Monday, May 21, 2018
Sunday, May 20, 2018
|PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY 731 / BLOOMBERG|
Has it really only been a year since Robert Mueller was named special counsel and took over the Russia election interference investigation begun by ousted FBI Director Jim Comey? What does Maximum Bob have to show for his labors? Will the powerful Forces of Evil lined up behind Donald Trump be able to derail him and save the president? Or not?
Herewith the answers to those questions and more at a time when, as critical junctures go, we're at an awfully big one.
WHERE DOES MUELLER GO FROM HERE?
Who the hell knows?
STOP BEING A SMART ASS!
Sorry. Even with 19 indictments, including four Trump associates, five guilty pleas and four cooperation agreements, Mueller is just getting started. Possible future perps include Michael Cohen, Hope Hicks, K.T. McFarland, Donald McGahn, Carter Page, Reince Preibus, Roger Stone, Donald Trump Jr. and Javanka -- Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump.
CAN THE FORCES OF EVIL CROWD STOP MUELLER?
Effectively no. First of all, they are pretty much in full panic mode because they know Trump and many of his associates are guilty as sin. Their claims that Mueller is engineering a deep-state coup to overthrow Trump and that an FBI rat . . . er, informant infiltrated Trump's campaign will get no leverage beyond the Fox News sycophancy, while their efforts to pervert the nations investigative machinery -- the Justice Department, FBI and other investigative agencies -- will backfire.
WHAT'S THE STORY ON THIS SO-CALLED INFORMANT?
Trump and the Forces of Evil claim that Comey planted a spy in the campaign to spring a "fatal October surprise" worse than Watergate that would hand the election to Lock Her Up Hillary. A couple three problems here. First, the informant was not planted, he merely sought out three officials over several months. Second, the FBI used an informant in an effort to keep the existence of its investigation secret. Third, there was no surprise and, to Clinton's and our lasting detriment, Comey kept his powder dry until after the election.
THEN WHY SO MUCH WHINING?
Because the informant provides Trump with a new alibi. Not only were campaign officials too disorganized and too dumb to collude, the FBI tricked them into doing bad stuff.
WHAT ABOUT COMPLAINTS REGARDING THE COST AND SPEED?
As Colonel Potter would say, horse hockey. The Forces of Evil have dropped any pretense of giving Mueller the time he needs, while the time expended and money spent by Mueller pale in comparison with the speed and cost of the Watergate, Iran-Contra and Whitewater probes.
CAN TRUMP FIRE MUELLER?
Effectively, yes. But even if Trump finds a way to do so, which would take us from a slow-motion constitutional crisis to a full blown one, Mueller's work product -- the indictments and plea agreements -- will stand, while it is a virtual certainty that the investigation will continue in one form or another, especially if Democrats retake the House and pick up a Senate seat or two and Congress can then leverage a renewed investigation with the force of Mueller's.
MEANWHILE, DOES MUELLER NEED TO TALK TO TRUMP?
Not really. Despite all the sturm und drang about a face-off, smart prosecutors -- and Mueller certainly qualifies as one -- don't need the guy at the top to make their cases. That said, Trump is uniquely positioned to have relevant information about the scandal that no one else may have.
DOESN'T TRUMP KEEP SAYING THAT COLLUSION ISN'T A CRIME?
He is wrong. As usual. One of Mueller's multiple charges against former campaign Manager Paul Manafort reads "Committed a crime or crimes by colluding with Russian government officials" in violation of U.S. law. (I expect Manafort eventually will cave and plead guilty.) Mueller's indictment of those 13 Russians and three Russian entities for using social media to help Trump win charges them with colluding with state-level campaign organizations through "conspiracy to defraud" the U.S.
WHAT WOULD MUELLER WANT TO ASK TRUMP?
Questions pertaining to obstruction of justice and potential campaign collusion with Russia. Both are questions to which Mueller already has answers, which sets up a super-sized perjury trap for Trump.
WILL TRUMP AGREE TO BE INTERVIEWED?
Almost certainly not, regardless of whether the interview is conducted under oath and regardless of Trump's belief that he can outsmart Mueller. The one constant among Trump's revolving door legal teams is the certainty that Mueller would eat him alive. His lawyers will prevail on this one.
CAN MUELLER FORCE TRUMP TO BE INTERVIEWED?
No and yes. Mueller cannot force Trump to appear for an interview, but he can subpoena him to appear before the special counsel's grand jury.
CAN TRUMP REFUSE A GRAND JURY SUBPOENA?
No. Trump believes he can do anything he damned well pleases, but it is established law (U.S. v. Nixon, if you must know) that a sitting president must honor a grand jury subpoena. President Clinton did in the Paula Jones lawsuit. So did Ford and both Bushes.
WHAT IF MUELLER DOES ISSUE A SUBPOENA?
Trump is screwed. Grand jury testimony is under oath, he would be examined by Mueller or one of his prosecutors without his attorneys being present, and lying (the crime in this context is called "making false statements") opens him to additional legal jeopardy.
CAN MUELLER INDICT TRUMP?
Justice Department legal opinions say a sitting president cannot be indicted criminally while in office. Rudy Giuliani is correct for once when he claims Trump won't be indicted, but that is because Mueller won't even try. Trying to break new legal ground would waylay his investigation. This takes Mueller's options for Trump out of the criminal realm and plops them squarely into the political realm.
HOW WOULD MUELLER RECOMMEND IMPEACHMENT?
Under the regulations governing appointment of the special counsel, Mueller would provide a confidential report explaining his conclusions to the attorney general -- or, in this case, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein since AG Jeff Sessions kept lying about his contacts with Russians during the Trump campaign, and to the president's everlasting anger, recused his sorry self. If Mueller believes he has the goods on Trump, the report might lay out the case for impeachment.
WHAT WOULD HAPPEN THEN?
Rosenstein would decide whether to make the report public, but in any event he must provide the chairmen and ranking members of the House and Senate judiciary committees with an explanation about any decision to conclude the investigation, or at least an initial phase of it, whether in the form of a memo about the report or the report itself.
WHAT WILL ROSENSTEIN DO?
Rosenstein has aggressively pushed back against the Forces of Evil. He almost certainly will make the report public, which would lay the groundwork for impeachment if Mueller address that in his report.
WILL MUELLER ADDRESS IMPEACHMENT?
WHEN WILL ALL THIS HAPPEN?
Your guess is as good as mine, but the closer we get to the midterm election, the less likely big things will happen involving what Mueller has on Trump, notably obstruction of justice. Giuliani claimed on Sunday that Mueller will end his obstruction inquiry by September 1. Who knows? An alternative would be to wait until after the election.
WHEN WILL IMPEACHMENT HAPPEN?
Not until when and if Democrats regain control of the House in January, which is a real possibility. The new Democratic majority on the House Judiciary Committee would approve articles of impeachment, but the likelihood of a two-thirds majority of the entire House then voting to send the articles to the Senate for trial is slim.
SO HOW ARE WE GOING TO GET RID OF TRUMP IF MUELLER AND A DEMOCRATIC CONGRESS CAN'T?
and related developments.
Wednesday, May 16, 2018
Practically from the moment we learned of the infamous June 9, 2016 Trump Tower sitdown convened by Donald "Fredo" Trump Jr. to get dirt on Hillary Clinton from a lawyer with close Kremlin ties, it has been less a meeting than a big smoking gun and on its face ample proof that the Trump campaign was delighted to collude with Russia in its cybersabotage of the Hillary Clinton campaign.
"If what you say is true I love it," were Donald Jr.'s immortal words in response to an email from Rob Goldstone.
Goldstone, a British music promoter, has pushed Donald Jr. even deeper into the collusion cauldron -- one imagines that he's now pretty much up to his neck -- in 2,500 pages of testimony by Goldstone, Donald Jr. and four other individuals before the Senate Intelligence Committee released on Wednesday morning.
In conjunction with the release, the committee said it had determined that the U.S. intelligence community was correct in assessing that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election with the aim of helping Trump, an anti-climactic conclusion that nevertheless contradicts the findings reached last month by Vichy Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee. This sets up another inevitable flame war between a committee determined to get to the truth and a committee running from it.
"The Russian effort was extensive, sophisticated, and ordered by President Putin himself for the purpose of helping Donald Trump and hurting Hillary Clinton," said the Senate committee chairman, Republican Richard Burr, and vice chairman, Democrat Mark Warner.
Goldstone flat-out states in his testimony about the meeting that he had been assured the lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, was "well connected" and had "damaging material." He testified that he had warned his client, Russian pop star Emin Agalarov, that the meeting would be a bad idea.
"He said, 'it doesn’t matter. You just have to get the meeting,' " Goldstone testified.
(Goldstone, meanwhile, told the Senate Judiciary Committee that he proposed a second meeting between Veselnitskaya and Trump's team at the behest of Emin's father, Aras, a billionaire developer and close associate of Putin, in November 2016, but it never took place.)
The intensity with which the Agalarovs sought the June 9 meeting is shot through the testimony.
When news of the meeting became public a year later, Trump, his aides and lawyers tried to lie and spin it away as a big nothing. In the process, they made matters far worse, and the meeting has taken on an outsized importance to Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller's investigation, which entered its second year on Thursday with the promise of dizzying new developments to come as Trump's sycophancy reaches new levels of "witch hunt" hysteria and the president continues to suck up to the Russian kleptocrat.
IT WAS AN ODD GROUP THAT ASSEMBLED on that unseasonably cool late spring afternoon around a table in a conference room on an upper floor of a glass and marble skyscraper on New York's Fifth Avenue. On one side of the table were four Russians. On the other side were Trump's eldest son, son-in-law and the man who was about to become manager and chief strategist of the billionaire's improbable campaign to become president.
The events surrounding the June 6, 2016 meeting -- both before and after -- suggest that Trump not only encouraged members of his campaign team to assist Russians working for Vladimir Putin to interfere in the forthcoming election, but expected the meeting to pay dividends for his long-shot bid for the presidency because it would provide new ammunition with which to assail the chief target of his incendiary stump speeches -- Hillary Clinton.
Prior to the meeting, there already had been several attempts by Russians to find entry points into the Trump campaign, an effort that accelerated after he clinched the Republican nomination on May 26, 2016 amidst a flurry of media reports that his campaign had no agenda, was disorganized and several key positions had been left unfilled.
In a June 2, 2016 speech in San Diego before the California primary, Trump had hammered Clinton over emails deleted from her personal server while she was secretary of state.
"By the way, Hillary Clinton is missing 30,000 emails," he said. "They've been deleted. 30,000. 30,000."
When Donald Jr. scrolled through his email in-box the next day, there was a message from Goldstone, who got right to the point:
The Crown prosecutor of Russia met with his father Aras this morning, and in their meeting offered to provide the Trump campaign with some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father. This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump -- helped along by Aras and Emin.
Donald Jr. responded not by refusing the offer or alerting the FBI, but by replying, "If it's what you say I love it."
Despite denials by father and son, it is possible that Trump Sr. was informed of the enticing news and signed off on the meeting in a four-minute phone call Donald Jr. had with a blocked number -- his third of the day -- at 4:27 p.m. on the afternoon of June 6, according to Senate committee findings. Perhaps not coincidentally, the phone in his father's private Trump Tower residence utilized a blocked number.
At 4:31 p.m., Donald Jr. had a three-minute phone conversation with Agalarov and then at 4:38 p.m. emailed Goldstone, writing "Rob thanks for the help."
On June 7, Trump tweeted the promise of "big news" on Clinton's "crimes" in a forthcoming "major speech."
He amplified on the promise that night after winning the California and New Jersey primaries.
"I'm going to give a major speech on probably Monday of next week," he declared in a victory speech in Briarcliff Manor, New York. "And we're going to be discussing all of the things that have taken place with the Clintons. I think you're going to find it very informative and very, very interesting."
DONALD JR. HAD INVITED TWO OTHER important campaign players to the meeting -- Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort.
Kushner, the husband of his kid sister Ivanka, was in some ways a mirror image of Trump Sr. He had a reputation for shady and occasionally disastrous business practices as a real estate developer and was a manipulator, blame shifter and liar for whom everything was about money.
Several days after the meeting, Kushner was named head of the campaign's digital team and in all likelihood was responsible for helping Russian hackers identify voters to target with cyber onslaughts of fake anti-Clinton news, possibly in conjunction with Cambridge Analytica, in the Kremlin's successful effort to sabotage her campaign. He also was to pop up with uncanny regularity at many of the meetings with the very Russians being investigated by Mueller.
Manafort was a longtime associate of Trump who had made his nut through financial wheeling and dealing with shadowy Russian figures abroad and corporate shell games and money laundering at home, and 11 days after the meeting was promoted to run the campaign, a job that gave him control over day-to-day operations.
The meeting commenced at 4 p.m. and lasted 20 to 30 minutes.
The four Russians on the other side of the table were lobbyist Rinat Akhmetshin, a former Soviet soldier with ties to Russian spies; Ike Kaveladze, an official in Agalarov's real estate company; lawyer Veselnitskaya, who has continually lied about who she is, who she was representing, and the real reason for her being at the meeting, and her translator, Anatoli Samochornov.
Goldstone testified that Kushner was one of just three people who spoke during the meeting, interrupting Veselnitskaya at one point to ask her to refocus her presentation. Goldstone also said he recalled that Kushner stayed for the entire meeting, contradicting Veselnitskaya's public assertion the president's son-in-law left early and never came back.
WHEN NEWS OF THE MEETING WAS FIRST REPORTED by The New York Times on July 8, 2017, Veselnitskaya described herself as a private attorney who wanted Trump to roll back the Magnitsky Act if he became president.
The act, passed by Congress in 2012, was named for Sergei Magnitsky, a Russian lawyer and auditor who uncovered a $230 million web of corruption and fraud involving law enforcement, tax officials and the Russian mafia. He died in a Moscow prison in 2009, where he had been held without trial, after allegedly being beaten and tortured by government officials.
The Magnitsky Act, which was aggressively supported by Clinton, prohibited the Russian officials believed to be responsible for Magnitsky's death from entering the U.S. or using its banking system, and preceded by 15 months the first of three rounds of increasingly broad Obama administration sanctions on Russia in response to its takeover of Crimea. The Magnitsky Act so outraged Putin that he retaliated by banning the adoption of Russian children by Americans.
Contacted by The Times, Donald Jr. stated that the meeting was about adoptions.
On June 26, 2017, Goldstone had written in an email to Emin Agalarov that "[Trump’s lawyers are] concerned because it links Don Jr. to officials from Russia, which he has always denied meeting.”
On July 9, The Times reported that Donald Jr. had agreed to the meeting on the premise that damaging information on Clinton would be provided. Donald Jr. confirmed that, but asserted the information was not useful and was merely a pretext to discuss adoptions.
On July 10, The Times published the damaging pre-meeting email exchange between Goldstone and Donald Jr.
On July 11, Donald Jr. posted on Twitter screenshots of all the emails between he and Goldstone with an accompanying statement saying he believed the meeting would be about "Political Opposition Research." "To put this in context," he stated, "this occurred before the current Russian fever was in vogue."
On July 12, Trump, returning from a G20 meeting in Germany aboard Air Force One, told reporters, "Don is -- as many of you know Don -- he's a good boy. He's a good kid. And he had a meeting, nothing happened at the meeting. . . . [which] I only heard about two or three days ago" but nothing came of it.
On July 31, The Washington Post reported Trump had overruled his aides to personally direct that misleading statements be issued regarding the meeting.
TRUMP NEVER GAVE HIS "MAJOR SPEECH" on Clinton, and it is easy to understand why. The "dirt" Veselnitskaya brought to the meeting was a convoluted tale in which Clinton played a peripheral role, at best.
Meanwhile, it turned out Veselnitskaya was not exactly a babe in the woods.
She had an intelligence background, was hard-wired to Putin and had discussed the "dirt" with one of Russia's most powerful officials, prosecutor general Yuri Y. Chaika. Veselnitskaya acknowledged as much last month in an NBC News interview, saying that "I am an informant" who since 2013 has been "actively communicating" with Chaika to try to thwart a U.S. money-laundering case.
A memo Veselnitskaya brought to the meeting was nearly identical to one Chaika's office had given a U.S. congressman in April 2016, The Times reported. It alleged that Ziff Brothers Investments, an American firm, had illegally purchased shares in a Russian company and evaded tens of millions of dollars of Russian taxes, two of the brothers were major donors to Democratic candidates, including Clinton, and by implication the donations were tainted by "stolen" money.
The Trump campaign officials at the meeting felt let down and even baffled by Veselnitskaya's presentation about the Democratic donors.
"Some DNC [Democratic National Committee] donors may have done something in Russia and they didn't pay taxes," Donald Jr. was to say later. "I was like, 'What does this have to do with anything?' "
That, of course, misses the point.
The Trumps, anxious if not desperate to climb into bed with the Russians, were duped. Donald Jr. took their bait and almost certainly shared it with his father, who with his trademark impetuosity and the knowledge that his attacks on Clinton were working at a time when little else in his campaign was, went public and promised major revelations.
Donald Jr., Kushner and Manafort have all testified behind closed doors to congressional investigators about the meeting. Manafort has been indicted by Mueller's grand jury for conspiring against the U.S. by money laundering and tax and foreign lobbying violations. Donald Jr. and Kushner also are in the special prosecutor's crosshairs.
Goldstone's testimony shows that relations between he and Emin Agalarov grew increasingly tense as publicity about the meeting grew. In a voicemail played aloud by the Senate committee to Goldstone, Agalarov urged the music promoter to decline comment about the meeting.
"Stay cool," Agalarov told him.
Goldstone testified that Agalarov also told him he should be pleased he had become so famous.
"You know, Jeffrey Dahmer was famous. I don’t think he got a lot of work out of it," Goldstone said he replied, referring to the serial killer, before hanging up.
and related developments.
Sunday, May 13, 2018
There has been one drearily reliable constant in U.S.-Russian relations over the past 25 years: The Clinton, Bush and Obama administrations have come into office committed to improving relations with Moscow and each has not merely failed, but failed spectacularly, while the Trump administration also is well on the way to going off the rails with America's former Cold War nemesis.
Many journalists and Russia hands -- the nickname for people who devote their public lives to trying to understand Russia -- find this to be an abiding mystery, most recently Keith Gessen in a New York Times Magazine story that covers a lot of real estate but also fails -- and fails at considerable length -- to shed new light on the conundrum, let alone solve it. This at a time the Russia scandal investigation is entering its second year, the tug of war between Special Counsel Robert Mueller and Trump and his Vichy Republican allies is dominating headlines, and the longterm failure of U.S. Russia policy has taken on a new importance.
The prevailing theory about why relations between Washington and Moscow have been so poor is not without merit and goes something like this:
The U.S. has never gotten past the idea that it "won" the Cold War and as a result needs to spread, even at considerable diplomatic and geopolitical cost, the American way of life.That is the big takeaway from the Gessen takeout and is echoed by the usual Russia hand suspects, all of whom are not exactly household names in the U.S. These suspects include Strobe Talbott (Bill Clinton administration), Thomas Graham (George W. Bush administration), Michael McFaul (Obama administration), and for our purposes most notably Victoria Nuland, who was assistant secretary of state for Europe and Eurasia during Barack Obama's second term and his administration's leading spokesperson on Russia.
As Gessen notes, these people are as well known in Russia as they are obscure in the U.S., and no one more so than Nuland.
So well known in Russia that when Nastya Rybka, a "professional sex coach" and former mistress of Oleg Deripaska, a Russian aluminum oligarch, Vladimir Putin pal and person of (considerable) interest to Mueller because of his ties to former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, was busted in Thailand earlier this year, she claimed to have the "missing link" in proving collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign to cyberscrew Hillary Clinton.
Rybka, in appealing to the U.S. to prevent her deportation to Russia, pointed to a video shot aboard Deripaska's yacht in 2016 in which Deripaska discusses the sorry state of Washington-Moscow relations with Sergei Prikhodko, Putin's deputy prime minister.
"Our relations with America are bad," Deripaska tells Prikhodko as Nastya and other for-hire babes look on. "Why? Because the person in charge of them is . . . Nuland is what she is called. When she was young — about your age — she spent a month living on a Soviet whaling vessel. Ever since then, she's hated our country."
A BIG REASON THAT NULAND IS, IN TURN, HATED in Russia is that in 2013, as a newly confirmed assistant secretary of state under Putin arch nemesis Hillary Clinton, she became the most visible U.S. government representative when large street protests erupted in Kiev against the pro-Moscow president of Ukraine following his decision to pull out of an economic agreement with the European Union, which eventually would lead to his ouster and flight to Moscow aboard a helicopter arranged by Putin.
Nuland was videotaped handing out sandwiches, pastries and cookies to the protesters in what the Kremlin and everyday Russians viewed as a provocative show of American anti-Russian solidarity with the protesters. (Never mind that Nuland had done the same for government riot police.) And later, to add insult to injury, she said in a call to Washington most likely intercepted by Russian intelligence and then leaked that the U.S. should not work with the E.U. to resolve the crisis.
"Fuck the E.U.,” Nuland memorably said.
Obama's efforts to "reset" relations with Russia by lowering tensions and focusing on an emergent China as a worrisome global player went pfft! Nuland's hospitality was recast by Putin's propaganda machine as yet another instance of an American president dictating policy to Moscow.
BUT THE PRIMARY FACTOR IN THE SORRY STATE of U.S.-Russian relations over the past 25 years is not Washington's belief that it "won" the Cold War and can dictate the terms of the relationship, let alone Nuland's cookie diplomacy. The U.S. indeed did "win" the Cold War, but it "won" by default. The Soviet Union was on the verge of a monumental collapse and nothing the hallowed Ronald Reagan did hastened that inevitability, the beliefs of conservative Republican myth makers aside. Nor were the actions of Bill Clinton and his successors particularly to blame.
The cause was, to a great extent, these presidents' reactions, specifically to:
Boris Yeltsin catastrophically botching the dramatic shift from the centralized Soviet economy of state ownership to a market economy, which enabled cash-rich mobsters and corrupt government officials like Prikhodko to privatize and loot state-held assets.
And after Putin succeeded Yeltsin, Russia's feared intelligence agencies joining forces with mobsters and oligarchs like Deripaska, whom Putin has given a free hand so long as they help enrich him and strengthen his grip on the country.I know this view seems Cold Warriorish. It is not. And this is not to overlook Clinton's Kosovo adventure, Bush's response to the Russian bombing of Georgia, let alone Obama's sanctions in response to the Russian annexation of Crimea, all of which mightily ticked off Putin and everyday Russians, who get their news through that well-oiled propaganda machine.
This is what is called realistic, and the self-flagellation of many Russia hands over Who Lost Russia? is downright silly because Russia already was lost when Putin strongarmed his way to power and then rigged subsequent elections. Nothing any America president could do was going to change that.
Meanwhile, what is Trump's Russia policy and who is his top Russia adviser?
Trump has no policy beyond making nice with Putin and issuing frequently nonsensical executive orders, while his top adviser is . . . Putin, whose views he has valued over his own national security and foreign policy hands, including former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, whose ouster by Tweet followed his break with Trump over the need to get tough with Russia after the poisoning in England of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal.
Trump has never criticized Putin and has long denied that Russia interfered in the election that plopped him in the Oval Office, while Putin is never going to acquiesce to accommodation with the U.S. no matter how benevolent Washington is. That collides with his goal of knocking the U.S. from its perch as the sole remaining global superpower and returning Russia . . . yes, to its former Cold War glory by any means necessary.
This includes undermining a bedrock of American democracy by helping elect Trump, whose Make America Great "vision" is as devoid of substance as Putin's own vision. And no less dangerous.
and related developments.
|THE PATRIOT POST|
The 2016 Russian plot to elect Donald Trump by sabotaging Hillary Clinton's campaign was an unprecedented assault from America's greatest foe on the bedrock of its democracy, the most explosive scandal since Soviet spies stole atomic bomb secrets over 70 years ago.
Although the scandal did not come into public view until the latter stages of the presidential campaign, its roots date back to 1980 when the first two members of Trump's inner circle who are linked to the scandal got together and then in the late 1990s into the 2000s when Trump began to rely extensively on Russian investors for his beleaguered business enterprises, many with organized crime backgrounds and some with ties to Russian leader Vladimir Putin.
Putin, who was to consolidate his power through the 2000s, saw the dark side of the Internet as a way to further his ambition to return Russia to the Cold War glory of the Soviet Union, and frequently lashed out against Clinton, whom he viewed as an arch enemy of Russia and his regime. That regime was build on corruption as much as as ideology, and when the trappings of office are stripped away, Putin has operated much like a mafia boss.
As early as 2007, Trump was making clear his affection for Putin. By 2015, U.S. intelligence agencies had become aware of some of the tentacles of Putin's plot to interfere in the election, as well as an increasing number of contacts by Trump's inner circle with Russians who had ties to Putin and the Kremlin's intelligence services. There also was the unholy alliance between Russian hackers and Julian Assange's WikiLeaks, which released tens of thousands of hacked Democratic National Committee emails in order to damage Clinton but not a single Republican National Committee email, although they had been hacked as well.
The response to Russia's cyberattacks by U.S. intelligence agencies and the Obama administration was by degrees inept, confused, sometimes nonexistent and failed to take into account Russia's major use of social media, while the news media was painfully slow to report on the scandal, let alone understand it vast ramifications.
It cannot be stated with certainty that Russia's meddling and the Trump campaign's collusion carried Trump to victory. However, the converse is also true. It is impossible to say with certainty that the meddling and collusion didn't help Trump win.
Use the search box in the upper left-hand corner as a shortcut to finding specific information within the timeline. Search terms can include names and dates such as Manafort or June 9, 2016.
This timeline, which includes events that have bearing on the scandal but are not directly a part of it, is a work in progress. I have drawn only on sources considered to be reputable. They are listed below.
1980: Roger Stone, future Trump confidante and dirty trickster, founds a lobbying practice with future Trump presidential campaign manager Paul Manafort and Charlie Black. Trump is one of their first clients. Rick Gates joins the firm as an intern later in the 1980s.
1982: Soviet KGB chairman Yuri Andropov instructs his intelligence officers to use so-called active measures to discredit adversaries and influence public opinion in a covert effort to prevent the reelection of Ronald Reagan.
1984: Reagan wins in a landslide.
1984: Russian émigré David Bogatin, a former Soviet Army pilot, pays $6 million for five luxury condos in Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue in New York City. One is purchased in his own name and the others by shell companies. Bogatin is a front for Russian mobsters investing in high-end U.S. real estate to launder money from their criminal enterprises, notably gasoline bootlegging and evading federal gasoline taxes. Trump personally attends Bogatin's closing.
1984: KGB spy chief General Vladimir Alexandrovich Kryuchov sends a series of classified memos to KGB station chiefs ordering them to try to recruit more Americans who show ideological sympathy toward the USSR.
May 14, 1984: Trump opens the first of three casino-hotels in Atlantic City.
March 10, 1985: Mikhail Gorbachev succeeds Konstantin Chernenko as general secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.
Fall 1986: Trump is seated next to Soviet ambassador Yuri Dubinin at a New York luncheon hosted by Leonard Lauder, businessman son of Estée Lauder. They discuss building a large luxury hotel across the street from the Kremlin in partnership with the Soviet government.
November 19, 1985: President Ronald Reagan and Gorbachev meet for the first time in Geneva. They discuss improving relations and working to abolish nuclear weapon stockpiles.
1987: Gorbachev begins pursuing far-reaching economic reforms known as perestroika.
1987: The Soviets begin work on Novichok No. 5, a powerful nerve agent that is later used in several political assassinations and attempts, including the March 2018 poisoning of Sergei Skripal.
January 1987: Dubinin invites Trump to the Soviet Union as an all-expense paid guest of Intourist, which in reality is a subsidiary of the KGB.
March 11, 1987: Bogatin pleads guilty in federal court to taking part in a massive gasoline bootlegging scheme with Russian mobsters. The government intends to seize his five Trump Tower condos, but they are so over-leveraged because financial manipulations as to be virtually worthless.
May 4, 1987: An Australian police board issues a confidential report stating that an application by Trump to build a casino in Sydney should be denied because of his American Mafia connections. A financial review also finds that Trump is undercapitalized and his proposal is not financially viable.
July 1987: Trump and wife Ivana visit Moscow and St. Petersburg. The Trumps sightsee and inspect potential sites for a Trump Tower in Moscow, but the deal apparently does not go forward because the Soviet government would retain 51 percent ownership in a joint deal.
September 2, 1987: Trump tells The New York Times that he is not interested in running for political office in New York, but indicates that "the Presidency is another matter."
1988: Stone urges Trump to run for president. He declines.
1988: Trump invites reputed Russian mobster Robert LiButti, an associate of Mafia kingpin John Gotti, to join him for a WrestleMania match in Atlantic City, New Jersey and later buys a racehorse for $500,000 from him. The horse turns up lame and Trump stiffs LiButti. Still later, Trump denies having ever met LiButti.
August 15~18, 1988: Manafort is George H.W. Bush's Republican National Convention manager.
December 8, 1988: Trump and his wife attend a state dinner at the Reagan White House where he meets Gorbachev. They discuss economics and hotels.
January 1989: Trump pays $200,000 to sponsor a Soviet cycling team for the Tour de Trump, an Albany-to-Atlantic City road race.
