevin Lewis releases a statement denying the accusations and tweets:

  • March 5, 2017: The New York Times reports that FBI Director James B. Comey asked the Justice Department to issue a statement refuting Trump’s claim about Obama-ordered wiretapping Trump’s phones. [New York Times]

  • March 15, 2017:

    • In an interview with Fox News' Tucker Carlson, Trump states: “We are going to be submitting certain things” to the House Intelligence committee. [Fox News (video)]

    • March 15, 2017. In a joint press conference with Schiff, Nunes states that although Obama didn’t tap Trump’s phones, as Trump alleged, Trump’s concern is “surveillance activities looking at him or his associates, either appropriately or inappropriately.” [C-SPAN (video)]

  • March 20, 2017:

    • Before the House Intelligence Committee's first hearing, White House official tells Ryan Lizza of the New Yorker: "It’s backdoor surveillance where it’s not just incidental, it's systematic. Watch Nunes today." [New Yorker, March 28, 2017] After the hearing, in response to questions from Mother Jones' David Corn, Nunes tells reporters he has never heard of Carter Page and Roger Stone. [Mother Jones]

    • At the House Intelligence Committee's first hearing, FBI Director James Comey publicly announces an ongoing investigation into potential coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia [Washington Post (transcript)] To Comey and Rogers, Nunes suggests it would be “preposterous to say that somehow the Russians prefer Republicans over Democrats” [C-SPAN (video)]

    • The official @POTUS account issues a series of tweets during Comey’s testimony alongside NSA Director Admiral Michael Rogers recharacterizing the officials’ conclusions and downplaying the Kremlin’s interference.

  • March 21, 2017: House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes meets an unnamed source at White House and is shown intelligence reports in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building. The Daily Beast reports Nunes “vanished” the night before he made public claims about surveillance of the Trump transition team. [Daily Beast, March 24, 2017]

  • March 22, 2017:

    • House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes tells reporters in a solo press conference that Trump and his associates' communications were swept up in "incidental collection" by U.S. intelligence agencies. Nunes goes to White House to brief Trump. In second press availability, he states the information he received may have been derived from FISA warrants. Asked if he felt vindicated, Trump stated: “I somewhat do. I must tell you I somewhat do. I very much appreciated the fact that they found what they found.” [Washington PostC-SPAN (video)] Nunes issues a statement confirming the incidental collection of "information about" Trump transition team members, the unmasking of the names of Trump transition team members, and the "wide[] disseminat[ion]" of Trump transition team member details despite having "little or no apparent foreign intelligence value."

    • House Intelligence Committee ranking member Adam Schiff issues a statement, which says in part: “This afternoon, Chairman Devin Nunes announced he had some form of intercepts revealing that lawfully gathered intelligence on foreign officials included information on U.S. Persons, potentially including those associated with President Trump or the President himself. If accurate, this information should have been shared with members of the committee, but it has not been.” [LA Times]

  • March 24, 2017:

    • Yates's attorney David O’Neil writes a letter to White House Counsel Donald McGahn stating the belief that any "presidential communications privilege" covering Yates's communications with the White House was waived and Yates planned to testify on the invitation of the House Intelligence Committee. [Washington Post]

    • House Intelligence Committee chairman, Rep. Devin Nunes, cancels House hearing. [CNN]

  • March 27, 2017:

    • Nunes tells Bloomberg View’s Eli Lake that his source was an intelligence official. [Bloomberg View]

    • House Intelligence Committee ranking member, Rep. Adam Schiff, issues statement calling on chairman, Rep. Devin Nunes, to recuse himself from House Intel’s Russia investigation.

