Timeline of Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This is a timeline of major events related to election interference that Russia conducted against the U.S. in 2016. This timeline also includes major events related to investigations into suspected inappropriate links in 2016 between associates of then-presidential candidate Donald Trump and Russian officials.[1]

Glossary of relevant individuals

Before Trump's candidacy

  • September 2008: Donald Trump Jr., then an executive vice president of The Trump Organization, states, "Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets; say in Dubai, and certainly with our project in SoHo and anywhere in New York. We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia."[2][3]
  • 2011–2013: "Oligarchs" associated with the Russian government found the Internet Research Agency, also known as IRA or "Glavset" a so-called "troll farm" where up to a thousand bloggers disrupt foreign activities both public and private.
  • August 2013: Eric Trump tells author James Dodson "We don’t rely on American banks [...] We have all the funding we need out of Russia", and states "We go there all the time". Eric Trump states in May 2017 that this was "fabricated" and is an example of why people distrust the media.[5][2][6][7][8]
  • November 2013: The Trump-owned Miss Universe pageant is held in Moscow, sponsored by VTB Bank.[5] The event’s $20 million dollar licensing fee is paid by a Moscow real estate development firm called the Crocus Group, whose president is Aras Agalarov and Vice President is his son, pop singer Emin Agalarov.[10] Following this event, Trump tells Real Estate Weekly that "the Russian market is attracted to me, I have a great relationship with many Russians".[2]
  • January 2015: A court filing by the US government contains a transcript of a recorded conversation between two members of a Russian SVR spy ring, Victor Podobnyy and Igor Sporyshev. Their conversation concerns efforts to recruit "Male-1", later confirmed as Carter Page. Podobnyy describes Page as an "idiot" and tells Sporyshev, "You get the documents from him and tell him to go fuck himself".[11][12]
  • Spring 2015: U.S. Intelligence intercepts conversations of Russian government officials discussing associates of Donald Trump.[13]
  • April 2015: Flynn begins advising ACU Strategic Partners, a company that seeks to build nuclear power plants in the Middle East involving a sanctioned Russian company.[14]
  • June 2015: Flynn travels to the Middle East. Evidence presented by members of Congress to Mueller in September 2017 indicates that his purpose was to promote a Russian-backed plan for the building of forty nuclear reactors, with "total regional security" to be provided by US-sanctioned Russian weapons exporter Rosoboron.[15][16][17][18]

2016 presidential campaign

2015

  • July onward: Thousands of fake Twitter accounts run by the Kremlin's Internet Research Agency begin to praise Trump over his political opponents by a wide margin, according to a later analysis by The Wall Street Journal.[20][21]
  • July 24: Rob Goldstone emails Donald Trump's assistant Rhona Graff, suggesting that Emin Agalarov could arrange a meeting between Trump and Vladimir Putin, according to December 2017 reporting by The Washington Post.[22]
  • Summer: Hackers linked to the Russian FSB gain access to the DNC computer network.[23]
  • September:
    • An FBI special agent contacts the Democratic National Committee to report that at least one DNC computer system has been hacked by an espionage team linked to the Russian government. The agent is transferred to a tech-support contractor at the help desk, who makes a cursory check of DNC server logs and does not reply to follow-up calls from the FBI agent, allegedly because of a belief that the call might have been a prank.[24]
    • Jill Stein speaks briefly with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at a Russia Today gala in New York City.[25]
  • September 2: Lisa Page writes in a text message to Peter Strzok that a meeting at the FBI was set up "because Obama wanted 'to know everything we are doing'."[26] The text message referred to the FBI investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, not the Clinton emails investigation which had concluded months earlier.[27][26] Three days later, on September 5, Obama confronted Putin over Russia's cyber attacks.
  • September 4–5: At the 2016 G20 Hangzhou summit, Obama confronts Putin about Russian cyber attacks, telling him to stop. Putin explains Russia's stance on the issue.[28]
  • September 21: On Hugh Hewitt's radio program, Trump says, "The oligarchs are under [Putin's] control, to a large extent. I mean, he can destroy them, and he has destroyed some of them... Two years ago, I was in Moscow . . . I was with the top-level people, both oligarchs and generals, and top-of-the-government people. I can't go further than that, but I will tell you that I met the top people, and the relationship was extraordinary."[29]
  • October 28: Donald Trump signs a letter of intent to construct a Trump-branded building in Moscow; a fact made public in August 2017.[30][31]
  • October: For his remarks during a cybersecurity forum in Washington, D.C., Flynn receives $11,250 from Kaspersky Government Security Solutions Inc. which is the American subsidiary of Kaspersky Lab owned by Eugene Kaspersky.[32][33]
  • November: Trump associate Felix Sater emails Trump lawyer Michael Cohen: "Michael, I arranged for Ivanka to sit in Putin's private chair at his desk and office in the Kremlin [...] Our boy can become president of the USA and we can engineer it. I will get all of Putin's team to buy in on this".[34] Sater also tells Cohen that the Kremlin's VTB Bank is ready to finance a Trump Tower project in Moscow.[5]
  • December 10: Retired Lieutenant General Michael T. Flynn gives a paid speech on world affairs in Moscow, at a gala dinner organized by RT News.[35] Flynn had appeared on RT as an analyst after he retired from the U.S. Army. The dinner is also attended by Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is the guest of honor.[36] Flynn is seated directly next to Putin; also seated at the head table are Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein and members of Putin's inner circle, including Sergei Ivanov, Dmitry Peskov, and Alexey Gromov.[37] For his December speech, Flynn nets $33,500 of the $45,000 paid to his speakers’ bureau.[38] For all of 2015, Flynn receives more than $65,000 from companies linked to Russia.[39]

January–March 2016

  • January: Cohen attempts to contact Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, requesting assistance towards construction of a Trump-branded building in Moscow.[40]
  • January 19: Konstantin Sidorkov, executive at Vkontakte (VK, Russia’s equivalent to Facebook), emails Trump Jr. and social media director Dan Scavino offering to help promote Trump’s campaign to its nearly 100 million users. Goldstone brokered the overture. Sidorkov emails again on November 5, 2016.[41]
  • February 29: Paul Manafort submits a five-page proposal to Trump outlining his qualifications to help Trump secure enough convention delegates and win the Republican presidential nomination. Manafort describes how he had assisted several business and political leaders, notably in Russia and Ukraine.[42]
  • March: George Papadopoulos first meets Maltese academic Joseph Mifsud while travelling in Italy.[43]
  • March 21: In a Washington Post interview,[44][45] Trump identifies Carter Page and George Papadopoulos as being among his foreign policy advisers. Page had helped open the Moscow office of investment banking firm Merrill Lynch and had advised Russian state-owned energy giant Gazprom, in which Page is an investor. He had blamed 2014 US sanctions relating to Russia’s annexation of Crimea for driving down Gazprom’s stock price.[46] Earlier in March 2016, Iowa tea party activist Sam Clovis had recommended Page to the Trump campaign.[47]
  • March 24: In London, Papadopoulos meets Mifsud and Olga Polonskaya, who falsely claims to be a niece of Vladimir Putin.[48] Polonskaya is in regular email contact with Papadopolous, in one message writing: "We are all very excited by the possibility of a good relationship with Mr. Trump".[43]
  • March 29: On Roger Stone's recommendation,[49] Manafort joins the Trump campaign as convention manager, tasked with lining up delegates.
  • March 31: At the first meeting of Trump's foreign policy team, which includes Trump and Sessions, Papadopoulos speaks of his connections with Russia, and offers to negotiate a meeting between Trump and Putin. Sessions later states he opposed the idea.[43][50][51][52]
  • Spring: U.S. intelligence officials’ suspicions about Russian meddling in the election grow after their counterparts in Europe warn that Russian money might be flowing into the presidential election.[13]

April–June 2016

  • April:
    • Mifsud introduces Papadopoulos to Ivan Timofeev, program director of the Kremlin-sponsored Valdai Discussion Club. Papadopoulos and Timofeev communicate for months concerning potential meetings between Russian government officials and members of the Trump campaign. Later records indicate that Timofeev discussed Papadopoulos with former Russian Foreign Minister Igor S. Ivanov.[48][43]
    • Between April and November 2016, at least 18 further exchanges by telephone and e-mail occur between Russian officials and the Trump team.[53][54]
    • Hackers linked to the GRU gain access to the DNC computer network.[23]
    • Russian social media company SocialPuncher releases an analysis showing that Trump has quoted or re-tweeted Twitter bots 150 times since the beginning of 2016.[55][56]
  • April 20: Manafort becomes Trump’s campaign manager. Reports surface about his 2007 to 2012 ties to former President of Ukraine Victor Yanukovych, whom Manafort had helped to elect.[57]
  • April 26:
    • Papadopoulos meets Mifsud in London again. Mifsud claims that he recently learned that Russians are in possession of thousands of stolen emails that may be politically damaging to Clinton.[58][43][48]
    • Prior to the second Mifsud meeting, Papadopoulos emails Stephen Miller, informing him that Putin has extended an "open invitation" to Trump. Following the meeting, Papadopoulos informs Miller that he has "some interesting messages coming in from Moscow about a trip when the time is right."[48]
  • April 27:
    • Trump, Sessions and Jared Kushner greet Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington D.C. This contact is repeatedly omitted from testimony, or is denied.[45][59][60]
    • Trump delivers a speech edited by Papadopoulos, which calls for improved relations between the US and Russia. Papadopoulos brings the speech to the attention of Mifsud and Polonskaya, and tells Timofeev that it should be considered "the signal to meet".[43]
  • Late April: The DNC's IT department notices suspicious computer activity. Within 24 hours, the DNC contacts the FBI, and hires a private cybersecurity firm, CrowdStrike, to investigate.[61]
  • May:
    • CrowdStrike determines that sophisticated adversaries—denominated Cozy Bear and Fancy Bear—had been responsible for the DNC hack. Fancy Bear, in particular, is suspected of affiliation with Russia’s Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU).[62]
    • In London, Papadopoulos tells the Australian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Alexander Downer, that the Russians have politically damaging material on Hillary Clinton. Two months later, Australian officials pass this information to American officials.[43]
    • According to December 2017 reporting by The New York Times, Paul Erickson, a member of the National Rifle Association, contacts Trump campaign advisor Rick Dearborn. In an email headed "Kremlin Connection", Erickson seeks the advice of Dearborn and Sessions about how to arrange a meeting between Trump and Putin. Erickson suggests making contact at the N.R.A.’s annual convention in Kentucky. The communication reportedly refers to Alexander Torshin who is under instructions to contact the Trump campaign.[63][64]
  • May 19-22: The N.R.A. annual conference is held in Louisville, Kentucky. Trump Sr and Trump Jr attend. Trump Jr speaks over dinner with Alexander Torshin.[65][66][67]
  • May 26: The Associated Press reports that Trump has secured enough delegates to become the presumptive Republican nominee.[23]
  • June:
    • The FBI sends a warning to states about "bad actors" probing state voter-registration databases and systems to seek vulnerabilities; investigators believe Russia is responsible.[68]
    • Dearborn, then Chief of Staff for Sessions, sends an email mentioning an individual from West Virginia seeking to connect Trump campaign members with Putin. Dearborn appears "skeptical" of the meeting request.[69]
    • Fusion GPS hires Christopher Steele to research Trump's activities in Russia. A resultant 35-page document, later known as the Trump–Russia dossier or Steele dossier, is published on 10 January 2017 by BuzzFeed News.[70]
  • June 3: Trump Jr. receives an e-mail from Goldstone offering, on behalf of Azeri singer Emin Agalarov, to meet an alleged Russian government official who “would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father,” as "part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.” Trump Jr. responds "I love it," and schedules the meeting. Goldstone also offers to relay the information to Trump Sr. through his assistant, if it was desired.[71]
  • Early June: At a closed-door gathering of foreign policy experts visiting with the Prime Minister of India, Page hails Putin as stronger and more reliable than President Obama and touts the positive effect that a Trump presidency would have on U.S.-Russia relations.[78]
  • Summer:
    • The FBI and the Justice Department obtain a FISA warrant to intercept the communications of Carter Page under concerns that he may be acting as a Russian agent, according to later reporting by The Washington Post.[79][80] (NOTE: Unclear if this refers to the October 19 application.)
    • Papadopoulos is approached via LinkedIn by American-Belarussian Sergei Millian of the Russian-American Chamber of Commerce. Papadopoulos and Millian meet repeatedly in Manhattan to discuss starting an energy business together, to be financed by Russian billionaires "who are not under sanctions". They also discuss the possibility of a Trump Tower in Moscow.[43]

