Timeline of Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This is a timeline of events related to Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections, and investigations into links between Trump associates and Russian officials.[1]

Some relevant individuals

2016 Election cycle

2015

  • Spring 2015: U.S. Intelligence intercepts conversations of Russian government officials discussing associates of Donald Trump in high volume.[2]
  • June 15: Donald Trump, a real estate developer and television personality, announces his candidacy for president.[3]
  • Summer: Hackers linked to the Russian FSB gain access to the DNC computer network.[4]
  • September: An FBI special agent contacts the Democratic National Committee to report that at least one DNC computer system had 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.[5]
  • 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.”[6]
  • October 28: Donald Trump signs a 'letter of intent' to construct a Trump-branded building in Moscow; a fact made public in August 2017.[7][8]
  • 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".[9]
  • 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, an English-language Russian propaganda network. Flynn had appeared on RT as an analyst after he retired from the Army. The dinner is also attended by Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is the guest of honor.[10] 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.[11] For his December speech, Flynn nets $33,500 of the $45,000 paid to his speakers’ bureau.[12] For all of 2015, Flynn receives more than $65,000 from companies linked to Russia.[13]

January–June 2016

  • January: Cohen attempts to contact Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, requesting assistance towards construction of a Trump-branded building in Moscow.[14]
  • 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 rich and powerful business and political leaders, including oligarchs and dictators in Russia and Ukraine: “I have managed presidential campaigns around the world.”[15]
  • March 19: Clinton presidential campaign chairman John Podesta is asked to change his email password in an apparent phishing attempt, believed to be spearheaded by Russian hackers. They successfully gain access to his account.[4]
  • March 21: In a Washington Post interview,[16] Trump identifies Carter Page as one of 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.[17] Earlier in March 2016, Iowa tea party activist Sam Clovis had recommended Page to the Trump campaign.[18]
  • 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.[2]
  • March 29: On Roger Stone's recommendation,[19] Manafort joins the Trump campaign as convention manager, tasked with lining up delegates.
  • April: According to Reuters, first known contacts between the Trump campaign and Russian officials.[20] Between April and November 2016, at least 18 exchanges by telephone and e-mail occur between Russian officials and the Trump team.[21]
  • April: Hackers linked to the GRU gain access to the DNC computer network.[4]
  • 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.[22]
  • Late April: The Democratic National Committee's IT department notices suspicious computer activity. Within 24 hours, the DNC contacts the FBI, and hires a private cybersecurity firm, CrowdStrike, to investigate.[23]
  • 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).[24]
  • May 26: The Associated Press reports Donald Trump has secured enough delegates to become the presumptive Republican nominee.[4]
  • June 3: Donald Trump Jr. receives an e-mail from Rob Goldstone, a British music publicist, offering on behalf of 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.[25]
  • June 9: Jared Kushner, Manafort and Trump Jr. meet in Trump Tower with Goldstone, Natalia Veselnitskaya, a Russian attorney,[26] Rinat Akhmetshin, a Russian-American lobbyist[27] Ike Kaveladze, a representative of the Agalarovs' Crocus Group,[28] and a translator.[29] Veselnitskaya is best known for lobbying against the Magnitsky Act, an American law that blacklists suspected Russian human rights abusers.[30]
  • Early June: At a closed-door gathering of high-powered 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.[31]
  • June 13: A hacker(s) going by the persona of Guccifer 2.0 releases over 10,000 names from the DNC in two spreadsheets and a list of objectionable quotes from Sarah Palin.[32]
  • June 18: Five days later, 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.[33]
  • 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.[34]

