Friday, February 16, 2018

Another Shoe Drops As Maximum Bob Charges 13 Russians With Election Meddling

Prigozhin (left), one of those indicted, serving dinner to Putin
In the first charges directly related to election meddling, Special Counsel Robert Mueller on Friday indicted 13 Russian nationals and three Russian organizations for illegally using social media to sow political discord in the 2016 presidential election, including actions that supported Donald Trump's candidacy and disparaged his opponent, Hillary Clinton. 
The special counsel, in a 37-page indictment filed in U.S. District Court in Washington, said the 13 individuals and three organizations had conspired since April 2014 to violate laws that prohibit foreigners from spending money to influence federal elections by using stolen identities and other methods to falsely pose as American citizens. 
It is unlikely that the Russians would be immediately arrested, but because they are now wanted by the U.S. government, it will make it difficult for them to travel outside of Russia or do business internationally. 
One of the three organizations, the St. Petersburg-based International Research Agency, is a notorious troll farm that was a hub for a sophisticated operation designed to reach millions of Americans to disrupt the political process, according to the indictment.  Facebook has acknowledged that the agency bought 3,000 ads that reached 11.4 million users, as well as organized 129 events that drew the attention of nearly 340,000 Facebook users. 
With a budget in the millions of dollars, the stated goal of an effort nicknamed the Translator Project was to "spread distrust toward candidates and the political system in general" using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google to divide voters across a range of polarizing issues, including race, religion, gun rights and immigration.  
The individuals traveled around the U.S., visiting at least eight so-called battleground states, which they called "purple states."  These included Colorado, Florida and Virginia.  They created hundreds of email, bank and PayPal accounts and used fraudulent drivers' licenses issued to fictitious Americans, as well as the identities of real Americans from stolen Social Security numbers. 
At the height of the campaign, more than 80 people were employed using secure private network connections to computer servers leased in the U.S. to hide the fact they were in Russia posing as American activists who emailed, advised and made payments to reach Americans who were tricked into believing they were part of the same cause. 
Much of the effort was concentrated in Florida where the operatives mobilized efforts for "Florida Goes Trump" rallies on August 20, 2016 and, using false identities, contacted the Trump state campaign staff to offer their services.  
Significantly perhaps -- and perhaps only for the time being -- the indictment charges that some of the suspects interacted with Americans associated with the Trump campaign, but those associates did not realize they were being manipulated.  Still, the indictment does land a fatal blow to the president's continued insistence that Russian interference in the election is a "hoax," which PolitiFact deservedly called its 2017 "Lie of the Year." 
In a statement following announcement of the indictments, Trump stressed that no members of his campaign were implicated.

"Russia started their anti-US campaign in 2014, long before I announced that I would run for President," he tweeted. "The results of the election were not impacted. The Trump campaign did nothing wrong -- no collusion!"
Prosecutors said that by February 2016, the suspects had decided whom they were supporting and were instructed by the Internet Research Agency to "use any opportunity to criticize Hillary and the rest (except Sanders and Trump -- we support them.)"   
Not coincidentally, Paul Manafort was running the Trump campaign during the period in the spring and summer of 2016 when the Translator Project hit its stride, and it is likely that ties between the suspects and Americans, possibly involved in the  Trump campaign, who knew exactly what they were up to will emerge.    
The Internet Research Agency kept a list of legitimate American citizens whom its employees contacted using false personas and had asked to assist in their propaganda efforts, which included buying ads with messages like "Hillary is a Satan" and "Ohio Wants Hillary 4 Prison."  The list numbered over 100 people by August 2016 and included contact information, a summary of each individual's political views and the activities the Russians asked them to undertake. 
In September 2016, some of the Internet Research Agency trolls were chastised when they had a "low number of posts dedicated to criticizing Hillary Clinton," according to the indictment.  They were told it was "imperative to intensify criticizing" the Democratic nominee, who was well ahead of Trump in most polls.   
All 13 suspects were charged with conspiracy to defraud the U.S.  Three defendants also were charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud, and five defendants with aggravated identity theft. 
Most of the 13 suspects are unknown, but Yevgeniy Viktorovich Prigozhin is a notorious exception. 
Prigozhin overcame his humble roots to become one of Russia's richest and most corrupt men.  Although he is not a chef himself, the oligarch is known in the Russian media as "Putin's chef" because his close ties to the Russian president and the lavish feasts he has put on for him.  Prigozhin's Concord Catering, along with his Concord Consulting, are named in the indictment, he is a financial backer of the Internet Research Institute and is widely known as a go-to guy for Putin on a variety of secret missions, including the recruitment of contract soldiers to fight in Ukraine and Syria. 
The last round of Obama administration sanctions against Russia in December 2016 included Prigozhin, who was cited for his extensive support of the Putin regime, including construction of a military base near Ukraine that was used to deploy Russian troops. 
"The Americans are very impressionable people and they see what they want to see," Prigozhin told Russia's Novosti state news agency in response to the indictment.  "I respect them very much. 
"I am not at all disappointed that I appear in this list.  If they want to see the devil -- let them." 
The indictment was impressive in its detail and appears to have been based on extensive surveillance and record gathering. 
Mueller has issued indictments for four individuals, two directly involved in the Trump campaign, but the indictment charging the Russian nationals and organizations are the first for meddling in the election -- the fundamental crime that the special counsel was tasked with investigating.
Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein, who had hired Mueller after Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, called the charges "a reminder that people are not always who they appear on the Internet.  The indictment alleges that the Russian conspirators want to promote social discord in the United States and undermine public confidence in democracy.  We must not allow them to succeed."