July–September 2016

  • July: Steele reveals to an FBI agent in Rome some of the findings from his work-in-progress dossier which alleges a wide-ranging Russian conspiracy to elect Trump.[43]
  • July 7: In a lecture at the New Economic School in Moscow,[81] Page criticizes American foreign policy, saying that many of the mistakes spoiling relations between the US and Russia “originated in my own country.”[82] Page had received permission from the Trump campaign to make the trip.[83] Page also meets Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich during the visit.[84]
  • July 13: A hacker or group calling themselves Guccifer 2.0 releases over 10,000 names from the DNC in two spreadsheets and a list of objectionable quotes from Sarah Palin.[86]
  • July 18: Guccifer 2.0 dumps a new batch of documents from the DNC servers, including personal information of 20,000 republican donors and opposition research on Trump.[87]
  • July 25: Based on assessments from cybersecurity firms, the DNC and the Clinton campaign say that Russian intelligence operators have hacked their e-mails and forwarded them to WikiLeaks.[98]
  • July 27: At a news conference, Trump "hopes" that Russia can find Clinton's missing emails. The remark triggers a backlash from media and politicians who criticize Trump's "urging a foreign adversary to conduct cyberespionage" against his political opponent.[99][100] Trump replies that he was being "sarcastic".[101]
  • End July: CIA Director John Brennan, alarmed over intelligence that Russia is trying to "hack" the election, forms a working group of officials from the CIA, FBI and NSA.[103]
  • July: According to later testimony by James Comey, the FBI starts a counter-intelligence investigation about Russian interference, including possible coordination between Trump associates and Russia.[104]
  • August: Julian Assange addresses the Green Party National Convention in Houston via videolink, concerning the hacked DNC documents published by Wikileaks. Green candidate Jill Stein later states she does not know why or how this address was arranged.[25]
  • August 16: Stone tells Alex Jones that he is in contact with WikiLeaks director Julian Assange, claiming he has "political dynamite" on Clinton.[105]
  • August 17: Trump is warned in an FBI briefing that foreign adversaries including Russia would likely attempt to infiltrate his campaign. A similar briefing is given to Clinton in the same month.[106][107]
  • August 18: The FBI issues a nationwide "flash alert" warning state election officials about foreign infiltration of election systems in two states, later reported to be Arizona and Illinois. The alert includes technical evidence suggesting Russian responsibility, and urges states to boost their cyberdefenses. Although labeled for distribution only to "NEED TO KNOW recipients," a copy is leaked to the media.[108]
  • August 19: Manafort resigns as Trump's campaign manager.[109]
  • August 26: Assange states that Clinton is causing "hysteria" about Russia, following her claims that Russian intelligence was behind the leaks.[110] He also says "The Trump campaign has a lot of things wrong with it, but as far as we can see being Russian agents is not one of them."[110]
  • September 8: Sessions meets with Kislyak a second time, in Sessions' office;[1] he later says they discussed Ukraine and terrorism.[112]
  • September 25: When asked by CNN about allegations linking Page to Russia, Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway denies that Page is part of the Trump campaign.[113][114]

October–November 2016

  • Early October: A team of FBI agents travel to Europe to speak with Steele, concerning his work-in-progress dossier which alleges a wide-ranging Russian conspiracy.[43] On the same date (or a close date in October), Steele provides the FBI with a dossier of allegations compiled by Cody Shearer, which independently corresponded "with what he had separately heard from his own independent sources." It included the unverified allegation that Trump was sexually compromised by the Russian secret service at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Moscow in 2013.[116][117]
  • October 7:
    • WikiLeaks begins publishing thousands of emails from Clinton campaign manager John Podesta, revealing excerpts from Clinton's paid speeches to Wall Street.[118][119]
    • The DHS and the ODNI issue a joint statement[120] accusing the Russian government of breaking into the computer systems of several political organizations and releasing the obtained material via DCLeaks, WikiLeaks and Guccifer 2.0, with the intent "to interfere with the U.S. election process."[121]
  • October 12: WikiLeaks writes to Trump Jr. “Hey Donald, great to see you and your dad talking about our publications,” “Strongly suggest your dad tweets this link if he mentions us.”[122] Fifteen minutes later, Donald Trump Sr. writes on Twitter, "Very little pick-up by the dishonest media of incredible information provided by WikiLeaks. So dishonest! Rigged system!"[123]
  • October 14:
    • Trump Jr. tweets a specific Wikileaks link.[124]
    • Pence denies that the Trump campaign is working with Wikileaks, stating that "nothing could be further from the truth".[125]
  • October 19:
    Senator Harry Reid Letter to FBI Director James B. Comey[126]
    • The FBI and the Justice Department apply for a FISA warrant to conduct surveillance on Carter Page.[127]
    • During the third presidential debate, Clinton blames Russia for the DNC email leaks and accuses Trump of being a "puppet" of Putin.[128] Trump denies ever meeting Vladimir Putin or having any connection to him.[129]
    • A Financial Times probe finds evidence a Trump venture has links to alleged laundering network.[130]
  • October 24: Trump announces at a Florida campaign rally, "I have nothing to do with Russia, folks, I’ll give you a written statement."[131]
  • October 27: At the Valdai Discussion Club yearly forum, Putin denounces American "hysteria" over accusations of Russian interference, saying “Does anyone seriously think that Russia can influence the choice of the American people?”[132]
  • October 30: Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid sends letter to FBI Director James Comey asking for him to reveal Donald Trump's ties to the Russian Federation.[133]
  • October 31:
    • Through the "red phone", President Obama tells President Putin to stop interfering or face consequences.[134]
    • Mother Jones magazine's David Corn reported a veteran spy, later known to the public as Steele, had given the FBI information alleging a Russian operation to cultivate Trump, later known as the "Steele dossier".[135]
    • Slate publishes an article by Franklin Foer alleging that a Trump server was in suspicious contact with Alfa-Bank in Russia.[136] Snopes examined the story and their rating was "Unproven". Several cyber security experts saw nothing nefarious, while the FBI was still investigating the matter: "One U.S. official said investigators find the server relationship 'odd' and are not ignoring it. But the official said there is still more work for the FBI to do. Investigators have not yet determined whether a connection would be significant."[137]

Post-election transition

November–December 2016

  • November-January: According to a New York Times report in December 2017, during the transition period, Trump aide Hope Hicks is warned by the FBI at least twice that she may be being approached by Russian government operatives using fake identities.[139][140]
  • November 10:
    • Kislyak states that Russia was not involved with U.S. election hacking.[141]
    • In a private Oval Office meeting, Obama warns Trump against hiring Flynn.[142]
  • November 11: Hicks denies claims by the Kremlin that Trump officials met with its staff.[131]
  • December 1/2: According to an anonymous letter to The Washington Post citing leaked intercepts of Russian diplomatic communications, during a transition team meeting at Trump Tower, Kushner asks Kislyak about the potential to communicate directly with the Kremlin over a Russian-encrypted channel. Flynn also attends the meeting.[146]
  • Early December: In Russia, Sergei Mikhailov, FSB cyber chief, Ruslan Stoyanov, senior researcher with Kaspersky Lab, and Dmitry Dokuchayev, a hacker known as “Forb”, are arrested for treason.[147][148]
  • December 13:
    • Gorkov arrives from Moscow to meet Kushner in New York, before flying to Japan where Putin is holding a summit. The meeting was first reported in March 2017, and attracted interest of federal and congressional investigators in May. Kushner later characterizes the meeting as brief and meaningless.[5][153]
    • Trump picks Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State; Russian officials praise the decision.[154]
  • December 15: Clinton tells a group of donors in Manhattan that Russian hacking was ordered by Putin "because he has a personal beef against me" due to her accusation in 2011 that Russian parliamentary elections that year were rigged.[155][156] Clinton's comment is backed by U.S. Intelligence reports.[157]
  • December 18: Speaking to CBS News, Conway states that it is "false" and "dangerous" to suggest that members of the Trump campaign spoke to any Russians during the campaign.[131]
  • December 30: Putin announces he will not retaliate against the U.S. expulsions, contrary to recommendations from Lavrov.[167] In reply, Trump tweets "Great move on delay (by V. Putin) – I always knew he was very smart!"[168] Trump's response is widely interpreted as Trump praising Putin's actions.

January 2017

  • Early January: Later reporting states that, at a meeting in Langley, Mossad agents are warned by a U.S. spy chief that Putin may have "leverages of pressure" over president-elect Trump and that intelligence should be shared cautiously with the coming White House and United States National Security Council for fear of leaks to the Russians and thereby Iran.[169][170][171]
  • January 5:
    • Obama is briefed on the intelligence community’s findings.[172]
    • Flynn, Kushner and Steve Bannon meet with the King of Jordan. According to BuzzFeed, they discuss a plan to deploy American nuclear power plants in Jordan with security support from a Russian company. "People close to the three Trump advisers" deny the allegations.[173][174]
    • R. James Woolsey Jr., who had joined as a senior adviser to candidate Donald Trump in September 2016, resigns amid Congressional hearings into cyber attacks and public statements by Donald Trump critical of the United States Intelligence Community.[175]
  • January 6: The ODNI releases an unclassified report stating that "Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the US presidential election".[176] Putin was personally involved in the Russian interference, per a CIA stream of intelligence.[157]
  • January 11:
    • Trump tweets "Russia has never tried to use leverage over me. I HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH RUSSIA – NO DEALS, NO LOANS, NO NOTHING!".[180] USA Today says this is "not exactly true".[181]
    • Erik Prince, a Trump campaign donor and brother of forthcoming Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, meets in the Seychelles with Kirill Dmitriev, CEO of the Russian government's $10bn Russian Direct Investment Fund. Prince will claim in August that he scarcely remembers this person. Dmitriev's identity is revealed November 2017. The meeting was organized by the United Arab Emirates and reportedly includes talks of a "back-channel" with Moscow to try and influence Russian policy in the Middle East.[182][183]
  • January 15: Interviewed on CBS’ Face the Nation and Fox News Sunday, Vice President-elect Pence repeatedly denies any connection between the Trump campaign team and Russians.[53]
  • January 17: Sessions states in writing that he has not been "in contact with anyone connected to any part of the Russian government about the 2016 election."[185] Sessions had been accused of failing to disclose two meetings with Kislyak.[186]
  • January 18/19: McClatchy[187] and The New York Times report that Trump associates Manafort, Page and Stone have been under investigation by the FBI, NSA, CIA, and FinCEN,[188] based on intercepted Russian communications and financial transactions.[189] Sources say "the investigators have accelerated their efforts in recent weeks but have found no conclusive evidence of wrongdoing."[188]

Trump administration

January 2017

  • January: McGahn tells Trump he believes that Flynn had misled the FBI and lied to Vice President Pence, and should be fired.[191]
  • January 20:
Susan Rice E-Mail to Self on Jan 20, 2017
    • Trump and Pence take office.[192]
    • According to December 2017 reports, while seated at Trump's inauguration speech, Flynn texts Alex Copson, chairman of ACU Strategic Partners, that Russian sanctions blocking a private Russian-backed plan to build nuclear plants in the Middle East will now be 'ripped up'.[193][194][195][196] An associate of Copson later denies the allegation.[197]
  • January 21:
    • Trump appoints Flynn as National Security Advisor.[198]
    • Steve Bannon calls former Trump foreign policy adviser Carter Page on the phone, where they speak on the subject of Russia. According to congressional testimony given by Page in November 2017, Bannon referred to the dossier and asked him to cancel a scheduled television appearance.[199]
  • January 24: Flynn is interviewed by the FBI about his conversations with Kislyak.[200] Flynn concealed the FBI interview from the White House. The interview took place without a lawyer present.[201] Flynn pleads guilty on December 1, 2017 to lying during the interview.[202][203]
  • January 26: Acting Attorney General Sally Yates warns the Trump administration that Flynn has not been truthful about his contacts with Russia and that he may be vulnerable to blackmail by Russian intelligence.[204] Flynn is fired 18 days later, February 13.[205]
  • January 27:
    • Papadopoulos is interviewed by the FBI concerning Russian meetings in 2016. He pleads guilty in October 2017 to making omissions and false statements during the interview.[206][207]
    • White House Counsel Donald McGahn has further discussions with Yates on the Flynn matter.[208]
    • During a private dinner at the White House, Comey gets the impression that Trump wants to "create some sort of patronage relationship." Comey would later testify that Trump requested "loyalty" from him, and that he offered "honesty" instead.[209]