January 20, 1989: George H.W. Bush takes office. His presidency is marked by an arms-length relationship with Gorbachev and then Boris Yeltsin.
November 9, 1989: The Berlin Wall falls.
April 2, 1990: The Trump Taj Mahal, estimated to cost $1 billion, opens in Atlantic City and immediately becomes a haven for Russian money launderers.
August 28, 1990: The first Soviet connection to the global Internet is made.
1991: Putin concludes a 16-year career as a KGB officer.
1991: LiButti is banned from New Jersey casinos because of ties to Mafia boss John Gotti, then chief of the Gambino crime syndicate. Trump is fined $650,000 for his dealings with LiButti, who gambled huge sums at the Trump Plaza hotel casino.
June 12, 1991: Yeltsin becomes the first democratically elected president of Russia, which still is part of the Soviet Union.
July 1991: The Trump Taj Mahal. burdened with debt, files for bankruptcy.
August 1, 1991: President Bush gives his so-called "Chicken Kiev" speech in which he says the U.S. will not support advocates of Ukrainian independence in order to replace "a far-off tyranny with local despotism."
August 19~22, 1991: Hard-line members of the Soviet Communist Party try to fail to take control of the country in the so-called August Coup in what is viewed as a victory for Russian democrats and Yeltsin, who leads a campaign of civil resistance.
November 6, 1991: Yeltsin disbands the KGB, the main state security agency. He creates the FSK and several other agencies to replace it, ostensibly to diminish the powers of the security police and protect new democratic freedoms.
December 25, 1991: The Soviet Union collapses after months of economic chaos. Yeltsin orders a dramatic shift from a centralized state-owned economy to a market economy, which enables mobsters and corrupt government officials to privatize and loot state-held assets.
Early 1992: Russian mob boss and enforcer Vyachelsav Kirillovich Ivankov is sprung from a Siberian gulag after a judge is bribed. He travels to New York where he partners with Felix Komarov, an art dealer and resident of Trump Plaza on Third Avenue, to expand the New York branch of the Russian mafia from an extortion racket into a multibillion-dollar criminal enterprise.
February 1992: Spy magazine names the lobbying firm run by Manafort, Black and Stone as the "sleaziest of all in the Beltway."
January 20, 1993: Bill Clinton takes office for the first of two terms. The early years of his presidency is marked by support for Yeltsin and Russian economic reforms.
May 1994: The FBI organizes the first squad dedicated to fighting the spreading power of the Russian mob. Its first major target is Ivankov.
December 11, 1994: Yeltsin orders the invasion of the breakaway republic of Chechnya. President Clinton excuses the invasion as a necessary defense of Russian unity.
1995: Konstantine Kilimnik, a Ukrainian businessman who taught Putin judo and has ties to Russian intelligence and is an associate of billionaire aluminum magnate Oleg Deripaska, a friend of Putin's with deep organized crime ties, joins the International Republican Institute in Moscow, an organization that ostensibly promotes democracy worldwide.
1995: Kilimnik establishes a business relationship with Manafort and sometimes serves as his interpreter.
April 12, 1995: Yeltsin creates the FSB, which succeeds the FSK as the main Russian security agency relating to internal affairs.
June 12, 1995: A New Jersey Division of Gambling Enforcement analysis of casino owner Trump's financial stability concludes that all of his significant sources of cash flow "appear to be one-time occurrences" and that his financial problems are likely to grow because of his debts and his major potential income streams were heavily leveraged.
July 3, 1996: Yeltsin wins a second term in an election widely considered to be fraudulent and a victory for oligarchs and organized-crime figures.
July 5, 1995: Yeltsin signs an act into law giving the FSB substantially more surveillance and communications interception powers.
August 12~15, 1996: Manafort is Bob Dole's Republican National Convention manager.
November 1996: Trump unsuccessfully tries to partner with U.S. tobacco company Brooke Group to build an apartment and office complex in Moscow.
1997: In a little noticed academic paper, Louise Shelley, a professor who studies Russian organized crime, writes "The present passivity against the growing power and entrenchment of post-Soviet organized crime may usher in a new form of authoritarianism with very severe long-term consequences for . . . the former Soviet Union -- and indeed for the rest of the world."
January 23, 1997: Trump meets with retired Soviet general Alexander Lebed, who is running to be Russian president, at Trump Tower, where they discuss plans to build "something major" in Moscow.
January 29, 1997: Ivankov, who has been hiding out in Trump Tower, finally is apprehended. FBI agents find a phone book with numbers for the Trump Organization and Trump's Trump Tower residence. Ivankov later is sentenced to nine years in prison for extortion in federal court in Brooklyn.
March 26, 1997: Yeltsin names Putin as deputy chief of his presidential staff.
1998: Trump begins a longtime business relationship with Deutsche Bank, which gives him a $125 million loan for renovations to his 40 Wall Street property despite being blacklisted by the major Wall Street firms because of his financial liabilities.
1998: Russian émigré Felix H. Sater, a felon and future fixer for Trump with a criminal past, begins working as a sometime FBI and CIA informant.
June 11, 1998: Independent Russian journalists reveal that the FSB has been empowered to place so-called SORM "black boxes" in all Internet service providers servers, creating a back door for it to monitor Internet traffic.
July 25, 1998: Yeltsin appoints Putin to head the FSB. One of his first acts is to activate the SORM system.
August 19, 1998: Russia defaults on $40 billion in debt, which accelerates the exodus of money, including tens of millions of dollars that flow into Trump's luxury developments and Atlantic City casinos, which are used as pass-throughs for laundering illicit riches.
October 15, 1998: Ground is broken for 72-story Trump World Tower, then the tallest residential building in the city, on First Avenue in Manhattan. A third of the units on the tower's priciest floors are bought by either individual buyers from the former Soviet Union or limited liability companies connected to Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan. Kellyanne Conway, a future Trump campaign manager, also purchases a unit.
November 20, 1998: Galina Starovoitova, a parliament deputy and pro-democracy advocate, is shot to death in the hallway of her St. Petersburg apartment building in the first political assassination tied to Putin and his associates following his FSB appointment.
1999: Relations between Clinton and Yeltsin sour over the U.S.-led bombing campaign in Serbia and Russia's second invasion of Chechnya.
August 9, 1999: Yeltsin, his presidency under seige because of impending impeachment proceedings led by the Communists, appoints Putin prime minister.
Late summer~early fall of 1999: Nearly 300 people are killed when apartment blocks are destroyed by bombs in Moscow, Buynaksk and Volgodonsk. Putin blames Chechen terrorists, but the bombings were almost certainly carried out by the FSB as a pretext to launch a military attack on Chechnya and for Putin to position himself as a strong and aggressive leader. The bombings are considered a foundational act in Putin's rise to power comparable to Hitler's 1933 burning of the German Reichstag.
October 1999: Trump leaves the Republican Party and enters the 2000 presidential race as a Reform Party candidate, using Twitter as a way to try to build support. Stone is his political director.
October 1, 1999: The Clinton administration and Congress, believing that the U.S.'s propaganda war with the Soviet Union had ended with its collapse, shutters the U.S. Information Agency, its preeminent global propaganda tool.
December 31, 1999: Yeltsin resigns and Putin becomes acting president.
March 2000: Trump drops out of the Reform Party race after conceding to far-right candidate Pat Buchanan, who becomes the nominee.
March 26, 2000: Putin is elected president, receiving 53.4 percent of the vote in a three-way race. He immediately begins moving Russia away from democratic reforms and in a more autocratic direction.
July 16, 2000: Reporter Igor Dominkov, who had written of malfeasance and bribery in the Putin regime, dies of injuries suffered in a May 12, 2000 beating in the entryway of his Moscow apartment building.
2001: Lawyer and future Trump fixer Michael Cohen buys a $1 million Trump Tower condo. In the next five years, he, family members and business associates buy Trump properties worth a combined $17.3 million.
January 20, 2001: George W. Bush takes office for the first of two terms.
June 16, 2001: Bush and Putin meet in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Bush famously declares of Putin "I looked the man in the eye. I found him to be very straightforward and trustworthy."
September 4, 2001: Robert Mueller becomes FBI director.
September 11, 2001: Al Qaeda launches four coordinated terror attacks on the U.S. Putin is the first world leader to reach out to Bush and there is a further thaw in U.S.-Russia relations.
2002: Sater and his Bayrock Group begin working with Trump on a series of U.S. real estate development deals, one of which becomes the Trump SoHo luxury hotel-apartments, and on projects in Russia, Ukraine and Poland.
2002: Sotheby's International Realty teams with a Russia realty firm to pitch condos in several Trump buildings in New York to Russians at several presentations in Moscow.
2002: Trump's partner in a Toronto hotel deal is identified as Leib Waldman, who had fled to Canada from the U.S. after pleading guilty to bankruptcy fraud and embezzlement in 1995. Waldman is subsequently extradited to the U.S. and imprisoned.
January 2002: In the first known instance of Kremlin-instigated denial of service (DOS) attacks, the website of a Chechen separatist website is paralyzed.
May 24, 2002: President George W. Bush, heralding an historic thaw in U.S.-Russian relations in the wake of the 9/11 attacks and Russia's offensive against Chechen separatists, declares a partnership in the war on terror when he meets with Putin in Moscow.
August 1, 2002: Pro-democracy parliament deputy Vladimir Golovlev is shot dead on a street near his Moscow home while walking his dog.
March 19, 2003: The U.S. invades Iraq to topple Saddam Hussein, chilling U.S.-Russia relations. Putin states that the invasion confirms his view the U.S. is an imperial hegemon.
July 3, 2003: Russian investigative reporter Yuri Shchekochikhin, a critic of Putin's reprisals in Chechnya, dies from an apparent poisoning with radioactive material several days before he was to depart for the U.S. to meet with FBI agents.
October 23, 2003: Russian oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the CEO of oil giant Yukos, is arrested and charged with fraud and tax evasion. It is widely believed Putin ordered the arrest because he saw Khodorkovsky as a threat to his rule.
2004: Manafort consulting firm partner Rick Davis introduces Manafort to Deripaska. They discuss resurrecting the career of Igor Giorgadze, a former KGB officer and exiled former minister of state security in the former Soviet republic of Georgia who had plotted to assassinate the country's then president, Eduard Shevardnadze.
2004: Ivankov is extradited to Russia to face murder charges.
January 8, 2004: The first episode of The Apprentice airs. The television show stars and is co-produced by Trump.
May 20, 2004: Eduard Nektalov, a diamond dealer from Uzbekistan who owned a condo on a top floor of Trump World Tower and was being investigated for money laundering, is shot dead on Sixth Avenue after rumors circulate that he is cooperating with federal authorities.
July 9, 2004: American journalist Paul Klebnikov, who investigated official corruption for Forbes magazine, is shot on a Moscow street by assailants who fire from a slow-moving car. He dies a short time later when the hospital elevator taking him to an operating room breaks down.
Early September 2004: Anna Politkovskaya, a journalist and human rights activist, falls violently ill after drinking poison-laced tea given to her by an Aeroflot flight attendant. She survives.
September 24, 2004: Roman Tsepov, a former KGB officer turned businessman and ostensible Putin ally, falls violently ill and later dies after visiting a KGB office on September 11 and drinking tea laced with a radioactive substance.November 22,
November 22, 2004: Publicly traded Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts file for bankruptcy.
December 26, 2004: Opposition candidate Viktor Yushchenko defeats Putin-backed Viktor Yanukoyvich for president of the former Soviet republic of Ukraine in the so-called Orange Revolution. Putin blames Yushchenko's victory on a U.S.-backed coup.
2005: Deutsche Bank provides Trump with a $640 million construction loan to build the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago. The project nears completion right as the global financial crisis hits.
June 2005: Manafort proposes to Deripaska that he undertake a consulting assignment to influence politics, business deals and news coverage in the U.S. and Europe to benefit Putin's government. In a memo, he tells him "We are now confident that this model can greatly benefit the Putin government." Deripaska puts Davis Manafort Partners on a $10 million annual consulting retainer.
Summer of 2005: Yanukovych meets with Manafort at the Baltschug Hotel in Moscow to assist in upcoming Ukraine parliamentary elections. Manafort reportedly is paid $20 million. He opens an office in Kiev and names Kilimnik his office manager. Gates assists.
October 26, 2005: TrumpNation, by former New York Times business reporter Tim O'Brien, is published. It states that Trump is not a billionaire but worth only $150 to $250 million. Trump files a $5 billion defamation lawsuit claiming that the book had cost him several business deals, including a Trump Tower in Moscow. The lawsuit is ultimately dismissed.
2006: Oligarchs loyal to Putin begin buying up Internet platforms and subsidize the work of bloggers loyal to the Kremlin.
2006: U.S. diplomats in Kiev inform the State Department in a confidential cable that Davis Manafort Partners is consulting Yanukovych's Ukrainian Party of Regions in an effort to cleanse its gangster image and change it into "a legitimate political force."
2006: Manafort buys a condo on an upper floor of Trump Tower for $3.6 million. Over the next seven years, he also buys a brownstone in Brooklyn and a Trump SoHo condo, using shell companies and paying with cash for the three properties.
2006: Gates joins Davis Manafort Partners.
2006: Trump learns that Cohen and his extended family are buying up numerous units in his properties. He recruits Cohen for the Trump Organization because of his expertise as a conduit for money from countries of the former Soviet Union, and Cohen later becomes his personal lawyer and fixer.
2006: With Cohen's emergence as a conduit, Trump moves dramatically from accumulating enormous bank debt into paying cash. From 2006 on, according to a May 6, 2018 report in The Washington Post, Trump spent over $400 million in cash on various investments, often paying for new properties entirely on his own and 100 percent in cash. This gives context to a later remark by younger son Eric Trump that "[W]e don't rely on American banks. We have all the funding we need out of Russia." And another by Donald Jr. that "Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets. . . . We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia."
2006: Trump becomes executive producer for the Russian version of The Apprentice.
January 2006: Manafort and Davis arrange for Deripaska to meet with Senators John McCain, Saxby Chambliss and John Sununu during the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland in an unsuccessful effort to obtain for him a U.S. visa, which had been blocked because of his organized crime ties.
January 2006: A letter from Deripaska to Manafort appears unexpectedly on the fax machine of the Reform Institute, a nonprofit organization set up by McCain, thanking Manafort for representing him at the meeting with McCain. McCain staffers are alarmed because of reports of Deripaska's organized crime ties.
February 2006: Two of Trump's children, Donald Jr. and Ivanka, travel to Moscow where they are shown around by Sater.
July 2006: Putin signs a law expanding the FSB's mission to include killing suspected terrorists on foreign soil. The definition of terrorism is so vaguely worded that anyone who opposes the Putin regime can be considered a terrorist.
September 14, 2006: Andrei Kozlov, who as a leading executive of the Russian Central Bank had revoked the licenses of several banks complicitous in money laundering for oligarchs and mobsters, and his chauffeur die from gunshot wounds fired by gunmen on a Moscow street.
October 7, 2006: Politkovskaya is fatally shot in the head, chest and shoulder at point-blank range in an elevator in her central Moscow apartment block. The assassination occurs on Putin's birthday.
October 16, 2006: An attempt in London to poison Alexander Litvinenko on orders of a Putin lieutenant fails. The former FSB officer specialized in tracking Russian organized crime and had become a Putin foe.
November 11, 2006: Litvinenko becomes violently ill after being poisoned by a large dose of a radioactive substance that is slipped into his tea at an upscale London hotel.
November 23, 2006: Litvinenko dies. MI6, the British intelligence service, assigns Russia expert Christopher Steele to investigate. He quickly deduces that Putin probably ordered the assassination and that Litvinenko and Politkovskaya were friends and she had often visited him in London.
November 24, 2006: Egor Gaidar, a pro-democracy advocate and former associate of Starovoitova, becomes violently ill after being poisoned with an unknown substance while attending a conference in Ireland. He survives.
December 2006: Manafort escorts Yanukovych around Washington and arranges for him to meet Vice President Dick Cheyney. Manafort's efforts trigger complaints to the FBI that he was acting as an undeclared foreign lobbyist, but the bureau does not pursue the issue.
2007: Ground is broken for the $500 million Trump Tower Toronto, which is advertised as a joint venture with Alexander Shnaider, whose father-in-law "has links to powerful political figures in the former Soviet Union," according to The Toronto Star.
January 2007: Future Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner buys 666 Fifth Avenue in New York City at the height of a real estate boom for $1.8 billion, at the time the most expensive building ever sold in the U.S. It becomes the flagship property of his family's real estate business, but soon plummets in value.
February 12, 2007: Putin, speaking at the Munich Security Conference, attacks the U.S. for attempting to be the world's "one master, one soverign."
March 2, 2007: Ivan Safronov, a journalist who had written of critically of the Russian military, dies in a fall from the fifth floor of his Moscow apartment in what is suspected to be a murder made to look like a suicide.
April 27, 2007: Russia launches its first major external cyber attack on government websites in the former Soviet republic of Estonia.
October 15, 2007: Trump, speaking publicly of Putin for the first time, tells Larry King on CNN that Putin "is doing a great job . . . he's doing a great job in rebuilding the image of Russia and also rebuilding Russia period."
November 22, 2007: Trump Vodka debuts at the Moscow Millionaire's Fair. Trump meets Serge Millian, president of the Russian-American Chamber of Commerce in the USA and later possibly an unnamed source in the Steele dossier.
December 17, 2007: Sater's criminal past is detailed in a New York Times story.
December 19, 2007: Trump claims in a legal deposition that he interacted very little with Sater. He says he plans to build a hotel in Moscow, among other deals which are "very important to me."
2008: Trump defaults on repayment of the $640 million Deutsche Bank loan on Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago following the global financial crash. The bank files for a summary judgment, seeking an immediate $40 million. Trump countersues for $3 billion, stating that he has no intention of repaying because the global financial crisis is a "once-in-a-century credit tsunami" co-created by the bank. A judge throws out Trump's countersuit, but the bank does not sever ties and its personal wealth division gives Trump another $25 to $50 million in credit on his personal guarantee.
2008: One third of the six Trump-branded condo skyscrapers in Sunny Isles Beach, Florida, which is nicknamed "Little Moscow," are owned by Russian speakers.
2008: Manafort partners on a deal with Deripaska and Ukrainian billionaire mobster Dmitry Firtash, both Putin allies, to buy the Drake Hotel in Manhattan and convert it to the Bulgari Tower, a $1.5 billion luxury condo development, reportedly as a way to launder illegal funds. The deal later falls through.
April 2008: Deripaska pays nearly $18.9 million to fund the acquisition of Chorne More, a Ukrainian telecom, then pays Manafort an additional $7.35 million in fees. Years later, Deripaska learns that the purchase price was $1.1 million less than Manafort and Gates had led him to believe and the men had pocketed the difference after laundering it through accounts in Cyprus that the two men used for an elaborate tax dodge, the oligarch was to say in a January 2018 lawsuit.
May 7, 2008: Dmitry Medvedev, who is relatively liberal compared to Putin, becomes Russian president because Putin is constitutionally barred from serving more than two consecutive terms. Putin still plays a key policy-making role as prime minister.
Summer of 2008: McCain's presidential campaign staff scraps plans for Manafort to be their Republican National Convention manager because of his ties to Deripaska.
July 2008: Russian government hackers take down government websites in the former Soviet satellite of Lithuania.
July 2008: Trump sells a Florida residence to Russian potash magnate Dmitry Rybolov for $95 million, believed to be the biggest single-family home sale in U.S. history. The oligarch never lives in the house, which is later demolished.
August 7, 2008: Russia invades Georgia. The Bush administration responds meekly and neither the U.S. nor NATO respond to pleas for military assistance.
August 8, 2008: Russian government hackers take down Georgia government websites.
November 2008: The Pentagon becomes aware that Russia has broken into the computers of the U.S. Central Command by ingeniously seeding bazaars in Kabul, Afghanistan where U.S. soldiers shop, with thumb drives for sale embedded with malware that enable the Kremlin to secretly access U.S. battle plans, among other information.
November 8, 2008: Sergei Magnitsky, a Russian lawyer and auditor who uncovered a $230 million web of corruption and tax fraud involving law enforcement, tax officials and the Russian mafia is arrested by the same police whom he alleged were involved in the scheme.
2009: Rinat Akhmetshin, a Russian immigrant who is to attend the June 9, 2016 meeting with Donald Jr., becomes an American citizen. U.S. intelligence begins monitoring his activities because of his associations with Russian spies.
2009: Obscured by offshore shell companies, Putin's government begins investing hundreds of millions of dollars in Facebook and Twitter.
2009: Former Wall Street Journal investigative reporter Glenn Simpson founds Fusion GPS, a Washington-based strategic intelligence firm.
January 20, 2009: Barack Obama takes office for the first of two terms.
January 23, 2009: Human rights lawyer and Putin critic Stanislav Markelov is gunned down on a street near the Kremlin.
March 6, 2009: Clinton holds the first of several meetings with foreign minister Sergei Lavrov. In a request repeated in subsequent meetings, he asks her to intervene on behalf of Deripaska, who has been periodically blocked from entering the U.S. because of his suspected organized crime ties, so he can obtain a visa. Clinton, who is unaware of Deripaska's ties to Manafort, never acts on the requests.
May 2009: Alexandr Torshin, a Russian parliament member, begins a series of little-publicized visits to the U.S. in an apparent effort to advance Moscow's long-term objectives in the U.S. by establishing common political interests with American conservatives, primarily involving religious and gun issues. He visits St. Louis, Houston, Indianapolis, Nashville and Louisville, among other heartland cities, over a seven-year period.
July 7, 2009: President Obama visits Russia and promises a "reset" in relations in a meeting with Medvedev. A contemporaneous National Security Council memo written by Michael McFall and Celeste Wallander notes the deterioration of political and human rights, but states issues such as arms control and nuclear nonproliferation are too important "to be held hostage to an increasingly authoritarian internal situation." Obama meets with Putin for the first and last time until he becomes president again in 2009. They would never have a formal summit meeting.
July 15, 2009: Human rights activist and Putin critic Natalya Estemirova is abducted from her apartment in Grozny, capital of Chechnya. Shot in the head and chest, her body is discovered 50 miles away in neighboring Ingushetia.
July 28, 2009: Ivankov is shot by a sniper in Moscow. He dies of his wounds 73 days later. Hundreds of gangsters representing criminal syndicates attend his funeral.
November 16, 2009: Magnitsky dies in a Moscow prison, where he had been held without trial for 11 months, after allegedly being beaten and tortured by Ministry of the Interior officers.
2010: A Putin-controlled bank finances the financially troubled Trump International Hotel and Tower in Toronto.
January 2010: Sater becomes Trump's "senior adviser."
2010: Lenders foreclose on Trump Hollywood. Thirteen units had been purchased by individuals with Russian passports or Russian addresses.
February 7, 2010: Yanukovych is elected Ukraine president.
April 9, 2010: Trump SoHo opens.
May 10, 2010: Former Bayrock finance director Jody Kriss files a lawsuit against the company alleging that it financed Trump SoHo with dirty money from Kazhakstan and Russia and calls the building "a Russian mob project."
June 2010: Ten Russian sleeper agents, including media personality and model Anna Vasilyevna Chapman, are arrested in the U.S. and deported to Russia as part of a prisoner swap that involves Britain. It includes the release of double agent Skripal, jailed by Russia in 2006 for passing the names of Russian agents on to MI6. Skripal is given asylum in the U.K. and becomes the victim of an apparent poisoning in March 2018. Some members of the Obama administration initially opposed the arrests, fearing it would damage the "reset," but relent when CIA Director Leon Panetta warns of adverse media publicity if the spies are allowed to remain.
Summer of 2010: Obama directs the National Security Agency (NSA) to launch a cyberattack on Iran's nuclear program. About one thousand centrifuges used for uranium enrichment are destroyed.
June 25, 2010: Secretary of State Clinton urges Russia to bring to justice the officials responsible for Magnitsky's death.
August 3, 2010: Trump and the promoters of Trump SoHo are sued by buyers who accuse them of fraudulently touting outsized sales figures to encourage them to buy units.
December 6, 2010: Attorney General Eric Holder says he has authorized "significant" actions in a criminal investigation of WikiLeaks and founder Julian Assange following its publication of hacked State Department documents that revealed a hidden world of backstage international diplomacy and impacted negatively on Clinton.
December 7, 2010: WikiLeaks supporters strike back at perceived enemies of Assange, attacking the websites of Swedish prosecutors, the Swedish lawyer whose clients have accused Assange of sex crimes, the Swiss authority that froze Assange's bank account, and MasterCard, which had attempted to block payments to WikiLeaks.
December 30, 2010: Khodorkovsky is sentenced to 14 years in prison.
2011: As Arab Spring uprisings spread across the Middle East, Putin and his aides come to understand the role Facebook and Twitter are playing and worry that the U.S. has found a tool that can bring people into the streets without any organizing structure. Social network technology is made a priority for the FSB.
2011: Millian's Russian-American Chamber of Commerce partners with Rossotrudnichestvo, a Russian government organization that promoted Russian culture abroad, to mount a 10-day exchange that brought 50U.S. entrepreneurs to Moscow. The FBI later concludes the junket to recruit Americans for Russian intelligence.
2011: G. Kline Preston, a Nashville lawyer who specializes in Russian affairs, introduces Torshin to David Keene, then-president of the National Rifle Association (NRA) and former president of the American Conservative Union. Torshin is a friend of Mikhail Kalashnikov, revered inventor of the AK-47 assault rifle, which through the NRA's efforts can be purchased in semi-automatic form by Americans.
2011: Trump reportedly begins gathering and reporting information on Russian businessmen living in Trump properties on behalf of the Russian government.
March 10, 2011: In a ceremony with caviar and wine at Trump Tower, Trump signs a deal to develop two towers costing $300 million in the Republic of Georgia -- one, the Trump Tower Riviera in Batumi on the Black Sea, and the other, the Trump Tower Tblisi on Rose Revolution Square in Georgia's capital -- under which he will pay $1 million for naming rights. The Batumi deal involves unorthodox financing through the Silk Road Group, a trading and transport company that has deals with companies in Russia and Iran and involves Kazakh oligarch Timur Kulibayev and his family, who are linked to Putin and accused of stealing billions of dollars of Kazakh money and laundering it through Trump SoHo and other Trump-branded condos. The towers are never built.
September 2011: Putin is alarmed by a new interactive digital map showing election polling places where fraud is suspected that is put online by an independent election group in advance of December 4 elections. Pro-Kremlin hackers try to compromise the map by feeding it false information.
October 11, 2o11: Yanukovych rival and former Ukraine Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko is sentenced to prison on politically motivated charges that she abused her office while brokering a 2009 gas deal with Russia. Manafort's Washington lobbyists mount a campaign on Yanukovych's behalf to convince U.S. lawmakers that the trial was legitimate. He secretly pays $4 million to the New York law firm of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom for a supposedly independent report on Tymoshenko that finds there was no political motivation for her trial. Skadden Arps attorney Alex Vander Zwaan would plead guilty in February 2018 to lying about a conversation he had with Gates regarding the Tymoshenko report.
November 2011: Tymoshenko sues Manafort in New York federal court. She asserts he played a key role in skimming money from Ukrainian natural gas transactions and laundering it through New York-based shell companies before being funneled back to Europe to bribe corrupt Ukrainian officials. The suit is thrown out on the grounds that the allegations are outside U.S. jurisdiction.
December 4, 2011: Putin's United Russia party wins a majority in parliamentary elections amidst nationwide protests that he blames on Clinton. Anti-Putin activists mark the day as the end of democratic reforms in post-Soviet Russia.
December 4, 2011: Preston serves as an international observer for the Russian elections. He reports that they were fair, a conclusion at odds with that of many international observers and the interactive digital polling place map, which despite hacking attempts shows massive fraud.
December 5, 2011: Massive DOS attacks commence that target the websites of independent Russian media outlets following a Kremlin warning not to report election fraud.
December 5, 2011: A surge of emails ostensibly promoting an anti-Putin rally have attachments containing malware, which when opened by unsuspecting users overwrite and destroy computer files.
December 5, 2011: Eugene Kaspersky, who has a KGB background, is the most prominent Russian expert on cybersecurity and later heads Kaspersky Lab, denies that the DOS attacks occurred.
December 6, 2011: Clinton, attending an international conference on Afghanistan in Bonn, Germany, questions the legitimacy of the election, further infuriating Putin.
2012: Trump again considers running for president with Stone as an advisor. The short-lived effort largely consists of a website called ShouldTrumpRun.com created by Cohen.
2012: Aras Agalarov, an Azerbaijani-Russian billionaire known as "Putin's Builder" and close ally of Putin, builds the massive infrastructure for the Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Vladivostok.
2012: Manafort and Gates start a two-year, undercover lobbying operation for Yanukovyich.
March 4, 2012: Putin is reelected president, winning 63 percent of the vote over three other candidates amidst further protests. In a closed meeting with political allies, he blames Clinton for the protests.
April 17, 2012: "The Julian Assange Sow" debuts on RT, a Russian government-backed television news network.
May 7, 2012: Putin is sworn in as president.
May 16, 2012: Donald Jr. and Ivanka Trump are on the verge of being indicted by the Manhattan DA's Office for misleading prospective Trump SoHo condo buyers when longtime Trump lawyer Marc Kasowitz, an attorney hired by Trump and major contributor to DA Cyrus Vance Jr.'s reelection campaign, visits Vance. Vance later overrules his prosecutors and the case is dropped.