Click HERE for a comprehensive timeline of the Russia scandal. 

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Will Misogyny Be On The Mid-Term Ballot Because Of The Ron Porter Scandal?

Another day and another cavalcade of lies spewing from the West Wing about the Rob Porter scandal like so many black eyes.   
It turns out Porter was in talks regarding a promotion despite Chief of Staff John Kelly and others knowing that he abused his wives, something the White House has insisted only became known in July.  But FBI Director Christopher Wray said on Tuesday that information was communicated nearly a year ago after the FBI closed a background investigation on Porter for a security clearance he still doesn't have, and on two more occasions after that.
And don't you want to throw up when press secretary Sarah Huckabee "Walkback" Sanders, that pillar of defiant obstructionism, oozes contempt when a reporter asks her where Trump stands and she replies, as she did yet again on Tuesday in falsely claiming that the FBI and White House timelines are identical, that the president supports domestic violence victims but is really concerned about "due process."  
But in dwelling on these latest developments, let alone a timeline that has changed daily -- and sometimes several times a day -- as administration officials keep tripping over themselves in futilely trying to mascara the black eyes, we risk losing sight of the big picture: The president of the United States, who has consistently sided with Porter, is a misogynist and serial abuser himself, and any Republican supporting him and running for reelection should pay dearly for that.   But will they?  Will there be a political -- let alone social -- consequences?
Steve Bannon, of all people, believes so.   
Bannon, the alt-right apologist who was Trump's resident Svengali for the first seven months of his tortured term until being ousted because he had perturbed the right-wing Republican money changers, now says that he's "sick of being a wet nurse for a 71-year-old" and has a warning for politicians who continue to support Trump and implicitly his woman hating. 
"You watch.  The time has come," Bannon told journalist Joshua Green.  "Women are gonna take charge of society.  And they couldn't juxtapose a better villain than Trump. He's the patriarch.  This is a definational moment in the culture.  It'll never be the same going forward." 
Bannon is inclined toward grandiose pronouncements and is hardly a feminist.  In fact, he was charged with domestic violence and battery in 1996 en route to a messy divorce, but he is on to something.
Trump's response to the Porter scandal has been similar to the many others during his presidency.  He tries to divert attention and lies shamelessly.  In this instance, he not only has sided with Porter, but also denigrated Porter's victims and tweeted his suspicions of the #MeToo movement.  Yet this scandal is not about Russian interference or a campaign's collusion in a presidential election, turning the presidency into a profit center for the Trump family business empire or the ethical lapses and forced resignations of Cabinet members.   
The common denominator, of course, is that everyone keeps lying about everything. 
Beyond the lying, the Porter scandal is different for another reason, as well: In the era of the incredible, shrinking news cycle, it has dominated headlines for eight days.  There has been no effort to own up to the scandal's real causes as Sanders and others keep writing it off as a communications failure.  Then on Wednesday, the scandal grew a new tentacle as one-time Trump ally Trey Gowdy said his House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform will investigate why Porter was allowed to work without a full security clearance, an extremely rare instance of congressional oversight of this out-of-control presidency.  Maybe the same could be asked about Trump son-outlaw Jared Kushner.