July–September 2016

  • July 7: In a lecture at the New Economic School in Moscow,[35] Page criticizes American foreign policy, saying that many of the mistakes spoiling relations between the US and Russia “originated in my own country.”[36] Page had received permission from the Trump campaign to make the trip.[37]
  • July 9: The Washington Post reports that Trump is considering Flynn for Vice President, with support from Senator Jeff Sessions.[38] Trump eventually selects Mike Pence, Governor of Indiana.
  • July 18–21: Republican Convention in Cleveland[39]
  • July 22: WikiLeaks publishes 20,000 emails from seven key officials of the Democratic National Committee (DNC). The emails shows them disparaging Bernie Sanders and favoring Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential primaries.[45]
  • July 24: DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz is forced to resign over the email scandal.[46]
  • July 25–28: Democratic Convention in Philadelphia[47]
    • 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.[48]
    • July 27: At a news conference, Trump urges Russia to "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.[49][50] Trump replies that he was being "sarcastic".[51]
    • July 28: Hillary Clinton formally accepts the Democratic nomination.[52]
  • 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.[53]
  • 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.[54]
  • August 4: Brennan calls his Russian counterpart Alexander Bortnikov, head of the Federal Security Service (FSB), to warn him against meddling in the presidential election.[53]
  • August 16: Stone tells Alex Jones that he is in contact with WikiLeaks director Julian Assange, claiming he has "political dynamite" on Clinton.[55]
  • 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.[56]
  • August 19: Manafort resigns as Trump's campaign manager.[57]
  • August 26: Assange states that Clinton is causing "hysteria" about Russia, following her claims that Russian intelligence was behind the leaks.[58] 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."[58]
  • September 8: Sessions meets with Kislyak a second time, in Sessions' office;[1] he later says they discussed Ukraine and terrorism.[59]
  • September 29: Comey testifies before the House Judiciary Committee, confirming that federal investigators have detected suspicious activities in voter registration databases, as stated in the August 18 alert.[60]

October–November 2016

  • October 7:
    • WikiLeaks begins publishing thousands of emails from Clinton campaign manager John Podesta, revealing excerpts from Clinton's paid speeches to Wall Street.[61][62]
    • The DHS and the ODNI issue a joint statement[63] 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."[64]
  • October 19: During the third presidential debate, Clinton blames Russia for the DNC email leaks and accuses Trump of being a "puppet" of Putin.[65]
  • October 27: At the Valdai International Discussion Club 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?”[66]
  • October 31: Through the "red phone", President Obama tells President Putin to stop interfering or face consequences.[67]

Trump transition

November–December 2016

  • November 8: Trump is elected President of the United States.[68]
  • November 10:
    • Kislyak states that Russia was not involved with U.S. election hacking.[69]
    • In a private Oval Office meeting, Obama warns Trump against hiring Flynn.[70]
  • November 18:
    • Trump announces he will nominate Sessions to be Attorney General[71] and Flynn as National Security Adviser.[72]
    • Elijah Cummings, ranking member of the House Oversight Committee, writes a letter to Pence warning that Flynn's connections to Russia and Turkey might create conflicts of interest. He asks the Trump administration's transition team for documents related to Flynn.[73] Receipt of the letter is acknowledged on November 28.[21]
  • 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.[74]
  • 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.[75][76]
  • December: Kushner meets Russian banker and FSB Academy graduate Sergei Gorkov.[77] The meeting was first reported in March 2017, and attracted interest of federal and congressional investigators in May.[78]
  • December 9: Republican Senator John McCain delivers the Steele dossier to Comey.[79]
  • December 13: Trump picks Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State; Russian officials praise the decision.[80]
  • 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.[81][82]
  • December 26: Oleg Erovinkin, a former KGB official, is found dead in the back seat of his car in Moscow. He was suspected of assisting former MI-6 agent Christopher Steele in compiling a dossier alleging Trump ties to Russia as part of opposition research.[83]
  • December 29:
    • Obama expels 35 Russian diplomats, locks down two Russian diplomatic compounds, and expands sanctions against Russia.[84]
    • Flynn has telephone conversations with Kislyak to discuss sanctions.[85]
  • December 30: Putin announces he will not retaliate against the U.S. expulsions, contrary to recommendations from Lavrov.[86] Trump approves.[87]

January 2017

  • January 5:
    • Michael Flynn, Steve Bannon and Jared Kushner meet with the king of Jordan. The meeting is first reported on 15 September 2017 by BuzzFeed News which alleges that the Russian-backed Middle Eastern nuclear power plan was discussed.[88][89][90]
    • Obama is briefed on the intelligence community’s findings.[91]
  • January 6: The ODNI releases an unclassified report stating that "Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the US presidential election".[92]
  • January 9: Kushner is named Senior Advisor to the President.[93]
  • January 10:
  • 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!".[96] USA Today says this is "not exactly true".[97]
    • Erik Prince, a Trump campaign donor, meets in the Seychelles with an unidentified Russian said to be close to Putin. 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.[98]
  • January 13: President-elect Trump nominates U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein to serve as Deputy Attorney General.[99]
  • 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.[21]
  • 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."[100] Sessions has been accused of failing to disclose two meetings with Russian ambassador Kislyak.[101]
  • January 18/19: McClatchy[102] and The New York Times report that Trump associates Manafort, Page and Stone have been under investigation by the FBI, NSA, CIA, and FinCEN,[103] based on intercepted Russian communications and financial transactions.[104] Sources say "the investigators have accelerated their efforts in recent weeks but have found no conclusive evidence of wrongdoing."[103]
  • January 20: Obama leaves office.[105]