June 19, 2012: Obama meets Putin for the first time at a gathering of Group of 20 leaders in Mexico. Trump tweets, "Putin has no respect for our president -- really bad body language."
July 24, 2012: Obama names Lieutenant General Michael Flynn to head the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA).
September 11~12, 2012: Terrorists attack two U.S. facilities in Benghazi, Libya, killing Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other people.
November 2012: Torshin observes the U.S. presidential election at a county election office and polling station in Tennessee at the invitation of Preston.
November 10, 2012: Alexander Perepilichnyy, a businessman and whistleblower who had left Russia in 2009, collapses and dies while jogging near his Surrey home outside of London. The death originally is attributed to natural causes, but traces of a chemical from a poisonous plant are later found in his stomach. He is alleged to have been killed as part of a conspiracy to cover up the theft of $230 million from the Russian Treasury in a corruption and tax fraud scheme by senior Putin officials uncovered by Magnitsky. He had alerted Magnitsky that much of the stolen money had found its way into Switzerland.
December 2012: A Russian-led coalition of nations that want to bring the global Internet under nation-by-nation control, and with it the ability to censor content, is beaten back by a U.S.-led coalition that advocates a free Internet at a conference of the International Telecommunication Union in Dubai.
December 14, 2012: Obama signs the Magnitsky Act, a law punishing Russian officials believed to be responsible for the death of Sergei Magnitsky by prohibiting them from entering the U.S. or using its banking system. The administration had quietly opposed the act, viewing it as congressional meddling in executive branch prerogatives and a further complication in already strained U.S.-Russian relations.
December 19, 2012: In retaliation for the Magnitsky Act, Russia bans the adoption of Russian children by Americans.
2013: The St. Petersburg-based Internet Research Agency (IRA), a Russian troll farm, is formed. Its task is to flood social media with articles and comments that portray Russia under Putin as stable and comfortable compared to a chaotic and morally corrupt West.
2013: The FBI asks Steele to help it crack down on an international gambling and money laundering ring run by Russian organized crime boss Alimzhan Tokhathounov from Trump Tower. Tokhathounov had been indicted for conspiring to fix the ice-skating competition at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.
Early 2013: Fusion GPS is hired by the American law firm BakerHostetler to conduct a negative publicity campaign against William Browder, a civil rights activist and Putin foe who launched a global human-rights campaign after Magnitsky’s death. BakerHostetler represents Prevezon Holdings, a Russian company the Justice Department has accused of laundering dirty money through New York City real estate. Among Prevezon’s lawyers is Natalia Veselnitskaya, who is to meet with Donald Jr. and the Trump campaign brain trust in Trump Tower on June 9, 2016.
January~June 2013: Carter Page, a businessman and future Trump campaign aide, meets and gives documents relating to U.S. sanctions against Russia to Victor Podobnyy, who ostensibly is a diplomat working at Russia's U.N. mission in New York but actually an operative for the SVR, Russia's foreign intelligence service. In a U.S. intelligence intercept, Podobnyy calls Page an "idiot" who "wants to earn a lot of money."
February 2013: General Valery Gerasimov, chief of staff of Russian armed forces, publishes an article in an obscure Russian military journal stating that Russia must adopt a doctrine of "hybrid warfare" in an Internet world in which propagandists and hackers replace army battalions and fighter aircraft.
February 1, 2013: Clinton steps down as secretary of state. In a confidential exit memo to Obama, she essentially declares the "reset" dead and portrays Putin as a threat to the world order. McFall, now U.S. ambassador to Russia follows up with a confidential cable to Clinton's successor, John Kerry, endorsing her stark assessment.
March 2013: The Bank of Cyprus, a haven for millions of dollars in Russian money, much of it laundered, teeters on the brink of insolvency. Following an international bailout, the bank appoints new officers, including vice chair Vladimir Strzhalkovsky, a former KGB agent and longtime Putin associate. Future Trump commerce secretary Wilbur Ross becomes the bank's major shareholder.
March 19, 2013: Manafort and Gates meet with a congressman believed to be Dana Rohrabacher, a rabidly pro-Russian Republican, and a lobbyist believed to be Vin Weber regarding accepting the pro-Putin Ukraine leadership.
March 23, 2013: Boris Berezovsky, a Russian oligarch and Putin critic who was given political asylum in Britain in 2003, is found dead by a bodyguard, a ligature around his neck, in a bathroom in his Berkshire home. The death is made to look like a suicide but is suspected to be murder.
April 2013: Viktor Krapunov, a former Kazakh energy minister and mayor of Almaty who has had business dealings with Bayrock, creates three limited liability companies which buy three condos in Trump SoHo. Prosecutors allege the companies are used by Krapunov for his money-laundering network.
April 15, 2013: Two homemade bombs explode near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing three people and injuring several hundred. Kyrgyz-American brothers Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev are identified as the perpetrators. The FBI asserts that the brothers were motivated by radical Islamic beliefs, but there is evidence that they may have been carrying out instructions from the FSB in an effort to take the heat off of Putin, who was being criticized about terror attacks in the Northern Caucasus.
April 16, 2013: Federal agents raid several Trump Tower condos as part of a dragnet of 29 members of a global sports betting ring overseen by Tokhathounov. The entire 51st floor of Trump Tower was being used by the ring.
May 2013: Torshin attends the NRA national convention in Houston.
June 2013: Flynn visits Moscow at the invitation of Igor Sergun, the chief of GRU, Russia's military intelligence agency, reportedly becoming the first U.S. intelligence officer allowed inside the headquarters. Flynn meets with future Russian U.S. ambassador Sergey Kislyak for the first time. As DIA director, Flynn reportedly had become disillusioned because of what he believed was the Obama administration's focus on Russia and not ISIS as America's principal enemy.
June 15, 2013: Agalarov and pop star son Emin meet Trump in Las Vegas where the Trump-owned Miss USA Pageant is being held. A private dinner following the pageant is attended by Trump, Cohen, the Agalarovs and Ike Kaveladze, the U.S.-based vice president of Agalarov's Crocus International company and a known money launderer the U.S. government says moved more than $1.4 billion through more than 2,000 U.S. bank accounts who later meets with Donald Jr. and the Trump campaign brain trust in Trump Tower on June 9, 2016.
June 18, 2013: In separate tweets, Trump announces that the pageant will be broadcast live from Moscow in November and asks "Do you think Putin will be going . . . if so, will he become my new best friend?" He writes a follow-up letter to Putin inviting him to attend, scrawling a postscript that he looked forward to seeing "beautiful" women during his trip.
July 2013: The FBI and Spanish authorities exchange information about Torshin's mob activities.
July 11, 2018: Magnitsky is found guilty of tax evasion in a posthumous trial.
Summer 2013: Torshin is set to attend a birthday party on the Spanish island of Mallorca for Alexander Romanov, a Russian gangster in the Taganskaya mob that Spanish police say works for Torshin. Spanish police officers wait for Torshin at the airport and hotel where he would have stayed, ready to arrest him for money laundering, but a Russian prosecutor tips him off at the last minute and he does not show up.
July 8, 2013: Trump terminates a BBC interview when asked about Sater's mob ties.
August 25, 2013: Page brags in a letter sent to an academic press that was considering publishing a manuscript of his that he is an adviser to the Kremlin.
September 2013: Keene visits Moscow to speak on behalf of the NRA at a conference of The Right to Bear Arms group run by Maria Butina, a Torshin
September 4, 2013: James Comey succeeds Mueller as FBI director.
September 6, 2013: Trump tweets that "I am not angry at Russia (or China) because their leaders are far smarter than ours. We need real leadership, and fast, before it is too late."
September 10, 2013: New York U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara files a civil forfeiture action against Prevzon Holdings and other Russian companies with government ties allegedly involved in the corruption-tax fraud scheme uncovered by Magnitsky.
September 10, 2013: K.T. McFarland, a Fox News national security analyst who would become Trump's deputy national security adviser, publishes a commentary stating "Vladimir Putin is the one who really deserves that Nobel Peace Prize," referring to Russia's role in Syria at the time.
Fall of 2013: Cambridge Analytica is formed at a meeting at the Manhattan apartment of right-wing philanthropist Rebekah Mercer in which her father Robert Mercer, a hedge-fund billionaire and with Steve Bannon co-founder of Breitbart News, funds its creation with $10 million. Also present are Bannon and political data expert Robert Wylie.
October 13, 2013: David Letterman asks Trump on The Late Show if he has had any dealings with Russians. Trump answers, "Well, I've done a lot of business with Russians" and says he met Putin "once" although there is no record he ever had.
November 5, 2013: Trump denies knowing Sater in a deposition.
November 8~9, 2013: Trump hosts the Miss Universe Pageant in Moscow in return for a $20 million licensing fee from the Crocus Group, whose president is Agalarov and vice president is his son, Emin. Among the celebrity guests is Tokhtakhounov, who is a U.S. fugitive because of gambling ring charges. It is an open secret that Trump's true agenda is his desire to do business in Moscow and meet Putin.
November 8, 2013: Following a morning meeting about the pageant in the Presidential Suite, Trump's hotel room at the Ritz-Carlton, someone offers to send five women to the hotel room, according to later testimony by Keith Schiller, Trump's longtime bodyguard. Steele states in his dossier that Trump consorted with prostitutes, while Schiller says the offer was turned down.
November 11, 2013: Trump tweets Aras Agalarov that "I had a great weekend with you and your family. You have done a FANTASTIC job. TRUMP TOWER-MOSCOW is next. EMIN was WOW!" Donald Jr. is put in charge as plans move forward for the project, and Ivanka Trump later scouts sites with Emin.
November 20, 2013: Emin Agaralov releases a music video starring Trump reprising his Apprentice television role.
Late November 2013: Trump, in an interview with a real estate trade paper about his trip to Russia, brags that "Almost all of the oligarchs were in the room" at a pageant after-party in a Moscow nightclub.
December 2013: Putin sends Agaralov's daughter, Sheyla, to deliver a personal note and gift -- a traditional Russian decorative lacquered box -- that Trump later describes as "a present, a beautiful present" to him at Trump Tower as a token of apology for their having been unable to meet when Trump was in Moscow for the pageant. The contents of the note have not been revealed.
December 2013: Torshin mob associate Romanov is arrested on and later convicted of money laundering on Mallorca. In telephone conversations monitored by Spanish authorities, he repeatedly refers to Torshin as "El Padrino," or godfather.
January 27, 2014: A telephone call between Victoria Nuland, assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs, and Geoffrey Pyatt, U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, in which Nuland condemns the European Union (EU) for not doing more to end the mounting Ukraine crisis is intercepted by Russia and posted on YouTube and Twitter in an effort to show that the U.S. was meddling in Ukraine.
February 2014: An intelligence report drafted by the GRU documents how Russia can create fake personas through Facebook accounts to spread disinformation.
February 2014: Flynn speaks at a Cambridge University intelligence seminar attended by several Russians. He meets Svetlana Lokhova, a Russian-British postgraduate whom he invites to accompany him on a forthcoming trip to Moscow. He signs an email to her "General Misha," the Russian equivalent of Michael.
February 2014: Trump severs ties with political operative Sam Nunberg after he convinces him to participate in a BuzzFeed News article that is highly critical of a potential Trump presidential campaign.
Early February 2014: Kushner and wife Ivanka visit Russia where they attend a party with the wife of Roman Abramovich, a Russian oligarch and steel company owner with close ties to Putin.
February 22, 2014: Yanukovych flees Ukraine by helicopter with Putin's help amidst the Orange Revolution popular uprising. Russia responds with a tidal wave of propaganda spread on social media.
Late February 2014: A handwritten ledger left behind by Yanukovych shows $12.7 million in undisclosed cash payments to Davis Manafort Partners from the deposed president's political party.
March 2014: Firtash is arrested in Vienna by Austrian authorities for an alleged foreign bribery scheme involving the purchase of titanium in India.
March 17, 2014: The U.S., EU and Canada impose the first round of sanctions on Russia a few hours before Putin sends in troops and signs a decree recognizing Crimea as an independent state, laying the groundwork for its annexation to Russia in the first seizure of land from another nation in Europe since the end of World War II. The sanctions contribute to the collapse of the Russian ruble.
Spring of 2014: Plans by Trump and the Agalarovs to build a Trump Tower in Moscow collapse because of U.S. Magnitsky Act sanctions on Russia and EU sanctions on Sberbank, which was to finance the project.
April 2014: Putin declares at a media forum that the CIA created the Internet to undermine the Russian government.
April 2014: A propaganda effort run by the Internet Research Agency to use social media to sow political discord in the 2016 election gets underway.
April 16, 2014: All Internet operators in Russia are required to install SORM black boxes so that the Kremlin can more extensively monitor Internet traffic, including intercepting messages and information from foreign providers.
April 28, 2014: The U.S. imposes a second round of sanctions. They include a ban on business transactions by seven Russian officials close to Putin and 17 Russian companies.
April 30, 2014: Flynn is forced out as head of the DIA after clashes over his leadership style and apparent Islamophobia.
May 2014: Steele sends Nuland the first of 120 reports on about political and diplomatic developments in Russia and Ukraine compiled by Orbis Business Intelligence, a British intelligence firm co-founded by the now former MI6 spy.
June 2014: Field work in the U.S. begins on the Internet Research Agency project.
June 2014: The GRU penetrates the Ukrainian Central Election Commission network, destroying data and posting fake election results.
Summer of 2014: Cambridge Analytica assigns dozens of non-U.S. citizens to provide campaign strategy and messaging advice to Republican candidates in the 2014 midterm elections even as an attorney for the firm warns warns that it is breaking U.S. laws limiting foreign involvement in elections.
July 17, 2014: The U.S. imposes a third round of sanctions as a result of mounting pro-Russian unrest in Ukraine. The business ban is extended to include two major Russian energy firms and two banks.
March 21, 2014: Trump tweets that "Putin has become a big hero in Russia with an all time high popularity. Obama, on the other hand, has fallen to his lowest ever numbers. Sad."
April 17, 2014: Trump tweets that Obama is a weakling compared to Putin. "America is at a great disadvantage. Putin is ex-KGB. Obama is a community organizer. Unfair."
September 3, 2014: At the invitation of Butina, Paul Erickson, a former American Conservative Union board member and Keene associate, speaks at a Right to Bear Arms meeting in Moscow.
September 11, 2014: Twitter accounts tweet out fake news news of a massive chemical plant explosion in St. Mary's Parish, Louisiana showing images of explosions, flames and smoke spewing from a chemical plant and screen shots of fake CNN and Wikipedia pages. The operation originates at the IRA and is designed to convince Americans that another 9/11 attack is at hand.
Fall of 2014: Russian government hackers gain access to and compromise the White House computer network, which has to be scrapped and replaced. Obama administration officials seek to downplay the intrusion. After an internal debate, the White House decides not to strike back in order to not to disturb the foundering "reset" initiative.
October 8, 2014: The DIA counsel's office tells Flynn he cannot receive foreign government payments without prior approval. He later receives at least one such payment from a Russian entity without DIA approval.
Early November 2014: Dutch intelligence provides U.S. authorities with evidence that Russians hacked into the Democratic National Committee's (DNC) computer system and that FSB hackers using the name Cozy Bear were preparing for an all-out attack on State Department computers. U.S. official take little action.
November 23, 2014~March 3, 2015: Trump sends nine tweets to two now deleted Russian Twitter accounts about planning to run for president.
December 8, 2014: Scot Young falls from the fourth floor of a London apartment and impales himself on a railing. Police rule the death a suicide after a cursory investigation, but others believe Russia was involved because of Young's business contacts with enemies of Putin.
2015: The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Court approves a warrant for the FBI to wiretap Manafort.
2015: Israeli government hackers see hacking tools in the computers of Kaspersky Lab, a global anti-virus firm, that could only have come from the NSA. A subsequent NSA investigation finds the tools were in the possession of the Russian government.
2015: A pattern emerges beginning with the 2015-16 election cycle of emigrees from the Soviet Union and Russia making millions of dollars in contributions to the Trump campaign and Republican politicians after becoming American citizens, thereby circumventing a ban on foreigners contributing directly to U.S. political campaigns. Several such U.S. citizens have associations with Deripaska and Viktor Vekselberg, a billionaire who is one of the 10 richest Russians.
January 2015: Putin names Torshin deputy governor of the powerful Central Bank of Russia. Torshin names Butina as his "personal executive assistant."
January 15, 2015: The U.S. charges Podobnyy and two other Russian operatives for acting as unregistered agents as part of a spy ring aimed at seeking information on U.S. sanctions. Evgeny Buryakov, who had been posing as a Russian banker, is charged and eventually sentenced to 30 months in prison. Prosecutors include the Russian intelligence effort to recruit Page as part of the government's evidence.
February 2015: Trump rehires Nunberg as a communications adviser.
February 16, 2015: The last episode of The Apprentice starring Trump airs.
February 27, 2015: Boris Nemtsov, the leading anti-Putin democracy advocate, is fatally shot four times in the back as he walks on a bridge near the Kremlin. Putin blames pro-Western Ukrainian oligarchs.
March 2015: Clinton's use of a private email server while secretary of state is made public. She states she has turned over work-related emails to the government but that 30,000 or so personal emails on the server were deleted. The FBI begins an investigation.
March 6, 2015: The Trump Taj Mahal is fined $10 million -- the highest fine ever levied by the federal government against a casino -- after admitting to having willfully violated anti-money laundering regulations for years. Ivankov is identified as one of the Russian mobsters who routinely laundered large sums of money there.
March 18, 2015: Trump launches an exploratory committee for a presidential run.
April 2015: Flynn begins advising two Washington-based companies pursuing efforts to build nuclear power plants in the Middle East in conjunction with a joint U.S.-Russia-Saudi Arabian business venture.
April 8, 2015: Russian government hacker Fancy Bear, later identified as one of the DNC computer server hackers, overrides the programming of the French television network TV5Monde's 11 channels.
April 12, 2015: Clinton announces her candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination.
May 2015: Emin Agalarov and Rob Goldstone, Emin's publicist, are guests of Trump at Trump Tower. Goldstone suggests that Trump meet with Putin.
May 2015: Ukrainians complain to Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg that Russian trolls are blocking anti-Russian Ukrainian accounts. Facebook takes no action.
May 26, 2015: Russian opposition politician and outspoken Putin foe Vladimir Kara-Murza suddenly takes ill during a meeting in Moscow. He suffers multiple organ failure and is diagnosed as having been poisoned. He eventually recovers.
Summer of 2015: Flynn makes several trips to the Middle East as an adviser on the Middle East nuclear power plant project.
Summer of 2015: Facebook begins inadvertently selling about $100,000 in election-related ads to a shadowy Russian "troll farm" with a history of pushing pro-Kremlin propaganda, while hackers create false Facebook and Twitter accounts in their effort to discredit Clinton.
June 16, 2015: Trump announces his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination.
June 18, 2015: Trump boasts in an interview with Sean Hannity on Fox News of his many Russian relationships, including Putin.
June 29, 2015: Trump boasts of his closeness with Russians in a speech to the Club of Chicago.
July 2015: The GRU gains access to DNC computer servers. Some 130 party workers, Clinton campaign staffers and party supporters eventually are targeted.
July 2015: The State Department inspector general alerts the FBI's counterintelligence office that classified information was being stored on Clinton's private server. Among those involved in the FBI investigation is a senior agent named Peter Strzok.
August 2015: Trump and Flynn meet for the first time in New York. He begins to work as an informal foreign policy adviser, an arrangement that is later formalized.
August 2015: Nunberg is fired from the campaign over racially charged Facebook posts.
August 21, 2015: Senator Jeff Sessions, who will become a major player in the campaign, appears with Trump at a rally in Alabama.
September 2015: FBI Special Agent Adrian Hawkins calls the DNC to warn that its computer network had been hacked by "the Dukes," a cyber espionage team linked to the GRU. Yared Tamene, a mid-level computer network administrator, does not take the call seriously, and there follows a series of botched communications and misunderstandings between the bureau and DNC over the next five months.
September 2015: Attorney General Loretta Lynch reportedly tells Comey as he prepares to testify to Congress to refer to the Clinton email investigation as a "matter," not an investigation.
September 2015: The Washington Free Beacon, a conservative website funded by anti-Trump donor Paul Singer, hires Fusion GPS to compile an opposition research dossier on Trump as the Republican presidential primary campaign heats up. Simpson codenames the commission "Bangor."
September 21, 2015: Trump boasts on the Hugh Hewitt radio show that he was "with [Russian] oligarchs and generals."
October 11, 2015: Speaking on Face the Nation, Trump brags about sharing air time with Putin on 60 Minutes although they were on separate continents. Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, Trump says there isn't enough proof to blame Russian separatists for shooting down a Malaysian Airlines flight over Ukraine the previous year.
October 28, 2015: Trump and Sater pursue a new plan to build a massive Trump Tower hotel-spa in Moscow. Trump is to be paid a $4 million fee and no upfront costs, a percentage of sales and an opportunity to name the project for daughter Ivanka. Sater boasts in an email to Cohen that as part of the deal, he can get Trump elected with Russian help. "I will get Putin on this program and we will get Donald elected," Sater writes. "Buddy our boy can become President of the USA and we can engineer this . . . I will get all of Putins team to buy in on this." Cohen negotiates the deal at the same time he is a campaign spokesman and Trump is repeatedly stating he has nothing to do with Russia.
Late 2015: Cohen receives a second proposal for a Trump-branded Moscow project, this one from Sergei Gordeev, a billionaire real estate mogul and former Russian legislator. Cohen declines the proposal because of the Sater hotel-spa project.
November 5, 2015: Mikhail Lesin, a former top Putin media adviser, is found dead in his Washington hotel room with blunt-force injuries to the head, neck and torso. He was scheduled to meet with Justice Department officials the next day.
November 10, 2015: Trump states during a Republican presidential debate that "I got to know [Putin] very well."
December 2, 2015: Flynn and his son, Michael Flynn, Jr., meet with Kislyak at his Washington, D.C. residence. Flynn's son describes the meeting as "very productive" in an email to the Russian embassy.
Late 2015: Britain's GCHQ, equivalent to the U.S.'s NSA, first becomes aware through electronic intelligence of suspicious interactions between individuals connected to Trump and Russian agents. This intelligence is passed on to the U.S. as part of a routine exchange of information. Subsequently, Germany, Estonia, Poland, the Netherlands and France pass on corroborating intelligence.
December 8~13, 2015: A delegation of NRA executives meets in Moscow with Dmitry Rogozin, a hardline Putin deputy, head of Russia's defense industry, longtime opponent of American power and subject of U.S. sanctions. Torshin hosts a dinner for the delegation at a restaurant in Bunker 42, a bunker complex that Joseph Stalin ordered built after he learned that the U.S. had developed a nuclear bomb.
December 10-12, 2015: Flynn is paid $45,000 by RT for a three-day Moscow trip in which he gives a speech criticizing Obama's Russia policy and sits at Putin's table at a banquet. Jill Stein, the 2016 Green Party presidential candidate, also is seated at the table, while Assange speaks by satellite hookup.
December 16, 2015: CIA Director John Brennan writes an internal memo stating that some members of Congress don't "understand the importance and gravity" of Russian election interference.
December 17, 2015: Putin praises Trump and Trump quickly returns the favor, saying "It's always a great honor to be so nicely complimented by a man so highly respected in his own country and beyond."
December 18, 2015: Trump tells MSNBC News that he has never seen proof of Putin killing journalists. "He's running a country, and at least he's a leader, unlike what we have in this country. I think our country does plenty of killing also."
December 20, 2015: Trump tweets that "If Putin respects me and Putin wants to call me brilliant and other things that he said that were frankly very nice, I'll accept that, and I'll accept it on behalf of the country."
December 22, 2015: Obama further toughens sanctions to include 34 more individuals and legal entities because of Russian military aggression in Crimea and Eastern Ukraine.
Mid-January 2016: With the Trump Tower Moscow deal foundering, Cohen emails Dmitry Peskov, Putin's top press aide, for his help. The deal soon collapses.
Early 2016: Kushner and his felon father, Charles, give up on a two-year effort to obtain a half-billion dollar business bailout from Qatar to refinance a troubled property at 666 Fifth Avenue in New York.
February 2016: Steele sends Nuland a last Orbis report.
February 2016: Trump, concerned that he could win the primaries but lose the nomination because of establishment Republicans manipulating party rules, consults Stone, who recommends that he hire Manafort. Real estate developer Thomas Barrick, a longtime Trump friend, also recommends Manafort.
February 1, 2016: Andrew McCabe is promoted to the position of FBI deputy director. He assumes responsibility for the Clinton email server investigation.
February 10, 2016: Erickson, now a Republican operative, starts a company, Bridges, LLC, with Torshin assistant Butina. Erickson claims the LLC is for Butina's graduate school tuition.
February 11, 2016: Flynn meets with investigators in a routine meeting to discuss his application to renew his security clearance. When asked about his Moscow trip, he reportedly says, "I didn't take any money from Russia, if that's what you're asking me."
February 14, 2016: Torshin tweets that Butina is now in the U.S. and says "She writes me that D. Trump (NRA member) is ready for cooperation with Russia."
February 17, 2016: Trump, attending a campaign event in South Carolina, boasts that "Putin called me a genius," a claim he is to repeat several times more in the coming months.
February 29, 2016: Manafort, in a five-page proposal to Trump about his expertise in obtaining nominating convention delegates, boasts of how he has assisted political leaders, including Russian oligarchs and dictators. Although he has considerable financial problems, he offers to work without pay.
March 2016: The Russian Institute for Strategic Studies (RISS), a Moscow-based government think tank controlled by Putin, develops a plan to swing the election to Trump and undermine voters' faith in the American electoral system.
March 2016: Trump names Page as an adviser.
March 2016: The FBI interviews Page about his Russian contacts.
March 2016: The first wave of fake news stories targeting Clinton voters in swing states is detected. The source is believed to be Eastern European hackers directed by the Russian government.
Early March 2016: George Papadopoulos, saying he had been a top foreign policy adviser for the Ben Carson campaign, contacts the Trump campaign and offers to work for it. He is soon recruited for the campaign's foreign policy team.
March 4, 2016: Strzok texts FBI attorney Lisa Page, with whom he is having an extramarital affair. He calls Trump "an idiot" and says that Clinton should win "100,000,000-0."
March 19, 2016: John Podesta, chairman of Clinton's presidential campaign, is emailed a link asking that he change his password. A Clinton campaign staffer tells him the request is legitimate, but it turns out to be the way that Russia-associated hackers later gained access to his email account.
March 19, 2016: Reza Zarrab, a Turkish-Iranian gold trader, is arrested when he lands in Miami and held on charges he masterminded a huge operation to help the Iranian government evade U.S. economic sanctions by shipping gold to Iran from Turkey in exchange for Iranian oil and gas. Flynn later allegedly becomes involved in a plot to gain his release.
March 21, 2016: Trump introduces his campaign foreign policy team to the press. It includes Papadopoulos and Page, who is described as the campaign's Russia expert.
March 22, 2016: Bill Rinehart, a former DNC employee working for the Clinton campaign, receives what he thinks is a legitimate email telling him to change his password, giving Russian hackers further access to the campaign.
March 24, 2016: Papadopoulos meets in London with Joseph Mifsud, a Maltese professor with Kremlin ties. The professor introduces him to the Russian ambassador and a woman he describes as Putin's niece, later identified to be Olga Vinogradova, who is not related to Putin. Mifsud also connects Papadopoulos to Ivan Timofeev, a program director for the Valdai Discussion Club, a prestigious gathering of academics that meet with Putin, and an intermediary for the Foreign Ministry. Papadopoulos subsequently emails then-campaign chairman Corey Lewandowski and Sam Clovis, Trump's national campaign co-chairman, among other campaign officials, about how Putin wants to meet with the Trump team. Clovis praises him for "great work" but tells him not to commit to a meeting.
March 26, 2016: Manafort, on the recommendation of Stone and Tom Barrack, a Trump friend and later chairman of Trump's Inaugural Committee, is hired by the Trump campaign to line up convention delegates. It is later revealed that he had taken at least 14 trips to Moscow.
March 31, 2016: Trump is present at a meeting in the Old Post Office Building in Washington, then under construction to become the new Trump International Hotel, with campaign foreign policy advisers. Papadopoulos says he has connections with a Russian, an apparent reference to Timofeev, who can help arrange a meeting between Trump and Putin. Trump expresses interest in the idea. Sessions later testifies that he opposed the idea, but others say he expressed no opposition to the idea.
Spring of 2016: Stone reportedly has a phone conversation with Assange in which he learns that WikiLeaks had obtained the emails of Clinton, Podesta and other ranking Democrats.
Spring of 2016: The Trump Tower Moscow deal falls through.
April 2016: U.S. intelligence intercepts the first communications among Russians who discuss trying to influence the presidential election by sabotaging Clinton.
April 2016: Manafort joins the Trump campaign as an adviser.
April 2016: Manafort meets in New York with Kilimnik.
April 2016: Manafort instructs campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks to disregard a request from The Washington Post for information about Manafort's relationship with Deripaska.