  • March 28, 2017:

    • The Washington Post reports that it has been provided a series of letters, including the March 24 O’Neil letter, that show the Trump administration sought to block former acting attorney general Sally Yates from testifying in the House's Russia investigation [Washington Post]

    • Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.) tells The Hill that Rep. Devin Nunes should "absolutely" recuse himself from the Russia investigation. [The Hill] Appearing on "NBC's Today" show, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) says that Nunes has "lost his credibility." [NBC (video)] In an interview on "CBS This Morning," when asked about Nunes's decision to view highly classified information at the White House, Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) says, "there needs to be a lot of explaining to do. “I’ve been around for quite a while and I’ve never heard of any such thing.” [CBS]

  • March 30, 2017:

    • Rep. Devin Nunes admits he received information from the White House: “I did use the White House to help to confirm what I already knew from other sources.” Eli Lake confirms Nunes misled him about his source for information that dozens of intelligence reports improperly included details on Trump's transition. [Bloomberg View]

    • The New York Times reports that Rep. Devin Nunes’s sources were White House officials Ezra Cohen-Watnick, senior director for intelligence at the National Security Council, and Michael Ellis, a lawyer in the White House Counsel’s Office and previously counsel on the House Intelligence Committee. [New York Times]

  • March 31, 2017: House Intelligence Committee ranking member Rep. Adam Schiff releases a statement after reviewing the classified materials the White House had provided to Nunes and notes “[t]he White House has yet to explain why senior White House staff apparently shared these materials with but one member of either committee, only for their contents to be briefed back to the White House.”

  • April 3, 2017:

    • Fox’s Adam Housley reports that a high-ranking Obama administration official requested the "unmasking" of Trump officials whose communications were incidentally collected in the course of surveilling foreign targets. [Fox & Friends] Bloomberg View's Eli Lake identifies the official as former Obama national security adviser Susan Rice. [Bloomberg View]

    • President Trump states that "the real story" was a "crooked scheme against us" by the Obama administration. [New York Times]

  • April 4, 2017: Trump retweets a Drudge Report tweet:

  • April 6, 2017: House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes issues statement announcing Rep. Mike Conaway (R-Tex.) is temporarily taking charge of the Committee's Russia investigation while the House Ethics Committee investigates "baseless[]" filed charges against Nunes by "[s]everal leftwing activist groups."

  • May 18, 2017: CNN reports that Nunes is continuing to review intelligence related to Russia despite his recusal from the investigation. Nunes traveled to CIA headquarters to review Russia intelligence. A senior Republican aide said that Nunes had never technically recused himself because he only said he would ask other Republicans to “temporarily take charge” of the investigation. [CNN]

  • May 19, 2017: Nunes says in an interview with Fox News that until he clears up the ethics charges against him, “I was just going to set the Russia investigation aside. But everything else I’m still in charge of, especially the unmasking.” He said he wanted to continue looking into Susan Rice’s role in unmasking of the identities of Americans in intelligence reports. [Fox News]

  • June 1, 2017: CNN reports that Nunes issued three subpoenas to the FBI, CIA, and NSA targeting documents about former Obama administration officials and their role in unmasking identities of Trump campaign officials who were connected to Russia. Nunes unilaterally sent the subpoenas without approval from House Intelligence Committee Democrats. [CNN]

  • July 21, 2017: CNN reports that Senator Richard Burr said after meeting with former National Security Advisor Susan Rice that “The unmasking thing was all created by Devin Nunes, and I’ll wait to go through our full evaluation to see if there was anything improper that happened.” [CNN]

  • September 2, 2017: USA Today reports that the Justice Department confirmed in a court filing in D.C. District Court that neither the FBI nor the DOJ’s National Security Division (NSD) have records of the alleged wiretaps. The DOJ said, “Both FBI and NSD confirmed they have no records related to wiretaps as described by the the March 4, 2017 tweets.”  [USA Today]

  • September 28, 2017: Reuters reports that the Justice Department and the FBI are resisting Nunes’ subpoenas about the Steele dossier. The agencies are reported to reluctant to comply because the Special Counsel probe is also covering the Steele dossier. Nunes met with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to discuss the subpoenas on September 28. [Reuters]

 

11. Trump's Alleged Interference with Russia Investigation

  • January 6, 2017: James Comey meets Trump for the first time at Trump Tower, for a briefing with other Intelligence Community leaders on Russian interference with the election. After the briefing, Comey meets alone with Trump to brief him on "personally sensitive aspects" of the information. [James Comey's Prepared Statement, Senate Intelligence Committee, June 6, 2017] 

  • January 27, 2017: In a ceremony with law enforcement officials at the White House, Trump singles out Comey for a greeting in front of guest in the Blue Room; the president attempts to hug him. [New York Times, May 18, 2017]

  • January 27, 2017: Trump reportedly summons Comey to the White House for a private dinner and asks him multiple times to pledge his "loyalty"; Comey instead promises Trump his “honesty.” [New York Times, May, 11, 2017]

  • February 13, 2017: Michael Flynn resigns as national security adviser.