February 2017

  • February: According to later reporting by Michael Wolff, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, during a visit to the White House, warns Kushner that UK intelligence services may have had the Trump campaign under surveillance. Blair denies Wolff's claims.[211][212]
  • Early February: Cohen delivers a pro-Russian Ukrainian peace plan to Flynn while visiting the White House. The plan was developed by Sater and Andrii Artemenko, a Ukrainian politician who said he was encouraged by "top aides" to Putin.[213]
  • February 8: Sessions is confirmed as Attorney General by a vote of 52 to 47;[214] he is sworn in the next day.[215]
  • February 9:
    • The Washington Post reports that Flynn privately discussed Russian sanctions with Kislyak before Trump took office, which Flynn had previously denied.[216]
    • Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) introduces a resolution of inquiry in relation to possible crimes relating to the financial dealings or collusion with Russia by President Trump.[217]
  • February 13: Flynn is dismissed after less than a month in office.[218]
  • February 14:
    • Trump asks Comey, per Comey's testimony to Congress, to drop any investigation of Flynn.[219] The White House later denies the charge.[220] Three months later (May 9, 2017) Trump fires Comey.[221]
    • Spicer states that Trump asked McGahn to determine whether Flynn had broken the law, and that McGahn told the White House that no law had been broken.[222][223]
  • February 16: Papadopoulos is interviewed for a second time by the FBI. In the following days, he deletes his Facebook account which he had run since 2005 (containing correspondence concerning Russia), opens a new Facebook account and changes his telephone number.[224][225]
  • February 20:
    • Trump appoints H. R. McMaster to replace Flynn as National Security Advisor.[226]
    • Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders states during a White House press briefing that "to the best of our knowledge, no contacts took place" between the Trump team and Russia.[131]
  • February 24: Asked about links between Trump and Russia, then White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer states that "there are no connections to find out about".[131]

March 2017

  • March 1: Sessions comes under scrutiny after reports that he had contact with Russian government officials during the election campaign, even though he denied it during his confirmation hearings. Democratic representatives ask Sessions to resign his post as United States Attorney General.[227]
  • March 1-2: On Trump's instructions, McGahn attempts to persuade Sessions to stop recusing himself from the Russia investigation, according to January 2018 reporting.[228][229][230][231]
  • March 2: Sessions announces that he will recuse himself from any investigations into Russia's interference in the 2016 presidential election.[232]
  • March 3: In testimony to Congress, Comey says: “It makes me mildly nauseous to think that we might have had some impact on the election.”[233]
  • March 20: The House Intelligence Committee holds its first public hearing. Comey admits that there is indeed an FBI investigation ongoing, checking whether there were any links between individuals associated with the Russian government and the Trump campaign, and whether there was coordination involved.[235]
  • March 22: House Intelligence Committee (HIC) Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA) announces that he discovered the intelligence community "incidentally collected" the communications of some members of Trump's transition team, potentially including the president himself,[236] and claims that the information was "widely disseminated". It is later confirmed that he learned this from an unnamed source during his White House visit on the previous day.[237]
  • March 23: Rick Gates, longtime deputy to Manafort and Trump campaign advisor, is forced to leave the pro-Trump nonprofit 'America First Policies' after reports that Manafort sought to further Russian interests.[238]
  • March 27: House Intelligence Committee ranking member Adam Schiff and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi call for Nunes' recusal from the investigation after details of his White House visit become public.[239]
'Clint Watts tells Senate intel panel that Russia targets Trump with propaganda'. Video from C-Span
  • March 30:
    • Flynn tells the FBI and Congress that he would testify in exchange for immunity from prosecution.[240]
    • Former FBI special agent Clint Watts testifies as an expert witness before the Senate Intelligence Committee.[241]
  • Late March: Trump asks Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and NSA Director Mike Rogers to publicly deny any collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. Both refuse, saying the requests were inappropriate.[242]

April 2017

  • April 3: Eli Lake reports in Bloomberg View that former National Security Advisor Susan Rice had requested to unmask the identities of members of the Trump campaign and presidential transition in surveillance records.[243]
  • April 4: BuzzFeed News identifies "Male-1", described in 2015 US government court documents containing evidence of a Russian spy ring attempting to recruit American assets in New York, as Carter Page.[11][244]
  • April 6: Nunes recuses himself from the House Intelligence Committee investigation.[245] The House Ethics Committee starts an investigation of Nunes' conduct in the month of March.[246]
  • April 25: Rosenstein is confirmed by the Senate by a vote of 94-6.[247][248]

May 2017

  • May 4:
    • Rice refuses to testify to Congress.[250]
    • In a Wall Street Journal interview, Peter Smith, a GOP operative and independent opposition researcher says he tried to acquire the 33,000 deleted Clinton emails. Smith contacted several hackers who claimed to have data, including some potential Russian operatives. Flynn's son Michael G. Flynn was reportedly involved in the effort. Smith kills himself ten days after the interview.[251][252][253]
  • May 5: An aide to Jeff Sessions asks a member of Congressional staff if they know of any damaging information about James Comey, according to January 2018 reporting by The New York Times.[228]
  • May 8: In an Oval Office meeting, Trump informs Kushner, Pence and McGahn of his intent to remove Comey, and gives them copies of the Miller draft. McGahn objects to the angry tone of this letter and convenes a separate meeting later that day with Sessions and Rosenstein, who had previously considered removing Comey from office. Rosenstein is given a copy of Miller's draft and agrees to write a new memo that would support the dismissal, using Comey's handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation as the main rationale.[254]
  • May 9:
    • Rosenstein gives the memo to Sessions to provide the basis for Sessions' recommendation that Comey be dismissed.[255][53]
    • Trump dismisses Comey from his position as FBI Director.[233]
    • Spicer tells the press that Trump "has no business in Russia; he has no connections to Russia."[256]
  • May 10:
    • Trump holds a meeting in the White House with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Kislyak. U.S. reporters are excluded.[45] Trump reportedly tells Lavrov and Kislyak he fired Comey to relieve pressure caused by the investigation.[257] Trump shares classified intelligence about ISIS with Lavrov and Kislyak, without first seeking permission from the allied sources who collected the information.[258] It is later confirmed that the intelligence came to Trump from Israel via Mike Pompeo.[171][259]
    • Pence characterizes the dismissal of Comey as a reactive decision made by Trump in response to a recommendation by Sessions and Rosenstein.[260]
  • May 11: In an interview for NBC News, Trump states that the Russia investigation was a consideration for him at the time of deciding to dismiss Comey.[261]
  • May 12: Trump threatens Comey with alleged secret recordings of their conversations.[262]
Congressman Al Green's Floor Speech on the Impeachment of President Trump
  • May 19: Senator Feinstein repeats her statement of May 3 that no evidence of collusion was found, and adds that "there are rumors".[266]
  • May 22: Flynn refuses to hand over subpoenaed documents to the Senate Intelligence Committee, citing the Fifth Amendment against self-incrimination.[267]
'Russia, Trump Team in Contact, Former CIA Director Tells Congress' video from Voice of America
  • May 23:
    • U.S. Department of Justice ethics experts declare Mueller ethically able to function as special counsel.[268]
    • The House Intelligence Committee hears testimony from former CIA Director Brennan, who states that Russia "brazenly interfered in the 2016 election process" despite U.S. efforts to ward it off.[269]
  • May 24: U.S. media reports that Trump has hired lawyer Marc Kasowitz, his longtime legal counsel, to represent him in any inquiry.[270]
  • May 25: The Senate Intelligence Committee unanimously votes to give its Republican chairman Richard Burr, and Democratic vice chairman Mark R. Warner, "blanket authority" to issue subpoenas during their investigation.[271]
  • May 26:
    • The Washington Post reports that Kislyak told Moscow that Kushner wanted a secret communications channel with the Kremlin under Russian supervision.[146]
    • The Senate Intelligence Committee requests that the Trump campaign turn over "all of its emails, documents and phone records" related to Russia. Several months earlier, the committee had asked the campaign committee to preserve records.[272]
  • May 30:
    • Cohen is formally urged to preserve records by the special counsel and the congressional committees.[273] Flynn partially agrees to turn over documents in the investigation.[274]
    • CNN reports about leaked intercepts of conversations between Kremlin officials discussing their potential influence on some Trump campaign members, including financial matters.[275]
  • May 31:
    • The House Intelligence Committee serves seven subpoenas – including those on Cohen and Flynn – for testimony, personal documents and business records.[276][277]
    • The FBI and congressional committees enquire about a possible third encounter between Sessions and Kislyak on April 27, 2016.[278]
    • The Trump administration offers to re-open the two Russian diplomatic compounds, in New York and Maryland, that had been locked down by the Obama administration on December 29, 2016.[279]
    • The White House announces that it will no longer take questions relating to Russia-Trump allegations, referring such questions to Trump's lawyers.[280]

June 2017

At a conference in St. Petersburg, NBC's Megyn Kelly repeatedly questioned Putin about Russian interference in the 2016 US elections.[281]
  • Summer: Mueller's team interviews Rosenstein.[282]
  • June 3: Mueller takes over an earlier probe into Manafort's activities in Ukraine.[283]
  • June 5: The Intercept publishes a top secret NSA document which discusses the targeting by GRU of computer systems maintaining voter rolls in several states.[284][285] Reality Winner, an NSA contractor, is arrested for leaking the document.[286]
'Coats refuses to say whether Trump asked him to intervene in Flynn investigation'. Video from C-Span
  • June 7:
    • Coats and Rogers testify to the Senate Intelligence Committee that they never felt pressured by Trump to do anything inappropriate, but decline to answer questions on private conversations with him.[287]
    • In a prepared written testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee,[288] Comey confirms telling President Trump that he was not personally under any investigation, and refusing to say this publicly without prior approval from the Attorney General's office.[289] He also states that Trump felt the Russia story was a "cloud" that prevented him from performing his job as president.[289]
  • June 13:
    • The U.S. Senate agrees a new package of sanctions on Russia in retaliation to the election interference. The bill is drafted to prevent Trump from lifting sanctions unilaterally.[294]
    • Sessions testifies before the Senate Intelligence Committee.[295]
    • Rosenstein testifies to the Senate that he is the only person empowered to dismiss Mueller, and that he sees no reason to do so.[296]
  • June 14: The Washington Post confirms that Mueller is investigating Trump for obstruction of justice, in relation to his dismissal of Comey.[297]
  • June 16: Trump tweets: "I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director! Witch Hunt."[298]
  • June 18: Trump's lawyer Jay Sekulow states that he has not been notified of any investigation into Trump himself.[299]
  • June 19: ABC News contradicts the Post's report of June 14, saying no decision has yet been made on whether to investigate Trump for potential obstruction of justice.[300]
  • June 20: Speaking about her campaign and party in a Politico interview, Jill Stein states: "I am certainly not aware of any ties whatsoever, financial or otherwise, to the Russian government."[25]
  • June 21: Kushner's lawyers provide an amended SF-86 to the FBI, their third such change, to list the meeting with the Russian lawyer.[301]
  • June 23: Kushner is interviewed by the FBI about his security clearance.[301]
  • June 27: Manafort registers retroactively as a foreign agent with the United States Department of Justice, showing that his firm received $17.1 million over two years from Yanukovych's Party of Regions.[302]
  • June 30: On the Lawfare blog, British security consultant Matt Tait claims that he had a series of conversations with Peter Smith in 2016, concerning Hillary Clinton's emails, an unnamed dark web contact, and a new Delaware company called KLS Research.[303][304] Tait is interviewed by Mueller shortly thereafter.[305]