April 2016: Steele concludes a secret investigation for a private client which he called Project Charlemagne. It involved a survey of Russian aggressive interference in the politics of four EU members -- France, Germany, Italy and the U.K., along with Turkey, a candidate for EU membership -- through social media "warfare" and financial support for favored politicians in the form of bank loans and gifts.
April 2016: With Trump increasingly certain to clinch the nomination, The Washington Free Beacon decides to terminate its Fusion GPS contract. Simpson, hoping to keep alive the work done by Fusion GPS on "Bangor," approaches Marc Elias, chief counsel for the Clinton campaign. Elias's law firm, Perkins Coie, strikes a deal with Simpson to do Trump opposition research on behalf of the campaign and DNC.
April 2016: Russia gives 10-year extensions to the first of six unused Trump trademarks. The other five are later also given extensions.
April 3, 2016: The so-called Panama Papers are leaked. They reveal a money trail allegedly showing a network of secret offshore deals and vast loans worth $2 billion leading to Putin and his associates. WikiLeaks begins a protracted and vicious Twitter attack on the papers in defense of Putin.
April 18, 2016: Mifsud introduces Papadopoulos by email to an unidentified individual with connections to the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. They have multiple conversations on Skype about a possible meeting between campaign officials and Russians.
April 26, 2016: Papadopoulos has breakfast in London with Mifsud, who says he has just returned from meetings in Moscow with Russian officials who claim to have "dirt" on Clinton and "thousands" of her emails.
April 27, 2016: Kushner, accompanied by Flynn, meets with Kislyak at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C. Trump and Sessions also are present.
April 27, 2016: Trump gives his first major foreign policy speech. He states that it is possible to improve relations with Russia. Papadopoulos edits the outline of the speech and tells Timofeev that it should be taken as "the signal [for Trump and Putin] to meet."
Late April 2016: The DNC's IT department notices suspicious computer activity and hires private security firm CrowdStrike to investigate.
May 2016: CrowdStrike and intelligence agencies confirm that highly sophisticated Russian intelligence-affiliated adversaries are responsible for the DNC hacks. Russian cyber espionage units are given "bear" appellations by U.S. intelligence. Identified as being responsible for the hacks are the FSB's Cozy Bear, linked to previous White House and State Department cyberattacks, and Fancy Bear, affiliated with the GRU, and linked to numerous attacks on business, media and government targets since 2000. Among the stolen material is the DNC's entire opposition research file on Trump.
May 2016: Torshin proposes a meeting between Putin and Trump in an email to Kushner. Kushner reportedly tells intermediaries, including Rick Dearborn, chief of staff for Trump campaign adviser Sessions, to reject the offer. The proposal may have originated with an email from Erickson.
May 2016: Papadopoulos, in the course of a night of heavy drinking at the Kensington Wine Rooms in London with Alexander Downer, Australia's High Commissioner to Great Britain, confides that Russia has political dirt on Clinton in the form of emails. Downer later passes on the information to Australian intelligence officials, who after about two months inform the FBI.
May 4, 2016: In an interview with The Times of London, Papadopoulos calls on Prime Minister David Cameron to apologize to Trump criticizing the candidate's critical remarks about Muslims. Clovis later reprimands Papadopoulos for failing to clear his remarks with the campaign in advance.
May 18, 2016: James Clapper, director of national intelligence, says at a Washington event that there are "some indications" of cyberattacks aimed at presidential campaigns.
May 21, 2016: Papadopoulos tells a high-ranking campaign official, possibly Lewandowski, that "Russia has been eager to meet Mr. Trump for quite some time and have been reaching out to me to discuss." He continues to email campaign officials about setting up a meeting. Manafort replies to one such email, writing Trump "is not doing these trips . . . It should be someone low level in the campaign as as to not send any signal."
May 26, 2016: Torshin, who is seeking to meet with a high-level campaign official to further a meeting between Putin and Trump, is seated with Donald Jr. during a private dinner during the NRA annual meeting in Louisville, Kentucky.
June 2016: The RISS circulates a policy memo elaborating on election interference efforts.
June 2016: The primaries over, Russian-Macedonian hackers posing as Americans begin a fake news campaign to energize disappointed Bernie Sanders supporters by targeting them with fake news stories stating that, among other things, Hillary Clinton murdered former Bill Clinton aide Vince Foster.
June 2016: Kushner takes over all Trump campaign digital efforts.
June 2016: The GRU ends its 11-month-long access of DNC computer servers.
Early June 2016: The CIA concludes in an internal report that Russia is actively engaged in interfering in the presidential election, including the goal of getting Trump elected by sabotaging the Clinton campaign in an act of revenge for what Putin believed was Clinton's role in 2011 antiPutin protests.
Early June 2016: Cambridge Analytica contacts WikiLeaks in the hopes of obtaining Clinton-related emails.
June 2, 2016: Clinton gives her first major speech on national security in San Diego and repeatedly calls into question Trump's affection for Putin and his "bizarre fascination with dictators and strongmen who have no love for America."
June 3, 2016: Goldstone, representing Emin Agaralov, emails Donald Jr. that he had met with "his father Aras this morning and . . . [he] offered to provide the Trump campaign with some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary . . . and would be very useful to your father." Donald Jr. replies "if it's what you say I love it."
June 6, 2016: Trump reportedly speaks by phone with Emin Agalarov.
June 7, 2016: Trump promises "big news" on Clinton's "crimes" in a forthcoming "major speech."
June 8, 2016: Donald Jr. sends the Goldstone email chain to Manafort and Kushner so they can be present. He uses the subject heading "Russia--Clinton--private and confidential."
June 9, 2016: As a result of the email exchange with Goldstone, Donald Jr. arranges a meeting of the Trump campaign brain trust at Trump Tower with Goldstone, Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskata and Russian-American lobbyist Akhmetshin, who both have Russian intelligence agency ties. Veselnitskaya's translator, Anatoli Samochornov, also attends. It is later revealed that Veselnitskaya was not acting as a private lawyer, as she claimed, and her actions were coordinated at the highest levels of the Kremlin. Also attending are Kushner, Manafort, Kaveladze and translator Anatoli Samochornov. The dirt on Clinton is believed to be the fact that two of the three billionaire Ziff brothers contributed to her campaign and their investment company is accused of evading tens of millions of dollars of Russian taxes. The source of the dirt is believed to be Yuri Y. Chaika, Russia's prosecutor general, with whom Veselnitskaya had a close working relationship. The Russians later claim that the subject of the meeting was lifting a Russian ban on Americans adopting Russian children in retaliation for the Magnitsky Act should Trump be elected.
June 10, 2016: The DNC staff is informed by CEO Lindsey Reynolds that everyone is required to turn in their laptops and other devices, but not why. Alexandra Chalupa, a DNC consultant tracking Manafort, deduces that the computer system is being purged because of a breech by Russians.
June 12, 2016: Assange states in an interview that WikiLeaks "has a very big year ahead" and promises the imminent release of emails "related to Hillary Clinton."
June 13, 2016: Trump does not give the promised "major speech," ostensibly because of a mass shooting at an Orlando nightclub. The speech is not rescheduled, possibly because the "dirt" delivered by Veselnitskaya was disappointing.
June 14, 2016: Hackers have gained access to DNC servers, The Washington Post reports in the first public disclosure of the security breach. It incorrectly reports that no important information was stolen and that the breech was "traditional espionage," an incorrect assessment that the Obama administration initially shares.
June 15, 2016: A hacker with the online persona Guccifer 2.0 claims credit for the DNC hack and begins posting DNC documents on the Guccifer 2.0 website. He is later identified as a GRU officer working out if a Moscow office.
June 15, 2016: The Trump campaign responds to the DNC hack by saying it is a DNC hoax. In the first example of what becomes on oft-repeated response, the campaign and Trump himself refuse to acknowledge Russian interference.
June 15, 2016: House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy tells fellow Republican leaders that "There's two people I think Putin pays: Rohrabacher and Trump." House Speaker Paul Ryan immediately interjects and swears those present to secrecy.
June 16, 2016: The FISA Court reportedly turns down an FBI warrant application to wiretap Trump, Manafort, Page and Boris Epshteyn, a Russian-born Republican political strategist who is a senior campaign adviser.
June 20, 2016: Manafort replaces Lewandowksi as campaign manager. Gates is named a deputy campaign manager.
June 20, 2016: Steele delivers the first of approximately 20 memos to Simpson at Fusion GPS that are to make up his dossier. Based on information from his confidential sources, Steele concludes that Moscow has been "cultivating, supporting and assisting" Trump for years and has compromising information on him that could be used as blackmail, and that Trump and his inner circle "have accepted a regular flow of intelligence from the Kremlin, including on his Democratic and other political rivals" based on compromising material on Clinton collated by Russian intelligence services over many years. Steele states that a source who allegedly was present says that Trump had employed "a number of prostitutes to perform a 'golden showers' (urination) show in front of him" during his November 2013 stay at the Ritz-Carlton in Moscow as a way of defiling the bed in which Barack and Michelle Obama had stayed. Millian is reportedly a source for that story. Steele identifies "Source A" as "a senior Russian Foreign Ministry figure," "Source B" as "a former top level intelligence officer still active in the Kremlin," and "Source E" as "an ethnic Russian" and "close associate of Republican US presidential candidate Donald Trump."
Summer of 2016: Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook, who has belatedly learned of the DNC hack and theft of Clinton emails, proposes a "honeypot" operation to Elias. The Clinton team will plant phony information within the DNC computer system and see if the Trump campaign picks up and uses it. The idea is abandoned as being impractical and the possibility it could blow back on Clinton.
June 22, 2016: Trump, speaking in New York, excoriates Clinton for her handling of the Benghazi attacks and warns that emails she deleted from her private server could make her vulnerable to "blackmail" from unspecified countries hostile to the U.S.
June 23, 2016: Kushner hires Cambridge Analytica for $6 million and builds a secret 100-person operation in San Antonio that it shares with the data mining firm, which collects and uses social media information to influence voters, and possibly did so in coordination with Russian interference efforts.
June 24, 2016: Trump reportedly meets with representatives of Cambridge Analytica at his golf course in Aberdeen, Scotland.
June 27, 2016: Trump, replying to a news conference question about his dealing with Russia, says "What do I have to do with Russia? You know the closest I came to Russia, I bought a house a number of years ago in Palm Beach, Florida . . . for $40 million and I sold it to a Russian for $100 million including brokerage commissions."
July 2016: Russia escalates a campaign of harassment of American diplomats and intelligence operatives in Russia.
Early July 2016: Cohen and Sater exchange emails about Cohen attending an economic forum in Russia to be attended by Putin and top government leaders. Sater suggests he can introduce him to top leaders, possibly including Putin. Cohen declines because of the forthcoming Republican National Convention in Cleveland.
July 5, 2016: Comey rebukes Clinton for being "extremely careless," but recommends no criminal charges in connection with her handling of classified information as secretary of state, including emails on a private server, ostensibly lifting a cloud from her presidential campaign. Less noticed is that Comey apparently alludes to Russia in stating that because Clinton used her email extensively while traveling overseas, "we assess it is possible that hostile actors gained access to Secretary Clinton's personal email account."
July 5, 2016: Steele meets at his London office with FBI agent Michael Gaeta, who is stationed in Rome, and shares his June 20 memo. He tells Steele that he will report its contents to Washington.
July 6, 2016: Additional hacked DNC documents appears on the Guccifer 2.0 website.
July 6~8, 2016: Page visits Moscow, where he gives a pro-Russian speech at a university graduation. He insists he was traveling as a private person, but reportedly meets twice with former spy and close Putin aide Igor Sechin, chairman of Russian government-owned energy giant Rosneft, with Igor Diveykin, a senior Putin administration official, and with Andrei Baranov, head of investor relations at Rosneft. Steele later states in a dossier memo that Sechin tells Page that if a future Trump administration dropped sanctions, there could be an associated move to offer lucrative contracts to U.S. energy firms. Diveykin, according to the dossier, told Page that the Russians had compromising material on Clinton and on Trump, which he said Trump needed to keep in mind in his dealings with Russia. Page later acknowledges that he and Baranov discussed sanctions.
July 7, 2016: In an email reportedly sent to Kilimnik, Manafort offers to provide briefings on the presidential race to Deripaska.
July 8, 2016: Page, in an email from Moscow to members of the Trump campaign, says that he had received "incredible insights and outreach" from senior members of Putin's administration.
July 10, 2016: DNC staffer Seth Rich is shot to death in what Washington, D.C. police describe as an attempted armed robbery.
July 13, 2016: Trump sues Nunberg for $10 million, alleging he breached a confidentiality agreement.
July 14, 2016: Additional hacked DNC documents appear on the Guccifer 2.0 website.
Mid-July 2016: Working behind the scenes, the Trump campaign dramatically waters down the Republican National Convention platform on Ukraine, ostensibly in a nod to Putin. The original platform draft states that sanctions should be toughened because of its takeover of Crimea and aid should be increased to the "embattled" Ukrainian army, but both provisions are removed and replaced with a vague assurance of "appropriate assistance." Kilimnik later brags to friends in Kiev that he was involved in the effort.
July 18~21, 2018: The Republican National Convention is held in Cleveland. Three Trump national security advisers -- Page, J.D. Gordon and Walid Phares -- meet with Kislyak during the convention.
July 19, 2016: Trump is nominated for president at the convention after he, Flynn and other surrogates declare, in what becomes an oft-repeated campaign theme, that Clinton should be jailed for her use of the private email server. He chooses Mike Pence as his vice presidential running mate.
July 19, 2016: Trump is warned by senior FBI officials that foreign adversaries, including Russia, would probably try to spy on and infiltrate his campaign. Clinton is given a similar warning.
July 19, 2016: Steele subits a memo to Fusion GPS regarding Page's meetings earlier in the month with Sechin and Diveykin.
July 19, 2016: The debt load on Trump's businesses has almost doubled from $350 million to $630 million over the past year, reports Bloomberg News.
July 20, 2016: New Yorker reporter Ryan Lizza asks Clovis about allegations the campaign worked with the Republican Party to soften the party's Russian convention platform. Clovis responds, "I can't talk about [it]."
July 22, 2016: WikiLeaks begins releasing 44,000 hacked DNC emails as Assange tweets "Are you ready for Hillary?"
July 24, 2016: Donald Jr. tells CNN's Jake Tapper that the Clinton campaign's suggestion that Russia was trying to interfere in the election on behalf of his father is "disgusting" and "phony."
July 24, 2016: Manafort appears on ABC's "This Week" and says there are no campaign-Russia connections.
July 24, 2016: DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz resigns amid the fallout from the hacked emails, becoming the first direct victim of the Russian interference campaign.
July 25~28, 2016: The Democratic National Convention is held in Philadelphia. Sanders supporters are furious because some of the hacked emails show DNC efforts to undermine the Vermont senator during the primaries. Clinton campaign staffers Jennifer Palmieri and Jake Sullivan fail to interest journalists in emerging links between Russia and campaign interference.
July 25, 2016: Trump suggests that Russians were behind the DNC hack because Putin "likes" him. He tweets: "Leaked e-mails of DNC show plans to destroy Bernie Sanders."
July 26, 2016: U.S. intelligence officials inform the White House that they have "high confidence" that Russia was behind the DNC hacks.
July 26, 2016: Steele describes a large Russian hacking operation in a memo.
July 26, 2016: Clinton is nominated for president.
July 27, 2016: Trump calls on Russia to hack 30,000 so-called "missing" Clinton emails.
July 27, 2016: Manafort denies any relationship with Russians and says it's "absurd" to suggest Russia was working on behalf of the Trump campaign.
Late July 2016: The FBI obtains and later renews a FISA Court warrant allowing it to monitor Page.
Late July 2016: Steele states in a memo that his Source E reports that a "conspiracy of cooperation" between the campaign and Russia is "well-developed." Source E states that this is "managed on the Trump side by . . . Manafort," who is using Page and others as intermediaries. The source claims that there had been a "regular exchange" of information between Trump and the Kremlin "for at least 8 years."
July 30 2016: Steele reports in a memo that the Russians are uneasy about their U.S. election operation.
July 31, 2016: The FBI opens an investigation into possible Trump campaign inks with Russia. The investigation is dubbed "Crossfire Hurricane." Its existence is kept secret even from high ranking members of Congress colloquially known as the Gang of Eight, who by law are to be briefed on important intelligence matters.
Late July~Early August 2016: The CIA informs the White House of Putin's plans to interfere in the election. Obama orders an interagency group to assess CIA and FBI intelligence . National security adviser Susan Rice heads the group, which includes Brennan, Clapper, Comey, Kerry, Lynch, Defense Secretary Ash Carter and Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson. Intelligence at this point is unclear on what Russia's primary aim may be, and three scenarios are considered: Sowing discord to delegitimize the election, hurt Clinton or help Trump. Largely overlooked is the significant role social media is playing in the Russian effort. For the next five months, the administration secretly debates dozens of options on how to retaliate, including whether to use CIA-gathered material that would be embarrassing to Putin and cyberattacks on Russian infrastructure and sanctions that could devastate the Russian economy.
Early August 2016: Two FBI agents are send to London to interview Downer about his discussion with Papadopoulos.
August 2016: Brennan convenes a secret task force with analysts and officers from the CIA, FBI and NSA to keep the White House and senior government officials informed.
August 2016: Cambridge Analytica CEO Christopher Nix asks WikiLeaks if it can better organize the hacked Clinton-related emails it was releasing.
August 2016: Clovis tells Papadopoulos that he "would encourage" him to meet with Russian officials in Moscow. The trip does not take place. Bannon and Flynn also communicate with Papadopoulos about brokering ties between Trump and top foreign officials, including Russians.
Early August 2016: The CIA concludes that unnamed Trump campaign advisers might be working with Russia to interfere in the election by sabotaging the Clinton campaign through a multi-pronged attack personally approved by Putin that includes email hacking, disinformation and false news stories.
August 2, 2018: Manafort and Kilimnik meet at Trump Tower.
August 3, 2016: Donald Jr. meets at Trump Tower with Israeli social media specialist Joel Zamel, whose company Psy-Group had drawn up a multimillion-dollar proposal for a social media manipulation effort to help elect Trump, and George Nader, a Lebanese-American businessman who was advising Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia, the king's main adviser, and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, the effective ruler of the United Arab Emirates. The meeting is arranged by former Blackwater boss Erik Prince, whose private security company is active in the Middle East, and also attends. Nader offers to help the campaign and is quickly embraced as a close ally of the campaign. He subsequently meets frequently with Kushner, Flynn and Bannon. At the time, Nader is promoting a secret plan to use private contractors to destabilize Iran, the regional nemesis of Saudi Arabia and the Emirates.
August 4, 2016: Brennan calls Alexander Bortnikov, director of the FSB, the post-Soviet successor to the KGB, to warn him that election interference will not be tolerated. Bortnikov feigns innocence and accuses the U.S. of scapegoating Moscow.
August 4, 2016: Stone emails Nunberg, writing "I dined with Julian Assange last night." Stone also appears on Alex Jones's InfoWars radio show and predicts "devastating" upcoming disclosures about the Clinton Foundation.
August 6, 2016: The Trump campaign says it has fired Stone. Stone says he resigned, but he remains a prominent surrogate for Trump.
August 8, 2016: Stone, in a speech to a Florida Republican group, declares that future releases of hacked Clinton emails will show "stone-cold proof of the criminality of Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton."
August 10, 2016: Steele states in a memo that a source says Putin is "generally satisfied with the progress of the anti-Clinton operation to date." This operation "involved the Kremlin supporting various US political figures, including funding indirectly their recent visits to Moscow." The source mentions Flynn and Page by name. A second memo cites Russian efforts to turn Sanders voters to Trump.
August 11, 2016: Nunberg's lawyer says he has "amicably" settled the $10 million lawsuit.
August 12, 2016: Hacked Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) documents and the cellphone numbers and email addresses of most House Democrats appear on the Guccifer 2.0 website. Capitol police instruct state police to inform the Democrats of the breech. The homes of two Democrats are vandalized and many are harassed with angry phone calls, texts and emails. The hack and subsequent DCCC-related hacks contain sensitive strategy files and district voter turnout models.
August 14, 2016: Stone engages in direct messaging with Guccifer 2.0.
August 15, 2016: Guccifer 2.0 releases hacked DCCC documents on Florida primary elections.
August 15, 2016: Johnson arranges a conference call with dozens of state election officials to enlist their support to shore up voting systems in light of the Russian effort. He gets no support.
Mid-August 2016: A Russian intelligence source informs the CIA that a massive operation targeting Western democracies using the hybrid warfare doctrine advocated by Gerasimov is being planned.
August 17, 2017: Trump receives his first classified intelligence briefing, which includes information on "direct links" between Russia, WikiLeaks and email hacks. Flynn attends. Despite this knowledge, Trump and his campaign continue to dismiss assertions of Russian interference.
August 19, 2016: Manafort is fired as campaign manager by Kushner on Trump's orders after a Washington Post report on millions of dollars in payments from the Ukrainian political party to Manafort. Trump reportedly is furious, telling an associate, "I've got a crook running my campaign."
August 19, 2016: Bannon is named campaign chief executive and Conway campaign manager. Gates stays with the campaign and is later found to have met with Kilimnik to discuss the campaign.
August 20, 2016: Members of the Internet Research Agency team use Facebook to organize 17 pro-Trump rallies collectively called "Florida Goes Trump!"
August 21, 2016: Guccifer 2.0 releases hacked DCCC documents on Pennsylvania congressional primaries.
Late August 2016: Brennan is so concerned about Trump-Russia links that he initiates one-on-one briefings with the Gang of Eight.
Late August 2016: Stone boasts that he has communicated with Assange, who he says has materials including "deleted" Clinton emails that would be embarrassing to her.
August 25, 2016: Brennan tells Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, then the highest ranking Democrat, that the FBI and not the CIA would have to take the lead in what is a domestic intelligence matter.
Late August 2016: Reid writes to Comey without mentioning the Brennan briefing. He expresses great concern over what he calls mounting evidence "of a direct connection between the Russian government and Donald Trump's presidential campaign."
August 31, 2016: Guccifer 2.0 releases documents hacked from House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's personal computer.
Late summer 2016: Steele confides in Jonathan Winer, a friend who is a Democratic lawyer and foreign policy specialist who works at the State Department, that he was concerned about the lack of a response from the FBI regarding Russian election interference.
Late summer 2016: Steele, with Simpson's approval, has a series of off-the-record conversations about his dossier at the Tabard Inn in Washington with investigative journalists for The New York Times, The Washington Post, Yahoo! News, The New Yorker and CNN who specialized in national security.
September 2016: U.S. intelligence shows that although Republican sites are also being hacked by Russians, only DNC emails are being publicized by WikiLeaks.
September 2016: Aaron Nevins, a Republican political operative with ties to Stone, receives Democratic turnout analyses hacked by Guccifer 2.0 and publishes them online under a pseudonym.
Early September 2016: Comey writes a draft of an op-ed piece to run in either The New York Times or The Washington Post spelling out Russian election interference and that government and public needed to take it seriously. The piece never runs.
September 1, 2016: Trump, in an interview, denies having a relationship with Putin.
September 1, 2016: Putin, in an interview with Bloomberg News, evades questions about for whom the DNC hackers were working. "Does it really matter who hacked Mrs. Clinton's election campaign," he says. "What really matters is the content."
September 5, 2016: Obama, meeting with Putin at a conference of world leaders in Hangzhou, China, tells him that the U.S. knows about Russian election interference and says "[he] better stop or else." Putin responds by demanding proof and accuses the U.S. of interfering in Russia's internal affairs.
September 5, 2016: U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies are investigating "a broad covert Russian operation in the United States to sow public distrust in the upcoming presidential election and in U.S. political institutions," reports The Washington Post.
September 8, 2016: Kislyak meets with Sessions in his Senate office. They reportedly discuss the campaign.
September 9, 2016: Trump gives an interview on Russian government-funded RT America in which he states that the Russian government is "probably" not interfering in the election and blames Democrats for spreading lies that they are.
September 11, 2016: Kushner and wife Ivanka sit with the wife of Abramovich at the U.S. Open tennis tournament in Flushing, Queens.
September 14, 2016: Trump, Donald Jr. and others in the Trump Organization receive an email from someone identifying himself as "Mike Erickson" offering a decryption key and website addresses for already hacked WikiLeaks documents.
September 14, 2016: Steele states in a memo that Trump has paid bribes to Russians to further his hotel projects and engaged in compromising personal behavior beyond the alleged "golden showers" incident.
Mid-September 2016: Obama summons Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Ryan, Reid and Pelosi to the Oval Office where he pleads with them to forge a bipartisan alliance to fight back against Russian interference and work with state and local election officials to thwart any threats. McConnell refuses, telling the president that he's trying to politicize the matter.
September 15, 2016: Guccifer 2.0 releases hacked DCCC documents from New Hampshire, Illinois, North Carolina and Ohio.
September 16, 2016: Stone declares on Boston Herald Radio that "I expect Julian Assange and the WikiLeaks people to drop a payload of new documents on Hillary on a weekly basis fairly soon." He says he is in touch with Assange "through an intermediary."
September 20, 2016: WikiLeaks initiates a private on again-off again correspondence with Donald Jr. regarding Clinton e-mails and campaign-related topics that continues until at least July 2017. In the initial email, WikiLeaks informs him that "a PAC run anti-Trump site putintrump.org is about to launch [that it has hacked into] . . . Any comments?"
September 22, 2016: Two other Gang of Eight members -- Dianne Feinstein and Representative Adam B. Schiff, the ranking Senate and House Intelligence Committee Democrats -- release a statement that Russian intelligence agencies are "making a serious and concerted effort" to influence the election and call on Putin to immediately halt the operation.
September 23, 2016: Guccifer 2.0 releases hacked documents from DCCC chairman Ben Ray Lujan.
September 23, 2016: Yahoo! News posts a story by Michael Isikoff stating that U.S. officials are probing ties between Page and the Kremlin, the first story to reveal that the investigation involved a campaign figure.
September 25, 2016: McConnell writes to state election officials. He warns of unnamed "malefactors" who might seek to disrupt elections through online intrusions, but does not mention Russia.
September 26, 2016: Page takes a leave of absence from the Trump campaign amid reports that he has close ties to Russia officials.
Fall of 2016: In speeches, Trump parrots fake news stories hackers are peddling to voters in key swing state districts.
Fall of 2016: Putin is said to begin a purge of top-level gatekeepers between state cyber agencies and the West in an effort to cover up election interference.
October 2016: A memo compiled by Cody Shearer, a political activist and former journalist, that independently sets out some of the same allegations made in the Steele dossier, is given to the FBI by Steele.
October 2, 2016: Stone tweets that Clinton "is done" because of the WikiLeaks disclosures.
October 3, 2016: Steele meets with Gaeta and four Washington-based FBI counterintelligence agents in Rome and briefs them on his memos. They tell him about their investigation into an individual believed to be Papadoloulos. The FBI subsequently enters into a series of conversations with Steele to discuss hiring him under a $50,000 contract to continue his research after the election.
October 3, 2016: Stone tweets that he has "total confidence" in "my hero "Julian Assange [who] will educate the American people soon" about why Clinton should be locked up.
October 4, 2016: Guccifer 2.0 releases documents hacked from the Clinton Foundation.
October 7, 2016: Rice summons Kislyak to the White House and gives him a message to relay to Putin about U.S. plans to retaliate for the election interference.
October 7, 2016: The Obama administration -- through the Office of Director of National Intelligence and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) -- accuses the Russian government in a statement of hacking into emails from the DNC and other institutions and individuals, but stops short of mentioning the Trump campaign. In the run-up to release of the statement, Comey demurs because he says he believes that would look like the FBI was trying to tip the election. The statement is buried in the avalanche of subsequent October 7 news.
October 7, 2016: The lewd Access Hollywood Trump tape is released.
October 7, 2016: WikiLeaks begins to publish hacked Podesta emails, which include information embarrassing to Clinton regarding her closed-door speeches to Wall Street banks and other special interest groups.
October 9, 2016: Trump cites WikiLeaks in the second presidential debate in accusing the DNC of rigging the Democratic primaries against Sanders.
October 10, 2016: "I love WikiLeaks," Trump says at a Pennsylvania rally in citing hacked emails.
October 11, 2016: Donald Jr. delivers a paid speech in Paris to the Center of Political and Foreign Affairs, a pro-Russian French think tank.
October 12, 2016: Steele states in a memo that Putin is unhappy with the U.S. election interference operation.
October 15, 2016: The FISA Court reportedly approves an FBI application for warrants allowing it examine emails and related documents in conjunction with Russian banks SVB and Alfa because a private computer server in Trump Tower apparently communicated with the banks' servers in Moscow and may have been used in conjunction with Russian election hacking.
Mid-October 2016: Flynn, Donald Jr., Conway and Parscale begin following Russian troll factory Twitter accounts and help push their anti-Clinton and fake news messages through to Election Day.
October 16, 2016: Trump tweets out a Wall Street Journal article about contributions McCabe's wife, a Clinton ally, received as a candidate for Virginia state Senate in 2015. McCabe becomes a fixture in Trump stump speeches about corruption in Washington.
October 19, 2016: Clinton declares at the third and final debate that Putin has backed Trump because he "would rather have a puppet as the president of the United States." Trump replies, "No puppet, no puppet, you're the puppet."