  • February 14, 2017: Comey attends a meeting in Oval Office for a scheduled counter-terrorism briefing. After the briefing, Trump asks Comey to stay for a private conversation "about Mike Flynn." Trump asks Comey to drop the federal investigation into Flynn. “I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go,” Trump stated, according to the memo Comey reportedly wrote immediately after the meeting. “He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.” [New York Times, May 16, 2017; [Comey Prepared Statement, Senate Intelligence Committee, June 6, 2017]

  • March 4, 2017: Trump issues tweets accusing then-President Barack Obama of wiretapping him in Trump Tower.

  • March 20, 2017: At the House Intelligence Committee's first hearing, FBI Director James Comey publicly announces an ongoing investigation into potential coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia [Washington Post (transcript)] To Comey and Rogers, Nunes suggests it would be “preposterous to say that somehow the Russians prefer Republicans over Democrats” [C-SPAN (video)]

  • March 22, 2017: Trump meets privately with Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats and CIA Director Mike Pompeo after a briefing and asked Coats if he could intervene with then-FBI Director James Comey and get the bureau to drop its investigation into Michael Flynn, according to Coats associates. [Washington Post, June 6, 2017]

  • March 24, 2017:
    • Yates's attorney David O’Neil writes a letter to White House Counsel Donald McGahn stating the belief that any "presidential communications privilege" covering Yates's communications with the White House was waived and Yates planned to testify on the invitation of the House Intelligence Committee. [Washington Post]
    • House Intelligence Committee chairman, Rep. Devin Nunes, cancels House hearing. [CNN]
  • March 30, 2017: Trump calls Comey at the FBI and describes the Russia investigation as "a cloud" that prevents him from carrying out his duties and asks what can be done to "lift the cloud." [James Comey's Prepared Statement, Senate Intelligence Committee, June 6, 2017] 
  • April 11, 2017: Trump calls Comey and asks about his request that Comey "get out" that he's not personally under investigation. He says, "Because I have been very loyal to you, very loyal; we had that thing, you know." Comey did not reply to this comment. [James Comey's Prepared Statement, Senate Intelligence Committee, June 6, 2017] 
  • May 2, 2017: Trump tweets:
  • May 3, 2017: 

    • James Comey testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee and releases his prepared written statement on "Oversight of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.” When asked by Senator Al Franken why Russia had a clear preference for Trump, Comey states that it was Putin "hated" Clinton and because Putin prefers to do business with a businessman than someone with government background. He also states in response to Senator Chris Coons, "The current investigation with respect to Russia, we've confirmed it. The Department of Justice has authorized me to confirm that it exists. We're not going to say another word about it until we're done."

      • Comey has an exchange with Senator Mazie Hirono about whether Justice Department officials have ever halted an FBI investigation.  [CBS NewsWashington Post (transcript)

        • HIRONO: So if the Attorney General or senior officials at the Department of Justice opposes a specific investigation, can they halt that FBI investigation?

        • COMEY: In theory yes.

        • HIRONO: Has it happened?

        • COMEY: Not in my experience. Because it would be a big deal to tell the FBI to stop doing something that -- without an appropriate purpose. I mean where oftentimes they give us opinions that we don't see a case there and so you ought to stop investing resources in it. But I'm talking about a situation where we were told to stop something for a political reason, that would be a very big deal. It's not happened in my experience.

      • In response to a question from Senator Richard Blumenthal, he declines to answer whether the President is a target of the investigation. [CBS News; Washington Post (transcript)

        • BLUMENTHAL: So potentially, the president of the United States could be a target of your ongoing investigation into the Trump campaign's involvement with Russian interference in our election, correct?

        • COMEY: I just worry -- I don't want to answer that -- that -- that seems to be unfair speculation. We will follow the evidence, we'll try and find as much as we can and we'll follow the evidence wherever it leads.