July 2017

  • July 7: During a two-hour meeting with Trump at the 2017 G20 Hamburg summit, Vladimir Putin denies interfering in the 2016 US election. Trump conducts a second meeting with Putin some hours later, with no US aides. The second meeting is undisclosed by the White House until July 18, following news reports.[306][307][308][309]
  • July 9:
    • The New York Times first reports that Trump Jr., Kushner and Manafort met Veselnitskaya at Trump Tower on June 9, 2016.[72][313]
    • President Trump says he and Russian President Vladimir Putin "discussed forming an impenetrable cyber security unit so that election hacking, and many other negative things, will be guarded and safe." Trump later says he does not think this will happen.[314]
  • July 10–18: Further details about the Veselnitskaya meeting emerge in the press.[73][74][75]
  • July 11: Trump Jr. tweets his emails about the Veselnitskaya meeting before The New York Times publishes them minutes later.[71][315]
  • July 12:
    • Two Democratic Party donors and a former party staff member file an invasion of privacy lawsuit against Trump’s campaign and Stone.[316]
    • Articles of Impeachment against President Trump are formally filed in the House of Representatives.[317]
    • Speaking on Fox News, the Vice President's spokesman Marc Lotter repeatedly refuses to clarify whether or not Pence met with Russian representatives.[318]
  • July 14: Brad Parscale, the digital media director of Trump's campaign, issues a statement stating "I am unaware of any Russian involvement in the digital and data operation of the 2016 Trump presidential campaign", following accepting an invitation to testify before the House Intelligence Committee.[319]
  • July 19:
    • The New York Times reports on offshore transactions and shell companies linked to Manafort's work in Ukraine and investments with a Russian oligarch.[320]
    • The New York Times reports on sources claiming that Deutsche Bank is cooperating with federal investigators about Trump accounts.[321]
    • Trump, in an interview with The New York Times, threatens Mueller's job if the investigation expands to his personal finances.[322]
    • The UK'S National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has said this week that it has never certified Kaspersky Lab's security software, an admission that comes just a week after the Trump administration booted the firm from two of its approved suppliers lists.[323]
  • July 20:
    • Bloomberg News reports that Mueller is investigating Trump's business transactions.[324]
    • The Washington Post reports Trump is asking his attorneys about his ability to pardon himself and other key aides and family members.[325]
  • July 21:
    • The Washington Post reports Sessions discussed Trump campaign-related matters with Kislyak.[326]
    • The Senate Judiciary Committee requests all communications between Trump Jr. and a group of people, including Green Party candidate Jill Stein. Stein publicly describes the notion that she communicated with Trump Jr. as "an obvious smear designed to generate a fake news feeding frenzy".[327]
    • John M. Dowd replaces Marc Kasowitz at the head of Trump's legal team, following personal threats made by Kasowitz.[328] Legal spokesman Mark Corallo resigns.[329] Later reporting by Michael Wolff states that Corallo had been instructed not to speak to the press or to answer his telephone, and that he privately stated his belief that the Air Force One meeting on 8 July 2017 represented likely obstruction of justice.[330]
  • July 22: Trump asserts ‘complete power’ to pardon anyone in relation to the Russia investigation.[331]
  • July 24: After a closed-door meeting with the Senate Intelligence Committee, Kushner issues a statement denying any collusion with Russian officials.[332][333]
  • July 25:
    • Kushner meets with the House Intelligence Committee in a closed-door meeting.[334][333]
    • Manafort meets with members of the Senate Intelligence Committee and turns over contemporaneous notes of the June 9, 2016 meeting.[335][336]
    • In an Oval Office interview with The Wall Street Journal's Gerard Baker, Trump states that there was "nobody on the campaign that saw anybody from Russia".[337]
  • July 26: The FBI conducts a pre-dawn raid on Paul Manafort's home, seizing documents and electronic devices.[335][338] The raid happens on the day Manafort was scheduled to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee.[339]
  • July 28: Trump indicates his intention to sign the bill passed by overwhelming veto-proof majorities in both houses of Congress; taking the sanctions in place against Russia out of the control of the president.[341][342]
  • July 30: Putin, responding to sanctions, orders a cut in U.S. diplomatic staff by 755, and bars U.S. officials from entering a warehouse in Moscow used by the United States Embassy and to a site along the Moscow River.[343]
  • July 31: The Washington Post reports that President Trump personally dictated a statement for his son Donald Trump Jr., stating that the Veselnitskaya meeting “primarily discussed a program about the adoption of Russian children”.[344] The next day, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders clarifies that Trump "certainly didn't dictate, ... but he weighed in, offered suggestion, like any father would do, based on the limited information that he had."[345]
  • Late July: Mueller removes senior FBI investigator Peter Strzok from his team following the discovery of private texts exchanged with FBI lawyer Lisa Page during the Clinton investigation and the election campaign. According to The Washington Post, the texts contain comments which are pro-Clinton, are critical of Congress and the media, and describe Trump as an 'idiot' and a 'loathsome human'.[346][347][348]

August 2017

  • August 1: The Washington Post reports on a lawsuit filed by Rod Wheeler, claiming direct involvement by the Trump White House in the publication of a Fox News story concerning the Seth Rich conspiracy theory.[349]
  • August 2:
    • Trump signs Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), the Congressional legislation limiting his ability to ease sanctions against Russia. He describes the bill as "flawed" and "unconstitutional".[350][351]
    • The Trump campaign turns over about 20,000 pages of documents to the Senate Intelligence Committee, as demanded by Senators Feinstein and Grassley.[352]
  • August 3:
    • The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post report that Mueller has convened a grand jury in the District of Columbia District Court exclusively for his Russia probe.[353][354]
    • Flynn reveals a brief advisory role with Cambridge Analytica, the data mining and analysis firm that worked with Trump’s campaign, and the sponsoring Mercer family in an amended public financial filing. Flynn also discloses income from the Trump transition team.[355]
    • Newsweek publishes an interview with Jill Stein in which she describes as "fake news" all suggestion of wrongdoing or collusion in relation to members of the Trump campaign and the visit to Moscow during which she was photographed with Putin and Flynn.[356]
    • Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Chris Coons (D-DE) unveil legislation designed to prevent President Trump from firing Special Counsel Mueller.[357]
  • August 5: Kislyak denies any inappropriate contact with Flynn. Kislyak announces that he will not agree to testify before Congress or a grand jury.[361]
  • August 6: Rosenstein confirms that Mueller is authorized to investigate any crime exposed by his inquiry.[362]
  • August 9: The Washington Post reports on the FBI raid at Manafort's home on July 26.[335] According to The New York Times, the search was ordered by Mueller for tax documents and foreign banking records.[363]
  • August 14:
    • Vice President Pence states that he "never witnessed" and was "not aware" of any collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian officials.[365]
    • The Washington Post first reports on Papadopoulos' repeated attempts to arrange campaign meetings with the Russian leadership, which Manafort is said to have refused.[366]
August 22, 2017 Fusion GPS Testimony Transcript of Glenn R. Simpson
  • August 22:
    • Steele identifies to the FBI named sources for the information in his Trump dossier.[367]
    • Fusion GPS founder Glenn R. Simpson, who had hired Steele to compile the dossier, speaks privately with the Senate Judiciary Committee and hands over more than 40,000 documents.[367] Simpson tells the Committee that Steele knew that the FBI had an informant placed within Trump's campaign, and that the FBI's own information substantiated the details of Steele's research. Simpson also states that Steele broke off relations with the FBI shortly after 31 October 2016 due to his concerns that the FBI was being manipulated by Trump's associates. Simpson's attorney Josh Levy states during the meeting that a person has been killed as a result of the Steele dossier's publication.[368][369][370][371]
  • August 23:
    • The FBI requests from the General Services Administration (GSA) copies of communications by nine members of Trump's team, according to Trump transition lawyer Kory Langhofer. A further request is made on August 30.[372]
    • Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley confirms that the Senate Committee will vote on the question of releasing the transcript of the Fusion GPS testimony of August 22.[373] A vote is never scheduled; the transcript is unilaterally published by Senator Dianne Feinstein on 9 January 2018.[374]
  • August 24:
    • The New York Times reports that Akhmetshin had stronger ties to the Russian government and Kremlin-backed oligarchs than previously known.[375]
    • House Intelligence Committee issues subpoenas to the FBI and the Department of Justice for documents relating to the Trump dossier. They were not complied with by the September 1 deadline; deadline extended to September 14.[376]
  • August 25: The Washington Post and NBC report that Mueller has issued subpoenas to several lobbying firms connected to Flynn and Manafort, including Mercury Public Affairs and SGR LLC.[377][378]
  • August 29: CNN reports that Manafort's former attorney Melissa Laurenza and spokesman Jason Maloni have received subpoenas from Mueller.[40]
  • August 31:
    • The Daily Beast reports that Mueller has enlisted the IRS to investigate Trump's tax returns by the Criminal Investigations Unit of the agency.[380]
    • The Wall Street Journal reports that Trump's lawyers have attempted to make their case against charges of obstruction of justice against Trump to Mueller in the past months.[381]

September 2017

  • September 1: The GSA submits a flash drive to Mueller's team containing tens of thousands of communications by thirteen senior members of Trump's transition team, including Kushner, from the official governmental Presidential Transition Team domain, "ptt.gov".[382][383]
  • September 6: Facebook admits selling advertisements to Russian companies seeking to reach the 2016 U.S. election audience.[384] Hundreds of accounts were reportedly tied to the Internet Research Agency.[385][386] Facebook pledges full cooperation with Mueller's investigation, and begins to provide details on purchases from Russia, including identities of the individuals involved.[387]
  • September 7: In testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Trump Jr. confirms that he met with a group of Russians in Trump Tower in June 2016 in order to seek damaging information about Hillary Clinton, but that no such information was forthcoming.[388]
  • September 8: Mueller names to the White House six current and former aides he expects to question in Russia probe: Hicks, Spicer, Priebus, McGahn, Josh Raffel of the Office of American Innovation, and James Burnham.[389]
  • September 11: The Daily Beast reports that Russia used Facebook events to organize anti-immigrant rallies on U.S. soil.[390]
  • September 13:
    • The United States bans use of Kaspersky Lab software in federal agencies amid concerns of Russian espionage.[392]
    • Flynn's son, Michael G. Flynn, is named as a subject of Mueller's investigation.[393]
    • CNN reports that the Justice Department is preventing Senate investigators from interviewing two top FBI officials who could provide first-hand testimony over the firing of Comey.[394]
    • Bloomberg reports that Mueller has a “red-hot” focus on Russia’s effort to influence U.S. voters through Facebook.[395]
    • The Justice Department asks a company that supplies services to the US affiliate of Russia Today (RT) to register as a foreign agent.[396]
    • Facebook states that a 225,000-member anti-immigrant group that attempted to organize anti-Clinton rallies in Texas during the 2016 presidential campaign was "likely operated out of Russia".[397]
    • The Wall Street Journal reports that Flynn promoted a multi-billion-dollar Middle Eastern Russian-backed nuclear-plant project while working in the White House.[398]
  • September 14: Page files suit against Yahoo and The Huffington Post, alleging defamation in a September 2016 news article concerning his connections to Russia.[399]
  • September 15:
    • In response to a warrant, Facebook shares with Mueller copies of advertisements and account information related to the Russian advertisement purchases, beyond that which it shared with Congress in the previous week.[400][401]
    • According to The Wall Street Journal, California Representative Dana Rohrabacher contacted the White House this week trying to broker a deal that would end Assange’s legal troubles in exchange for evidence that Russia wasn’t the source of hacked emails published by Wikileaks during the 2016 presidential campaign.[402]
    • Jason Maloni, a spokesman for Paul Manafort, testifies before Mueller's federal grand jury.[403]
  • September 18:
    • Mueller notifies Manafort that he is a target of the investigation and will be indicted.[405]
    • CNN reports that US investigators had been wiretapping Manafort under secret court orders before the election campaign, at least since 2014. The government surveillance continued into early 2017, including a period when Manafort was known to talk to President Donald Trump.[406]
  • September 19:
    • A private interview by the Senate Intelligence Committee with Michael Cohen is disbanded upon learning that Cohen had previously shared his prepared statement with the media. Senators Burr and Warner condemn Cohen's action, and announce that he will be recalled to testify publicly on October 25.[407][408]
    • Congressional investigators say Facebook is withholding information that may demonstrate the nature of Russian election interference.[409]
    • CNN reports that Mueller's Manafort investigation covers eleven years of activity.[410]
    • Reports emerge that Trump is using campaign and RNC funds to pay legal bills from the Russia probe.[411]
    • During a Senate confirmation, Jon Huntsman, Trump’s pick for ambassador to Russia, says there is no doubt Moscow interfered in the 2016 U.S. election.[412]
    • CBS News independently confirms that the FISA warrant surveillance on Manafort occurred during the 2016 presidential campaign.[413]
  • September 20:
    • Mueller seeks White House documents related to Trump’s actions as President, including records and emails concerning matters including the dismissal of Comey and the warning that Flynn was under investigation.[414][415]
    • The Washington Post reports that less than two weeks before Trump accepted the Republican presidential nomination, Manafort offered to provide briefings to Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska, who is close to President Putin.[416]
    • The Daily Beast reports on emerging evidence that numerous pro-Trump and anti-Clinton Facebook and Twitter activist accounts, including "Being Patriotic" and "march_for_trump", were run by Russian propagandists.[417]
  • September 21: Facebook hands information on more than 3,000 Russia-linked advertisements to the Senate and House Intelligence Committees.[418]
  • September 22:
    • President Trump and Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov issue separate denials that Russia purchased advertising space on Facebook.[419][420]
    • Mueller requests phone records about the Trump Jr. statement on the Veselnitskaya meeting that was reportedly prepared aboard Air Force One.[421]
    • The Department of Homeland Security notifies election officials in 21 states that hackers targeted their systems last year; among those, only Illinois reported a successful breach.[422]
    • Senator Grassley asks the FBI whether they warned the Trump campaign in 2016 that Manafort was under federal surveillance while working for the campaign. Grassley further compares the situation with the warning purportedly given to the McCain presidential campaign in 2008.[423]
  • September 24: The Washington Post reports that then-President Obama warned Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg over the potential electoral impact of fake news on Facebook, an idea Zuckerberg had dismissed as “crazy”.[424]
  • September 25: The Washington Post reports that "Russian operatives used Facebook ads to exploit divisions over black political activism and Muslims."[425]
  • September 26:
    • Stone speaks to a closed session of the House Intelligence Committee. He denies all allegations of collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign and describes the inquiry as politically motivated.[426]
    • CNN reports that the IRS is sharing information with Mueller.[427]
    • Politico reports on approximately $150,000 worth of Russian-funded advertisements on Facebook promoting candidates Trump, Sanders and Stein.[428]
    • Senator Richard Blumenthal tells Politico that criminal charges against Flynn and Manafort are virtually certain.[429]
  • September 27:
    • Senator Mark Warner's office states that Reddit is of interest to the investigation.[430][431]
    • CNN reports that one of the Facebook campaign-time ads bought by Russians referenced Black Lives Matter and was targeted to reach audiences in Ferguson, Missouri and Baltimore.[432]
    • Facebook says it took down 'tens of thousands' of fake accounts created by Russians before the German election.[433][434]
    • The Senate Intelligence Committee invites Facebook, Twitter and Google parent company Alphabet to testify.[435]
    • Zuckerberg responds to Trump, regrets he dismissed election concerns.[436]
    • The Daily Beast reports that Russians impersonated American Muslims to stir chaos on Facebook and Instagram.[437]
    • The Daily Beast reports that Zuckerberg showed lack of sensitivity to warnings of Russian trolls.[438]
  • September 28:
    • Democrats rebuke Twitter for 'frankly inadequate' response to Russian meddling.[439]
    • Mother Jones writes that "fake news on Twitter flooded swing states that helped Trump win."[440]