October 19, 2016: Steele states in a memo that Cohen has helped connect the Trump campaign with Russians, which Cohen later denies.
October 20, 2016: Trump claims in an interview that he has met Putin. "Yes, a long time ago. [We] got along great, by the way," after denying having ever met him during the final presidential debate.
October 21, 2016: WikiLeaks' Twitter account sends Donald Jr. another private message: "Hey Don. We have an unusual idea. Leak us one or more of your father's tax returns."
October 22, 2016: Trump tweets about hacked Podesta emails 15 minutes after WikiLeaks asks Donald Jr. to inform his father about the new email release. WikiLeaks subsequently releases the emails.
Late October 2016: Russians launch a cyberattack on at least one U.S. voting software supplier and send spear-phishing emails to more than 100 local election officials.
Late October 2016: Steele meets with Washington Post reporters, who describe him as being visibly agitated over what he has learned about Trump campaign ties to Russia.
October 28, 2016: Comey tells Congress that the FBI is reopening its Clinton investigation because of emails found on a computer belonging to former Congressman Anthony Weiner, whose estranged wife is a top Clinton aide. The Clinton campaign is thrown into crisis only 11 days before the election.
October 30, 2016: Reid writes a letter to Comey angrily accusing him of a "double standard" in renewing the Clinton investigation so close to the election while sitting on "explosive information" on ties between Trump and Russia.
October 31, 2016: The Obama administration, using a secure channel to Moscow originally created to avert a nuclear war, warns that its election interference is unacceptable. Russia does not reply until after the election, when it denies the accusation.
October 31, 2016: After meeting with Simpson, David Corn of Mother Jones magazine reports on the Steele dossier without identifying Steele by name. Steele had told Corn that "this is something of huge significance, way above party politics." The story is little noticed in the flurry of election news, while its publication prompts the FBI to end its discussions with Steele about continuing his research.
October 31, 2016: The New York Times publishes a story stating that the FBI has not found a clear link between the Trump campaign and Russia, although buried in the 10th paragraph is mention that intelligence agencies had been compelled by "apparent connections between some of Mr. Trump's aides and Moscow" to open a broad investigation.
November 6, 2016: Comey announces that after an intensive review of the "new" emails, they were found to be either personal or duplicates of those previously examined, and that the FBI had not changed the conclusions it reached in July in exonerating Clinton. He says nothing about the FBI's ongoing investigation of Russian election interference and possible Trump campaign ties to it.
November 6, 2016: Former FBI analyst Clint Watts and two colleagues publish a little-noticed article in War on the Rocks online magazine stating that Russia had perpetrated a coordinated attack using social media, hacks and disinformation.
November 8, 2016: Sergei Krivov suffers fatal blunt force injuries after falling from the roof of the Russian consulate in New York. Krivov is widely believed to have been a counter spy who coordinated efforts to prevent U.S. eavesdropping. Russian officials claim he died of a heart attack.
November 8, 2016: Trump defeats Clinton decisively in the Election College but loses the popular vote.
November 9, 2016: Russia's Parliament erupts in applause when Putin announces Trump's election victory.
November 9, 2016: Nix says "We are thrilled that our revolutionary approach to data-driven communications played such an integral part in President-elect Donald Trump's extraordinary win.
November 10, 2016: Obama, meeting with Trump at the White House, expresses profound concern about Flynn becoming a top national security aide because of problems when he managed the DIA, his 2015 trip to Moscow and other Russia ties.
November 10, 2016: Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov acknowledges that the Trump campaign and other Trump associates had repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials in the year before the election. The campaign issues a strong denial.
November 12, 2016: Butina throws a costume party for her birthday at Cafe Deluxe in Washington. She dresses as Empress Alexandra while Erickson comes as Rasputin. She brags to partygoers that she had been "part of the Trump campaign's communications with Russia."
November 18, 2016: Trump names Flynn as his national security adviser.
November 19, 2016: Zuckerberg dismisses as "crazy" the idea that fake news on Facebook played a key role in the election.
Mid-November 2016: Marshall Billingslea, a former Bush administration national security official, is named to head Trump's national security transition team. He is deeply concerned about Russian intentions and Trump-Russian contacts.
November 19, 2016: Obama pulls aside Zuckerberg at a conference of world leaders in Lima, Peru and warns him that he needs to take the threat of fake ads seriously.
November 25, 2016: Trump names McFarland deputy national security adviser.
Late November 2016: Obama administration officials provide Billingslea with a CIA file on Kislyak because of Billingslea's belief that Flynn is not taking seriously the implications of his contacts with the Russian ambassador.
Late November 2016: Steele writes a memo that he later reportedly shares with Mueller based on intelligence from a "senior Russian official" who says the Kremlin, through unspecified channels, had asked Trump to not appoint Russia hawk Mitt Romney as secretary of state and instead appoint someone who would be prepared to lift sanctions and cooperate on security issues of interest to Russia.
November 18~20, 2016: McCain, attending the annual Halifax International Security Forum in Nova Scotia, is made aware of the Steele dossier by Sir Andrew Wood, a former British ambassador to Russia and former Steele protégé.
November 28, 2016: David J. Kramer, a former State Department official with Russia expertise and staffer at the McCain Institute for International Leadership in Washington, D.C., meets Steele in London at McCain's behest. They discuss the dossier.
December 1, 2016: Kushner and Flynn meet with Kislyak at Trump Tower. They discuss easing sanctions while Kushner proposes that a secret communications channel be set up between the Trump transition team and Kremlin using Russian diplomatic facilities in the U.S. to shield their discussions from monitoring.
Early December 2016: Steele provides an encrypted copy off his final memo to Fusion GPS with instructions to pass it on to McCain and Kramer.
Early December 2016: Cohen meets with Ahmed al-Rumaihi, who at the time was head of the investments division of the Qatar's sovereign wealth fund, the Qatar Investment Authority, at the Peninsula Hotel in New York. He reportedly asks for at least $1 million from the government of Qatar in exchange for access to and advice about the then-incoming administration.
December 4 or 5, 2016: Colonel Sergei Mikhailov, deputy chief of the KGB's Information Security Center, and his deputy, Major Dmitry Dokuchaev, who are believed to have been involved in election hacking, are arrested and subsequently disappear after reportedly being charged with passing on information to the CIA about the hacking. Also charged and missing is Rusian Stoyanov, a Kaspersky Lab executive.
December 8, 2016: Page visits Moscow to meet with what he calls "business leaders and thought leaders."
December 9, 2016: Obama orders a comprehensive review of Russian interference in U.S. elections going back to 2008 with the intention of making some of the findings public. They are not.
December 9, 2016: McCain meets privately with Comey at his FBI office and gives him a copy of the Steele dossier.
December 11, 2016: Republican Representative Devin Nunes announces that he has been named to the transition team executive committee.
December 12, 2016: Trump tweets "Can you imagine if the election results were the opposite and we tried to play the Russia/CIA card? It would be called conspiracy theory!"
December 12, 2016: Flynn and Bannon meet at Trump Tower with Mohammed al-Thani, Qatar's foreign minister. Cohen and Rumaihi talk outside the meeting and Cohen again asks for at least $1 million, which Qatar declines to pay.
December 13, 2016: Kushner, at the request of Kislyak, meets with Sergei Gorkov, a close associate of Putin and chief executive of VEB, which had been sanctioned by the Obama administration and one of its executives convicted of espionage.
December 13, 2016: A Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman terms emerging stories about election-related hacking a power struggle between U.S. intelligence agencies.
December 13, 2016: After dangling the secretary of state appointment before Romney, Trump nominates Rex Tillerson, the CEO of ExxonMobil. Tillerson has long-standing business ties with Russia, including brokering a 2011 partnership between ExxonMobil and Rosneft.
December 13, 2016: Steele files his final report with Fusion GPS. He is paid $168,000 for his work.
December 16, 2016: Obama, in one of his last news briefings, expresses anger that the election "came to be dominated by a bunch of these leaks."
December 18, 2016: Conway tells CBS News that there was no contact between the Trump campaign and the Russians: "Absolutely not. And I discussed that with the president-elect just last night. Those conversations never happened."
December 21, 2016: Yves Chandelon, the chief NATO auditor responsible for investigating Russian money laundering, is found in his car in a small Belgian town with a wound to the head in what may have been a murder made to resemble a suicide.
December 23, 2016: Trump tweets: "Vladimir Putin said today about Hillary and Dems: 'In my opinion, it is humiliating. One must be able to lose with dignity.' So true!"
December 26, 2016: Oleg Erovinkin, a former FSB spy, Sechin aide at Rosneft and possibly a key source in the Steele dossier, is found dead in the back seat of his chaffeur-driven Lexus in Moscow. The cause of death is stated to be a heart attack, but some intelligence sources believe Erovinkin was assassinated as part of an effort to wipe out a U.S. espionage network.
December 28, 2016: Obama announces new sanctions because of election interference. They include expelling 35 diplomats, several with GRU and FSB ties, and closing Russian compounds in Maryland and on Long Island.
December 28, 2016: In response to the new sanctions, Trump tweets: "Doing my best to disregard the many inflammatory President O statements and roadblocks. Thought it was going to be a smooth transition -- NOT!"
December 29, 2016: Flynn, who is vacationing in the Dominican Republic, makes a series of calls to McFarland at Mar-a-Lago, Trump's Palm Beach, Florida resort. They discuss how Trump should respond to the new sanctions. Flynn calls Kislyak and asks him to "refrain from escalating the situation" because of the new sanctions.
December 29, 2016: McFarland writes in an email that "If there is a tit-for-tat escalation Trump will have difficulty improving relations with Russia, which has just thrown the U.S.A. election to him." When the email is revealed in November 2017, a White House spokesman says McFarland was merely describing how the Democrats were portraying Trump's win.
December 30, 2016: Kislyak tells Flynn the Kremlin has chosen to moderate its response "as the result of his request."
December 30, 2016: Putin says Moscow will not retaliate in response to the new sanctions, prompting Trump to him in a tweet, saying "Great move on delay (by V. Putin) -- I always knew he was very smart!"
January 2017: Cohen, who does not land a White House job, cold-calls major corporations, including Swiss drug manufacturer Novartis, and offers access to the new president for a price.
Early January 2017: The CIA and FBI are said to have "high confidence" that Russia was trying to help Trump, while the NSA has only "moderate confidence." The agencies also believe that Russia gained computer access to election boards in several states.
Early January 2017: U.S. intelligence officials, looking for clues as to why Putin did not retaliate against new sanctions, discover Flynn's conversations with Kislyak, whose communications are routinely monitored.
Early January 2017: U.S. intelligence officials warn their Israeli counterparts to be cautious about sharing information with Trump because he might be compromised by Russian.
Early January 2017: Trump's inner circle pleads with him at a Trump Tower meeting to acknowledge Russian election interference. He refuses, becomes agitated, rails that U.S. intelligence can't be trusted and scoffs at the suggestion that his candidacy had been propelled by forces other than himself.
Early January 2017: The FISA Court order allowing investigators to wiretap Manafort is renewed and includes a subsequent period when he was known to talk to by then-President Trump.
January 2, 2017: Former Russian spy Chapman praises Trump in an Instagram post.
January 3~5, 2017: In a series of tweets, Trump attacks the integrity of the U.S. intelligence community's findings that Russia interfered in the election. In one tweet, he writes: "Julian Assange said 'a 14 year old could have hacked Podesta' -- why was DNC so careless? Also said Russians did not give him the info!"
January 4, 2017: Flynn tells Trump transition counsel Donald McGahn that he is under investigation for secretly working as a paid lobbyist for Turkey during the campaign. McGahn fails to follow up on the information.
January 5, 2017: Rice releases a public version of a secret assessment stating that the CIA, FBI and NSA believe that Russia hacked Democratic email accounts and then passed the emails on to WikiLeaks: "We assess that Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the U.S. presidential election. Russia's goals were to undermine public faith in the U.S. democratic process, denigrate Secretary of State Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency. We further assess that Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump."
January 5, 2018: Obama holds a brief White House meeting with Comey and Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates following release of the secret assessment. Also present are Vice President Biden and Rice. The president asks if there is any reason why his administration cannot share information fully as it pertains to Russia with the incoming administration. The answer remains classified.
January 6, 2017: NSA Director Admiral Michael Rogers, Clapper, Brennan and Comey brief Trump at a meeting at Trump Tower. They tell him that their agencies have concluded that the Russian government mounted a massive covert campaign to disrupt the election and elect him president. After the others leave the room, Comey briefs the president-elect on the contents of the Steele dossier and begins keeping contemporaneous notes on his meetings with Trump, something he later said he had never felt the need to do with Obama. Trump later tells aides that he believes the agency chiefs are trying to shake him down because they have something on him.
January 6, 2017: Following the Trump Tower meeting, Comey begins writing contemporaneous memos of his meetings with Trump, copies of which he sends to FBI officials.
January 10, 2017: BuzzFeed News publishes a story on the Steele dossier and a redacted version of the dossier. The story notes that the dossier has been circulating among elected officials, U.S. intelligence agencies and journalists. Shortly thereafter, Steele goes to ground for two months.
January 10, 2017: CNN picks up the BuzzFeed News report and states the U.S. intelligence community is taking the dossier seriously.
January 10, 2017: Attorney General nominee Sessions states at a Senate confirmation hearing that he never had communications with any Russians.
January 10, 2017: Rice informs Trump of a military plan to retake the ISIS stronghold of Raqqa, Syria with the help of Syrian-Turkish forces. National security adviser designate Flynn, who has been secretly lobbying for the anti-Kurd Turkish government, tells Rice to hold off approving the mission.
January 11, 2017: Prince, working as an emissary for Trump, meets secretly with Kirill Dmitriev, a Russian banker said to be close to Putin, in the Seychelles islands in an apparent effort to establish a back-channel line of communication between Moscow and the president-elect. Also present is George Nader, who convened the meeting.
January 11, 2017: Trump, in a news conference at Trump Tower, claims he has a relationship with Putin, saying "He's done a very brilliant job in terms of what he represents and who he is representing."
January 11, 2017: Trump, responding to the BuzzFeed News report, tweets that "Russia has never tried to use leverage over me. I HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH RUSSIA -- NO DEALS, NO LOANS, NO NOTHING!"
January 13, 2017: Trump, in a Wall Street Journal interview, says he is open to lifting sanctions against Russia if it is helpful on other fronts.
January 14, 2017: The transition team announces that Maryland U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein will replace Yates.
January 14, 2017: Trump tweets that "INTELLIGENCE INSIDERS NOW CLAIM THE TRUMP DOSSIER IS 'A COMPLETE FRAUD'!"
January 15, 2017: Vice President Pence states on Face the Nation that Flynn, whom Trump has named national security adviser, did not discuss sanctions with Kislyak nor did any Trump associates have contacts with Russians.
Mid-January 2017: Page and Bannon, who will become Trump's chief strategist, reportedly discuss the Steele dossier in a phone call probably monitored by the FBI.
Mid-January 2017: Manfort advises Trump chief of staff Reince Priebus in a phone call on how the handle the burgeoning Russia investigation. He says that Steele dossier is "garbage" and suggests it was motivated by Democratic activists and donors working with Ukrainian government officials who supported Clinton.
January 17, 2017: Putin dismisses the Steele dossier as "false."
January 17~20, 2017: Anthony Scaramucci, an informal Trump adviser and later White House communications director, meets with Dmitriev at the World Economic Forum in Davos.
January 18, 2017: Kushner omits his meetings with Kislyak on his security clearance application.
January 20, 2017: Trump takes office. Several prominent Russians with close ties to Putin have ticketed seats to the inauguration.
January 20, 2017: Trump insists that the Russia scandal is "fake news" while naming Flynn and other people to key positions in his administration who had contacts with Russians involved in the election interference effort.
January 20, 2017: Flynn texts Alex Copson, a former business associate, assuring him that sanctions would immediately be "ripped up" by the Trump administration, which would help facilitate the deal to nuclear power plants in the Middle East with which Copson was involved.
January 22, 2017: Flynn is sworn in as national security adviser.
January 22, 2017: Trump singles out Comey at an event in the Blue Room at the White House, man-hugs him and declares, "Oh, and there's James! He's become more famous than me."
January 23, 2017: Trump, angry over stories about the Steele dossier, lashes out at the U.S. intelligence community, blaming it for leaking news of the dossier. "I think it was disgraceful," he says, " . . . That's something out of Nazi Germany."
Late January 2017: Trump asks Clapper to disavow the allegations in the Steele dossier. He refuses.
January 24, 2017: Flynn is interviewed by the FBI in his White House office about contacts with Kislyak. He denies that they discussed sanctions.
January 25, 2017: The House Intelligence Committee, chaired by Nunes, announces that it will investigate Russian election meddling and any connection to political campaigns.
January 26, 2017: Now-acting Attorney General Yates tells now-White House counsel McGahn that misstatements made by Flynn to the Trump administration regarding his meetings with Russians make him vulnerable to blackmail by Moscow.
January 27, 2017: Yates, responding to a query from McGahn, says that Flynn could be criminally prosecuted.
January 27, 2017: Trump tells Comey "I need loyalty, I expect loyalty" during a private dinner in the Green Room at the White House. Comey, according to notes he made, replies that he can pledge "honesty" but not "loyalty."
January 27, 2017: FBI agents interview Papadopoulos. He falsely tells them that contracts with Mifsud and other Russians occurred before he joined the campaign.
January 28, 2017: In a memo, Comey states that Trump castigated Flynn for not promptly scheduling a return phone call of congratulations from a foreign head of state. Comey writes: "In telling the story, the President pointed his fingers at his head and said, 'the guy has serious judgment issues.' "
January 28, 2017: Trump receives a congratulatory phone call from Putin.
Late January 2017: Cohen, Sater and Andrii Artemenko, a wealthy oligarch and Ukrainian lawmaker, meet at the Loews Regency Hotel in Manhattan where a "peace plan" for Russian control of Crimea is hatched.
Late January 2017: Cohen delivers the "peace plan" to Flynn at the White House.
Late January 2017: The America First Policies organization is formed to promote Trump's policies. Barrack and Gates are among the four founding members. Gates reportedly had been on Barrack's payroll since after the election and remained so until his October 30, 2017 indictment, but is ousted from America First as the Russia investigation intensifies.
January 30, 2017: Yates agrees to a request from McGahn to see intelligence data about Flynn.
January 30, 2017: Trump fires Yates, allegedly over her conclusion that Trump's Muslim ban is unconstitutional.
January 30, 2017: Deutsche Bank agrees to pay a $425 million fine to settle charges it laundered billions of dollars from 2010 to 2014 in a scheme known as the "Global Laundromat" run by Russian criminals with ties to Putin.
February 2017: Hicks, now White House director of communications, is twice warned by the FBI about repeated attempts by Russian operatives to make contact with her during the transition.
February 2017: U.S. officials seek the extradition to the U.S. of Firtash on racketeering charges.
February 2, 2017: Trump abruptly cancels a meeting with Torshin after Spanish police identify him as a "godfather" of an organized crime money-laundering scheme.
February 4, 2017: Trump defends Putin in a Fox News interview, saying "I do respect him," and when pressed on allegations Putin was behind certain atrocities, responds: "What, you think our country's so innocent?"
February 7, 2017: Trump tweets that "I don't know Putin, have no deals in Russia, and the haters are going crazy -- yet Obama can make a deal with Iran, #1 in terror, no problem!"
February 7, 2017: Alarmed at reports that Trump plans to ease sanctions, two senators introduce bipartisan legislation to bar the administration from granting sanctions relief without congressional review.
February 8, 2017: The Senate confirms Sessions in a 52-47 vote.
February 8, 2017: In a memo, Comey recounts how Trump denied the allegation in the Steele dossier that he consorted with prostitutes in Moscow during a phone conversation, but also claimed that Putin had told him "we have some of the most beautiful hookers in the world."
February 13, 2017: Conway says that Flynn "enjoys the full confidence of the president."
February 13, 2017: Flynn is forced to resign as national security adviser, ostensibly because he misled Pence about his communications with Kislyak.
February 14, 2017: Trump tells Comey in a private Oval Office meeting that he wants him to drop the FBI's investigation of Flynn. In a memo, Comey also states that Trump was upset that transcripts of his phone conversations with the leaders of Mexico and Australia had appeared in The Washington Post. Comey writes that he told the president "I was eager to find leakers and would like to nail one to the door as a message. I said something about it being difficult and he replied that we need to go after the reporters, and referred to the fact that 10 or 15 years ago we put them in jail to find out what they know, and it worked."
February 14, 2017: Members of Trump's campaign and other associates had repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials in the year before the election, reports The New York Times.
February 15, 2017: Priebus asks Comey and his top deputy, McCabe, to refute news reports about Trump campaign ties with Russian government officials. They demur.
February 15, 2017: In a memo, Comey states that Priebus asked if the FBI was wiretapping Flynn. Comey writes: "I paused for a few seconds and then said that I would answer here, but that this illustrated the kind of question that had to be asked and answered through established channels. I explained that it was important that communication about any particular case go through that channel to protect us and to protect the (White House) from any accusations of improper influence. He said he understood."
February 15, 2017: Comey confronts Sessions and tells him he doesn't want to be left alone with the president.
February 15, 2017: Trump tweets "This Russian connection non-sense is merely an attempt to cover-up the many mistakes made in Hillary Clinton's losing campaign."
February 16, 2017: Trump, discussing Flynn's ouster at a press conference, denies having any links to Russia and again calls the scandal "fake news."
February 20, 2017: Russian U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin, widely believed to be a spy, dies in a New York hospital after suddenly becoming ill. The State Department, at the request of Russia, suppresses public disclosure of the cause of death, citing Churkin's posthumous diplomatic immunity.
February 23, 2017: Trump declines to answer a question about WikiLeaks during an interview, again blames the DNC for getting hacked, and erroneously claims CrowdStrike is Ukraine-based.
February 24, 2017: Comey rejects requests from the Trump administration to publicly rebut reports about Trump associates' contacts with Russians. Trump counters by tweeting that FBI sources are leaking information to the press and demands that stop.
February 26, 2017: Trump tweets that "Russia talk is fake news put out by the Dems, and played up by the media, in order to mask the big election defeat and the illegal leaks."
February 26, 2017: Chuck Todd of NBC News notes a pattern in which Trump attacks the press immediately after a new Russia story potentially embarrassing to Trump breaks.
February 27, 2017: Trump tells a reporter that "I haven't called Russia in 10 years."
Late February 2017: Sessions consults with career Justice Department lawyers who recommend that he recuse himself from the Russia investigation.
March 2017: McCabe authorizes an FBI investigation into whether Sessions lacked candor when testifying before Congress about contacts with Russians.
March 2017: The FBI questions Page over the course of five interviews about allegations that he served as a middleman between the Trump campaign and Russia during the election.
March 2017: Kushner's real estate company ends talks with Anbang, a Chinese insurance company with close ties to the Beijing government, to unload 666 Fifth Avenue. The deal reportedly collapses because of Kushner's notoriety and the likelihood it would be subject to review by a government committee on foreign investment in the U.S.
March 1, 2017: Sessions did speak with Kislyak during the campaign, contradicting his past statements, reports The Washington Post.
March 2, 2017: Sessions recuses himself from the Justice Department's investigation into Russian election interference after acknowledging that he failed to disclose his meetings with Kislyak despite a Trump order to McGahn to stop the attorney general from recusing himself. The president reportedly erupts into anger in front of numerous White House officials.
March 2, 2017: Alex Oronov, a naturalized U.S. citizen, dies under unexplained circumstances in his native Ukraine. He reportedly helped set up the late January meeting between Cohen, Sater and Artemenko.
March 4, 2017: Trump tweets that Obama ordered the phones at Trump Tower to be wiretapped. The claim had originated in an RT broadcast in Moscow and was then picked up by Andrew Napolitano, a Fox News legal analyst.
March 5, 2017: Comey asks the Justice Department to deny Trump's wiretapping claim. Justice refuses and Comey's request is leaked to the news media.
March 5, 2017: Trump reverses a pledge to mandate American steel for the Keystone Pipeline. A direct beneficiary is Abramovich.
March 11, 2017: Trump fires Bharara, who was conducting a Russia-related investigation, among others.
March 17, 2017: At least 63 wealthy Russians have invested nearly $100 million in Trump luxury high rises in southern Florida, reports Reuters.
March 20, 2017: Comey in effect calls Trump a liar in publicly acknowledging for the first time in testimony before Congress that the FBI's investigation into Russian election interfering includes Trump associates' contacts with Russians.
March 20, 2017: In a series of four tweets during and after Comey's testimony, Trump says there is no evidence he "colluded" with Russia, says "The Democrats made up and pushed the Russia story as an excuse for running a terrible campaign," and claims the "real story . . . is the leaking of classified information."
March 21, 2017: Nikolai Gorokhov, a lawyer for the Magnitsky family and key witness for the U.S. government in a money laundering suit against a Russian holding company, falls or is thrown from the 4th floor of his Moscow apartment. He is seriously injured but survives.
March 22, 2017: Manafort secretly worked on behalf of Deripaska to enhance the image of Putin and the Russian government in the West, reports The AP. White House press secretary Sean Spicer downplays Manafort's role in the campaign and states Trump has had no financial dealings with Russia.
March 22, 2016: Nunes accuses the Obama administration of "unmasking" the names of Trump transition team members although the intelligence is not related to the Russia investigation.
March 23, 2017: Denis Voronokov is shot to death on a street in Kiev, Ukraine, after being hunted by the FSB. The former Russian military colonel and Putin insider was preparing to testify about the inner workings of the Putin regime.
March 27, 2017: Trump tweets: "Why isn't the House Intelligence Committee looking into the Bill & Hillary deal that allowed big Uranium to go to Russia."
Late March 2017: In the wake of Comey's testimony, Trump makes separate appeals to Daniel Coats, the director of national intelligence, and Rogers to publicly deny the existence of any evidence of Trump-Russia collusion. They refuse.
Late March 2017: Trump begins to openly discuss his desire to fire Comey with White House officials.
April 7, 2017: Spanish authorities arrest Pyotr Levashov at the request of U.S. authorities, who believe he is one of the election interference hackers. They say he distributed fake news to try to influence voters through sendings billions of spambot messages by infecting tens of thousands of computers.
April 8, 2017: Nunes ostensibly recuses himself from the House Intelligence Committee's investigation after it is revealed that White House security staffers fed him information in an effort to bolster Trump's false claim that Obama had personally ordered that his Trump Tower phones be tapped.
April 9, 2017: McFarland is asked to step down as deputy national security adviser. Media reports say she was not a good fit at the NSC.
April 11, 2017: Trump asks Comey in a phone call when he plans to issue a statement that he is not under investigation. Comey responds that he has passed the request on to his bosses at Justice but had not heard back.
April 25, 2017: House Oversight Committee members assert that Flynn may have violated federal law by not fully disclosing his business dealings with Russians.
April 28, 2017: The Senate Intelligence Committee asks four Trump campaign associates -- Flynn, Page, Manafort and Stone -- to hand over emails and other records of their dealings with Russians and says it is prepared to subpoena those who refuse to cooperate.
Early May 2017: Comey meets with Rosenstein to request a substantial increase in funding and personnel to expand the FBI's investigation in light of information showing possible evidence of Trump-Russia collusion.
Early May 2017: Stone, who is being investigated for his Russia ties, reportedly lobbies the president to fire Comey.
Early May 2017: White House lawyers warn Trump that it would be inappropriate for him to reach out to Flynn because he is under investigation.
May 2, 2017: Trump agrees in a phone conversation with Putin to meet with Lavrov, who will be meeting with Tillerson in coming days. Putin neglects to tell Trump that the Lavrov-Tillerson meeting with be 4,100 miles away in Alaska, while the White House keeps secret the forthcoming visit.
May 2, 2017: Clinton says Comey's decision to tell Congress of the "new" Clinton emails and WikiLeaks email disclosures helped alter the outcome of the election because people inclined to vote for her "got scared off."
May 2, 2017: In two tweets, Trump says "FBI Director Comey was the best thing that ever happened to Hillary Clinton in that he gave her a free pass for many bad deeds!" and "Trump/Russia story was an excuse used by the Democrats as justification for losing the election. Perhaps Trump just ran a great campaign?"
May 3, 2017: Comey tells Congress, "It makes me mildly nauseous to think that we might have had some impact on the election" because of his Clinton case disclosure. He says the Russia investigation is continuing.
May 5, 2017: An aide to Sessions reportedly approaches a Capital Hill staff member asking whether the staffer has any derogatory information about Comey because the attorney general wanted one negative story about the FBI director each day.
May 5, 2017: Kushner reportedly urges Trump to take a hard line when he announces support for an Arab boycott of Qatar, which had turned down Kushner and his father for a half-billion dollar bailout. Qatar also had refused Cohen's December 2016 request for at least $1 million for advice and access to the Trump administration.
May 5, 2017: Russian hackers release a trove of emails purportedly from French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron's campaign.
May 6~7, 2017: Trump spends the weekend at his Bedminster, New Jersey, golf course fuming over Comey and decides to fire him.
May 7, 2017: Trump and aide Stephen Miller finishing drafting a letter firing Comey aboard Air Force One after it returns to Washington. McGahn convinces the president not to release the letter because of its angry and meandering tone and the possibility it could be interpreted to be an attempt to obstruct justice.