    • Of Comey, Sean Spicer tells reporters, "The president has confidence in the director." [The Hill]

  • May 4, 2017: Trump tweets about the "Fake News media" and Susan Rice "refusing to testify" before the Senate Subcommittee.

  • May 9, 2017

  • May 10, 2017:

    • Trump meets with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Russian ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak in the Oval Office; Russian media are permitted but American media is shut out. [New York TImes] When Lavrov arrives at the White House for a meeting with Trump, he makes a seemingly sarcastic remark in response to a reporter's question about Comey's firing. [Newsweek (video)]

    • Trump tells Russian officials in the Oval Office that FBI Director James Comey was "crazy, a real nut job," and that firing him had relieved Trump of "great pressure." He further stated, "I faced great pressure because of Russia. That's taken off." [New York Times, May 19, 2017]

    • When asked how Comey's firing will affect U.S.-Russia relations, Russian President Vladimir Putin tells CBS News: "There will be no effect. Your question looks very funny for me. Don't be angry with me. We have nothing to do with that."  [CBS (video)]

    • The New York Times reports Sessions was tasked with looking for reasons to fire Comey. [New York Times]

    • Vice President Michael Pence tells reporters: "Let me be very clear that the President's decision to accept the recommendation of the deputy attorney general and the attorney general to remove Director Comey as the head of the FBI was based solely and exclusively on his commitment to the best interests of the American people and to ensuring that the FBI has the trust and confidence of the people this nation." [CNN]

    • On CNN, senior advisor Kellyanne Conway denies Comey's firing was related to the Russia investigation. [CNN]

    • Trump issues a series of tweets defending his dismissal of Comey and accusing congressional Democrats of hypocrisy.

 

  • May 16, 2017: The New York Times reports that, according to a memo written by then-FBI Director James Comey, in a private meeting Trump said to Comey: “I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go. He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.” [New York Times]

  • May 22, 2017: The Washington Post reports that Trump personally asked two top intelligence officials, Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats and NSA head Adm. Michael S. Rogers to make public statements denying evidence of collusion between his campaign and Russian officials. [Washington Post]

  • May 23, 2017: The Justice Department clear Robert Mueller to oversee the Russia investigation. [Washington Post]

  • June 6, 2017:

    • The New York Times reports that the day after Trump asked Comey to drop the Flynn investigation, Comey told Attorney General Jeff Sessions private interactions between the FBI Director and Trump were not appropriate. [New York Times]

    • The Washington Post reports that on March 22, Trump met privately with Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats and CIA Director Mike Pompeo after a briefing and asked Coats if he could intervene with then-FBI Director James Comey and get the bureau to drop its investigation into Michael Flynn. [Washington Post]

  • June 12, 2017: On PBS’s “NewsHour," Trump confidant Christopher Ruddy says of Trump, “I think he’s considering perhaps terminating the special counsel." Ruddy also states that Mueller, who served as FBI director before Comey, was being considered by Trump for FBI director before he was appointed special counsel. Ruddy insists that Mueller has conflicts of interest. [PBS]

  • June 14, 2017: Citing five anonymous officials, the Washington Post reports that special counsel Robert Mueller is investigating Trump for possible obstruction of justice. [Washington Post]

  • June 15, 2017:

    • The Washington Post reports that Vice President Pence has hired outside counsel to handle queries relating to the Russia investigation. [Washington Post]

    • The Washington Post reports that special counsel Mueller is investigating Jared Kushner's financial dealings. [Washington Post]

    • Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein issues press release advising Americans to exercise caution in relying on stories attributed to anonymous officials.

  • June 16, 2017

    • ABC News reports that Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein privately told colleagues that he might need to recuse himself from the Russia investigation. [ABC News]

    • CNN reports that that House Intelligence Committee plan to interview Brad Parscale, digital director of Trump’s campaign. [CNN]

  • June 18, 2017: On a number of Sunday talk shows, Jay Sekulow, a Trump attorney denies that Trump is under investigation and at other times states that Trump has no knowledge or has not been notified that he is under investigation. [NBC; Fox; CNN; CBS]

  • July 12, 2017: The Hill reports that House Democrat Brad Sherman (D-CA) filed articles of impeachment against Trump that accuse the president of obstruction of justice in the Russia probe. [The Hill]