Trump administration

January 2017

  • January 20: Trump and Pence take office.[106]
  • January 21: Trump appoints Flynn as National Security Advisor.[107]
  • January 24: Flynn is interviewed by the FBI about his conversations with Kislyak.[108]
  • 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.[109]
  • January 27:
    • White House Counsel Donald McGahn has further discussions with Yates on the Flynn matter.[110]
    • Trump and Comey have dinner at the White House at which Comey gets the impression that the president wants to "create some sort of patronage relationship." Comey will later testify the President reportedly asks the FBI Director for personal loyalty. Comey declines, offering "honesty".[111]
  • January 31: Trump dismisses Yates, citing her refusal to enforce Executive Order 13769.[112]

February 2017

  • 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.[113]
  • February 8: Sessions is confirmed as Attorney General by a vote of 52 to 47;[114] he is sworn in the next day.[115]
  • February 9: 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.[116]
  • February 13: Flynn is dismissed after less than a month in office.[117]
  • February 14: Trump reportedly asks Comey to drop any investigation of Flynn. The White House denies the charge.[118]
  • February 20: Trump nominates H. R. McMaster to replace Flynn as National Security Advisor.[119] His continuing active military position is confirmed by the Senate on March 15.[120]

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.[121][122]
  • March 2: Sessions announces that he will recuse himself from any investigations into Russia's interference in the 2016 presidential election.[123]
  • 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.” [124]
  • March 5: In a Meet the Press interview, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper states that, as long as he was still in office, the NSA, FBI and CIA had found no evidence of collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign.[125]
  • March 15: House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA) and Ranking Member Adam Schiff (D-CA) announce there is no evidence to back up the president's wiretapping allegation.[126]
  • March 20: The House Intelligence Committee holds its first public hearing. Both Comey and NSA Director Mike Rogers testify that there is no evidence for Obama administration "wiretapping" and Comey admits that there is indeed an FBI investigation of the "Russia thing" ongoing.[citation needed]
  • March 22: Nunes announces that he discovered the intelligence community "incidentally collected" the communications of some members of Trump's transition team, potentially including the president himself,[127] 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.[128]
  • 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.[129]
  • March 27: Schiff and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi call for Nunes' recusal from the investigation after details of his White House visit become public.[130]
  • March 30: Flynn tells the FBI and Congress that he would testify in exchange for immunity from prosecution.[131]
  • 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.[132]

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.[133]
  • April 5: Nunes resigns from the investigation.[134] The House Ethics Committee starts an investigation of Nunes' conduct in the month of March.[135]
  • April 25: Rosenstein is confirmed by the Senate by a vote of 94-6.[136][137]