October 2017

  • October 1
    • Facebook announces that it will send thousands of ads bought by Russian operatives to Congress.[441]
    • First CAATSA deadline missed.[442]
  • October 2:
    • The Washington Post reports that Russian Facebook ads showed a black woman firing a rifle, amid efforts to stoke racial strife.[443]
    • The Washington Post reports that the Russians used similar methods as corporate America by using Facebook tool to ID and influence voters.[444]
    • Facebook announces 10 million Americans saw the advertisements purchased by Russian intelligence officers in the 2016 election influence campaign.[445]
  • October 3:
    • CNN reports Russian-linked Facebook ads targeted Michigan and Wisconsin.[446]
    • The Washington Post reports that the Senate Intelligence Committee is expected to largely endorse intel report on Russian meddling and sound the alarm about next election.[447]
  • October 5:
    • Papadopoulos pleads guilty to giving false testimony to the FBI about meetings he had with Mifsud in March 2016.[340]
    • CNN reports that Mueller's investigators met with the former British spy, Christopher Steele, who wrote the dossier on alleged Russian efforts to aid the Trump campaign.[448]
  • October 9:
    • The Washington Post reports that Google uncovered Russian-bought ads on YouTube, Gmail and other Alphabet-owned platforms aimed at influencing the 2016 presidential election.[449]
    • The Washington Post and ABC News report on correspondence which indicates that Veselnitskaya's intended subject matter for the June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower was the Magnitsky Act.[450]
    • The Daily Beast reports that Russia recruited YouTubers to publicly criticize Hillary Clinton.[451]
    • The Wall Street Journal reports that Facebook removed mention of Russia from an April report on election influence.[452]
    • Recode reports that Microsoft is reviewing its records for signs of Russian interference during the election.[453]
  • October 10:
    • Nunes issues subpoenas to Fusion GPS, the firm behind the Trump dossier.[454] Fusion GPS lawyers deny the request on October 16.[455]
    • Page informs the Senate Intelligence Committee that he will not co-operate with their inquiry, citing the Fifth Amendment.[456]
    • A report published by the Brookings Institution alleges that Trump "likely obstructed justice" in the dismissal of James Comey.[457][458]
  • October 12: Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Ben Cardin (D-MD) state that, despite an October 1 deadline, the White House has still not acted to identify Kremlin-linked targets for sanctions under the CAATSA.[460]
  • October 13:
    • President Trump's former Chief of Staff Reince Priebus is interviewed by Mueller's investigators for the entire day.[461]
    • Politico reports that Twitter deleted data potentially crucial to Russia probes.[462]
    • Facebook takes down data and thousands of posts, obscuring reach of Russian disinformation.[463]
    • NBC News reports on the transfer of $26 million from Oleg Deripaska's firm, Oguster Management Ltd, to Yiakora Ventures Ltd, a company linked to Manafort.[464]
    • VTB Bank Chairman Andrey L. Kostin describes as "fake news" all purported connection to Felix Sater in relation to plans for a Trump Tower in Moscow.[465][5]
  • Mid October: Mueller issues a first subpoena to the Trump campaign, who are voluntarily co-operating with his inquiry.[466]
  • October 16: Speaking to reporters at the White House, President Trump rejects the suggestion that he intends to dismiss Mueller.[467]
  • October 17:
    • The Senate Intelligence Committee issues Page with a subpoena.[468]
    • Business Insider reports that Mueller has interviewed former GCHQ security specialist Matt Tait, who says he was "recruited to collude with the Russians" as part of Peter W. Smith's effort to locate Clinton's missing State Department emails.[305]
    • The Guardian reports that Russian trolls posing as Americans paid US activists to help fund protests during the 2016 election.[469]
    • Spicer meets with Mueller's team for an interview that lasts much of the day.[470]
  • October 19:
    • The Daily Beast reports that Conway, Trump Jr. and Parscale pushed messages from an account operated from Russia’s ‘troll farm’—including allegations of voter fraud a week before Election Day.[471][472]
    • Trump questions if Russia, FBI or Democrats paid for dossier.[473]
    • Senators Mark Warner and Amy Klobuchar introduce the Honest Ads Act, which would require digital platforms such as Facebook and Google to archive, in a publicly available file, advertisements purchased around election content. McCain co-sponsors the legislation.[474]
    • U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley says that Russian online interference in American elections is “warfare” and spreading misinformation is the country’s “new weapon of choice.”[475]
    • According to The Washington Post, CIA director Mike Pompeo "distorts intelligence community’s findings on Russian interference".[476]
  • October 20:
    • The Guardian reports that Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev, who bought Florida property from Trump in 2008, is under investigation in Monaco for breach of privacy related to his art dealings.[477]
    • CNN reports that Senate investigators spoke with Russians present at the June 2016 meeting with Trump Jr.[478]
  • October 21: In an interview with New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd, former President Jimmy Carter says, “I don't think there's any evidence that what the Russians did changed enough votes, or any votes."[479][480]
  • October 23:
    • NBC News reports Tony Podesta and the Podesta Group are now the subjects of Mueller‘s investigation.[481]
    • Kaspersky Lab, the Moscow-based cybersecurity firm whose software U.S. officials suspect helped the Russian government spy on Americans, promises to make its source code available for an independent review.[482]
  • October 24:
    • Fusion GPS asks a federal judge in Washington for a restraining order to block the House Intelligence Committee from obtaining the firm's bank records, arguing that turning over the records would violate the First Amendment, and poses an "existential threat" to the company.[483]
    • Twitter plans to make political ads more transparent amid Russia revelations.[484]
    • The Washington Post reports that the Clinton campaign and DNC were some of the parties that paid for research that led to Russia dossier.[485]
  • October 25:
    • The head of Cambridge Analytica says he asked Assange for help finding Clinton’s 33,000 deleted emails.[486] Assange confirms the request and says he rejected the offer.[487]
    • Feinstein and Grassley break ways in the Russia investigation.[488]
    • Kaspersky Lab discloses that its software has uncovered secret code from the Equation Group on the home computer of a NSA analyst.[489]
  • October 26:
    • Twitter says it will no longer accept advertising from accounts owned by Russian-backed news outlets RT and Sputnik.[490][491][492] Twitter vows to give away the $1.9 million already earned from RT and Sputnik.[493]
    • RT reports that Twitter pushed RT for a large ad buy for the 2016 US election, but the channel declined the offer.[494]
    • House Speaker Paul Ryan says that the FBI plans to hand over documents related to the Trump dossier.[495]
  • October 27:
    • Feinstein sends five letters to key players, including one asking Facebook and Twitter for copies of advertising that Russian buyers aimed at the U.S.[496]
    • The Washington Free Beacon, a conservative website funded by a major Republican donor, initially retained Fusion GPS to conduct opposition research on Trump.[497]
    • Mueller's team interviews former CIA Director James Woolsey about Flynn.[498]
    • The ODNI states that the dossier itself played absolutely no role in the coordinated intelligence assessment that Russia interfered in the U.S. election.[499]
    • A federal grand jury in Washington, DC approves the first charges in Mueller‘s investigation.[500][501][502][503]
  • October 28: Reports further clarify that the charges returned by the grand jury under seal are; "related to meddling in the US presidential election."[504]
  • October 30:
    • Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and former campaign official Rick Gates surrender themselves to the FBI after both are indicted on twelve federal charges brought by special counsel Mueller, including conspiracy against the United States and money laundering.[505][506][507][508] Appearing in court a few hours later, Manafort and Gates each enter pleas of 'not guilty'.[509] Manafort was released to home confinement on a $10,000,000 bond, the terms of which were changed on November 30. Gates was released to home confinement on a $5,000,000 bond. They are required to surrender all passports and to submit to in-home monitoring.[510]
    • Mueller announces that Papadopoulos has pleaded guilty to making false testimony to the FBI.[511] According to unsealed court documents, Papadopoulos met a Kremlin-linked professor, later identified by The Daily Telegraph as Joseph Mifsud of the University of Stirling's politics department.[512] Mifsud told Papadopoulos that Moscow had damaging information on Clinton in the form of “thousands of emails”.[513][514][515][516]
    • A lawyer for Trump campaign co-chairman Sam Clovis states that Clovis was "being polite", following reports that he encouraged Papadopoulos to meet with Russian officials.[517][518]
    • New disclosures provided to Congress by digital social media companies indicate that Russian agents during the campaign placed 1,000 videos on YouTube, 131,000 messages on Twitter, and, via 170 accounts, 120,000 items on Instagram.[519] 80,000 Russia-linked posts placed on Facebook were viewed by up to 126 million people.[520]
  • October 31:
    • Trump calls Papadopoulos a "low-level" advisor and a "liar".[521]
    • The Kremlin dismisses as “baseless” and “ludicrous” the notion that charges leveled by Mueller against three former Trump campaign officials constituted proof of a possible meddling by Russia in U.S. political affairs.[522]
    • The Ukrainian government says it warned Facebook and U.S. officials years ago that Russia was conducting disinformation campaigns on its platform.[523]
    • Politico reports that Sam Clovis, President Trump’s nominee to be the Agriculture Department’s chief scientist, has been “a fully cooperative witness” in the Senate Intelligence Committee’s investigation of Russian interference.[524]
    • Sarah Huckabee Sanders says that Mueller’s probe brought down Papadopoulos only thanks to White House cooperation.[525]