  • July 20, 2017: Trump says in an interview with the New York Times that he would never have nominated Jeff Sessions for Attorney General if he knew he would recuse himself from oversight of the Russia probe. Trump also says that if the Special Counsel starts to investigate his or his family’s personal finances, that would be a red line and a “violation.” [New York Times]

  • July 31, 2017: The Washington Post reports that Trump dictated his son Donald Trump Jr’s misleading statement about his June 2016 meeting with the Russian lawyer from Air Force One on July 8. [Washington Post]

  • August 23, 2017: Politico reports that Trump called Senator Thom Tillis, who was drafting a bill to protect Special Counsel Robert Mueller from arbitrary firing, and expressed his frustration about the bill. [Politico]

  • August 31, 2017: The Wall Street Journal reports that the Trump legal team sent a letter to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team that attempted to preempt charges of obstruction of justice against the president. [Wall Street Journal]

  • September 7, 2017: Politico reports that FBI Director Christopher Wray said he had no “whiff of interference” with the Special Counsel probe since he entered office. [Politico] CNN reports that Mueller’s team has approached White House officials about interviewing them regarding the Air Force meeting where Trump drafted the initial misleading statement about the June 2016 meeting with the Russian lawyer. [CNN]

  • September 20, 2017: The New York Times reports that Mueller’s team asked the White House to provide documents related to Trump’s conduct while in office, including those that pertain to the firings of Michael Flynn and James Comey. Another request related to the meeting Trump had with Russian officials in which he said Comey’s firing relieved great pressure on him. [New York Times] The Washington Post reports that the requests indicate Mueller’s team is investigating whether the president interfered with the FBI investigation prior to Comey’s firing. [Washington Post]

  • September 26, 2017: The Senate Judiciary Committee holds a hearing on “Special Counsels and the Separation of Powers.” Senators hear testimony from legal experts on the constitutionality and efficacy of two bills, the Graham-Booker “Special Counsel Independence Protection Act,” and the Tillis-Coons “Special Counsel Integrity Act.” [C-SPAN] Lawfare publishes the witnesses’ statements [Lawfare]

  • November 3, 2017: Trump laments that he cannot influence the FBI’s investigation, calling it the “saddest thing” that he cannot be involved with the Department of Justice. He says he is unhappy with the course of the investigation and also says he wishes the DOJ would investigate Hillary Clinton. [CNN]

  • November 7, 2017: The Intercept reports that Trump directed CIA Director Mike Pompeo to meet with William Binney, a former NSA employee turned agency critic. Binney is a prominent advocate of an alternative theory that Russia did not hack the DNC, saying instead that it was an inside job. [The Intercept

  • November 13, 2017: Russian-backed TV channel RT officially registers as a foreign agent with the Justice Department under the Foreign Agents Registration Act. [Reuters]

  • November 14, 2017: BuzzFeed News reports that the FBI is investigating over 60 wire transfers from Russia to embassies around the world marked “to finance election campaign of 2016.” [BuzzFeed News]

  • November 30, 2017:

    • The New York Times reports that over the summer Trump attempted to pressure congressional leaders, including Sen. Richard Burr, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Sen. Roy Blunt, to quickly end the Russia investigation. [New York Times]

    • Reuters reports that during a closed door House Intelligence Committee hearing Jeff Sessions refused to answer questions about whether the president ever instructed him to do anything to obstruct the Russia probe. Rep. Adam Schiff said Sessions had no privileged basis for refusing to answer the questions. [Reuters]

  • December 3, 2017: The Washington Post reports that John Dowd, Trump’s personal lawyer for matters related to the Russia investigation, said the president knew last January that Michael Flynn had given the same misleading account to FBI investigators about his interactions with the Russian ambassador that he gave to Mike Pence. Dowd said White House Counsel relayed the information to Trump from then-Acting Attorney General Sally Yates. Trump asked FBI Director Comey two weeks after the Jan. 26 conversation to be lenient with Flynn. [Washington Post