May 7, 2017: Trump tweets "When will the Fake Media ask about the Dems dealings with Russia?"
May 8, 2017: Rosenstein drafts a letter at Trump's request laying out a rationale for firing Comey based on his handling of the Clinton email server investigation.
May 8, 2017: Yates testifies before a Senate subcommittee about the repeated warnings given Trump and his White House legal counsel about Flynn.
May 8, 2017: Trump tweets that "The Russia-Trump collusion story is a total hoax, when will this taxpayer funded charade end?"
May 9, 2017: Trump dispatches Schiller to FBI headquarters with a letter firing Comey. He asserts that the FBI director mishandled the Clinton email investigations and uses the Rosenstein letter as a justification. McCabe is named acting FBI director.
May 9, 2017: Rosenstein threatens to resign after the White House portrays him as the mastermind behind the Comey firing.
May 9, 2017: John Kelly, secretary of homeland security and future Trump chief of staff, calls Comey as he returns to Washington and reportedly tells him what Trump did was "dishonorable" and says he is considering resigning.
May 9, 2017: The Senate Intelligence Committee issues a subpoena to Flynn demanding that he turn over records of his interactions with Russians after he refuses to do so. A federal grand in Alexandria, Virginia issues subpoenas to a number of Flynn's business associates.
May 10, 2017: Trump, meeting with Lavrov and Kislyak at the White House, boasts about highly classified information from an ally about ISIS. He tells them "I just fired the head of the FBI. He was crazy, a real nut job. . . . I faced great pressure because of Russia. That's taken off."
May 10, 2016: Trump reportedly calls McCabe to chastise calls him for allowing Comey to return to Washington on an FBI-owned plane after being fired. He later asks him how he had voted in the 2016 election. McCabe responds that he had not voted.
May 11, 2017: Testifying before Congress, McCabe rejects White House assertions that Comey had lost the backing of rank-and-file agents, and says the FBI's Russia investigation will continue.
May 11, 2017: Trump, in an interview with NBC News's Lester Holt, suggests the real reason he fired Comey was the Russia investigation.
May 11, 2017: Trump tweets that "Russia must be laughing up their sleeves watching as the U.S. tears itself apart over a Democratic excuse for losing the election."
May 12, 2017: Trump issues a veiled threat to Comey to not leak any information that he may have and indicates he may have tapes of their conversations.
May 12, 2017: The Justice Department abruptly settles its money-laundering case case against Prevezon Holdings for only $6 million.
May 14, 2017: Right-wing Republican opposition researcher Peter W. Smith is found dead in a Rochester, Minnesota hotel room. A note at his bedside said "No foul play whatsoever." Smith had implied in an interview with a Wall Street Journal reporter about 10 days before his apparent suicide that he worked for Flynn, who he says was colluding with Russian hackers trying to obtain the "missing" Clinton emails.
May 15, 2017: The Washington Post publishes a story on Trump's boast to Lavrov and Kislyak and remarks about Comey. The White House denies that the president revealed sensitive intelligence.
May 16, 2017: Trump, in early morning tweets, contradicts his aides and appears to acknowledge that The Post story is accurate, while the White House refuses to release a transcript of the Lavrov and Kislyak meeting.
May 16, 2017: Fox News publishes, with the help of a wealthy Trump backer, a story stating that Rich stole DNC emails prior to his murder. The story is an attempt to discredit the U.S. intelligence community's conclusion that Russia hacked the emails, which Assange cryptically suggested may have been linked to the email thefts. Fox says that Democrats might have been connected to the murder and that a cover-up had thwarted the official investigation.
May 17, 2017: Rosenstein names Mueller as special counsel to oversee the Russia investigation. While Republicans and Democrats widely praise the selection, Trump calls the revived investigation the "greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history."
May 17, 2017: Trump releases a statement saying Mueller's investigation "will confirm what we already know -- there was no collusion between my campaign and any foreign entity."
May 18, 2017: FBI and congressional investigators say Flynn and other Trump campaign advisers were in contact with Russians in at least 18 calls and emails during the last seven months of the presidential race, reports Reuters.
May 18, 2017: Trump yet again calls the Russia investigation a "witch hunt," but for the first time equivocates, saying that "I cannot speak for others."
May 19, 2017: Rosenstein tells members of Congress that Mueller has been given the authority to investigate the possibility of a cover-up.
May 19, 2017: Russian officials boasted in conversations during the presidential campaign that they could use Flynn to influence Trump and his team, reports CNN.
Late May 2017: Trump berates Sessions in an Oval Office meeting for recusing himself. Sessions plans to resign but is talked out of doing so by Priebus, Pence and Bannon. Sessions subsequently sends a resignation letter to Trump, who rejects it.
May 22, 2017: Flynn's lawyers tell the Senate Intelligence Committee that he is invoking the Fifth Amendment rather than comply with a subpoena to produce documents regarding his contacts with Russians.
May 23, 2017: Brennan tells the House Intelligence Committee that the Trump campaign may have been successfully recruited by Russia.
May 23, 2017: Trump retains Kasowitz in connection with the scandal. He previously represented Trump in fraud, divorce and numerous other cases, and has clients with extensive Kremlin ties.
May 23, 2017: Fox News retracts the Rich story.
May 26, 2017: FBI agents search one of Manafort's storage lockers in Virginia.
May 30, 2017: Cohen says he will refuse to cooperate with the Senate and House intelligence committee investigations.
May 31, 2017: Spicer says the Trump administration will stop answering news media queries about Trump's alleged ties to Russia.
May 31, 2017: Clinton, in an interview at Recode's Code Conference, says she is "leaning" toward believing that Trump's campaign colluded with Russia.
June 2017: Georgia attorney Andrew Ekonomou becomes an assistant to
Trump criminal defense lawyer Jay Sekulow.
June 1, 2017: Shifting from previous blanket denials of Russian involvement, Putin says "patriotically minded" private Russian hackers could have been involved in cyberattacks to help the Trump campaign.
Early June 2017: Mueller is said to be expanding his investigation beyond Trump-Russia ties to include the roles of Sessions and Deputy AG Rosenstein in firing Comey.
June 2, 2017: Mueller assumes control over a federal grand jury criminal investigation of Flynn's ties to Turkey and the criminal investigation of Manafort.
June 3, 2017: NSA employee Reality Winner is arrested and charged with releasing a classified report on Russian election hacking.
June 5, 2017: Trump, in a series of tweets, chastises the Justice Department for his problems and again criticizes Sessions for recusing himself.
June 7, 2017: Coats and Rogers, testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee, refuse to discuss Trump's efforts to get them to deny the existence of evidence of Trump-Russia collusion.
June 8, 2017: Comey, in testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee carried lived on national television, calls Trump a liar and untrustworthy, implies the president has obstructed justice, and says he leaked notes of his February 14 meeting with Trump to The New York Times with the intention of getting a special counsel named.
June 9, 2017: Trump says Comey's testimony vindicates him, accuses the former FBI director of lying and offers to give sworn testimony.
June 11, 2017: Trump calls Comey "cowardly" and vows to find out if he leaked any more sensitive information.
June 12, 2017: A longtime Trump friend says the president is considering whether to fire Mueller as some of Trump's conservative allies attack the special counsel's credibility. A subsequent New York Times report states that Trump ordered Mueller to be fired but ultimately backed down after McGahn threatened to resign rather than carry out the directive. At about the same time, Trump is said to press senior aides to devise and carry out a campaign to discredit three senior Comey-era FBI officials -- McCabe, who was to become deputy director and briefly had been acting director after Comey was fired; Jim Rybicki, Comey's chief of staff and senior counselor, and James Baker, formerly the bureau's senior counsel.
June 13, 2017: Kasowitz bragged to friends that he got Bharara fired after telling Trump "this guy is going to get you," reports Talking Points Memo.
June 13, 2017: Rosenstein says Mueller will have "full independence" and only he can fire him for cause, while Adam Schiff, the ranking House Intelligence Committee Democrat, says Congress would immediately reappoint Mueller if he was fired.
June 13, 2017: Sessions testifies before the Senate Intelligence Committee, indignantly denies any collusion with Russia but declines to answer questions about his conduct and interactions with Trump.
June 14, 2017: Mueller is investigating whether Trump obstructed justice, reports The Washington Post.
June 15, 2017: Pence hires a criminal defense lawyer Richard Cullen to assist him in the various investigations.
June 15, 2017: Trump, in a series of tweets, says that Mueller is "a very bad and conflicted," that "They made up a phony collusion with the Russians story, found zero proof, so now they go for obstruction of justice on the phony story. Nice," and "You are witnessing the single greatest WITCH HUNT in American political history -- led by some very bad and conflicted people!"
June 16, 2017: Trump attacks Rosenstein in a tweet for leading a "witch hunt" in acknowledging publicly for the first time that he is under investigation.
Mid-June 2017: Coats and Rogers tell Mueller's team and Senate investigators that Trump suggested they say publicly there was no collusion between his campaign and the Russians.
Summer of 2017: Mueller's team interviews Steele.
June 20, 2017: Sessions hires a criminal defense lawyer to help him in the various investigations.
Summer of 2017: Trump repeatedly urges senior Senate Republicans to end the Senate Intelligence Committee's investigation.
June 21, 2017: Samuel Liles, acting director of the DHS's intelligence and cyber division, tells the Senate Intelligence Committee that people connected to the Russian government tried to hack election-related computer systems in 21 states.
June 21, 2017: Johnson tells the House Intelligence Committee that the Obama administration feared acknowledging Russian election interference would reveal too much about intelligence gathering and be interpreted as "taking sides" in the race.
June 22, 2017: Trump, in two tweets, says that he did not tape his meetings with Comey and states "By the way, if Russia was working so hard on the 2016 Election, it all took place during the Obama Admin. Why didn't they stop them?"
June 23, 2017: Trump says in a "Fox & Friends" interview that his tweet hinting at taped meetings with Comey was intended to influence his testimony before Congress.
June 25, 2017: Conway, appearing on ABC's "This Week," blames the Obama administration for failing to deal with Russian interference in the election.
June 26, 2017: Trump tweets " . . . under a magnifying glass, they have zero 'tapes' of T people colluding. There is no collusion & no obstruction. I should be given an apology!"
July 27, 2017: Papadopoulos is arrested by FBI agents at Dulles Airport outside Washington.
June 27, 2017: Manafort registers retroactively as a foreign agent. He reveals that he failed to disclose, as required by law, that his consulting firm received more than $17 million over two years from Yanukovych's political party before Yanukovych fled Ukraine to Russia in 2014.
June 29~30, 2017: The Wall Street Journal publishes two stories based on an interview with Smith about Flynn's possible collusion with Russian hackers.
July 6, 2017: Trump, at a news conference in Warsaw, Poland, again questions U.S. intelligence agency claims Russia interfered in the election and said Obama deliberately didn't address Russian hacking for political reasons.
July 7, 2017: Trump and Putin meet for the first time at a G20 meeting in Hamburg, Germany. Trump raises the issue of election interference, which Putin denies. Putin claims Trump had "agreed" with his statements of denial. It is later revealed that Trump met with Putin in an undisclosed hour-long second meeting without the benefit of his own interpreter or national security advisers.
July 9, 2017: Trump, returning from Europe, declares it is "time to move forward" in a constructive relationship with Russia and says he is prepared to team with Moscow on forming an "impenetrable Cyber Security" unit to prevent future hacking breaches.
July 9~11, 2017: The New York Times publishes stories on consecutive days on Donald Jr.'s meeting with Veselnitsakya and other Russians on June 9, 2016.
July 8, 2017: Donald Jr. says in a statement that the June 9, 2016 meeting was about adoption. It is later revealed that Trump overruled aides to personally direct that a misleading statement be issued by Donald Jr. on the meeting and the president was the sole author of those statements, making himself further vulnerable to coverup allegations. It also is later revealed that Hicks said during a conference call on the statement that Donald Jr.'s emails about the meeting "will never get out," leaving Mark Corallo, chief spokesman for Trump's legal team, with concerns that Hicks could be contemplating obstructing justice.
July 10, 2017: Donald Jr. hires a criminal defense lawyer to assist him in the various investigations.
July 12, 2017: Trump tweets that Donald Jr. "was open, transparent and innocent. This is the greatest Witch Hunt in political history. Sad!"
July 12, 2017: Two Democratic Party donors and a former party staff member file an invasion-of-privacy lawsuit against the Trump campaign and Stone, accusing them of conspiring with Russian hackers in the release of hacked Democratic emails and files that exposed their personal information to the public.
July 12, 2017: Mueller's investigators are skeptical that Russian hackers could have independently known which high-impact states and districts in those states to specifically target to try to undermine the Clinton campaign without the help of knowledgeable American political operatives, reports the McClatchy News Service.
July 12, 2017: Sekulow tells CNN that neither he nor Trump were involved in drafting Donald Jr.'s statement on the June 9, 2016 meeting.
July 14, 2017: Trump hires criminal defense lawyer Ty Cobb, a former prosecutor, while Kushner hires a new criminal lawyer. Kushner, meanwhile, had been urged to step down by some members of Trump's legal team who viewed him as an increasing legal liability for the president because of his role in the scandal. The move ultimately was rejected.
July 14, 2017: Kushner has updated his security clearance application at least three times because of omissions and added more than 100 names of foreign contracts after initially providing none, as well as dozens of financial holdings, report CBS News and The Washington Post.
July 15, 2017: Trump tweets that the scandal is a "hoax," yet again attacks Clinton and defends Donald Jr.'s June 9, 2016 meeting with Russians.
July 17, 2017: Approaching six months in office, 58 percent of voters disapprove of Trump in a Washington Post-ABC poll, a level never reached by presidents Clinton and Obama and reached only in the second term by President George W. Bush.
July 17, 2017: Regarding the June 9, 2016 meeting, Trump tweets: "Most politicians would have gone to a meeting like the one Don jr attended in order to get info on an opponent. That's politics!"
July 18, 2017: Referring to his second meeting with Putin at the G20 conference, Trump tweets: "Fake News story of secret dinner with Putin is 'sick."
July 19, 2017: Trump, in an interview with The New York Times, says he would not have appointed Sessions if he knew he was going to recuse himself, and warns Mueller not to delve into his family's finances. Behind the scenes, Trump again demands Sessions' resignation, but Priebus argues that would trigger the resignations of Rosenstein and the third-ranking Justice Department official, and Trump backs down.
July 20, 2017: The Treasury Department fines ExxonMobil $2 million for signing business agreements with the head of Russian-government owned energy giant Rosneft in 2014 in violation of sanctions. Tillerson was chief executive of the U.S. energy giant at the time.
July 20, 2017: Thomas Bossert, Trump's chief counterterroris adviser, says it's "pretty clear" that Russia interfered in the election.
July 20, 2017: Trump's advisers are exploring his options to pardon scandal suspects and how to undermine Mueller's investigation, according to multiple media reports.
July 20, 2017: Corallo resigns because of growing frustration with the Trump legal team and concerns about whether he was being told the truth.
July 21, 2017: Kislyak told his superiors in Moscow that he had substantive discussions about campaign-related matters and policy issues important to Moscow when he met with Sessions, contradicting public assertions by the embattled attorney general, reports The Washington Post.
July 21, 2017: Kushner and Manafort, threatened with subpoenas, agree to turn over documents to Senate and House intelligence committees.
July 21, 2017: Brennan and Clapper express anger at Trump's statements disparaging the U.S. intelligence community and express incredulity at his embrace of Russia.
July 21, 2017: Spicer resigns after Trump names Scaramucci communications director.
July 22, 2017: Trump tweets that he has "complete power to pardon, why think of that when only crime so far is LEAKS against us. FAKE NEWS."
July 22, 2017: Defying Trump, congressional leaders reach an agreement on sweeping new sanctions to punish Russia for its election interference.
July 23, 2017: Scaramucci says on CNN's "State of the Union" that Trump remains unconvinced of Russian election interference because he cannot separate intelligence findings from his view that the issue is being used to cast doubt on his presidency.
July 24, 2017: Kushner secured a $295 million real estate deal in 2015 with Lev Leviev, a Soviet-born oligarch who was a business partner in Prevezon Holdings, reports The Guardian.
July 24~25, 2017: Kushner testifies before the Senate and House intelligence committees in a closed session. In a prepared statement, he denies any collusion in his four meetings with Russian officials and says his real estate company and other business interests have not relied on Russian funds. He contradicts Trump and administration members who deny any Russian contacts during the campaign by confirming that he had several.
July 25, 2017: Trump, in an interview with the Wall Street Journal, says Mueller's job is not safe.
July 25, 2017: In a series of tweets, Trump says that "Jared Kushner did very well yesterday in proving he did not collude with the Russians. Witch Hunt. Next up, 11 year old Barron Trump!" and "Problem is the acting head of the FBI & the person in charge of the Hillary investigation, Andrew McCabe, got $700,000 from H for wife!"
July 25, 2017: The Senate Judiciary Committee subpoenas Manafort to publicly testify.
July 25, 2017: The House approves in a 419-3 vote a sweeping package of economic sanctions.
July 26, 2017: Trump, for the third consecutive day, publicly criticizes Sessions for recusing himself and not pursuing an investigation against Clinton as the president's aides consider whether to replace him. In a tweet, he also calls for the firing of McCabe, who is a potential corroborating witness for Comey's conversations with Trump.
July 26, 2017: Armed with a search warrant, FBI agents working for Mueller enter Manafort's Alexandria, Virginia home by picking the front door lock. They seize document binders and copy his computer files, looking for evidence he set up secret offshore bank accounts.
July 27, 2017: The Senate approves in a 98-2 vote and sends to Trump the sweeping package of economic sanctions, setting up a congressional confrontation with the president, who has sought to ease sanctions.
July 28, 2017: Russia, retaliating for congressional approval of expanded sanctions, seizes two U.S. diplomatic compounds and orders the U.S. embassy in Moscow to reduce its staff.
July 28, 2017: Trump fires Priebus.
July 30, 2017: Putin dramatically escalates his pushback against sanctions by ordering the U.S. to reduce its diplomatic staff by 755 people, the largest forced reduction since the Communist revolution in 1917.
July 31, 2017: Scaramucci is fired.
July 31, 2017: Trump overruled his aides to personally direct that a misleading statement be issued by Donald Jr. on the June 9, 2016 meeting and was the sole author of those statements, making himself further vulnerable to coverup allegations, reports The Washington Post.
Late July 2017: Strzok is transferred from Mueller's team. It later emerges that he exchanged text messages with Page that expressed anti-Trump views.
July 31, 2017: Kelly is sworn in as Trump's chief of staff.
August 2017: Chief District Court Judge Beryl A. Howell gives Mueller permission to empanel a grand jury in Washington.
August 1, 2017: Christopher Wray is confirmed as FBI director.
August 1, 2017: A lawsuit is filed by the parents of Seth Rich against Fox News and a wealthy Trump backer for its story about their son's murder being linked to DNC email thefts. The suit states that the White House was aware of the story and Trump himself might have worked on it.
August 2, 2017: Trump signs the sanctions bill.
August 2, 2017: Rosenstein authorizes Mueller to investigate whether Manafort worked with Russia on election interference.
August 2, 2017: Four senators -- two Democrats and two Republicans -- announce legislation to prevent Trump from firing Mueller without cause.
August 3, 2017: Trump, speaking at a rally in West Virginia, forcefully dismisses allegations of collusion with Russia as "a total fabrication" and blames the scandal on Democrats who "still can't get over" 2016 election results.
August 4, 2017: Trump, inviting speculation that he or a family member could be indicted by the grand jury empaneled by Mueller, retweets a video clip from "Fox & Friends" in which commentator and longtime Trump friend Jeanine Pirro calls Mueller's investigation politically motivated.
August 6, 2017: Trump and Conway call Mueller's investigation a "fabrication" in separate interviews.
August 7, 2017: Trump calls Senator Thom Tillis, a North Carolina Republican, and tells him he doesn't like a bipartisan bill being drafted to protect Mueller.
August 10, 2017: Trump says he is "very thankful" that U.S. diplomats were expelled because it means a smaller State Department payroll. He also contradicts private statements about his desire to dismiss Mueller, saying he has not considered firing him.
August 11, 2017: Akhmetshin testifies before the Mueller grand jury.
August 16, 2017: Rohrabacher meets with Assange, who he says assured him Russia did not leak emails damaging to Clinton to WikiLeaks.
Late August 2017: Subpoenas are issued by Mueller's grand jury to six prominent Washington lobbying firms in connection with the finances of Flynn and Manafort.
August 28, 2017: Cohen tells the House Intelligence Committee in a letter that claims of his ties to Russian officials are false.
August 30, 2017: Trump calls Grassley, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, a day after reports Donald Jr. will meet with the committee in a closed session to talk about Russia. Trump promises him support for the biofuel ethanol, a key issue for the Iowa lawmaker.
August 31, 2017: The Trump administration orders Russia to close its San Francisco consulate and annexes in Washington and New York in response to Russia's July 28 order to reduce the number of U.S. diplomatic personnel in that country.
August 31, 2017: Two senior Republican senators -- Graham and Grassley -- allege Comey began writing a statement clearing Clinton before the FBI had interviewed key witnesses in the spring of 2016.
September 2017: Dowd reportedly has a conversation with Reginald Brown, Manafort's lawyer at the time, about the idea of Trump pardoning Manafort. Trump's lawyers reportedly were concerned about what Manafort might reveal if he was to cut a deal with the special prosecutor.
Early September 2017: Mueller alerts the White House that he probably will seek interviews with six top current and former Trump advisers: Hicks, McGahn and his assistant James Burnham, Priebus, Kushner assistant Josh Raffel, and Spicer.
Early September 2017: Mueller begins looking into the lobbying activities of Michael Flynn Jr., son of Trump's former national security adviser.
September 1, 2017: Trump lashes out at Comey in a tweet, charging that he had "exonerated" Clinton before fully completing the FBI investigation into her private email server.
September 1, 2017: The existence and contents of the original Comey firing letter are revealed in several media reports. One report alleges that Pence was aware of the original letter, may have helped cover it up and then lied about the basis for the firing.
September 1, 2017: Despite his recusal, Nunes complains to Sessions in a letter that the Justice Department has been slow to respond to House Intelligence Committee subpoena requests.
September 1, 2017: The Justice Department states that there is no evidence to support Trump's claim that Obama had personally ordered that his Trump Tower phones be tapped.
September 5, 2017: Putin, visiting China, responds to a question about the possibility of Trump being impeached by saying he is "not my bride, and I am not his groom."
September 5, 2017: Nikita Isaev, leader of a far-right Russian political party, says Trump should be hit with compromising material he claims is being held by Russia in retaliation for closing Russian diplomatic missions.
September 5, 2017: Trump's attorneys ask a federal judge to dismiss an invasion-of-privavy lawsuit filed by two Democratic Party donors and a former party staff member accusing the Trump campaign and Stone of conspiring with Russian hackers in the release of hacked Democratic emails and files that exposed their personal information to the public.
September 7, 2017: Donald Jr. explains in a statement before meeting in a closed session with the Senate Intelligence Committee that he set up the June 9, 2016 meeting with Russians because it was important for him to learn about Clinton's "fitness" to be president.
September 7, 2017: Wray says he has seen no interference from the White House on the Russia investigation.
September 10, 2017: Bannon, dismissed as White House chief strategist, says Trump's dismissal of Comey was the biggest mistake in "modern political history" in a 60 Minutes interview.
September 12, 2017: White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders says that the Justice Department should "certainly look at" charging Comey for leaking classified information.
September 12, 2017: The Campaign Legal Center, a campaign finance reform group, accuses Facebook of being used as an "accomplice" in Russian interference and urges Zuckerberg to reverse his position and publicly release secretly-sponsored Russian political ads.
September 13, 2017: The U.S. government bans use of Kaspersky Lab software on their networks because of concerns that the company has ties to the Russian government and its cyberespionage activities.
September 13, 2017: Two Democratic lawmakers assert that Flynn failed to disclose a 2015 Middle East trip to pursue the nuclear power plant project.
September 13, 2017: Rohrabacher proposes in a call to Kelly that a pardon deal be made for Assange in return for the WikiLeaks founder providing digital evidence that he says would clear Russia of election meddling allegations.
Mid-September 2017: Friction escalates between McGahn and Cobb regarding how or whether to cooperate with Mueller. A New York Times reporter overhears Cobb stating that McGahn had "a couple of documents locked in a safe" to which he wanted access.
Mid-September 2017: Mueller obtains Russian-linked Facebook ads after getting a search warrant for them.
Mid-September 2017: The Secret Service stops protecting Donald Jr., who says he is seeking more privacy.
September 15, 2017: Grassley, citing what he calls Justice Department stonewalling, considers issuing subpoenas to compel several witnesses to testify about what they know concerning Trump's Russia connections and Comey's firing.
September 19, 2017: The Senate Intelligence Committee abruptly cancels an interview with Cohen, accusing him of releasing a public statement despite requests he refrain from public comment.
September 19, 2017: The Republican National Committee acknowledges it is helping pay Trump's lawyer fees related to the scandal and has directed more than $427,000 to his attorneys.
September 20, 2017: Manafort is doing unregistered work for Kurdish Iraqis who are seeking an independence referendum while under investigation for similar work, reports The New York Times.
September 21, 2017: Under growing public pressure to reveal more about covert Russian propaganda on its site, Facebook turns over more than 3,000 Russian-linked ads to congressional committees investigating the scandal. The ads sought to exploit racial and social divides in American society. A subsequent investigation by social media companies identifies the Internet Research Agency as being at the center of the propaganda effort.
September 22, 2017: DHS contacts election officials in 21 states to notify them that they had been targeted by Russian hackers during the campaign.
September 24~26, 2017: Kushner and wife Ivanka reportedly move their private email accounts to a Trump Organization server after their use of private accounts for White House business comes under scrutiny.
September 25, 2017: Trey Gowdy, Republican chairman of the House Oversight Committee and persistent Clinton email server critic, joins Democrats in asking that the administration disclose the use of a private server personal email address by Kushner and any other White House aide for government business. The New York Times reports that at least five other aides, including Kushner's wife Ivanka did the same.
September 26, 2017: Stone testifies before the House Intelligence Committee in a closed session and states that he believes the DNC hacking was an "inside job."
September 28, 2017: Evidence emerges that Twitter may have been used more extensively than Facebook in Russia's covert propaganda campaign. The company tells congressional investigators it has shut down 201 accounts tied to Russian operatives, including three linked to RT that spent $274,100 in election ads.
September 29, 2017: The Trump administration has not begun enforcing new sanctions two months after the president signed the law imposing them.
Early October 2017: Hoping that Mueller will clear Trump, his legal team pursue a new course of cooperating with the special counsel and then asking him to affirm that Trump is not under investigation, something he was unsuccessful in getting Comey to do before eventually firing him.
Early October 2017: Trump loyalists are losing patience with Republican congressional leaders over Russia investigations reaching into the president's inner circle and hobbling the White House.
October 2, 2017: RT and Sputnik, Russian government-controlled news outlets, join alt-right sites in publishing fake news accounts on Facebook and elsewhere of the Las Vegas hotel massacre, including false information about the shooter's political affiliation.
October 4, 2017: Senate Intelligence Committee leaders say political candidates should expect further efforts to Russian meddle and sow chaos in elections in November and 2018. Committee chairman Richard Burr complains that the committee has "hit a wall" in an attempt to verify the Steele dossier because Steele will not talk to them.
October 5, 2017: Papadopoulos pleads guilty to making false statements to the FBI abut his contacts with Mifsud. He agrees to cooperate with Mueller's investigation.
October 5, 2017: Mifsud participates in a seminar in Moscow timed to Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud visit to the country about Yemen security issues. BuzzFeed News later reports that Mifsud was a member of the Saudi king's delegation.
October 6, 2017: Steele says he is willing to meet with the Senate Intelligence Committee.
October 9, 2017: Google reveals that Russian operatives exploited YouTube, the DoubleClick ad network and Google searches as part of its election interference.
October 10, 2017: Page tells the Senate Intelligence Committee he will not cooperate and will plead the Fifth Amendment if called to testify.
October 13, 2017: Priebus is interviewed by Mueller's team.
October 13, 2017: Manafort's business dealings with Deripaska total about $60 million over the past decade, more than previously disclosed, reports NBC News.
October 15, 2017: The Trump campaign spent more than $1.1 million on legal fees in the third quarter of the year, a sharp increase coinciding with the escalation of Russian scandal investigations.
October 16, 2017: Lawyers for Fusion GPS send a scathing letter to Nunes, who has issued subpoenas to the firm regarding the Steele dossier despite having recused himself from the House Intelligence Committee investigation. They accuse him of a "pattern of unprofessional conduct" and say they will advise Fusion GPS to not cooperate.
October 19, 2017: CIA Director Mike Pompeo falsely asserts that U.S. intelligence agencies determined that Russian election interference did not alter the outcome.
October 19, 2017: Trump suggests that Russia, the FBI and Democrats could have underwritten the Steele dossier. He offers no evidence.
October 19, 2017: Putin defends Trump in a speech, calling on Americans to stop showing him "disrespect."
October 20, 2017: Trump pledges at least $430,000 of his own money to help cover aides' Russia investigation legal costs, raising ethical and obstruction-of-justice concerns.