November 2017

  • November: Mueller's prosecutors interview Kushner.[526]
  • November 1:
    • Facebook reports to Congress that the Russians succeeded in organizing a ‘Miners for Trump’ rally.[527]
    • The House Intelligence Committee releases a small sample of the ads a Russian troll farm purchased on Facebook during and after the U.S. presidential election.[528]
  • November 2:
    • Page testifies to the House Intelligence Committee for seven hours. He confirms that he met Russian government officials during his July 2016 trip to Moscow,[529] and contradicts Attorney General Sessions' testimony to the Senate in July that he did not know that Page had travelled to Russia during the campaign.[530] Page also tells the Committee that he had briefed Hicks, Gordon and Lewandowski about the trip.[531] Page invokes his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination when asked by Committee members why he had withheld documents requested by the committee.[532]
    • A court transcript shows that federal prosecutors described the Papadopoulos case as just a "small part" of Mueller's investigation.[533] Those documents "represent the first concrete evidence that ... Trump was personally told about ties between a campaign adviser and Russian officials."[534]
    • The Wall Street Journal reports that the Justice Department has identified more than six Russian government officials involved in hacking the DNC's servers, and were considering bringing charges against them.[535]
    • Kushner's team turns over documents to Mueller.[536]
  • November 5:
    • NBC News reports that federal investigators have gathered enough evidence to bring charges in their investigation of Flynn and his son.[537]
    • House Speaker Paul Ryan vows that Congress shall not interfere with Mueller's investigations.[538]
    • The New York Times reports that Wilbur Ross, after becoming Commerce Secretary, did not disclose his retained investments in a shipping firm he once controlled that has significant business ties to a Russian oligarch subject to American sanctions and Putin’s son-in-law, Kirill Shamalov.[539][540][541][542][543]
  • November 6:
    • An analysis of Twitter data shows Kremlin-backed online support for Trump began immediately after he started his campaign.[20]
    • Veselnitskaya says that Trump Jr. indicated that a law targeting Russia could be re-examined if his father won the election, and asked her for written evidence that illegal proceeds went to Clinton’s campaign.[544]
    • BuzzFeed has subpoenaed the DNC for information related to the Democratic hack, as part of its efforts to defend itself against an ongoing libel suit connected to its publication of the Steele dossier.[545]
    • Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross says there is “nothing whatsoever improper” about the relationship between an international shipping company he holds significant investments in and a Russian energy company whose owners include an oligarch, Gennady Timchenko, subject to U.S. sanctions and a family member of Russian President Vladimir Putin.[546]
    • Politico reports Wendy Teramoto served as a part-time adviser to Wilbur Ross while maintaining her board seat at the energy shipping company, Navigator, with a Kremlin-linked client.[547]
  • November 7:
    • Corey Lewandowski, a former campaign manager for Trump, says that his "memory has been refreshed" regarding his email exchange with Page in which the former foreign policy adviser requested Lewandowski’s permission to travel to Moscow.[548]
    • Keith Schiller, Trump's longtime bodyguard and, until September 20, his Oval Office Operations director, is privately interviewed by House Intelligence Committee. Schiller testifies that he thought that Russians offered to send five women to Trump's hotel room during their 2013 trip to Moscow for the Miss Universe pageant, but that he did not think Trump met with the women.[549][550]
  • November 8:
    • The Intercept reports that CIA Director Mike Pompeo met late last month with discredited former U.S. intelligence official William Binney who has become an advocate for a disputed theory that the theft of the DNC emails during the 2016 presidential campaign was an inside job, rather than a hack by Russian intelligence.[551]
    • Simpson agrees to be interviewed by the House Intelligence Committee.[552]
    • Congressional investigators have interviewed ex-Donald Trump aides about the campaign’s push to remove proposed language that called for giving lethal weapons to Ukraine.[553]
    • Senate Democrats have been privately investigating Russia’s Europe meddling without Republican help.[554]
  • November 10:
    • Russia plans new measures to restrict U.S. media working in Russia after RT said it was pressured into registering as a foreign agent in America.[555][556]
    • NBC News reports that Mueller's investigators are questioning witnesses about an alleged September 2016 meeting between Flynn and Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, a staunch advocate of pro-Russia policies.[557]
  • November 11: Despite the unified assessment of the U.S. intelligence community, Trump states that he took Putin at his word when the Russian President again denied directing an election influence campaign.[558][559] Trump later says he sides with the U.S. intelligence agencies.[560] Brennan and Clapper comment that Trump is being "played" by Putin, and accuse him of being "susceptible to foreign leaders who stroke his ego."[561]
  • November 12:
    • British spymasters fear that Kaspersky Lab anti-virus software given away for free by Barclays to more than 2m customers may be being used as an intelligence-gathering tool by the Russian government.[562]
    • Lawyers for Alexsej Gubarev, who owns the Dallas-based web hosting firm Webzilla, are seeking to force Steele to provide testimony in Gubarev's case against BuzzFeed and its editor, Ben Smith.[563]
  • November 13:
    • Russia Today (RT) registers with the United States Department of Justice as a foreign agent under FARA.[564]
    • The Atlantic reports that WikiLeaks asked Trump Jr. for his cooperation, in sharing its work, in contesting the results of the election, and in arranging for Assange to be Australia’s ambassador to the United States. The Atlantic also reports that Trump Jr. contemporaneously informed Bannon, Conway, Parscale and Kushner that he was in touch with Wikileaks, and that Kushner informed Hicks.[565][566][567] Pence denies any knowledge about Wikileaks contacts.[568]
November 14, 2017 - House Intelligence Committee Transcript by Glenn R. Simpson
  • November 14:
    • Simpson speaks for six hours with the House Intelligence Committee. He states that his research suggests that Trump was involved with Italian mafia figures early in his career, and became associated with the Russian mafia in the 1990s.[569][570] He describes evidence of Russian criminals buying Trump properties. He also refers to a number of deaths and arrests following the publication of the Steele dossier.[571] Simpson also asserts that Nigel Farage may have provided data on a flash drive to Julian Assange at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.[572] The testimony transcript is released on January 18, 2018.
    • Buzzfeed reports that the FBI is scrutinizing more than 60 money transfers sent by the Russian foreign ministry to its embassies across the globe. The transactions, which moved through Citibank accounts and totaled more than $380,000, each came from the Russian foreign ministry and most contained a memo line referencing "to finance election campaign of 2016".[573]
    • The New York Times reports that Rex Tillerson hired a Russian company with a K.G.B. link to Vladimir V. Putin to guard the United States Embassy in Moscow.[574][575][576]
  • November 15:
    • The Russian Parliament votes unanimously on a new law about media “foreign agents”, in retaliation for being forced to register RT as a propaganda outlet.[577]
    • Former MI6 officer Christopher Steele believes his Trump-Russia dossier is "70–90% accurate" and states that his FBI contacts greeted his intelligence report with ‘shock and horror’.[578]
  • November 16:
    • The Washington Post reports that Kushner received and forwarded emails about WikiLeaks and a “Russian backdoor overture and dinner invite” that he kept from Senate Judiciary Committee investigators.[579]
    • The Wall Street Journal reports that Mueller subpoenaed Trump campaign officials for Russia-related documents.[580]
    • Guardian Faber publishes Luke Harding's Collusion: How Russia Helped Trump Win the White House which details a network of connections originating in the 1980s between Trump and the Kremlin.[581]
  • November 17:
    • CNN reports that Kushner told congressional Russia investigators in July that he did not communicate with WikiLeaks, and did not recall anyone on the Trump campaign who had.[582]
    • Congressional aides may have answers on pro-Russia GOP platform change.[583]
    • The Wall Street Journal reports that the U.S. Department of Defense, and more specifically the Flynn-run Defense Intelligence Agency, flagged Russian Firm Kaspersky Lab as a potential threat as early as 2004.[584]
    • Politico reports that Papadopoulos claimed in a Greek newspaper last year that Trump telephoned him to discuss his new position as a foreign policy adviser to his presidential campaign, and that the two had at least one personal introductory meeting that the White House has not acknowledged.[585]
  • November 21:
    • The Wall Street Journal reports that Mueller’s investigators are asking questions about Kushner’s interactions with foreign leaders during the presidential transition, including his involvement in a dispute at the United Nations in December.[586]
    • The New York Times reports that California Congressman Dana Rohrabacher has come under scrutiny in recent months from Special Counsel Mueller and the Senate Intelligence Committee for his "close ties to the Kremlin".[587]
  • November 23: It is reported that lawyers for Flynn have notified the President’s legal team in recent days that they will no longer discuss the special counsel’s investigation.[588][589][590]
  • November 30:
    • Sessions testifies at a private meeting of the House Intelligence Committee. According to Schiff, Sessions refuses to say whether Trump asked him to hinder the Russia investigation.[591][592]
    • Erik Prince confirms to House investigators that he met with a Kremlin-linked banker in the Seychelles on January 11.[593][594]
    • The New York Times reports that President Trump pressed Republicans Roy Blunt (R-MO), Richard Burr (R-NC), and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), to end the Senate's Russia inquiry.[595]
    • Stone confirms that his intermediary with Assange during the election was radio host Randy Credico.[596]