  • May 10, 2017: Trump meets with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Russian ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak in the Oval Office; Russian media are permitted but American media is shut out. [New York Times] When Lavrov arrives at the White House for a meeting with Trump, he makes a seemingly sarcastic remark in response to a reporter's question about Comey's firing. [Newsweek (video)]
  • May 15, 2017:
    • The Washington Post reports that while boasting about the "great intel" he receives as president, Trump disclosed highly classified information to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during their May 10 visit to the Oval Office. The Post further reports: "Trump went on to discuss aspects of the threat that the United States only learned through the espionage capabilities of a key partner. He did not reveal the specific intelligence gathering method, but described how the Islamic State was pursuing elements of a specific plot and how much harm such an attack could cause under varying circumstances. Most alarmingly, officials said, Trump revealed the city in the Islamic State’s territory where the U.S. intelligence partner detected the threat." [Washington Post]
    • Reuters confirms the Post story and provides additional information about the intelligence Trump disclosed: "U.S. officials have told Reuters that U.S. agencies are in the process of drawing up plans to expand a ban on passengers carrying laptop computers onto U.S.-bound flights from several countries on [sic] conflict zones due to new intelligence about how militant groups are refining techniques for installing bombs in laptops. So serious are assessments of the increased threat that Washington is considering banning passengers from several European countries, including Britain, from carrying laptops in a cabin on U.S.-bound flights. The United States has consulted about the intelligence with allied governments and airlines. One source familiar with the matter told Reuters at least some of the intelligence that went into the planned laptop ban expansion came from a U.S. commando raid on an al Qaeda camp in Yemen in which a U.S. special operator was killed." [Reuters]
    • Trump officials issue three types of denials. Deputy national security advisor for strategy Dina Powell denies the story as "false." Secretary of State Rex Tillerson more specifically denies the disclosure of "sources, methods or military operations." And national security advisor H.R. McMaster specifically denies discussion of "any intelligence sources or methods" or "military operations . . . that were not already known publicly." [Reuters; Washington Post]
    • In a later press conference, McMaster again very specifically states, "The story that came out tonight, as reported, is false . . . . At no time … were intelligence sources or methods discussed." [NBC]
    • A U.S. official tells BuzzFeed that the situation is “far worse than what has already been reported.” [BuzzFeed]
  • May 16, 2017:
    • At a press conference, National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster tells reporters that Trump’s disclosure of intelligence to the Russians was “wholly appropriate.” [New York Times]
    • The New York Times reports that the disclosed intelligence came from Israel. At a press conference, National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster tells reporters that Trump’s disclosure of intelligence to the Russians was “wholly appropriate.” [New York Times]
    • Earlier in the day, President Trump defends his disclosure of classified information to Russian officials in a series of tweets:
  • June 5, 2017: The Daily Beast reports that White House officials explored options to unilaterally reduce sanctions on Russia’s oil industry as late as March 2017. State Department officials successfully convinced the White House to keep the sanctions in place, arguing that a unilateral reduction would be a reward for Moscow. [The Daily Beast]
  • July 7, 2017: CNN reports that Trump met with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany for an over two hour meeting. CNN says that the two discussed the interference in the U.S. elections and reached an agreement on a ceasefire zone in Syria. Secretary of State Tillerson said the president pressed Putin on election interference. [CNN]
  • July 9, 2017: Politico reports that Trump’s tweets about setting up a joint cyber security unit with Russia provoked international confusion and domestic disarray. Trump tweeted:
  • The tweets appeared to refer to an agreement to form a joint cyber working group to create a framework to resolve disputes. American politicians quickly denounced the tweet’s implied creation of a unit to involve Russian operatives in protecting U.S. elections. Trump attempted to walk back the comments in a second tweet but the inconsistency only provoked further head scratching. [Politico]
  • July 18, 2017: The New York Times reports that Trump and Putin held a second, undisclosed meeting at the G20. The two spoke during a during a dinner hours after they officially met for the first time. No officials other than Trump, Putin and a Russian interpreter were present. Press Secretary Sean Spicer said, “It was pleasantries and small talk.” The meeting lasted almost an hour, and no U.S. foreign policy officials were present to take notes. [The New York Times]
  • July 22, 2017: The New York Times reports that Congressional leaders reached a deal on new sanctions measures on Russia to punish it for its election interference. The legislation limits the president from suspending or terminating sanctions. The administration strongly opposed the sanctions, saying the president needed flexibility to set sanctions to accomplish diplomatic goals. [New York Times]
  • July 31, 2017: BBC reports that Russian President Putin announced that 755 staff must leave U.S diplomatic facilities in Russia, in retaliation for the new sanctions measures. [BBC]
  • August 2, 2017: Politico reports that Secretary of State Tillerson has failed to spend nearly $80 million of congressional appropriations for counter-propaganda work, including against Russian disinformation. An aide to Tillerson suggested one reason for the block was that giving the funding to programs working against Russian influence operations might anger Moscow. [Politico]
  • August 3, 2017: CNN reports that Trump signed the Russia sanctions bill. The White House said the bill includes a “number of clearly unconstitutional provisions.” Trump said in a statement that the sanctions bill “remains seriously flawed.” ABC News reports that Trump said in a tweet that Congress caused the U.S. relationship with Russia to be “at an all-time & very dangerous low.” [ABC News] [CNN]
  • August 10, 2017: The New York Times reports that Trump said of Putin’s move to cut U.S. diplomatic staff in Russia: “I want to thank him because we’re trying to cut down on payroll, and as far as I’m concerned, I’m very thankful that he let go a large number of people, because now we have a smaller payroll. There’s no real reason for them to go back. So I greatly appreciate the fact that we’ve been able to cut our payroll of the United States. We’ll save a lot of money.” Reuters reports that Trump said he was being sarcastic when he made the comment. [New York Times] [Reuters]
  • August 11, 2017: Reuters reports that Trump said he was being sarcastic when he
  • August 31, 2017: The New York Times reports that in retaliation for the forced ejections of U.S. personnel in the Russia, the State Department ordered Russia to close its consulate in San Francisco along with two other diplomatic annexes. Independent observers said the move was not proportionate to the cuts Russia forced on the U.S. [New York Times]
  • September 5, 2017: The New York Times reports that at a press conference Vladimir Putin said that Trump, “is not my bride, and I am not his groom.” [New York Times]
  • October 3, 2017: Reuters reports that the Russian government accused the U.S. of breaking into its consulate in San Francisco. The Russians said that State Department personnel who inspected the compound had entered illegally. The U.S. denied any wrongdoing. [Reuters]
  • November 2, 2017: The Wall Street Journal reports that the Department of Justice has identified at least six members of the Russian government involved in the DNC hack. Prosecutors say they have enough evidence to charge the officials and could bring a case next year, although no one would be arrested because the officials are in Russia. [Wall Street Journal]