May 2017

  • May 3: Senator Diane Feinstein of California, who is the senior Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, states that there is "not yet" any evidence of collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign.[138]
  • May 4:
    • Rice refuses to testify to Congress.[139]
    • 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 dies just 10 days after the interview, aged 81.[140][141]
  • May 5–7: At President Trump's direction, White House Senior Advisor for policy Stephen Miller writes a draft letter of dismissal of FBI Director Comey.[142]
  • May 8: In an Oval Office meeting, Trump informs Kushner, Pence and McGahn of his intention 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.[142]
  • May 9:
    • Rosenstein gives the memo to Sessions to provide the basis for Sessions' recommendation that Comey be dismissed.[143][21]
    • Trump dismisses Comey from his position as FBI Director.[124]
    • Sean Spicer, White House Press Secretary, tells the press that "He [Trump] has no business in Russia. He has no connections to Russia."[144]
  • May 10: Trump holds a meeting in the White House with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Kislyak.
    • Trump reportedly tells Lavrov and Kislyak he fired Comey to relieve pressure caused by the investigation.[145]
    • Trump shares highly classified intelligence about ISIS with the Russians. The information had been obtained from allied intelligence sources without first seeking permission from them.[146] It is later confirmed that the intelligence came from Israel.[147]
    • Pence characterizes the dismissal of Comey as a reactive decision made by Trump in response to a recommendation by Sessions and Rosenstein.[148]
  • 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 James Comey.[149]
  • May 12: Trump threatens Comey with alleged secret recordings of their conversations.[150]
Congressman Al Green's Floor Speech on the Impeachment of President Trump
  • May 17:
  • May 18: The Russian State Duma approves the nomination of former Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov to replace Kislyak as U.S. ambassador.[153]
  • May 19: Senator Feinstein repeats her statement of May 3 that no evidence of collusion was found, and adds that "there are rumors".[154]
  • May 22: Flynn refuses to hand over subpoenaed documents to the Senate Intelligence Committee, citing the Fifth Amendment against self-incrimination.[155]
  • May 23:
    • U.S. Department of Justice ethics experts declare Mueller ethically able to function as special counsel.[156]
    • 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.[157]
  • May 24: U.S. media reports that Trump has hired lawyer Marc Kasowitz, his longtime legal counsel, to represent him in any inquiry.[158]
  • 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.[159]
  • May 26:
    • The Washington Post reports that Kislyak told Moscow that Kushner wanted a secret communications channel with the Kremlin under Russian supervision.[74]
    • 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.[160]
  • May 30:
    • Cohen is formally urged to preserve records by the special counsel and the congressional committees.[161] Flynn partially agrees to turn over documents in the investigation.[162]
    • CNN reports about leaked intercepts of conversations between Kremlin officials discussing their potential influence on some Trump campaign members, including financial matters.[163]
  • May 31:
    • The House Intelligence Committee serves seven subpoenas – including those on Cohen and Flynn – for testimony, personal documents and business records.[164][165]
    • The FBI and congressional committees enquire about a possible third encounter between Sessions and Kislyak on April 27, 2016.[166]
    • 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.[167]
    • The White House announces that it will no longer take questions relating to Russia-Trump allegations, referring such questions to Trump's lawyers.[168]

June 2017

At a conference in St. Petersburg, NBC's Megyn Kelly repeatedly questioned Putin about Russian interference in the 2016 US elections.[169]
  • June 3: Mueller takes over an earlier probe into Manafort's activities in Ukraine. He may also look into the involvement of Sessions and Rosenstein in the dismissal of James Comey, in which case Rosenstein would recuse himself from supervising Mueller.[170]
  • 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.[171][172] Reality Winner, an NSA contractor, is arrested for leaking the document.[173]
  • 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.[174]
    • In a prepared written testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee,[175] 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.[176] He also states that Trump felt the Russia story was a "cloud" that prevented him from performing his job as president.[176]
  • June 8: Comey testifies before the Senate Intelligence committee.[177]
  • June 12:
  • 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.[181]
    • Sessions testifies before the Senate Intelligence Committee.[182]
    • Rosenstein testifies to the Senate that he is the only person empowered to dismiss Robert Mueller, and that he sees no reason to do so.[183]
  • June 14: The Washington Post confirms that Mueller is investigating Trump for obstruction of justice, in relation to his dismissal of Comey.[184]
  • 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."[185]
  • June 18: Trump's lawyer Jay Sekulow states that he has not been notified of any investigation into Trump himself.[186]
  • 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.[187]
  • June 21: Kushner's lawyers provided an amended SF-86 to the FBI, their third such change, to list the meeting with the Russian lawyer.[188]
  • June 23: Kushner is interviewed by the FBI about his security clearance.[188]
  • 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.[189]
  • June 30: On the Lawfare blog, British security consultant Matt Tait claims that he had a series of conversations with Smith in 2016, concerning Hillary Clinton's emails, an unnamed dark web contact, and a new Delaware company called KLS Research.[190][191]