Even Kellyanne Conway, whose tortured defenses of Trump have been a ratings bonanza for late-night comedians, broke with the president on Porter, saying she saw "no reason not to believe" his former wives. 
Trump's seeming immunity to his own sex scandal -- some 20 women have come forward over the years, recently including the porn star he allegedly bedded four months after the birth of his son -- has limits.  While the Porter imbroglio will not hasten the end of his presidency, it will have an impact at the ballot box in November even if he did win 53 percent of the white woman vote in 2016. 
Yes, those white women got what they voted for, but at a time when it has never been more obvious that vile men like Trump -- or Harvey Weinstein or Bill Cosby or maybe their own bosses -- are threats to their dignity, Trump's message that women should be silent or be disbelieved about the sexual exploitation in their own lives is bound to siphon support from Republican candidates who don't break with the president on the issue. 
It seems unlikely many candidates will have the balls to do so -- making them fair game for Democrats -- even as the Pussy Grabber in Chief tries to rebuild traditional racial and gender hierarchies in a world he sees as spinning out of control with a chief of staff at his side who not only didn't think Porter's history of abuse was a cause for dismissal, but was considering giving him a promotion to a job with an elevated policy role, possibly as his chief deputy. 
THERE HAVE BEEN 36 RED-TO-BLUE SWITCHES in state legislative races since the 2016 election.  Republicans have flipped four seats in the other direction.   
The Democratic wins included Margaret Goode's victory over a Republican incumbent in the Tampa Bay area of Florida on Tuesday, a 12-point swing from Trump's winning margin in the district, while historical patterns show the president's party's predisposed to have mid-term election difficulties. 
Trump's approval rating is remarkably low for a new president, and Republicans will have their hands full with the entire House of Representatives, a third of the Senate and most governorships at stake.  (They really could use some help from those Russians.)
The number of Democratic female House candidates has risen by 146 percent since the 2016 debacle, while the number of Republican female House candidates has increased by 35 percent, according to the Center for American Women in Politics.  A total of 351 Democratic women have announced runs for Congress while 99 Republican women have. 
Minority women remain overwhelmingly opposed to Trump and were the key to serial sexual predator Roy Moore's defeat in Mississippi, while nationally college-educated women remain the engines of white resistance to Trump.   Only 34 percent of these women voted for him in 2016 and polling prior to the Porter scandal shows that number is declining.   
But the most hopeful polling news is this:  Trump won at least 56 percent of the vote of white women in the Rustbelt regardless of education, but those voters are cooling on him, notably in the white-collar suburbs of major metropolitan areas in Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.  There has been an 18 percent decline from 2016 levels in Ohio and 19 percent in Wisconsin, according to Gallup, the primary reason being Trump's repeated efforts to trash the Affordable Care Act.      
The question is how much Republican support is imperiled overall when Evangelical women, who in the sickest of all the sick reasons people who should know better voted for Trump because God had forgiven him for his serial predations?  
My cautious response is enough to make a difference -- and perhaps even a big difference. 