  • November 11, 2017: Trump meets Putin for the second time in his term on the sidelines of a summit in Vietnam. After the meeting, Trump says he believed Putin was serious in his denials of involvement in the 2016 election. Trump says, “He said he didn’t meddle — I asked him again.” The next day, Trump appears to walk back his comments, referring to American intelligence agency assessments that Russia interfered in the election: “As to whether I believe it or not, I’m with our agencies, especially as currently constituted with their leadership.” But Trump insinuates that the former leaders of those intelligence agencies, John Brennan, James Clapper and James Comey, are less credible than Putin. [New York Times]
  • November 21, 2017: Trump speaks with Putin for over an hour by phone, discussing Syria, the North Korea crisis, the Iran nuclear deal, Ukraine and Afghanistan. Both agreed on the importance of fighting terrorism in the Middle East. [USA Today]
  • July 13, 2017: The Chicago Tribune reports that Smith committed suicide 10 days after speaking with the Journal on May 3. He killed himself in a Minnesota hotel room on May 14, leaving behind a file of documents and a suicide note explaining that he had health problems and a life insurance policy was expiring. Police records said that Smith committed suicide using a bag over his head that he filled with helium. In the note, Smith said, “No foul play whatsover.” Smith wrote in a blog post the day before his death, “As attention turns to international affairs, as it will shortly, the Russia interference story will die of its own weight.” [Chicago Tribune
  • October 17, 2017: Business Insider reports that Special Counsel Robert Mueller interviewed Matt Tait a few weeks previously in connection with his investigation into Peter Smith and Michael Flynn. [Business Insider]

 

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