Breaking you Down on the Russia Investigation Timeline with Bulletpoints
Pro-tip: for the juiciest diets, scroll to the 2017 portion. This is most relevant to the latest headlines.
Let’s start, way way back. Trump has a had a thing for Putin (Russian president, and essentially dictator).
June 19, 2013:
October 17, 2013: Trump boasts, “Well I’ve done a lot of business with the Russians,” Trump says. “They’re smart and they’re tough.” Dude clearly likes Russians!
- September – The DNC (Democratic National Committee) database is hacked. As a result we get tons of leaks and emails from various top Democratic staffers. This creates a lot of buzz, further getting people talking about those damn emails!
- December 17: Putin praises Trump as the leader of the presidential race, which is welcomed by Russia…Trump takes great pleasure in being complimented by Putin, “It is always a great honor to be so nicely complimented by a man so highly respected within his own country and beyond.”
- February: Trump’s national security adviser, Michael Flynn (pictured right), misleads officials on his security clearance application – claiming he received no income from foreign officials (when he did in fact, receive over $40K from a Putin financed television network)
photo via NBCnews.com
- March: Clinton staffers are given false instructions to change their email passwords, allowing Russian hackers to get more info via their emails.
- Trump announces Carter Page, American banker who lived in Moscow for three years, as a foreign policy adviser.
- May: Director of National Intelligence (James Clapper) acknowledges there are reports of cyber threats to presidential campaigns (ehm, the Clinton Campaign – the only campaign to experience leaks)
- July: Jeff Sessions, now head of the Department of Justice, meets with a Russian ambassador (off the record, of course) …later in July, WikiLeaks leaks almost 20,000 emails from the DNC. DNC Chairman resigns amid biased content revealed in her emails.
- July 26th: Intelligence officials confirm they have “high confidence” that Russia is leading these hacks.
A LOT went down after this but for the sake of brevity, we’re going to skip it and fast forward to November.
- November 9, 2016 – Trump is elected (sigh)
- January 6, 2017: The Office of National Intelligence: “We assess Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the U.S. presidential election…we further assess that Putin and the RussianGovernment developed a clear preference for President-Elect Trump…”
Donald predictably panics, takes to Twitter to call this whole Russia story/investigation #FakeNews, despite the confirmation from major security officials that there is in fact a link between his win and Russia hacking. Ah, Donald. You are far too predictable.
January 10, 2017: Sessions (pictured right ) swears under oath that during the campaign, he did not have communications with Russia. ** see March 1st
- January 27, 2017: Trump and Comey have dinner. Trump asks Comey for his loyalty (amid Russia investigation), Comey refuses.
- February 13, 2017: Michael Flynn resigns amid heat about his lies, stating, “I inadvertently briefed the vice president-elect and others with incomplete information regarding my phone calls with the Russian ambassador,” he wrote. “I have sincerely apologized to the president and the vice president, and they have accepted my apology."
- March 1st: It is reported that Sessions spoke with Russian ambassadors throughout the campaign, meaning HE LIED UNDER OATH ABOUT HIS TIES WITH RUSSIA.
- March 2nd: Sessions recuses himself from the Russia/Trump Campaign investigation.
- March 20, 2017: FBI Director Comey confirms: “The FBI, as part of our counterintelligence effort, is investigating the Russian government’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 president election.”
Here comes the real tea, folks. We like to call this: road to impeachment!
- May 9th, 2017: Trump fires FBI Director James Comey, citing the firing as the recommendation from the Department of Justice (this is what our friend Jeff Sessions is in charge of, the same one who recused himself from the Russia investigation). White House cites Comey’s poor handling of Clinton emails as a reason for his firing.
- May 12th: Trump tells NBC’s Lester Holt, “When I decided to just do it (to fire Comey), I said to myself…this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made up story, its an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should have won.” This directly contradicts the White House’s initial statement regarding reasons for Comey’s firing, essentially confirming that Donald fired Comey because of the Russia investigation.
- May 17th: Former FBI Director Robert Mueller is appointed special counsel to oversee the Russia investigation
- May 19th: The New York Times reports that Trump boasted to Russian officials, “I just fired the head of the F.B.I. He was crazy, a real nut job…I faced great pressure because of Russia. That’s taken off.”… later that night, sources revealed that the Trump Administration has been researching impeachment proceedings.
- May 26th: It is released that the FBI Investigation of Russia’s meddling is considering the role of Jared Kushner, husband to Ivanka Trump and senior White House adviser
- May 31st: It is announced that Comey is expected to testify publicly in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee that Trump attempted to pressure him into ending the Russia investigation…also, the Senate Intelligence Committee issues their first subpoenas to Michael Flynn (see earlier) and Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, requesting personal records and documents.
- June 8, 2017: Comey testifies to the Senate Intelligence Committee. He reveals he felt pressure from Trump to drop the Comey investigation, confirms Trump asked him to confirm his loyalty, and more. Read more about it here. Later that day, Trump's attorney boasts Trump feels "totally vindicated" after Comey testimony.
- June 9, 2017: Trump has some Twitter fingers for Comey.
- June 13, 2017: Attorney General Jeff Sessions testifies to the Senate Intelligence Committee. In his hearing, Sessions did not contradict any of what James Comey revealed in his testimony just a few days before. He exerted executive privilege to answer most questions, and quite frankly, his testimony just left many with even more questions than before. Read more about it here.
- June 15, 2017: Vice President Pence hires an attorney to deal with Russia allegations. This is not his first time trying to separate himself from the Russia drama.
- July 7, 2017: Trump finally meets Putin in person for 2 and a half hours. Putin tells him he didn't have anything to do with interference in the election, Trump reportedly accepts this answer. The pair also talk about a joint account between Moscow and DC for cybersecurity,
- July 8, 2017: The New York Times breaks the story about Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, and Paul Manafort's meeting with a Russian lawyer to get dirt on the New York Times. Donald Trump Jr. initially lies about what was discussed in the meeting.
- July 10th-12th-: Donald Trump Jr. saga continues. In order to avoid a New York Times leak, Donald Trump Jr. releases email chain with publicist Robert Goldstone, who planned the meeting between Trump advisers and Russian lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya. Trump Jr. immediately faces critics who say the emails prove collusion between the campaign and Russia.
This post is being updated with the latest happenings.