Monday, February 12, 2018

Dress Rehearsal For A Scandal: How Putin Came To Embrace & Weaponize The Web

The Russia scandal has shown Vladimir Putin to be extraordinarily savvy at using the Internet to advance his agenda by impeding others' agendas.   
In the case of the 2016 U.S. presidential election, this included targeting undecided voters cool to Hillary Clinton with avalanches of fake news and Facebook, Twitter and YouTube accounts that were false fronts for anti-Clinton propaganda and extensive hacking attacks on Democratic computer servers.  But for many years, Putin had feared the Internet's power, while the story of how he eventually came to embrace and use it for malevolent ends reads like a dress rehearsal for the Kremlin's sabotage of the Clinton campaign in the service of electing Donald Trump. 
As a Cold Warrior who headed the dreaded FSB, Russia's all-powerful counter-intelligence and surveillance service before becoming prime minister and then president in 2000, Putin had only a primitive knowledge of the Internet but understood it as a future battleground for cyberwarfare and the information superhighway a modern-day front line in the conflict between nations.   
Putin knew that the U.S., Russia's arch rival, had a clear technological advantage.  But he incorrectly believed that the CIA was an invisible hand controlling the Internet, a logical conclusion for a Soviet-Russian intelligence bureaucrat with a Cold War mindset.   
As Russian journalists Andrei Soldatov and Irina Borogan write in a fascinating, must-read book for people with more than a cursory interest in the Russia scandal, The Red Web: The Kremlin's War on the Internet:
Vladimir Putin was certain that all things in the world -- including the Internet -- existed with a hierarchical, vertical structure.  He was also certain the Internet must have someone controlling it at the top.  He viewed the United States with suspicion, thinking the Americans ruled the web and that it was a CIA project.  Putin wanted to end that supremacy.  Just as he attempted to change the rules inside Russia, so too did he attempt to change them for the world.  
Putin's catharsis can be traced to 2011 as Arab Spring uprisings spread across the Middle East.   
It was only then that he came to understand the open nature of the Internet and the role social media -- and Facebook and Twitter in particular -- were playing in bringing people into the streets without any organizing structure.  But with one foot still stuck in the old mindset, he remained convinced that social media was a tool of the U.S. government and ordered the FSB to make social network technology a priority in order to be able to fight back.  
When Putin set out in 2000 to control and eventually harness the Internet, he could not have anticipated using cybersabotage to undermine a foundation of America democracy -- the fair and unfettered presidential election.  But as Russia got better and better at that game over the next 15 years, including conducting dress rehearsals of a sort against first dissident citizens and then former Soviet republics and satellites that refused to embrace Moscow after the Soviet Union collapsed, the U.S. became fair game and Trump and his campaign ideal patsies. 
These were some of the important dress rehearsal dates:
January 2002: In the first known instance of Russian-instigated denial of service attacks, the website of a Chechen separatist website is paralyzed.
April 27, 2007: Russia launches its first major external cyber attack on government websites in the former Soviet republic of Estonia.
July 2008: Russian government hackers take down government websites in the former Soviet satellite of Lithuania. 
August 2008: Russian government hackers take down government websites in the former Soviet republic of Georgia. 
February 2014: A Russian military report documents how fake personas can be created through Facebook accounts to spread disinformation. 
February 22, 2014: Russia responds to an anti-Russian uprising in Ukraine with a tidal wave of propaganda spread on social media.  
April 8, 2015: Russian government hacker Fancy Bear, later identified as one of the Democratic National Committee computer server hackers, overrides the programming of the French television network TV5Monde's 11 channels.  
March 2016: A Russian government think tank develops a plan to swing the election to Trump and undermine voters' faith in the American electoral system. 
And who were those often anonymous hackers and trolls? 
They were not necessarily committed to Putin, let alone worked for the state, but frequently were committed to helping the Kremlin maintain "plausible deniability," as the authors of The Red Web put it.  Many hacktivists were members of Putin youth groups (the similarities to Hitler Youth are unavoidable) and more often than not worked for free.
The authors believe that it is questionable whether the Kremlin's cybersabotage of the Clinton campaign, with or without the help of Trump and his campaign, affected the outcome.  But they say that:
[I]t certainly propelled Russia right into the heart of the election process and made Putin look like the third player -- perhaps even the kingmaker -- in the most powerful country of the world.
This cynicism was Vladimir Putin's gift to America.  And certainly has been returned in kind many times over by Donald Trump.

Click HERE for a comprehensive timeline of the Russia scandal. 

Saturday, February 10, 2018

(UPDATED) Who Is Sicker? Wife Beater Ron Porter Or General John F. Kelly?