July 2017

  • July 9: The New York Times first reports that Trump Jr., Kushner and Manafort met Veselnitskaya at Trump Tower on June 9, 2016.[26][192]
  • July 10–18: Further details about the Veselnitskaya meeting emerge in the press.[27][28][29]
  • July 11: Trump Jr. tweets his emails about the Veselnitskaya meeting before the Times publishes them minutes later.[25][193]
  • July 12:
    • Two Democratic Party donors and a former party staff member file an invasion of privacy lawsuit against Trump’s campaign and Stone.[194]
    • Articles of Impeachment against President Trump are formally filed in the House of Representatives.[195]
    • Speaking on Fox News, the Vice President's spokesman Marc Lotter repeatedly refuses to clarify whether or not Pence met with Russian representatives.[196]
  • 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.[197]
  • 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.[198]
    • The New York Times reports on sources claiming that Deutsche Bank is cooperating with federal investigators about Trump accounts.[199]
    • Trump, in an interview with The New York Times, threatens Mueller's job if the investigation expands to his personal finances.[200]
  • July 20:
    • Bloomberg News reports that Mueller is investigating Trump's business transactions.[201]
    • The Washington Post reports Trump is asking his attorneys about his ability to pardon himself and other key aides and family members.[202]
  • July 21:
    • The Washington Post reports Sessions discussed Trump campaign-related matters with Kislyak.[203]
    • John M. Dowd replaces Marc Kasowitz at the head of Trump's legal team, following personal threats made by Kasowitz.[204] Legal spokesman Mark Corallo resigns.[205]
  • July 22: Trump asserts ‘complete power’ to pardon anyone in relation to the Russia investigation.[206]
  • July 24: After a closed-door meeting with the Senate Intelligence Committee, Kushner issues a statement denying any collusion with Russian officials.[207][208]
  • July 25:
    • Kushner meets with the House Intelligence Committee in a closed-door meeting.[209][208]
    • Manafort meets with members of the Senate Intelligence Committee and turns over contemporaneous notes of the June 9th meeting.[210][211]
    • 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".[212]
  • July 26: The FBI conducts a pre-dawn raid on Paul Manafort's home, seizing documents and electronic devices.[210][213] The raid was on the day Manafort was scheduled to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee.[214]
  • 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.[215][216]
  • 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.[217]
  • July 31: The Washington Post reports that Trump personally dictated a statement for Trump Jr. stating that the Veselnitskaya meeting “primarily discussed a program about the adoption of Russian children”.[218] 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."[219]

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.[220]
  • August 2:
    • Trump signs the Congressional legislation limiting his ability to ease sanctions against Russia. He describes the bill as "flawed" and "unconstitutional".[221]
    • The Trump campaign turns over about 20,000 pages of documents to the Senate Intelligence Committee, as demanded by Senators Feinstein and Grassley.[222]
  • August 3:
  • August 4: Politico reports that a pair of Republican staffers were secretly sent by an aide to Nunes to London in July 2017, to contact Christopher Steele.[227][228]
  • August 6: Rosenstein confirms that Mueller is authorized to investigate any crime exposed by his inquiry.[229]
  • August 9: The Washington Post reports on the FBI raid at Manafort's home on July 26.[210] According to The New York Times, the search was ordered by Mueller for tax documents and foreign banking records.[230]
  • August 11: Akhmetshin gives sworn testimony for two hours to Mueller's grand jury.[231]
  • August 14:
    • Vice President Pence states that he "never witnessed" and was "not aware" of any collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian officials.[232]
    • The Washington Post reports that Trump campaign foreign policy advisor George Papadopoulos repeatedly suggested to arrange meetings with the Russian leadership, which Manafort refused.[233]
  • August 16: ABC News reports that FBI investigator Peter Strzok is no longer on Mueller's team.[234]
  • August 22:
    • Steele identifies to the FBI named sources for the information in his Trump dossier.[235]
    • Fusion GPS founder Glenn R. Simpson, who had hired Steele for this work, speaks with the Senate Judiciary Committee and hands over more than 40,000 documents.[235]
  • August 23: CNN reports that White House Deputy Chief of Staff Rick Dearborn sent an email in June 2016 which referenced previously unreported efforts to connect Trump campaign members with Vladimir Putin.[236][237]
  • August 24:
    • The New York Times reports that Akhmetshin had stronger ties to the Russian government and Kremlin-backed oligarchs than previously known.[238]
    • 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.[239]
  • 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.[240][241]
  • August 29: CNN reports that Manafort's former attorney Melissa Laurenza and spokesman Jason Maloni have received subpoenas from Mueller.[242]
  • August 30: Politico reports that Mueller has teamed up with New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman to set up a separate method of charging people in the case, if Trump tries to use his pardon power to stymie the investigation.[243]
  • 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.[244]
    • 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.[245]