December 2017

Flynn statement of offense
  • December 1:
    • Flynn pleads guilty at federal court to giving false testimony to the FBI about his contacts with Kislyak.[203] As part of Flynn’s negotiations, his son, Michael G. Flynn, is not expected to be charged.[597][598]
    • Bloomberg reporter Eli Lake speculates in an opinion piece that Kushner is the individual mentioned in Flynn's plea documents who is said to have ordered Flynn to contact Russia.[599]
    • ABC News reports Flynn is prepared to testify that Trump directed him to make contact with the Russians, in the context of plans to defeat ISIS.[600]
    • ABC News suspends news correspondent Brian Ross for 4 weeks for wrongly reporting that it was candidate Trump rather than President-elect Trump who had directed Flynn to contact the Russian government.[601]
    • President Trump's lawyer Ty Cobb states that Flynn's plea "clears the way for a prompt and reasonable conclusion" to the Russia investigation.[602]
  • December 2:
    • The New York Times reports that even as the White House portrayed Flynn as a renegade who had acted independently in his discussions with a Russian official, emails among top transition officials provided or described suggest otherwise.[603]
    • CNN reports that Trump admitted knowing that Flynn lied to the FBI in his tweet that “I had to fire General Flynn because he lied to the Vice President and the FBI."[604]
  • December 3:
    • Feinstein says on Meet the Press that her group is "putting together of a case of obstruction of justice" against the president.[605]
    • Trump's personal lawyer, John M. Dowd, says that he wrote the tweet of December 2 for the @realDonaldTrump twitter account about the firing of Flynn.[606] Dowd also states that Trump knew in January 2017 that Flynn had likely lied to the FBI.[607]
    • Trump calls the FBI a biased institution whose reputation for fairness is “in tatters”.[608]
  • December 4:
    • Trump says he “feels badly” for Flynn, and claims that Hillary Clinton “lied many times” to the agency without consequences.[609]
    • An email sent during the transition by Trump’s former deputy national security adviser, K. T. McFarland, appears to contradict the testimony she gave to Congress over the summer.[610]
    • Prosecutors say that Manafort worked on an op-ed with Ukrainian journalist Oleg Voloshyn (uk),[611] an associate with ties to Russian intelligence, while out on bail; a court filing requests that the judge revoke Manafort's bond agreement.[612][613]
  • December 5:
    • Reports indicate that Mueller has subpoenaed Deutsche Bank for data on accounts held by Trump and his family,[614][615] prompting denials by Trump's lawyers Jay Sekulow and John Dowd.[616][617] Subsequent reports on December 6 indicate that information only on Trump's associates has been subpoenaed.[618]
    • Cambridge Analytica's Alexander Nix and Trump's longtime assistant Rhona Graff are scheduled to be interviewed by the House intelligence committee about the connections between Trump and the Kremlin.[619]
    • Democrats place a hold on the nomination of McFarland to be ambassador to Singapore until she answers their questions about her knowledge of communications between Flynn and Kislyak.[620]
  • December 6:
    • An unnamed "whistleblower" claims that Flynn told a former business associate that economic sanctions against Russia would be “ripped up” as one of the Trump administration’s first acts.[621]
    • Trump Jr. testifies to a private sitting of the House Intelligence Committee. He refuses questions concerning conversations with his father, based on attorney-client privilege.[622] Trump Jr. says he communicated with Hicks, not his father, about the response regarding his Veselnitskaya meeting in Trump Tower.[623]
    • New Jersey Governor Chris Christie says he was ousted as head of Trump’s transition team due in part to his opposition to hiring Flynn as National Security Adviser.[624]
    • Rosenstein confirms that he is satisfied thus far with Mueller's work.[625]
    • The U.S. House of Representatives dismisses Al Green's resolution to impeach President Trump, with 58 congressmen requesting a vote and 364 refusing it.[626]
  • December 7:
    • White House Communications Director Hope Hicks is interviewed by Mueller's team.[627]
    • Director Christopher Wray defends the FBI, during testimony to Congress, from Trump's criticism of December 3.[628]
    • The House Ethics Committee clears Devin Nunes of misconduct in relation to the matter of his proximity to the White House and accusations that he had inappropriately disclosed classified information.[629][630]
  • December 8:
    • Hicks is interviewed by Mueller's team for a second day.[627]
    • Congressman Matt Gaetz discusses Mueller's investigation with President Trump aboard Air Force One en route to Florida. Congressman Ron DeSantis is also aboard.[631]
  • December 12:
    • President Trump's lawyers call for an investigation into the FBI and the Department of Justice due to alleged conflicts of interest associated with the work of Fusion GPS on the Steele dossier.[632]
    • A group of journalists attend a briefing at the Department of Justice to view text messages sent privately prior to Mueller's investigation between two former members of Mueller's team, Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, which exhibit anti-Trump and pro-Clinton sentiments.[633][348][634]
  • December 13:
    • At a House Judiciary Committee hearing, Rosenstein states that he has seen no cause to dismiss Mueller, and confirms that Mueller is working within the boundaries of his brief. Rosenstein further states that Strzok's dismissal was appropriate and timely, and he contradicts Trump's claim that Mueller's investigation is a "witch hunt".[634]
    • Trump Jr. meets with the US Senate Intelligence Committee.[635]
  • December 14:
    • The Wall Street Journal reports on the interview of Cambridge Analytica chief executive Alexander Nix by the House Intelligence Committee, stating that Mueller requested documents from the firm before or during October 2017.[636][637]
    • At his annual news conference, Vladimir Putin describes allegations of election interference as being 'invented' by Trump's political opponents, and states that contacts between Trump's associates and Russian officials prior to the election were appropriate.[638]
    • The Washington Post reports in detail on Trump's associates' efforts to avoid the subject of Russia, to preclude Trump's "rages".[639]
  • December 15:
    • Speaking to reporters, President Trump reiterates his description of the matter of Russian collusion as a 'hoax' and replies that "we'll see what happens" in response to questions about a possible pardon of Flynn.[640] Trump declares that his own innocence is now 'proven'.[641]
    • Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz states that he did not authorize the release to the press of the Strzok/Page text messages.[642]
    • The Washington Post reports that Strzok and Page were using the text messages to act as a cover story for an extramarital affair between them.[643]
  • December 16:
    • Kory Langhofer, a lawyer for Trump for America, sends a letter to Congress alleging to be unlawful the acquisition by Mueller, via the GSA, of tens of thousands of emails sent and received by thirteen senior members of the Trump transition team. The communications derive from the official governmental Presidential Transition Team domain, "ptt.gov".[382][644][645]
    • Trump escalates his criticism of the FBI over its Russia investigation, saying:. "It's a shame what's happened with the FBI, ... It's a very sad thing to watch."[646]
  • December 17:
    • Responding to Langhofer's accusation of December 16, GSA Deputy Counsel Lenny Loewentritt states that Trump's transition team was explicitly advised that all material passing through government equipment would be subject to monitoring and would not be held back from law enforcement officers.[647][648]
    • Mueller's spokesman Peter Carr rejects Langhofer's claims, stating that the Trump transition emails were acquired appropriately through the criminal investigation process.[645]
    • White House Director of Legislative Affairs Marc Short states there has been "no conversation" in the White House concerning any potential dismissal of Mueller.[649] Trump shortly thereafter confirms that he is not considering dismissing Mueller.[650]
Michael T. Flynn and Jill Stein sitting at Vladimir Putin's table during Russian government funded RT's 10th anniversary gala (December 2015)[651][652]
  • December 18:
    • NBC News reports that Trump was warned by the FBI after his nomination at the 2016 RNC on July 19, 2016, that foreign adversaries, including Russia, would probably try to spy on and infiltrate his campaign.[653]
    • The Washington Post reports that the Senate Intelligence Committee is looking at the presidential campaign of Green Party’s Jill Stein for potential “collusion with the Russians.”[654]
    • The House Intelligence Committee interviews Rob Goldstone and Debbie Wasserman Schultz.[655]
  • December 19:
    • FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe testifies to a private sitting of the House Intelligence Committee concerning Russian election interference.[656]
    • Gizmodo reports that the Trump transition team discussed Flynn's use of Signal to encrypt conversations, according to GSA emails under FOIA.[657]
  • December 20:
    • Mark Warner delivers a speech to the Senate, warning President Trump of "immediate and significant consequences" should he attempt to dismiss Mueller or to pardon those involved in the investigation.[658]
    • Foreign Policy reports that records submitted to Mueller's team indicate that White House lawyer Don McGahn researched federal law related both to the Logan Act and making false statements to investigators in the early days of the Trump presidency and that he may have warned Trump that Flynn was in potential violation.[659]
    • Reports emerge that a group headed by Devin Nunes has spent several weeks compiling a report on alleged "corruption and conspiracy in the upper ranks of federal law enforcement".[629]
    • In private testimony before the House Intelligence Committee this week, Andrew McCabe told lawmakers that James Comey informed him of conversations he had with President Donald Trump soon after they happened.[660]
    • Felix Sater is interviewed in New York by Congressional staff.[661]
  • December 24: The Guardian reports that FBI has asked the Central Bank of Cyprus for financial information about the defunct FBME Bank, which was used by wealthy Russians with political connections and has been accused by the US government of money laundering.[665] Bloomberg reports that the Russia-related investigation into FBME was connected to a flow of illegal Russian funds into the New York real estate market.[666]
  • December 27:
    • According to The Washington Post, Trump’s legal team plans to cast Flynn as a "liar seeking to protect himself" if he accuses the president or his senior aides of any wrongdoing.[667]
    • Investigative journalist Michael Isikoff reports that Mueller has begun questioning RNC staffers about the party's digital operation that worked with the Trump campaign to target voters in key swing states.[668][669]
  • December 28: In a New York Times interview with Michael S. Schmidt, when questioned about his plans regarding the Mueller probe, Donald Trump states: "I have absolute right to do what I want to do with the Justice Department."[670]

January 2018

  • January 2: In a New York Times op-ed, Fusion GPS founders Glenn Simpson and Peter Fritsch request that congressional Republicans "release full transcripts of our firm’s testimony" and further explain that "the Steele dossier was not the trigger for the FBI’s investigation into Russian meddling." Their sources said the dossier was taken seriously because it corroborated reports from other sources, "including one inside the Trump camp."[671]
  • January 3:
    • Paul Manafort files a lawsuit challenging Mueller's broad authority and alleging the Justice Department violated the law in appointing Mueller.[672] A spokesperson for the department replied that "the lawsuit is frivolous but the defendant is entitled to file whatever he wants."[672]
    • CNN reports that Trump's legal team held talks with the members of Mueller's team a few days before Christmas.[673]
    • Rosenstein and Wray meet with House Speaker Paul Ryan about the House Russia investigation.[674]
    • Excerpts from Fire and Fury, a forthcoming book by Michael Wolff, are published, in which Bannon describes Trump Jr's meeting with Natalia Veselnitskaya as "treasonous" and "unpatriotic". Wolff's book also describes Bannon's confidence that Trump Sr. knew of the meeting at the time. President Trump subsequently tweets that Bannon had "very little to do with our historic victory" and that he "lost his mind".[675][676][677][678][679]
    • Lawyers on behalf of Trump send a letter to Bannon demanding he refrain from making disparaging comments against the president and his family.[680][681] As a consequence, the publication date of the book Fire and Fury is advanced to January 5, 2018.
  • January 4:
    • The New York Times reports that two days after Comey’s congressional testimony, an aide to Sessions approached a Capitol Hill staff member to ask for any derogatory information about the FBI director. The attorney general purportedly wanted one negative article a day in the news media about Comey.[228]
    • Mueller has handwritten notes from Priebus which show that Trump talked to Priebus about how he had called Comey to urge him to say publicly that he was not under investigation.[228]
    • CNN reports that The Trump Organization has provided Mueller and Congressional investigators with documents on a wide range of events, conversations and meetings about Trump's real estate business.[682]
    • A federal judge denies a bid by Fusion GPS to prevent the House Intelligence Committee from obtaining the firm’s bank records.[683]
  • January 5: Grassley and Graham, of the Senate Judiciary Committee, make the first criminal referral of the congressional investigations, recommending that the Justice Department investigate Steele for potentially making false statements to the FBI "regarding his distribution of information contained in the dossier".[684][685][686]
  • January 6: CNN reports that Spicer, Priebus and McGahn all tried to pressure Sessions to not recuse himself in the FBI's Russia Investigation, which ultimately led to Rosenstein appointing Mueller as special counsel.[687]
Putin's Asymmetric Assault on Democracy in Russia and Europe: Implications for U.S. National Security
    • Ranking Member Senator Dianne Feinstein unilaterally releases the transcript of the Fusion GPS testimony given to the Senate Judiciary Committee on August 22, 2017.[691]
    • The Daily Beast reports that a senior National Security Council official proposed withdrawing some U.S. military forces from Eastern Europe as an overture to Vladimir Putin during the early days of the Trump administration.[692]
    • Donald Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen sued BuzzFeed for defamation over allegations about him in a dossier the news organization published that was commissioned in 2016 by the president’s political opponents.[693]
    • FBI agents serve Bannon with a subpoena to appear before a grand jury.[694]
  • January 10:
    • The Washington Post reports that Mueller has added a veteran cyber prosecutor, Ryan K. Dickey, to his team, filling what has long been a gap in expertise and potentially signaling a recent focus on computer crimes. Dickey was previously assigned to the Department of Justice Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section.[695]
    • The Foreign Relations Committee of the United States Senate Releases a report on "Putin's Asymmetric Assault on Democracy in Russia and Europe: Implications for U.S. National Security."[696]
  • January 17: Lewandowski[702] and Dearborn testify before the House Intelligence Committee's investigators.[703]
  • January 19:
    • German periodical Manager Magazin reports that Deutsche Bank has presented to Germany's financial authority, BaFin, evidence concerning "suspicious money transfers" by Kushner; this information is due to be handed to Mueller.[709] Deutsche Bank on January 22 denies the report, and announces that it is taking legal action.[710]
    • House Republicans call for the release of a classified memo authored by Devin Nunes alleging abuses of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act during the 2016 election.[711] However, Nunes has repeatedly refused to share his concerns with the FBI, even after repeated requests by the bureau, so that they can address any concerns that he may have.[712]
  • January 20: Twitter announces that it is to notify 677,775 US citizens that they had followed or retweeted accounts linked to Russian propaganda during the election. Twitter also announces the discovery of a further 1,062 propagandist accounts linked to the Kremlin's Internet Research Agency, bringing the total to 3,814, as well as the discovery of a further 13,512 automated bot accounts based in Russia, bringing the total to 50,258. Twitter estimates that the bot accounts produced 2.12 million tweets, collectively receiving 454.7 million impressions for the first week following each posting. Twitter's analysis indicates that Russian bots retweeted Trump's account 470,000 times in the run-up to election day, and Clinton's account 48,000 times.[713][714][715][716]
  • January 22:
    • Russian media outlet Meduza, published exclusively by Buzzfeed News in English, details the inside battle for control of Kaspersky Lab, and the kidnapping of Eugene Kaspersky's son which led to a battle that was won by the side allied with Russian security services (FSB).[717]
    • It is reported that Sessions, urged by Trump, has been pressuring FBI Director Christopher Wray to fire Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, but Wray threatened to resign if McCabe was removed.[718][719]
    • Simona Mangiante, fiancée of Papadopoulos, tells the Washington Post that he "knows far more" than has been reported by news outlets so far.[720]
    • CNN reports that Mueller's team and Papadopoulos lawyers have delayed an upcoming check-in for his case, indicating that the investigation will stay active until at least springtime.[721]
  • January 23:
    • The New York Times reports that Sessions was interviewed by Mueller's team the previous week. He is the first serving Cabinet member known to have been interviewed in the course of the Russia investigation.[722][723]
    • The Washington Post reports that top congressional Democrats call on Facebook and Twitter to urgently investigate and combat Russian bots and trolls.[724]
    • The New York Times reports that the former FBI director James B. Comey was interviewed by the office of special counsel last year, regarding the memos that he took contemporaneously to Trump's potential obstruction of justice into the investigation of Michael T. Flynn.[725]
    • The Washington Post reports that Mueller is seeking to question President Trump in the coming weeks about his decisions to oust national security adviser Michael Flynn and FBI Director James B. Comey, suggesting potential obstruction of justice and abuse of power charges.[726]
    • The Washington Post reports that Donald Trump asked the acting FBI director, Andrew McCabe whom he voted for during an Oval Office meeting.[727]
    • CNN reports that former Trump campaign aide Rick Gates has quietly added a prominent white-collar attorney, Tom Green, to his defense team, signaling that Gates' approach to his not-guilty plea could be changing behind the scenes. This is seen to be a sign that Gates may be negotiating with Mueller's team.[728]
The US Justice Department warned that the public release of a classified memo alleging abuses in FBI surveillance tactics would be "extraordinarily reckless"[729]
  • January 24: Trump publicly confirms that he is willing to testify under oath to Mueller.[730]
  • January 25:
    • The Senate Judiciary Committee announces plans to release transcripts of its interviews with Trump Jr. and others who participated in the June 2016 Veselnitskaya meeting.[731]
    • The Senate Intelligence Committee releases a document detailing 129 fake political event announcements promoted on Facebook by Russian agents during the election. The announcements are believed to have drawn the interest of 340,000 Facebook users.[732] Facebook admits to the Senate that it recommended Russian propaganda to some users.[733]
    • The New York Times and The Washington Post report that Trump ordered the firing last June of Mueller, but backed off when McGahn threatened to quit. Trump reportedly also floated the idea of firing Rosenstein.[734][735]
    • Dutch newspaper de Volkskrant reports that hackers from the Dutch intelligence service AIVD infiltrated the Russian hacker group Cozy Bear in 2014 and witnessed the attacks on the DNC and the State Department, all the while relaying evidence to US intelligence agencies.[736][737]
  • January 29:
    • Senator Mark Warner tells Politico that the Senate Intelligence Committee late last year received “extraordinarily important new documents” in its investigation.[738]
    • January 29, 2018 - HPSCI Meeting Transcript
      McCabe steps down as the Deputy Director of the FBI. McCabe told friends he felt pressured to leave by FBI Director Wray.[739]
    • Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee, disregarding Justice Department warnings that their actions would be “extraordinarily reckless,” vote on party lines to release the Nunes memorandum.[740][741]
    • The Trump administration declined to impose additional sanctions on Russia as mandated under the CAATSA, which was designed to punish Moscow’s alleged meddling, insisting the measure was already hitting Russian companies.[742]
  • January 30:
    • In a last-minute reversal from their position on January 29, the Trump administration released after an updated list of Russian politicians and business figures in an attempt to increase pressure on Putin. The list includes 114 individuals deemed by the Treasury Department to be senior Russian political figures. It also includes 96 people deemed to be "oligarchs." The Treasury says each has an estimated net worth of $1 billion or more.[743]
    • The Guardian reports on the existence of a dossier compiled by political activist and former journalist, Cody Shearer and handed over to the FBI by Christopher Steele in October 2016, which independently makes many of the same allegations as the Steele dossier. The Guardian states that the FBI is still assessing Shearer's claims and following leads.[744][745][746]
    • The Wall Street Journal reports that special counsel Robert Mueller is seeking an interview with Mark Corallo, the former spokesman for President Donald Trump’s legal team.[747]
Adam Schiff alleging Nunes of making material changes to memo after committee vote
  • January 31:
    • ABC News reports that the Department of Justice handed over numerous documents related to the proposed resignation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions. The report also states that the White House handed over e-mails relating to the firing of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.
    • A source tells Bloomberg that FBI Director Christopher A. Wray has informed the White House that the memo composed by Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Devin Nunes, "paints a false narrative."
    • CNN reports that Rod Rosenstein visited the White House in December seeking President Donald Trump's help in fighting off document demands from House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes. Trump wanted to know where the special counsel's Russia investigation was heading. And he wanted to know whether Rosenstein was "on my team."[748]
    • Adam B. Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, writes an op-ed in the Washington Post; blasting the actions of the Chairman Devin Nunes.[749]
    • CIA Director Mike Pompeo recently met with his Russian counterparts when they traveled to the US, according to US ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman. Russian media is reporting those who met with Pompeo may have included the country's sanctioned spy chief, Sergey Naryshkin.[750][751]
    • In FEC filings, combined with the Republican National Committee, Trump's campaign reported paying a total of $5.5 million in legal bills during 2017 amid probes into Russia’s role in the 2016 election.[752]
    • Adam Schiff releases statement; "BREAKING: Discovered late tonight that Chairman Nunes made material changes to the memo he sent to White House – changes not approved by the Committee. White House therefore reviewing a document the Committee has not approved for release."[753]