October 24, 2017: The Clinton campaign and DNC helped fund the research that resulted in the Steele dossier, reports The Washington Post.
October 25, 2017: House Republicans announce investigations into unproven allegations that the Clinton Foundation received donations in exchange for Clinton's support as secretary of state for a business deal giving Russia control over a larger share of the U.S. uranium production and another into how the FBI investigated Clinton's use of a private email server while she was secretary of state.
October 27, 2017: A federal grand jury in Washington approves the first charges brought by Mueller.
October 27, 2017: Trump tweets that "It is now commonly agreed, after many months of costly looking, that there were no collusion between Russia and Trump. Was collusion with HC!"
October 29, 2017: Trump, in a series of angry tweets, demands that Clinton be pursued more forcefully by congressional investigators, writing "Do something!"
October 30, 2017: Mueller announces that Papadopoulos has pleaded guilty
to lying to the FBI about contacts with Mifsud, while Manafort and Gates have been indicted for conspiring against the U.S. for money laundering and tax and foreign lobbying violations. They enter not guilty pleas. The White House says the announcements have nothing to do with the president's campaign or campaign activity and there is no evidence of collusion.
October 30, 2017: Russian agents intending to sow discord among Americans during the election campaign disseminated inflammatory posts that reached 126 million Facebook users, published more than 131,000 Twitter messages and uploaded over 1,000 YouTube videos, according to information provided Congress by Facebook, Twitter and Google.
November 2, 2017: Page, in testimony before the House Intelligence Committee, admits to meeting with Russian government officials during a July 2016 trip to Moscow.
November 2, 2017: At least six members of the Russian government involved in the DNC hacking have been identified and evidence is being assembled to charge them, reports the Wall Street Journal.
November 2, 2017: Mifsud goes missing.
November 3, 2017: Trump presses the Justice Department to investigate his political opponents, claiming that Democrats were the ones who acted corruptly during the election, as three House Republicans file a resolution calling on Mueller to recuse himself because of conflicts of interest.
November 5, 2017: Commerce Secretary Ross hid business tries to close allies of Putin and continues to have a significant interest in a Russian shipping firm, reports The New York Times.
November 5, 2017: Veselnitskaya claims in a Moscow interview that Donald Jr. had told her at the June 9, 2016 meeting that key sanctions against Russia might be lifted in what seems to be a tacit exchange for Russian help in his father's campaign.
November 8, 2017: Schiller tells the House Intelligence Committee that salacious claims in the Steele dossier are false.
November 10, 2017: Mueller is investigating the role played by Flynn and son Michael Jr. in an alleged plot to kidnap Fetullah Gulen, a Muslim cleric living legally in the U.S., and send him to Turkey in exchange up to $15 million, reports the Wall Street Journal. It is later reported by The Daily Beast that securing Zarrab's release was to be part of the plot.
November 11~12, 2017: Trump, after an informal meeting with Putin at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation conference in Vietnam, says that the Russian leader believes he is sincere in his denials of election interference. He later angrily asserts that questions about the interference are a politically motivated "artificial Democratic hit job" hindering cooperation with Russia, calls Comey a proven "liar" and "leaker," and says that former top U.S. intelligence officials who concluded that interference took place are "political hacks" before later walking back the jab.
November 12, 2017: Brennan and Clapper say Trump is being played by Putin and accuse him of being susceptible to foreign leaders who stroke his ego.
November 12, 2017: Responding to Trump's latest attack on him, Comey quotes a English Baptist sermon, tweeting "If you want truth to go around the world you must hire an express train to pull it; but if you want a lie to go around the world, it will fly; it is light as a feather and a breath will carry it."
November 13, 2017: RT America registers as a foreign agent, meeting a Justice Department deadline under protest.
November 14, 2017: Sessions, testifying before the House Judiciary Committee, states he has "always told the truth regarding Trump campaign contacts with Russians but only recently recalled a discussion with Papadopoulos about such contacts. "Yes, I pushed back," when asked if he shut down a proposal by Papadopoulos to arrange a meeting with Russians, but three eyewitnesses have said he expressed no objections.
Mid-November 2017: Kushner is questioned about Flynn by Mueller's team.
November 16, 2017: Senate Judiciary Committee leaders charge that Kushner failed to disclose to the committee in July 24 testimony that he received and forwarded WikiLeaks emails, including Torshin's May 2016 proposal of a meeting between Putin and Trump.
November 25, 2017: Putin signs a bill allowing the Russian government to list foreign news outlets as foreign agents in retaliation for the U.S. similarly listing Russian-government backed news outlets. Hours later, Trump in a tweet praises Fox News, calls CNN "fake news," and says CNN International represents "our nation to the world very poorly."
November 27, 2017: Flynn lawyer Robert Kelner meets with Mueller's team.
November 28, 2017: Zarrab pleads guilty and will testify against a co-dendant.
November 28, 2017: Randy Credico, a comedian who has run frequently for New York state offices and his an admirer of Assange, tweets that he has been subpoenaed to appear before the House Intelligence Committee. Credico appears to be the link between WikiLeaks and Stone, who had advance knowledge about hacked Clinton emails.
November 30, 2017: Prince testifies before the House Intelligence Committee in a closed session. He offers blanket denials of any involvement in or awareness of Trump campaign-Russia dealings.
November 30, 2017: Schiff says Sessions would not answer directly
during a closed House Intelligence Committee session on November 14 as to whether Trump ever asked him to hinder the Russia investigation.
November 30, 2017: Manafort, who has been under house arrest since his indictment, offers four properties his lawyers claim are worth $11.65 million as bail.
December: Sessions reportedly begins pushing Wray to oust McCabe, alleging ties to Democratic politicians. Wray reportedly threatens to resign.
Early December 2017: Trump, furious over news reports about a new round of subpoenas from Mueller that reportedly include his dealings with Deutsche Bank, tells advisers that the special counsel's investigation has to be shut down. The reports are determined to be inaccurate and Trump backs down.
December 1, 2017: Flynn, who says he is cooperating with Mueller, enters a guilty plea to a single count of lying to FBI agents about his backchannel communications with Kislyak during the presidential transition. Court documents show that Flynn's communications were part of a coordinated effort by aides running the transition and, in at least one instance, he was directed by a "very senior member" of the transition team regarding the communications.
December 2, 2017: Trump says he is not worried about what Flynn might tell Mueller. "What has been shown is no collusion, no collusion. There has been absolutely no collusion. So we're very happy."
December 3, 2017: In a predawn tweet, Trump denies that he asked Comey to halt his investigation into Flynn, saying it is "Just more Fake News covering another Comey lie!" He later tweets that the FBI's reputation is "in tatters."
December 3, 2017: Kushner, in yet another security clearance application omission, failed to disclose his role as co-director of the Charles and Seryl Kushner Foundation from 2006 to 2015, a period when the group funded an Israeli settlement considered to be illegal under international law, reports Newsweek.
December 4, 2017: Dowd says the president knew in late January 2017, more than two weeks before he fired Flynn, that the then-national security adviser had probably given the FBI the same inaccurate information he provided to Pence about a December 29, 2016 call to Kislyak.
December 4, 2017: Manafort and a Russian colleague with intelligence service ties believed to be Kilimnik were ghost-writing an English-language op-ed piece about Manafort's work for Ukraine in violation of a court order banning him from making statements to the press, Mueller's office says in a court filing. Judge Amy Berman Jackson reprimands Manafort's lawyer, Kevin Downing, saying "This is a criminal trial, not a public relations campaign."
December 5, 2017: The conservative group Judicial Watch says internal Justice Department emails show that Andrew Weissman, a senior prosecutor assigned to Mueller's team, is biased against Trump and calls for the entire investigation to be shut down.
December 6, 2017: A resolution from a liberal Democrat to impeach Trump is tabled by a 364-58 vote. Democratic leaders say it is premature to consider impeachment.
December 6, 2017: In over seven hours of testimony before the House Intelligence Committee, Donald Jr. refuses to say what he and his father discussed after the June 9, 2016 Trump Tower meeting.
December 7, 2017: Wray, appearing before the House Judiciary Committee, defend's the FBI's integrity in response to hostile questioning from Republicans. He declines to discuss an investigation by the Justice Department's inspector general into the FBI's investigation into Clinton's private email server that now includes examining why Strzok was transferred from Mueller's team.
December 7, 2017: The Republican dominated House Committee on Ethics clears Nunes of wrongdoing related to accusations that he improperly disclosed classified information in an effort to bolster Trump's false claim that Obama had personally ordered that his Trump Tower phones be tapped.
December 7~8, 2017: Hicks is interviewed by Mueller's investigators, including her role in formulating a statement for Donald Jr. about the June 9, 2016 meeting.
December 8, 2017: The Trump administration says it will levy new sanctions on Russia to try to force it to comply with a Cold War-era nuclear arms treaty it has violated by deploying a banned cruise missile.
December 12, 2017: PolitiFact names Trump's claim that Russian election interference is a "made-up" story" its "Lie of the Year."
December 13, 2017: Rosenstein, testifying before the House Judiciary Committee in open session, defends Mueller in allegations that bias might being affecting this investigation. He states that he had not seen good cause to fire Mueller.
December 14, 2017: Trump lawyer Kory Langhofer accuses Mueller of illegally obtaining emails and other documents involving the transition team in one of the mounting attacks on the investigation. In a rare public statement, a Mueller spokesman defends how the materials were obtained.
December 15, 2017: Trump again castigates the FBI and dismisses the Russia investigation as a "scam" before departing to address the FBI at its Quantico, Virginia training academy.
Mid-December 2017: Rosenstein, visits the White House to enlist Trump's support in fighting off document demands from Nunes and the House Intelligence Committee. Trump undercuts him and wants to know if he is "on my team."
December 17, 2017: Trump says he has no plans to fire Mueller.
December 17, 2017: Putin phones Trump to thank him for a tip from the CIA that apparently thwarted a terror attack in St. Petersburg. The FSB says it arrested the terrorists, whom it says were connected to ISIS, in raids on December 13~14.
December 18, 2017: The Senate Intelligence Committee orders members of Stein's Green Party campaign to turn over documents relating to the committee's investigation on Russian election interference.
December 18, 2017: Clapper, appearing on CNN, says Putin treats Trump like an "asset."
December 19, 2017: Donald Jr., in a speech in Palm Beach, Florida, suggests top government officials are working to undermine his father's administration, an apparent allusion to "deep state" conspiracy theories pushed by Republicans seeking Mueller's ouster.
December 20, 2017: Mark Warner, Democratic vice chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, describes attacks on Mueller as "reckless, inappropriate" and "extremely worrying."
December 20, 2017: In a policy shift, the Trump administration uses the Magnitsky Act to sanction Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov and four other high-profile individual with ties to Russia.
December 22, 2017: Some 22 former U.S. attorneys, who served under presidents from Nixon to Obama, say in an open letter that it is "critical" to the "interests of justice and public trust" that Mueller must be allowed to continue his investigation unimpeded.
December 26, 2017: Trump again attacks the Steele dossier, tweeting that "Dossier is bogus. Clinton campaign, DNC funded Dossier . . . And [the FBI] used this Crooked Hillary pile of garbage as the basis for going after the Tump Campaign!"
December 28, 2017: Trump, in an impromptu interview with The New York Times, says he believes Mueller will treat him fairly, contradicting some Republicans. He repeatedly insists there has been no collusion.
December 28, 2017: Hacker Konstantin Koslovsky, who is being prosecuted in Russia for breaking into a bank computer, says that he had hacked the DNC at the request of the FSB.
December 29, 2017: The Trump administration grants Deutsche Bank and four other megabanks temporary multi-year waivers of punishment for their prior convictions for manipulating global interest rates.
December 31, 2017: Nunes may be wielding his influence as chairman of the House Intelligence Committee to block critical lines of inquiry into the scandal despite his public recusal from the probe, reports The Washington Post.
Late December 2017: Mueller, meeting with Trump lawyers Dowd and Sekulow, raises the likelihood he will want to interview the president, triggering a discussion among Trump's attorneys about how to avoid a sit-down encounter or set limits on one. Mueller indicates that of especial interest to his investigation are the circumstances surrounding the firings of Flynn and Comey.
January 2, 2018: Trump tweets that the Justice Department should prosecute Comey and prosecute and jail Abedin for confidential State Department emails found on Weiner's laptop. He tweets "Jail! Deep State Justice Dept must finally act?"
January 2, 2018: The founders of Fusion GPS call for the full release of their testimony before congressional committees investigating the scandal, most of which has not been made public.
January 3, 2018: Bannon is quoted as saying in Fire and Fury -- a new tell-all book by Michael Wolff -- on the Trump White House that the June 9, 2016 meeting involving Donald Jr., Kushner and Manafort, "Even if you thought that this was not treasonous, or unpatriotic, or bad shit, and I happen to think it's all of that, you should have called the FBI immediately." A furious Trump fires back that Bannon "lost his mind" after being dismissed from the White House and had "very little to do" with him winning.
January 3, 2018: Kushner adds still more business interests to his security clearance application that he had not previously disclosed.
January 3, 2018: As Republicans escalate efforts to discredit Mueller's investigation, Manafort sues the special prosecutor over his indictment on business dealings ostensibly having nothing to do with Russian interference in the campaign. He asks a federal court to narrow Mueller's authority.
January 4, 2018: Leaders of the House Freedom Caucus, a right-wing Republican group, call on Sessions to resign because he has not sufficiently defended Trump or protected him from investigations into his Russia ties.
January 5, 2018: Escalating the conservative pushback over the scandal, Senate Judiciary Committee Republicans, led by Grassley and Graham, tell the Justice Department they have reason to believe Steele lied to federal authorities, possibly the FBI, about contacts with reporters concerning his dossier in the committee's first criminal referral.
January 5, 2018: Federal law enforcement authorities are actively investigating the Clinton Foundation, something that Trump has long called for, and whether Hillary Clinton as secretary of state exchanged policy favors or special access for contributions to the charity, according to media reports.
January 6, 2018: Trump insists at a Camp David news conference that he is not under investigation, saying "There's been no collusion, no crime . . . Everything I've done is 100 percent proper."
January 7, 2018: Bannon, finding himself cut off from political allies and financial patrons, apologizes to the president, calling Donald Jr. "both a patriot and a good man."
January 9, 2018: Feinstein, the ranking Senate Judiciary Committee Democrat, releases the transcript of Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson's closed-door testimony before the committee. He tells lawmakers, among other things, that Steele had "a Sterling reputation as a person who doesn't exaggerate" and said he believed Steele had unearthed "a security issue about whether a presidential candidate was being blackmailed," a reference to Trump.
January 9, 2018: Bannon is subpoenaed to testify before Mueller's grand jury, the first time the special prosecutor has used a grand jury to seek information from a member of Trump's inner circle.
January 9, 2018: Cohen files defamation lawsuits against Fusion GPS and BuzzFeed News related to the Steele dossier and its claim that he helped organize Russian election interference.
January 10, 2018: Senate Foreign Relations Committee Democrats release a report outlining Putin's decades-long efforts to undermine democracy and issue warnings that the Kremlin will likely move to influence upcoming U.S. elections.
January 10, 2018: Trump responds to the Fusion GPS transcript release in a tweet, calling Feinstein "sneaky." He urges Republicans to "take control" of the scandal investigation.
January 10, 2018: Trump declines to commit to an interview with Mueller, reversing a position he took last year, saying "For 11 months they've had this phony cloud over this administration, over our government . . . it's a Democratic hoax."
January 10, 2018: Manafort and Gates are sued in a New York state court by a Cyprus-based company tied to Deripaska, accusing the men of misappropriating more than $18.9 million that the company had invested in Chorne More as part of an elaborate tax dodge.
January 16, 2018: Bannon, invoking presidential executive privilege, refuses to answer most questions during a contentious closed 10-hour hearing before the House Intelligence Committee.
January 17, 2018: Bannon reaches an agreement with Mueller to be interviewed, according to media reports.
January 17, 2018: Sessions becomes the first member of Trump's Cabinet to be interviewed by Mueller's investigators.
January 17, 2018: Mueller's team and the Senate Intelligence Committee are examining hundreds of newly uncovered payments from Kislyak and other Russian diplomats marked as suspicious by U.S. banks that may be connected to the scandal, reports BuzzFeed News.
January 17, 2018: Nader is detained by FBI agents at Washington Dulles Airport en route to Mar-a-Lago where he planned to celebrate the president's first year in office. Nader is served with search warrants and a grand jury subpoena, questioned for two hours and his electronics seized.
January 17, 2018: A PBS-NPR-Marist poll finds that Americans say by a 68 percent to 14 percent margin that Mueller should be allowed to finish his investigation.
January 18, 2018: Mueller and the FBI are investigating whether Torshin illegally funneled money to the NRA to help Trump, reports the McClatchy News Service.
January 18, 2018: The House Intelligence Committee releases a transcript of Simpson's closed-door testimony before the committee. He tells lawmakers, among other things, that Russians "infiltrated" the NRA.
January 18, 2018: House Intelligence Committee Republicans, continuing their pushback and led by Nunes, circulate but do not release a classified memo criticizing the FBI investigation of Russia's election meddling. The memo claims that a FISA Court warrant application by the FBI in the fall of 2016 to wiretap Page was improper because it was based, in part, on information in the Steele dossier, which was financed by the Clinton campaign and DNC. Democrats respond that the memo is a political stunt.
January 21, 2018: #SchumerShutdown, the hashtag that Republican leaders and the White House are using to accuse Democrats of causing the government shutdown, becomes the top trending hashtag being promoted by Russian bots and trolls on Twitter.
January 24, 2018: Trump says he would agree to an interview with Mueller while sidestepping the question of whether he would do so under oath. "I would love to do it, and I would like to do it as soon as possible. I would do it under oath, absolutely. . . . "Here's the story, just so you understand," he said during an impromptu question-and-answer session with reporters. "There's been no collusion whatsoever. There's been no obstruction whatsoever, and I'm looking forward to it."
January 24, 2018: Russian-linked trolls are using Fox News host Sean Hannity's website to bolster the campaign to undermine Mueller, reports Newsweek.
January 25, 2018: Democrats renew calls for legislation to protect Mueller after The New York Times publishes a story that Trump ordered Mueller to be fired in June 2017. Trump denies the story, calling it "fake news."
January 29, 2018: McCabe, the frequent target of attacks from Trump, announces he is stepping down immediately. Wray suggests that the departure of McCabe, who was scheduled to retire in March, was in part due to an upcoming FBI inspector general's report about the Clinton email investigation.
January 29, 2018: House Intelligence Committee Republicans, backed by Trump, vote along party lines to release the classified memo. Under an obscure rule, Trump has five days to stop the release for national security reasons.
January 29, 2018: Wray and Rosenstein meet with Kelly at the White House in an effort to prevent release of the classified memo.
January 29, 2018: The Trump administration finally accedes to one aspect of a congressional mandate stemming from new sanctions. The administration publishes a list of Russian politicians and oligarchs, but says it has decided not to punish anyone under the new sanctions. The list, for the most part, appears to have been copied from a Forbes magazine ranking of Russian billionaires, and some of the individuals named have been Putin victims.
January 29, 2018: Veselnitskaya and other Russian participants in the June 9, 2016 Trump Tower meeting attempted to enlist a Swiss law enforcement official as a virtual double agent, according to reports in two Swiss newspapers. The interest of Veselnitskaya and the others may have had to do with Veselnitskaya's efforts to weaken or get rid of the Magnitsky Act. A large amount of the funds that Magnitsky had said were stolen in a massive tax fraud scheme are believed to have made their way to Switzerland, information gleaned by Perepilichnyy before his 2012 death under suspicious circumstances. The Swiss agent, identified only as "K," has been fired.
January 30, 2018: Trump states that he "100 percent" supports release of the classified memo.
January 31, 2018: The FBI issues a statement forcefully arguing against release of the classified memo. "[W]e have grave concerns about the material omissions of fact that fundamentally impact the memo's accuracy," the statement says.
January 31, 2018: Schiff accuses Nunes of making "material changes" to the classified memo before sending it to the White House to approve public release, a move he charges should prevent Trump from releasing it.
January 31, 2018: Trump's campaign and the RNC paid a total of $5.5 in legal bills during 2017, according to a Federal Election Commission (FEC) filing.
February 1, 2018: Although it is highly unusual for a president to advocate the release of classified information, Trump plans to tell Congress he has no objections to releasing the memo without any redactions although the U.S. intelligence community and congressional Democrats oppose its release. Wray reportedly threatens to resign.
February 2, 2018: The four-page classified memo is released.
February 2, 2018: Schiff, who says he has examined the intelligence underlying the FISA application savaged in the classified memo, states in an unreleased 10-page classified response that the memo was politically motivated. Committee Republicans vote against releasing Schiff's response, warning that it might contain too much classified information to permit its release.
February 2, 2018: McCain issues a blistering statement, saying "The latest attacks against the FBI and Department of Justice serve no American interests -- no party's, no President's, only Putin's."
February 2, 2018: McFarland, embroiled in the Russia scandal, withdraws her nomination to become ambassador to Singapore.
February 3, 2018: The president tweets that the classified memo "totally vindicates Trump" in the investigation into Russian election interference and campaign collusion.
February 4, 2018: Four Republican members of the House Intelligence Committee, appearing on Sunday talk shows, dispute the classified memo's findings and say it does not vindicate Trump. Brennan blasts the memo and accuses Nunes of abusing his power by selectively releasing information to accuse FBI officials of improperly obtaining a FISA warrant.
February 5, 2018: In a tweet, Trump refers to Schiff as "little Adam Schiff" and calls him one of the "biggest liars and leakers in Washington." He says Schiff "must be stopped," but does not elaborate.
February 5, 2018: Grassley releases a heavily redacted version of a memo alleging that Steele misled the FBI that he had sent to the Justice Department on behalf of the Senate Judiciary Committee on January 5.
February 5, 2018: The House Intelligence Committee votes unanimously to release the Schiff response, giving Trump has five days to stop the release for national security reasons.
February 5, 2018: Lawyers for Trump have advised him against sitting down for an interview with Mueller, reports The New York Times.
February 6, 2018: Tillerson warns that Russia already is meddling in the 2018 midterm elections and the U.S. is inadequately prepared to counter that threat.
February 9, 2018: Rosenstein tells McGahn in a telephone call that significant information requiring additional investigation will further delay Kushner's security clearance process.
February 9, 2018: Trump blocks release of the Schiff response, citing national security concerns although it had been reviewed by the FBI and Justice Department. Democrats denounce the move as politically motivated hypocrisy.
February 9, 2018: Rachel Brand, the number three person at the Justice Department, announces she is stepping down for a private-sector job. NBC News reports Brand wanted to avoid any possibility that she would have to oversee the Russia investigation if Mueller was fired.
February 9, 2018: The resignations of two senior officials prominently discussed in text messages exchanged by FBI personnel formerly assigned to the Russia investigation are announced: Mike Kortan, FBI assistant director for public affairs, and David Laufman, chief of the Justice Department's counterintelligence and export control section.
February 10, 2018: Democrats say they will redact the Schiff response in an effort to meet Trump's security concerns.
February 13, 2018: In a striking contrast to Trump's view, intelligence agency chiefs tell the Senate Intelligence Committee that Russia is likely to meddle in the 2018 midterm elections to sow further political and social divisions.
Week of February 11: Bannon spends 20 hours in interviews with Mueller's team, according to published reports.
February 14, 2018: Russia-linked bots flood Twitter following the Parkland, Florida school shootings with stories arguing that mental health and not guns are to blame.
February 15, 2018: The U.S. joins Britain in formally blaming Russia for a huge cyberattack last June aimed at Ukraine but crippled computers worldwide.
February 15, 2018: Russian authorities block the website of leading opposition leader Aleksei A. Navalny, as well as his American service providers, Instagram and YouTube, after he refuses a court order to remove a posted video accusing Sergei E. Prikhodko, a high-ranking official, of accepting a bribe from Deripaska.
February 16, 2018: In the first charges directly related to election meddling, Mueller indicts 13 Russian nationals and three Russian organizations, including the Internet Research Agency, for illegally using social media to sow political discord in the 2016 election. These included actions that supported Trump's candidacy and disparaged Clinton.
February 16, 2018: Trump tweets that no members of his campaign were implicated in the indictment: "Russia started their anti-US campaign in 2014, long before I announced that I would run for President. The results of the election were not impacted. The Trump campaign did nothing wrong -- no collusion!"
February 18~19, 2018: Trump, in a nine-hour series of angry, defiant and profanity-laced tweets, attacks Mueller for saying the Russian interference effort was intended to push voters toward him and away from Clinton, again tries to shift blame to Barack Obama and the Democrats because Russian interference began before the election, denies he has ever said Moscow was not involved, and attacks the FBI and H.R. McMaster, his national security adviser, for saying Moscow was involved.
February 20, 2018: Mueller charges Van der Zwaan with making false statements to investigators about his interactions with Gates. Van der Zwaan pleads guilty.
February 20, 2018: Sarah Huckabee Sanders, responding to a reporter's question, says Trump now acknowledges that Russia tried to interfere with and influence the election.
February 21, 2018: Democratic congressional leaders propose sending an extra $300 million to the FBI to combat foreign election interference. Republicans propose only a slight boost.
February 22, 2018: New charges are filed against Manafort and Gates by Mueller. Manafort is charged with lying to banks by exaggerating his income to secure millions of dollars in cash loans as part of a decade-long $30 million money laundering scheme as a political consultant for Yanukovych. According to the new charges, Manafort and Gates shielded the money from U.S. tax authorities by moving it through foreign bank accounts.
February 22, 2018: Nunberg is interviewed by Mueller's team.
February 23, 2018: Gates enters a guilty plea to charges of conspiracy and lying and will cooperate with Mueller's investigation.
February 23, 2018: Trump says that he will leave any decisions regarding Kushner's security clearance to Kelly.
February 27, 2018: Kushner is stripped of his high-level security clearance, limiting his ability to view highly classified information, including the Presidential Daily Briefing.
February 24, 2018: The House Intelligence Committee releases a heavily redacted version of the Schiff response that counters Republican claims that top FBI and Justice Department officials abused their powers in spying on Page.
February 24, 2018: Trump tweets that the Schiff response is "a total political and legal BUST" and repeats his claim that the collusion investigation is a "Witch Hunt."
February 24, 2018: Russia hacked hundreds of computers at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea and attempted to place the blame on North Korea by planting false evidence, The Washington Post reports.
February 27, 2018: Officials in at least four countries -- China, Israel, Mexico and the United Arab Emirates -- have privately discussed ways they can manipulate Kushner by taking advantage of his complex business arrangements, financial difficulties and lack of foreign policy experience, according to intelligence reports. Kushner also had contacts with foreign officials that he did not officially report, reports The Washington Post.
February 27, 2018: Rogers testifies before the Senate Armed Services committee that Trump has given him no new authorities or capabilities to strike at Russian cyber operations ahead of midterm elections although he has directed a task force to begin some specific work.
February 27, 2018: Hicks is interviewed by the House Intelligence Committee for more than eight hours. She refuses to answer questions about events and conversations that have occurred since Trump took office, but says that her work for the president had occasionally required her to lie, although not about maters related to Russian election interference.
February 27, 2018: The Patriot Legal Defense Fund, which will defray the legal costs of Trump aides who are being investigated, files paperwork with the IRS to operate as a PAC.
February 27, 2018: A CNN poll finds 61 percent of Americans say the Russia scandal is a serious matter, 55 percent say Trump has tried to interfere with Mueller and 60 percent are not confident that he is taking steps to safeguard the U.S. against foreign sabotage of future elections.
February 28, 2018: Manafort pleads not guilty to the new indictment charges. Judge Jackson sets a September 17 trial date.
February 28, 2018: Trump tweets that it's "disgraceful" that Sessions hasn't launched an independent investigation of FISA Court-generated surveillance orders criticized in the Republican congressional pushback against the FBI and instead has asked the Justice Department's inspector general to look into it. Sessions responds that "complaints . . . will e fully and fairly acted upon if necessary."
February 28, 2018: Hicks announces her resignation.
February 28, 2018: Clinton, referring to Rogers' testimony, tweets that "[T]he Russians are still coming. Our intelligence professionals are imploring Trump to act. Will he continue to ignore & surrender, or protect our country?"
February 28, 2018: ExxonMobil abandons a joint exploration venture with Rosneft because of sanctions, saying it is taking an after-tax loss of $200 million.
March 1, 2018: The Senate Intelligence Committee says it has concluded that Nunes and other Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee who were trying to discredit the Steele dossier were behind the leak of private text messages between Richard Burr, the Senate Committee's top Democrat, and a Russian-connected lawyer. Nunes does not deny the charge.
March 1, 2018: Putin, deepening tensions with the U.S., declares in a speech to lawmakers that Russia has developed nuclear weapons that can avoid any missile defense system. He warned that Moscow would consider any nuclear attack on its allies to be an attack on Russia that would lead to an immediate response.
March 2, 2018: Responding to Putin's threat, Lieutenant General Paul Nakasone, Trump's nominee to run the National Security Agency and U.S. Cyber Command, tells senators at his confirmation hearing that plans are in place to strike back at Moscow for election interference, but they would require Trump's approval. He says the Russians seem unimpressed and "do not think much will happen to them. They don't fear us."