September 2017

  • September 6:
    • The Washington Post reports that Facebook admitted that they sold advertisements to Russian companies seeking to advertise to the 2016 U.S. election audience.[246] Hours after the Post story was published, the New York Times confirmed the story with their own take on it, specifying that it was hundreds of accounts that were tied to the Internet Research Agency.[247][248]
    • Mueller contacted Facebook subsequently to the company's disclosure that it sold ads to a Russian spy agency-linked company, and the Menlo Park-based company has pledged full cooperation in Mueller's investigation, and began with providing all information about the advertisement bought by the Russian government, including the identities of the individuals who made the purchases.[249]
  • September 7: In a five hour long questioning with the Senate Judiciary Committee's staff, Donald Trump Jr states 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.[250]
  • September 8: The Washington Post reports Muller gave the White House the names of six current and former aides he expects to question in Russia probe (Hope Hicks, Sean Spicer, Reince Priebus, Don McGahn, James Burnham and Josh Raffel).[251]
  • September 11: The Daily Beast reports that Russia used Facebook events to organize anti-immigrant rallies on U.S. soil.[252]
  • September 12: Yahoo! News reports the FBI has begun a Foreign Agent Registration Act violation investigation against Sputnik.[253]
  • September 13:
    • The United States bans use of Kaspersky Lab software in federal agencies amid concerns of Russian espionage.[254]
    • NBC News reports that former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn's Son, Michael G. Flynn, is named as a subject of Mueller's investigation.[255]
    • 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 former FBI Director James Comey, a sign that Mueller could be investigating the circumstances around the firing.[256]
    • Bloomberg reports that Mueller has a “red-hot” focus on Russia’s effort to influence U.S. voters through Facebook.[257]
    • The Justice Department has asked a company that supplies services to the US affiliate of the state-owned Russian news outlet Russia Today to register as a foreign agent, according to an article published Monday on RT's website.[258]
    • The Wall Street Journal reports Michael T. Flynn promoted a multi-billion-dollar Middle Eastern Russian-backed nuclear-plant project while working in the White House.[259]
    • Facebook has concluded 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," Business Insider reports.[260]
  • September 14: Carter Page files suit against Yahoo and The Huffington Post, alleging defamation in a September 2016 news article concerning Page's connections to Russia.[261]
  • September 15:
    • The Wall Street Journal reports that Facebook shared with Mueller, in response to a warrant, copies of advertisements and account information related to the Russian advertisement purchases, beyond that which it shared with Congress in the previous week.[262]
    • According to the Wall Street Journal, California Representative Dana Rohrabacher contacted the White House this week trying to broker a deal that would end WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s U.S. legal troubles in exchange for what he described as evidence that Russia wasn’t the source of hacked emails published by the antisecrecy website during the 2016 presidential campaign.[263]
    • BuzzFeed reports Michael Flynn, Jared Kushner, and Steve Bannon met with King Abdullah II while Flynn was reportedly pressing for a controversial, for-profit deal to build nuclear power plants in the Middle East.[264]
    • Politico reports; a spokesman for former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, Jason Maloni, spent about two-and-a-half hours testifying Friday before Robert Mueller's federal grand jury probing potential collusion between the campaign and Russia.[265]
    • Politico reports that prosecutor Kyle Freeny has left the Justice Department's money laundering investigation unit to become the sixteenth lawyer on Mueller's team.[266]
  • September 17: The Financial Times reports that United States Senate Intelligence committee seeks further information about Russia links with Facebook, and are stepping up the pressure on Facebook as concerns rise about the role the social media network played in Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election.[267]
  • September 18:
    • The New York Times reports that Robert Mueller notified Paul Manafort that he is a target of the investigation and will be indicted.[268]
    • CNN reports US investigators wiretapped former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort under secret court orders before and after the election. The government surveillance continued into early 2017, including a period when Manafort was known to talk to President Donald Trump.[269]
    • CNN reports that Facebook handed Russia-linked ads over to Mueller under search warrant.[270]

See also

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Further reading

External links

  • "Joint Statement from the Department Of Homeland Security and Office of the Director of National Intelligence on Election Security", October 7, 2016
  • Bill Moyers: Interactive Timeline: Everything We Know About Russia and President Trump
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