One of the greatest perversities (pun intended) of living through the Donald Trump presidency is that I still cling, my fingernails on the window ledge of the top floor of a high-rise building engulfed in flames, to the notion that there has to be some good in this godawful disaster.  And so it seemed when Marine General John F. Kelly was named Trump's White House chief of staff.  But yet again -- yet-a-freaking-gain -- I have been fooled as Kelly turned out to be not a force for order and sanity (you know, "the adult in the room") but just as despicable as Trump, albeit with a tighter tummy and better posture. 
Kelly, fresh off of making headlines for suggesting that some young immigrants are unable to qualify for the federal Dreamers program because they are "too lazy to get off their asses," has stepped from one excrement-filled hole into a deeper one in defending Rob Porter, a top administration official, Trump gatekeeper and close Kelly ally, as "a friend, a confidant and a trusted professional . . . a man of true integrity and honor, and I can't say enough good things about him." 
This was mere hours before the rest of us became aware of what Kelly had known since October, according to CNN and Politico, and perhaps as early as August, according to The New York TimesPorter had physically and mentally abused his first and second wives, Colbie Holderness and Jennifer Willoughby, with whom he was involved in back-to-back marriages from 2003 to 2013. 
Kelly and other officials were aware of this because the former Mrs. Porters had detailed Porter's behavior in the course of FBI background checks on him and he still had not been given a full security clearance, yet Kelly handed Porter still more responsibilities as White House secretary, some of them involving sensitive and classified documents, to try to control the flow of information to the out-of-his-depth president.  (White House Counsel Donald McGahn may have learned of Porter's situation in January 2017, reported The Washington Post, but also did nothing.)  
According to The Times, Kelly bought Porter's line that his ex-wives were fabricating stories and just trying to cause trouble.  Even after the allegations were made public, Kelly fought for Porter to stay on staff, telling him he would be able to withstand the heat, according to CNN and Axios, and an elaborate pushback was initiated when it became known on Tuesday afternoon that the British tabloid, the Daily Mail, was about to break the serial abuse story. 
This pushback included an urgent request from the White House to Senator Orrin Hatch to throw together a statement praising Porter, the Utah Republican's former chief of staff, and whispers loud enough to be heard by the news media that Porter was the victim of a smear campaign orchestrated by Corey Lewandowski, former Trump campaign manager, among other unnamed villains. 
The White House has pushed back against multiple allegations of sexual harassment and assault by Trump himself endorsed and defended Senate candidate Roy Moore in the face of multiple allegations (there's that phrase again) that he engaged in sexual misconduct with teenage girls when he was in his 30s, so it was believed that the Porter debacle could be contained. 
So what's another abuser among friends?  
But the debacle escalated into a scandal by week's end as pictures circulated of Holderness sporting two bruised eyes, one of them black and blue, and a swollen cheekbone gifted by Porter while they were vacationing in Florence, Italy in 2005.  Kelly dutifully hemmed and hawed before mumbling to the press about being "shocked" and "there being no place for domestic violence in our society." 
But -- and you just knew there was going to be a but -- Kelly added: "I stand by my previous comments of the Rob Porter that I have come to know since becoming chief of staff, and believe every individual deserves the right to defend their reputation." 
Porter, meanwhile, cleaned out his desk on Thursday afternoon and was thought to be seeking solace from his current object of affection -- White House communications director Hope Hicks -- who in the best tradition of the West Wing Circular Firing Squad, is said to have helped draft Kelly's statement defending Porter and also had urged him to stay on.  
To make matters worse -- if that is even possible in this extraordinarily sordid episode -- Politico reported that an ex-girlfriend of Porter, who also works in the Trump administration, warned McGahn of Porter's history of abuse in November when she learned that he was romantically involved with Hicks, who apparently has now cooled on Porter.
And to make matters worse still, The WaPo reported that on Friday morning Kelly instructed senior staff to communicate a false version of events about Porter's departure -- that he took "immediate and direct action" when Porter's behavior became public -- which contradicts media reports and the accounts of White House insiders that he had known about it for months. 
Trump, for his part, praised Porter on Friday morning and then did so even more effusively on Saturday while bemoaning in a tweet that "There is no recovery for someone falsely accused -- life and career are gone.  Is there no such thing any long than Due Process?"  This predictable if tone-deaf outburst played nicely into Republican fears that the party's already abusive relationship with women would further benefit the Democrats.