February 2018

  • February 1: Three attorneys file motion in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia to withdraw their representation of Rick Gates.[754] Walter Mack, one of the attorneys, said in court last month that Mueller's prosecutors had warned him of more impending charges against Gates.[755] Attorneys from the firm of Gates’ new attorney, Tom Green, were seen entering the building where Mueller works.[756]
  • February 2:
    • Alphabet-owned YouTube said it would start labeling all videos from what it identifies as state-funded broadcasters. It is significant in part because YouTube has been a major conduit for RT, the Russian state news organization that U.S. intelligence officials called “the Kremlin’s principal international propaganda outlet.”[757]
    • Trump declassifies the Nunes memo, which is publicly released by House Republicans.[758]
  • February 3:
    • In a statement on Twitter, Trump claims the contents of the released Nunes memo, "totally vindicates" him in the ongoing investigation into Russian electoral interference.[759][760]
    • U.S. District Judge James Boasberg sides with the Department of Justice after multiple news organizations, including CNN and USA Today, sued for the public release of Comey's memos after their Freedom of Information Act requests were denied.[761]
  • February 5:
  • February 6: The House Intelligence Committee announces it is giving Bannon one more week to comply with a subpoena to appear before the committee after missing an earlier deadline.[766][767]
  • February 7:
    • Secretary of State Rex Tillerson suggests in an interview with Fox News that Russia is already attempting to interfere in the 2018 midterm elections and the United States has not prepared itself to counter the threat.[768][769]
    • NBC News reports that the U.S. official in charge of protecting American elections from hacking says the Russians successfully penetrated the voter registration rolls of several U.S. states prior to the 2016 presidential election.[770]
    • Rick Gates' attorneys cite 'irreconcilable differences' with their client in court hearing with Judge Amy Berman Jackson in their motion to withdraw as Gates‘ counsel. Gates’ new attorney has not filed a formal appearance in the case, which is the typical procedure when changing counsel.[771]
The White House declines to publish the Democratic rebuttal to the Nunes memo.
Russian troll farm, 13 suspects indicted for interference in U.S. election
Manafort/Gates Eastern District Virginia Superseding Indictment
  • February 8: Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny posts a 25-minute video on YouTube alleging that Paul Manafort sent information to the Kremlin through the oligarch Oleg Deripaska. The video includes footage taken from the Instagram account of sex worker Nastya Rybka, showing Deripaska with Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Prikhodko on his yacht in August 2016.[772]
  • February 9:
    • The New York Times reports that after months of secret negotiations, a shadowy Russian bilked American spies out of $100,000 last year, promising to deliver stolen National Security Agency cyberweapons in a deal that he insisted would also include compromising material on President Trump.[773]
    • The White House declines to publish the Democratic rebuttal to the Nunes memo. Although the document had been submitted to the Justice Department and FBI for vetting before the House Intelligence Committee voted to release it, White House counsel Donald McGahn said in a letter to the committee it "contains numerous properly classified and especially sensitive passages."[774]
  • February 12: Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), ranking member on the Senate Finance Committee, is asking the Treasury Department for documentation related to Donald Trump's 2008 sale of an uninhabitable Palm Beach mansion to Russian oligarch Dmitry Rybolovlev.[775]
  • February 13: In testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee, the heads of the U.S. intelligence community including CIA director Mike Pompeo, FBI director Christopher A. Wray, NSA director Mike Rogers, and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats say that Russia is intent on disrupting foreign elections, including the 2018 midterms.[776][777][778]
  • February 15:
    • NBC News reports that Steve Bannon has been interviewed by Mueller's investigators for a total of about 20 hours.[779] Associated Press adds that Bannon answered every question that was put to him by Mueller's team.[780]
    • Bannon appeared at the House Intelligence Committee under subpoena. According to committee members, he answered only 25 questions that had been pre-approved by the White House, to each he answered “no”, and invoking the president's executive privilege in declining to answer any Committee questions. Republican and Democratic members of the committee said they were considering seeking contempt charges.[781]
    • CNN reports that Gates is finalizing a plea deal with Mueller's office.[782]
  • February 16:
    • The Daily Beast reports that Mark Corallo, the Trump legal team's former spokesman has been interviewed by Mueller for over two hours.[783]
    • Mueller indicts 13 Russian citizens, IRA/Glavset and 2 other Russian entities in the ongoing Russian interference investigation in a 37 page indictment returned by a federal grand jury in the District of Columbia.[784]
    • Richard Pinedo, a California man, has pleaded guilty to one count of identity fraud arising from the Russia investigation, after allegedly selling stolen bank account information to individuals suspected of interfering in the election through Auction Essistance, an online marketplace.[785][786]
  • February 17: Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov dismisses additional charges in the investigation as "just blather" during questioning at the Munich Security Conference.[787][788]
  • February 18: The Los Angeles Times reports that Gates would plead guilty to fraud-related charges and that he had agreed to testify against Manafort for a reduced sentence.[789]
  • February 20:
    • Alex van der Zwaan, a London-based attorney, formerly with Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, pleaded guilty to one count of lying to federal investigators. Van der Zwaan is guilty of lying about his interactions with Rick Gates and an unidentified "Person A", and his role in the production of a report on the trial of former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko. He is also guilty of deleting emails sought by the special counsel’s office, according to investigators. Van der Zwaan is son-in-law to Ukrainian-Russian billionaire German Khan, who appeared in the Steele dossier and is suing Buzzfeed News over the publication of said dossier.[790]
  • February 21: NBC News reports that federal investigators are looking into if Paul Manafort promised a Chicago banker, Stephen Calk, president of the Federal Savings Bank, a job in the Trump White House in return for $16 million in home loans.[791]
  • February 22:
    • Sam Nunberg, one of Trump’s earliest campaign advisers, meets with Mueller’s investigators.[792]
    • Mueller reveals new charges in Manafort and Gates case,[793][794] filed on February 22. Unlike previous indictments, the superseding indictment was issued by a federal grand jury in the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, and contains 32 counts: 16 counts related to false individual income tax returns, seven counts of failure to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts, five counts of bank fraud conspiracy, and four counts of bank fraud.[795]
    • The Daily Beast reports that Gates fired his lawyer, Tom Green, who was only appointed on January 23. CNN and Los Angeles Times reported earlier Gates was about to sign a plea deal.[796]
    • Rick Gates formally brings Tom Green into his case, apparently contradicting The Daily Beast report.[797]
  • February 23:
    • Rick Gates pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy against the United States, and one count of making false statements. Gates becomes the fifth defendant publicly charged by Mueller's team to plead guilty and the third associate of President Donald Trump to make a cooperation deal with the special counsel.[798] In a statement issued by his lawyer, Paul Manafort said he has no plans to follow suit and make a deal.[799]
    • The Los Angeles Times reports that Rick Gates' charge of making false statements to investigators stems from a 2013 Ukraine-related meeting with California Representative Dana Rohrabacher. Gates purportedly told investigators that the meeting was not related to his or Paul Manafort's work in Ukraine despite documents to the contrary.[800]
    • Gates' plea newly reveals that Gates lied to the FBI during an interview on February 1st. That same day, his attorneys filed a motion to withdraw from representing him for "irreconcilable differences."[801]
    • Mueller reveals a new superseding indictment against Paul Manafort, containing 5 counts: conspiracy against the United States, conspiracy to launder money, unregistered agent of a foreign principal, false and misleading FARA statements, and false statements.[802]
  • February 24: The House Intelligence Committee releases the 10-page Democratic rebuttal to the Nunes memo.[803][804]

See also

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