March 4, 2018: Although the State Department has been given $120 million since 2016 to counter foreign efforts to interfere in elections, it has not spend a cent, reports The New York Times.
March 4, 2018: Skripal is found slumped on a shopping center bench in Salisbury, England next to his daughter, Yulia. Both are in critical condition. British counterterrorism police believe they may have been poisoned with a nerve agent smeared on the front door handle of their home.
March 5, 2018: Dowd meets with Mueller to negotiate the terms of an interview with Trump. He says that the president is too busy running the country to sit for an interview, especially if he is not a target of the investigation. Mueller replies that he has to question Trump to determine whether he had criminal intent when he took actions like firing Comey and raises the possibility of subpoenaing Trump to appear before a grand jury.
Mueller's team agrees to provide the president's lawyers with more specific information about the subjects that prosecutors want to discuss with the president. Sekulow then compiles a list of 49 questions that the president's lawyers believe he would be asked. The list is reviewed at a second meeting a few days later. After reviewing the list, according to later published reports, Dowd becomes even more convinced that allowing the president to be interviewed would be a problem.
March 5, 2018: Nunberg, in a series of accusations and insults during cable news interviews, vows to defy a Mueller grand jury subpoena and dares the special prosecutor to arrest him.
March 6, 2018: Trump says at a news conference that he will not let Russia interfere in the 2018 elections. He says the government is conducting "a very, very deep study, and we're coming out with . . . some very strong suggestions" on how to present interference.
March 6, 2018: Nader is cooperating with Mueller and has given testimony to his grand jury about the influence of foreign money on Trump's political activities, reports The New York Times, which says Nader illegally funneled money to Trump's campaign.
March 6, 2018: House Intelligence Committee Republicans have been secretly feeding Cohen inside information from their Russia investigation, reports Daily Beast.
March 7, 2018: Ignoring his lawyers' advice to avoid doing anything that would create the appearance of interfering with Mueller's investigation, Trump has asked McGahn and Priebus about their interviews with the special counsel, reports The New York Times.
March 7, 2018: Putin lavishes praise on Trump in an interview, but says he is disappointed in the U.S. political system, saying it has been "eating itself up."
March 8, 2018: Manafort pleads not guilty to the original indictment charges brought by a Virginia grand jury. Judge T.S. Ellis sets a July 10 trial date. Because Manafort's attorneys have declined to combine the two cases, he will be forced to where two monitoring devices as part of his home confinement.
March 9, 2018: Mueller obtains a warrant for phone records and bank account records pertaining to Manafort, an indication that he may be moving away from examining Manafort's Ukrainian ties to his campaign ties.
March 9, 2018: Nunberg testifies before Mueller's grand jury.
March 9, 2018: Putin, in an interview with NBC's Megyn Kelly, denies that Russia had anything to do with election interference and the 13 Russians indicted by Mueller, saying "These are not my problems. . . . Maybe they're Ukrainians, Tatars, Jews, just with Russian citizenship . . . How do I know? I don't know."
March 11, 2018: Deputy White House press secretary Raj Shah, appearing on ABC's "This Week," says Trump would have been aware of any collusion if it had occurred, but denies that it did.
March 12, 2018: Contradicting in part U.S. intelligence agencies, House Intelligence Committee Republicans state in a draft report that there is no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, merely poor judgment in some instances. Committee Democrats are not allowed to contribute to the report and vehemently disagree with its conclusions.
March 12, 2018: Trump gloats about the draft report in a tweet.
March 12, 2018: Donald Jr. had a previously undisclosed business relationship with a hunting friend who helped raise millions of dollars for his father's campaign, records obtained by The AP show.
March 12, 2018: Rosenstein, in an interview with USA Today, says criticism of Mueller is unwarranted. "The special counsel is not an unguided missile" and there is no justification for terminating him, he says.
March 12, 2018: British Prime Minister Theresa May blames Russia for the Skripal poisonings. Media reports identify the nerve agent used as Novichok No. 5.
March 13, 2018: Trump fires Tillerson and replaces him with Pompeo. Gina Hapsel is named to be the new CIA director.
March 13, 2018: Some House Intelligence Committee Republicans acknowledge that there is evidence that Russia tried to damage Clinton's campaign as Schiff and committee Democrats release a "status update" listing witnesses, firms and documents that Republicans had declined to subpoena or compel to testify and the relevance of each.
March 14, 2018: Manafort asks the court for a second time that Mueller's indictment against him in Washington be dismissed because the special counsel does not have the authority to bring the charges.
March 15, 2018: The Trump administration imposes new financial sanctions on Russia for government-sponsored hacking and trolls, interfering in the 2016 election and a cyberattack against Ukraine and other countries. The sanctions, which stand in contrast with Trump's reluctance to blame Russia, are characterized as an effort to deter Russia with interfering in the midterm elections but fall well short of the full penalties that Congress authorized nearly a year ago.
March 15, 2018: The Department of Homeland Security and FBI issue a report describing sophisticated Russian government attempts to target U.S. and European power plans, nuclear facilities, airports and other critical infrastructure for cyberattacks.
March 15, 2018: The Trump administration belatedly backs British claims that Russia was responsible for the nerve agent attack on Skripal and his daughter.
March 15, 2018: Mueller subpoenas the Trump Organization to turn over documents, the first known instance of the special counsel demanding records directly relating to Trump's businesses.
March 16, 2018: Sessions fires McCabe 26 hours before he was to retire for what the attorney general says is a lack of candor under oath on several occasions. McCabe declares the firing and Trump's persistent needling of him were intended to undermine Mueller's investigation.
March 16, 2018: The Federal Elections Commission has opened a preliminary inquiry into whether Russian money was funneled through the NRA to the Trump campaign, reports Politico.
March 16, 2018: Cambridge Analytica is suspended by Facebook for failing to delete data it had taken from users of the social network. The New York Times and The Observer of London subsequently report that the firm harvested private information from the Facebook profiles of more than 50 million users without their permission in developing techniques that underpinned its work for the Trump campaign.
March 17, 2018: Trump tweets "Andrew McCabe FIRED . . . A great day for Democracy . . . He knew about all the lies and corruption going on at the highest levels of the FBI!"
March 17, 2018: In a shift of strategy from avoiding criticism of Mueller, Dowd says that Rosenstein should end the special counsel's inquiry immediately because collusion allegations were "manufactured by McCabe's boss James Comey based upon a fraudulent and corrupt dossier."
March 17, 2018: McCabe responds to his dismissal by stating "[T]his attack on my credibility is one part of a larger effort not just to slander me personally, but to taint the FBI, law enforcement, and intelligence professionals more generally.
March 18, 2018: Trump lashes out at Mueller, McCabe and Comey in a tweet: "Why does the Mueller team have 13 hardened Democrats, some big Crooked Hillary supporters, and Zero Republicans? . . . And yet, there is NO COLLUSION!"
March 18, 2018: Graham, speaking for a growing number of congressional Republicans, warns Trump that firing Mueller "would be the beginning of the end of his presidency."
March 18, 2018: Facebook draws condemnation and calls for investigations from U.S. and British lawmakers for its role in Cambridge Analytica's massive voter data harvesting.
March 18, 2018: Putin is reelected by an overwhelming margin in a race in which Navalny was barred from running. The pre-ordained victory was guaranteed by voter fraud and a disinformation campaign.
March 19, 2018: Trump continues his attacks on Mueller, tweeting "A total WITCH HUNT with massive conflicts of interest!"
March 19, 2018: Trump adds longtime Washington lawyer Joseph diGenova to take a leading role his legal team. DiGinova has asserted on Fox News that the FBI and Justice Department are framing the president.
March 19, 2018: Cambridge Analytica executives are caught on tape promising an extraordinary package of propaganda strategies to potential clients to help sway elections, including filming opponents in compromising situations with prostitutes and sending someone posing as a wealthy land developer to pose a bribe, while Cambridge Analytica CEO and former Trump consultant Nix was seen talking to undercover reporters from the British news station Channel Four. He said his operatives would never be caught because they work globally using front organizations, report the Daily Beast and The New York Times.
March 19, 2018: Flynn, now a cooperating witness for Mueller, had many more unreported conflicts of interest, reports Bloomberg News. These included numerous contacts with Iranian-born businessman Bijan Kian, on whose behalf he pressured former CIA Director James Woolsey to help promote Kian's computer chip company while Flynn was still DIA director and with whom Flynn worked during the presidential transition to set up an intelligence force of private contractors who would report directly to him as Trump's national security adviser, circumventing the CIA.
March 19, 2018: The NRA acknowledges that it accepts donations from foreign entities "as permitted by law," but insists none of that money has ever been used for election purposes, which would be illegal.
March 20, 2018: Trump congratulates Putin on his reelection in a phone call. It is revealed later by the Kremlin that Trump also proposed meeting with Putin at the White House. During the call, Trump ignores warnings from his national security advisers, including briefing materials in all-capital letters stating "DO NOT CONGRATULATE."
March 20, 2018: McCain slams Trump for congratulating Putin for what calls a "sham" victory.
March 20, 2018: Republican Senator Jeff Flake says he will support impeachment if Trump fires Mueller.
March 20, 2018: Nix is suspended by Cambridge Analytica pending an independent investigation.
March 21, 2018: Brennan states on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" that he believes Russia "may have something on him [Trump] personally," setting off furious speculation about whether the former CIA director was basing his assertion on inside information.
March 22, 2018: Dowd resigns.
March 22, 2018: McMaster, who had unsuccessfully tried to stabilize Trump's chaotic foreign policy operation, is fired and replaced by John R. Bolton, a hard-line former United Nations ambassador.
March 22, 2018: The House Intelligence Committee votes along party lines to formally end its Russia investigation with Republicans saying they found no evidence of collusion.
March 23, 2018: Bolton's super PAC was one of the earliest customers of Cambridge Analytica, which it hired specifically to develop psychological profiles with data harvested from tens of millions of Facebook users, according to media reports.
March 25, 2018: Trump will not hire diGenova because of potential conflicts stemming from clients he and his wife, Virginia Toensing, represent. Trump tweets "Fame & fortune will NEVER be turned down by a lawyer, though some are conflicted. I am very happy with my existing team. Besides, there was NO COLLUSION with Russia, except by Crooked Hillary and the Dems!"
March 26, 2018: The U.S. joins 14 EU countries and 20 other countries in expelling Russians in response to Russia's poisoning of a former Russian spy in Britain. Trump orders the expulsion of 60 Russians, including 12 people identified as Russian intelligence officers who have been stationed at the U.N. in New York.
March 26, 2018: With Trump's legal team reduced to essentially just one member -- Sekulow -- leading white-collar lawyers have repeatedly spurned overtures to take over the president's defense, reports The New York Times.
March 27, 2018: Gates was in contact during the campaign with a man believed to be Kilimnik, according to a sentencing brief filled in connection with Van der Zwaan.
March 27, 2018: Manafort asks the court that Mueller's indictment against him in Virginia be dismissed because the special counsel does not have the authority to bring the charges.
March 27, 2018: Several Democratic and Republican senator, in letter to Trump, urge him to let Mueller finish his investigation.
March 27, 2018: A defamation lawsuit is filed by Aaron Rich, the brother of Seth Rich, against the Washington Times and individuals who pushed the conspiracy theory that Seth Rich's murder was linked to DNC email thefts and that Aaron Rich had assisted him in the thefts.
March 28, 2018: Homeland security secretary Kirstjen Nielsen warned dozens of foreign diplomats -- including Russian ambassador Anatoly Antonov -- in a recent speech that the U.S. would retaliate if foreign adversaries meddle in coming elections, reports The New York Times.
March 28, 2018: Ted Malloch, a British citizen who has claimed he represents Trump, is stopped by the FBI at Logan Airport in Boston, interrogated about his connections to Stone and WikiLeaks and told he will be interviewed by Mueller's team at a later date.
March 28, 2018: Sekulow assistant Ekonomou, who has no major criminal law case experience, may occupy the lead role filled by Dowd.
March 28, 2018: The New York Times reports on Dowd's overtures to lawyers for Flynn and Manafort regarding pardons.
March 29, 2018: Sessions rebuffs a call from Republican leaders to appoint a second special counsel to look into the FBI's handling of its most high-profile investigations, including the Clinton Foundation and Page FISA warrant, and instead orders a review of them.
March 29, 2018: Intensifying its clash with Britain, Europe and the U.S., Russia says it will expel 150 Western diplomats, including 60 Americans, and close the American consulate in St. Petersburg.
April 1, 2018: RT America stops broadcasting in the Washington, D.C. area. It gives having to register as a foreign agent with the Justice Department as the reason.
April 2, 2018: A new court filing reveals Rosenstein's August 2, 2017 authorization for Mueller to investigate whether Manafort worked with Russia on election interference, countering the argument of Manafort's lawyer in a pending lawsuit that Rosenstein had given Mueller a "blank check" and he had overstepped his legal mandate.
April 3, 2018: Van der Zwaan is given 30 days in jail and fined $20,00o in the first Mueller investigation sentencing.
April 3, 2018: Trump declares that "Nobody has been tougher on Russia than I have" during a White House news conference with the leaders of Baltic states.
Early March 2018: Mueller's team questions Vekselberg and searches his electronic devices when his private jet lands at a New York area airport.
April 4, 2018: Sater, who reportedly is cooperating with Mueller's investigation, gives more than six hours of closed-door testimony on to the Senate Intelligence Committee, which reportedly is focusing on Trump business deals involving Cohen.
April 4, 2018: At a hearing on Manafort's lawsuit against Mueller, Downing indicates that Manafort is no longer challenging Mueller's appointment order or asking that the indictments against Manafort be thrown out. "I don’t really understand what's left to your case," Judge Jackson says.
April 4, 2018: Facebook reveals that 37 million more people might have been exposed in the Cambridge Analytica privacy scandal than the 50 million previously thought. It says it will restrict the data it allows outsiders to access on its users.
April 5, 2018: Manafort, using a strategy involving Gates and Kilimnik that later was employed by Russia to use Twitter and Facebook to discredit Clinton and to help Trump win the election, authorized a secret Ukraine-based media operation from 2011-2013 on behalf of Yanukovych using "back ops," "placed" articles in The Wall Street Journal and U.S. websites, and anonymous briefings against Clinton, reports The Guardian.
April 6, 2018: The Trump administration imposes new sanctions on seven of Russia's richest men, including Deripaska and Vekselberg, and 17 top government officials in the latest and most aggressive effort to punish Putin's inner circle for interference in the 2016 election and other Russian aggressions.
April 6, 2018: Manafort's lawyer asks the court to exclude evidence that Mueller's investigators obtained from one of his storage lockers in Virginia on May 26, 2017, claiming they obtained the evidence unlawfully.
April 9, 2018: FBI agents raid Cohen's Manhattan office, apartment and hotel room and seize records related to his relationship with Trump that may have violated banking and campaign finance laws.
April 9, 2018: Trump erupts in fury over the raids. He accuses the Justice Department of perpetuating a "witch hunt" and lashes out at Mueller, Sessions and Rosenstein.
April 10, 2018: Sanders says Trump has the power to fire Mueller. Top congressional Republicans warn doing so might put his presidency at risk, but reject calls to pass legislation to protect the special counsel.
April 10, 2018: Mueller is investigating a payment made to Trump's foundation by Ukrainian steel magnate and billionaire Victor Pinchuk in return for a 20-minute video speech Trump gave during his campaign, reports The New York Times.
April 10, 2018: Zuckerberg expresses contrition for being "too slow to spot and respond to Russian interference" during two days of congressional testimony.
April 11, 2018: Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Grassley says he wants his panel to vote on a bipartisan bill to prevent the undue firing of special counsels like Mueller. The bill would mandate a 10-day waiting period after an order to fire the special counsel, during which period the firing could be appealed to a three-judge panel and during which time no staff changes could be made to the special counsel's team and no documents could be destroyed.
April 12, 2018: Rosenstein assures Trump during a White House meeting that he is not the target of Mueller's investigation and the president then backs off a threat to fire the deputy attorney general, reports Bloomberg News.
April 12, 2018: Secretary of state nominee Pompeo pledges a tougher line on Russia in testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
April 12, 2018: Pre-publication reviews and commentary begin appearing on A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies and Leadership, a deeply critical memoir by Comey of his relationship with Trump. The Republican National Committee launches a digital ad campaign and website that brands the former FBI director as "Lyin' Comey."
April 13, 2018: Trump, in a pair of tweets, calls Comey an "untruthful slime ball," a "proven LEAKER & LIAR," and says it was "my great honor to fire."
April 13, 2018: Mueller has evidence that Cohen secretly made a trip to Prague in late-summer 2016 to meet with Russian officials and hackers, reports the McClatchy News Service. Cohen has denied making the trip, which was detailed in the Steele dossier.
April 13, 2018: Lawyers representing Cohen ask U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood to block the Justice Department from reading documents seized in the multiple FBI raids related to Cohen's decade-long legal representation of Trump. They also raise concerns about attorney-client privilege.
April 13, 2018: The Justice Department inspector general delivers to Congress a scathing report that accuses McCabe of violating the FBI's media policy and then repeatedly misleading investigators about his actions.
April 13, 2018: Nearly 7 in 10 adults say they support Mueller's investigation, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll.
Weekend of April 14~15, 2018: Sessions calls McGahn and says he may resign if Trump fires Rosenstein, reports The Washington Post.
April 14, 2018: Over 360 present and former Justice Department employees urge Congress to "swiftly and forcefully respond" should Trump fire Mueller or Rosenstein.
April 15, 2018: Trump continues to rail against Comey, calling him a "slimeball," saying in a pair of early-morning tweets that he belongs in jail for what the president says were lies to Congress and leaks of classified information.
April 15, 2018: Trump, in a court filing, demands an opportunity to review files seized in the Cohen raids, arguing that prosecutors cannot fairly make that determination.
April 15, 2018: Comey tells ABC News's George Stephanolpoulos on "20-20" in his first televised interview since being fired that he believes Trump is "morally unfit to be president." He says that it is "possible" that the Russians have material that could be used to blackmail him and insists that impeachment would just "let the American people off the hook" and said the public is "duty bound" to vote Trump out of office.
April 15, 2018: Trump's reelection campaign has spent more than $834,000 out of $3.9 million on attorney fees this year as the president contends with Mueller's investigation and a legal challenge from adult-film star Stormy Daniels, according to a new FEC filing. The latest figures bring the campaign's total spending on legal fees to nearly $4 million since the president took office.
April 15, 2018: Maxim Borodin, a Russian journalist who recently wrote about Russian mercenaries in Syria, dies from injuries sustained after falling from his fifth-floor balcony in Yekaterinburg on April 12. Friends and associates are skeptical of the official view the death was a suicide.
April 16, 2018: Trump stops a plan to impose additional economic sanctions on Russia for its involvement in Syria, walking back an April 15 announcement by U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley of the new punishment and further underscoring the schism between the president and his national security team.
April 16, 2018: State-sponsored Russian hackers are actively seeking to hijack essential internet networking hardware that could be used in a future offensive, U.S. and U.K. intelligence agencies say.
April 17, 2018: McConnell says he has no intention of letting any bill to protect Mueller to be brought up for a full Senate vote.
April 18, 2018: Eleven House Republicans, complaining that the investigations into Clinton's and Trump's campaign were marked by "dissimilar degrees of zealousness," urge Sessions to prosecute Clinton, Comey, Lynch and more than a half-dozen current or former Justice Department officials.
April 18, 2018: Lawyers for Cohen withdraw his defamation lawsuits against BuzzFeed News and Fusion GPS. They would have required him to submit to an evidence discovery process, including producing documentation and sworn testimony about his activities with the Trump campaign.
April 19, 2018: The Justice Department releases 15 pages of redacted and declassified memos by Comey regarding his interactions with Trump, including Trump's repeated efforts to get him to drop the Russia investigation and preoccupation with allegations that he interacted with prostitutes during a November 2013 trip to Moscow.
April 19, 2018: Trump tweets: "James Comey Memos just out and show clearly that there was NO COLLUSION and NO OBSTRUCTION. Also, he leaked classified information. WOW! Will the Witch Hunt continue?"
April 19, 2018: Former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani and two other former federal prosecutors join Trump's legal team.
April 19, 2018: The Justice Department's inspector general refers his finding that McCabe repeatedly misled investigators to Washington's top federal prosecutor.
April 20, 2018: The DNC files a lawsuit in federal court alleging that it was the victim of a conspiracy by Russian officials, the Trump campaign and WikiLeaks to damage Clinton's presidential run.
April 23, 2018: A new court filing by Mueller states that Manafort's Virginia home was raided on July 26, 2017 to look for documents relating to the June 9, 2016 Trump Tower meeting.
April 24, 2018: Giuliani meets with the Mueller's office to try expedite the end of the special prosecutor's inquiry into collusion.
April 24, 2018: Sessions has opted not to recuse himself from the Cohen investigation, although he may remove himself from certain questions on a case by case basis, reports Bloomberg News.
April 26, 2018: The Senate Judiciary Committee, in a challenge to Trump, advances on a bipartisan vote long-stalled legislation to allow special counsels Mueller to appeal their firing to a panel of judges and possibly be reinstated. Even senators who voted against the legislation warn Trump against trying to dismiss Mueller. Senator Orrin Hatch, the longest-serving Senate Republican, says that "firing Mueller would cause a firestorm and bring the administration's agenda to a halt. It could even result in impeachment."
April 26, 2018: Judge Wood appoints a special master to review material seized from Cohen, acceding to his request that an independent party review the material before federal prosecutors can access it.
April 27, 2018: House Intelligence Committee Republicans release a 250-page report concluding that they had found no evidence that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia. Committee Democrats dissent.
April 27, 2018: Judge Jackson dismisses Manafort's lawsuit.
April 27, 2018: Veselnitskaya acknowledges in an NBC News interview that "I am an informant" who since 2013 has been "actively communicating" with Chaika to thwart the Prevezon money-laundering case.
April 30, 2018: The New York Times reveals the list of 49 questions for Trump that Mueller gave to Dowd in early March. Many center on obstruction of justice.
April 30, 2018: Conservative Republican House allies of Trump in the Freedom Caucus have drafted articles of impeachment against Rosenstein as a "last resort," reports The Washington Post.
May 2018: The Justice Department and FBI begin an investigation of Cambridge Analytica.
May 1, 2018: Trump, in a tweet, says it is "disgraceful" that Mueller's questions were publicly disclosed and noted that there were no questions about collusion. The president also says collusion was a "phony" crime.
May 1, 2018: Rosenstein says that the Department of Justice "is not going to be extorted" and that he has no responsibility to release documents that "nobody has the courage to put their name on" in response to the Freedom Caucus impeachment threat.
May 2, 2018: Trump injects himself into the dispute between conservative House Republicans and Rosenstein, siding with the hard-line lawmakers over his own Justice Department. In a tweet, Trump calls the legal system "rigged" and amplified the lawmakers' complaints that Rosenstein was not moving fast enough to turn over the classified documents they want, including information on a top-secret FBI source whom hardliners claim improperly spied on his 2016 campaign. Justice Department and intelligence agency officials warn that publicly identifying the confidential source would put lives in danger and imperil other operations.
May 2, 2018: In the latest shake-up of Trump's legal team, Cobb is stepping down and is expected to be replaced by veteran white-collar defense attorney Emmet Flood, who served as special counsel in the George W. Bush administration and represented President Clinton during House proceedings to impeach him, reports The New York Times.
May 2, 2018: Ukrainian prosecutors have stopped cooperating with Mueller in his investigation into Manafort and Kilimnik because the government is deeply reliant on U.S. aid and is concerned about offending Trump, The New York Times reports.
May 2, 2018: Cambridge Analytica announces it will cease operations and declare bankruptcy in the U.S. and U.K. because of its loss of clients because of revelations that it had improperly obtained the personal information of 87 million Facebook users.
May 3, 2018: Kushner's ethics disclosure filing misstated the details of two Brooklyn loans, the latest in a long series of errors and omissions on the form, which has been updated at least 40 times since he first submitted it in March 2017, reports Talking Points Memo.
May 4, 2018: During a motion hearing on fraud charges against Manafort, Judge Ellis accuses Mueller of pursuing a fraud case against him to pressure him to "sing" and provide evidence against the president, bolstering Manafort's argument that the charges against him are outside the scope of the special counsel’s authority.
May 7, 2018: Trump tweets that the Russia investigation is being run by Democrats, it is being drawn out to influence the outcome of midterm congressional elections, and warns that negative material would emerge about the prosecutors leading the inquiry, writing "Just wait 'till the Courts get to see your unrevealed Conflicts of Interest."
May 8, 2018: Daniels' attorney Michael Avenatti reveals that Vekselberg funneled more than $500,000 through Columbus Nova, a U.S. firm he controls, into Essential Consultants LLC, the shell company that Cohen had used to make his infamous $130,000 hush payment to the porn star. Among other corporations, Novartis paid Cohen $1.2 million and AT&T $600,000 for promised access to newly elected President Trump in what The New York Times preliminarily estimates to be at least $4.4 million in payments to Essential Consultants.
May 8, 2018: Nunes threatens to hold Sessions in contempt unless the Justice Department agrees to share certain classified documents with Congress.
May 10, 2018: House Intelligence Committee Democrats release 3,500 Facebook ads purchased by Russian agents around the 2016 election as a reminder of the complexity of the manipulation that Facebook is trying to contain ahead of the midterm elections.
May 14, 2018: Mueller obtained a secret order previously under seal from a federal magistrate judge to suspend the statute of limitations on one of the charges against Manafort because investigators were relying on Cyprus to produce certain evidence which had not yet been provided, a court filing reveals.
May 15, 2016: Judge Jackson denies Manafort's request that she throw out the Mueller indictment brought in the criminal case against him in Washington D.C.
May 15, 2016: The Trump administration has eliminated the White House's top cyber policy role, jettisoning a key position created during the Obama presidency to harmonize the government's overall approach to cybersecurity policy and digital warfare, reports Politico. Many experts and former government officials criticize the move as a major step backward for federal cybersecurity policy.
May 16, 2018: The Senate Intelligence Committee, contradicting the findings of its House counterpart, says it has determined that the U.S. intelligence community was correct in assessing that Russia interfered in the 2016 election with the aim of helping Trump. "The Russian effort was extensive, sophisticated, and ordered by President Putin himself for the purpose of helping Donald Trump and hurting Hillary Clinton," said committee chairman Burr and vice chairman Warner. The committee also releases 2,500 pages of testimony about the June 9, 2016 meeting.
May 16, 2018: Documents about payments made by Cohen and publicized by Avenatti were leaked by a whistleblower because it appeared two similar reports were missing from a government database and it was feared they were being hidden from law enforcement, reports The New Yorker.
May 16, 2018: Giuliani, reacting to the Senate Intelligence Committee disclosures, tells Fox News host Laura Ingraham that there is "nothing illegal" about trying to find compromising information about opponents even if the source is Russia.
May 17, 2018: As Mueller's investigation enters its second year, Trump claims that an informant improperly spied on his 2016 campaign and predicts that the ensuing scandal will be "bigger than Watergate!" He tweets "Congratulations America, we are now into the second year of the greatest Witch Hunt in American History . . . and there is still No Collusion and No Obstruction. The only Collusion was that done by Democrats who were unable to win an Election despite the spending of far more money!" Meanwhile, Trump's allies wage an increasingly aggressive campaign to undercut the Russia investigation by exposing the alleged informant.
May 17, 2018: Jeffrey Johai, Manafort's son-in-law, has reached a plea agreement with the Justice Department after pleading guilty to misusing construction loan funds and overdrawing a bank account involving his real estate dealings with Manafort in New York and California, reports Reuters. The plea agreement requires Yohai to cooperate with other investigations, including Mueller's.
May 18, 2018: Three top Senate Democrats request a rare multi-agency inspector-general investigation into the Trump administration's failure to fully implement congressionally-mandated sanctions.
May 18, 2018: Mueller's team has been meeting over the last year with Artemenko concerning his interactions with Trump administration officials, reports Politico.
May 18, 2018: The informant is a retired American professor who has done work for the FBI and CIA, report The Washington Post and New York Times, whose identity is withheld by the newspapers, say he separately approached Page, Clovis and Papadopolous over a months-long period in 2016 in an effort to ascertain Russia's influence in the campaign. The Daily Caller identifies the informant as Stefan Halper.
May 18, 2018: Skripal is released from a British hospital.
May 20, 2018: The New York Times publishes a story on the August 3, 2016 Trump Tower meeting.
May 20, 2018: In a six-part tweetstorm, Trump lashes out at his perceived enemies, writing "Things are really getting ridiculous. The Failing and Crooked (but not as Crooked as Hillary Clinton) @nytimes has done a long & boring story indicating that the World's most expensive Witch Hunt has found nothing on Russia & me so now they are looking at the rest of the World!" Trump later tweets that he will "demand" that the Justice Department look into whether the Obama administration asked that the FBI spy on his campaign.
May 20, 2018: Under pressure from Trump, the Justice Department asks its inspector general to assess whether political motivation tainted the FBI investigation into ties between Russia and Trump’s campaign.
May 21, 2018:. A new cache of emails reveals an ambitious, secretive lobbying effort by Elliot Broidy, a top fundraiser for Trump, and Nader to isolate Qatar and undermine the Pentagon's longstanding relationship with the Gulf country, reports The AP.
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