Willoughby expained that the #MeToo movement was a reason for her coming forward.   
"Rob is in fact charming and intelligent and diligent and extremely good at his job." she said.  "And, in capital letters, abusive and manipulative and toxic in his personal relationships."   
That Kelly did not extend the right to defend oneself to the former Mrs. Porters is not surprising when we recall the case of Myeshia Johnson.  
Johnson's husband, Army Sergeant La David Johnson, won't be able to make Trump's big military parade in Washington because he was killed on October 4, along with three other Special Forces soldiers, while serving on a still unexplained mission in Niger. 
Trump failed to acknowledge the deaths for 12 days and happened to be (guess what?) golfing on October 7 as Johnson's remains were returned to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware.  Trump would golf four more times before aides convinced him to make a condolence call to Mrs. Johnson, which he did under Kelly's watchful eye, but went badly off script as he seemed to forget her husband's name and then lectured her that La David knew "what he was signing up for." 
When Mrs. Johnson criticized Trump for his insensitivity, he could not resist picking another fight with a Gold Star family, having tried to belittle Khizr and Ghazala Kahn, the parents of a Muslim soldier killed in Iraq, after they denounced him during the presidential campaign. 
Like the call to Mrs. Johnson, the inevitable attempt at damage control also went badly. 
Trump denied forgetting La David's name and lecturing his widow, and even when it turned out that Representative Frederica Wilson, a family friend, had heard the call on a speakerphone and also criticized Trump, he did what comes naturally.  He lied, falsely claiming that Barack Obama and other former presidents didn't even bother to call the families of soldiers killed in action.  
Kelly's response as the adult in the room was to make matters even worse. 
In an emotional speech choreographed by Trump, he noted that his Marine son had died in Afghanistan in 2012 and he hadn't whined about it.  And then he assailed Wilson -- apropos of nothing other than her being a convenient target -- for taking credit for getting funding for an FBI building in Miami named after two slain agents at the April 2015 dedication ceremony for the building, which he had attended while still a Marine. 
"We are stunned," Kelly harrumphed to reporters.  "Stunned that she had done it.  Even for someone that is that empty a barrel, we were stunned.  But none of us went to the press and criticized."
When a video surfaced of the dedication ceremony, it turned out the empty barrel -- apparently a code word for a black woman who happens to serve in Congress -- had not taken credit in her speech but made sure others, whom she named, did get credit for the building, as well as effusively praising the slain FBI agents, Benjamin Grogan and Jerry Dove. 
"Stand up now, so that we can applaud you, and what you do," Wilson said at the end of her speech.  "We are proud of you!  We're proud of your courage."  The FBI, she said, stood for "Fidelity, Bravery, and Integrity" as she closed with "God bless the FBI, and God bless America."
An apology obviously was in order when Kelly was called out, but he became defensive instead of contrite and said he would not apologize. 
The Johnson-Wilson disaster had followed Kelly's star turn as an historian. 
Asked to comment on Trump's remarks praising white nationalists and supremacists in the wake of the Charlottesville march tragedy in August, Kelly theorized that the Civil War was caused by "the lack of an ability to compromise." 
Decent people take responsibility for their actions.  But neither Kelly nor Hicks nor McGahn nor anyone else in a prominent abuser-hugging position will follow Porter out the West Wing door.   
There was, however, some collateral damage on Friday as White House speechwriter David Sorenson resigned after his former wife, Jessica Corbett, detailed their volatile two-and-a-half-year marriage for The WaPo, which she said included him running over her foot while driving a car and putting out a lit cigarette in her hand, episodes she had detailed for the FBI as it was conducting a background check on Sorenson.
Kelly may have had an exemplary Marine career but failed in his final act of service to his country in ostensibly trying to bring order to a White House run by a madman deeply unqualified to be commander in chief.  Perhaps because his view of things -- whether Wilson, the Dreamers or Porter -- is so distorted.  
Trump reliably brings out the worst in the people around him, and Kelly has been no exception in succumbing to and then actively conspiring in the ignorance, race baiting and lying that characterize this presidency.

Wednesday, February 07, 2018

Melania Trump May Be The Only Person Capable Of Blowing Up The Presidency

In another time, the overwhelming amount of crap and corruption that Donald Trump has brought to the Oval Office and compounded since his "election" would spell the premature end to a presidency.  Imagine, for example, if Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton had committed only a fraction of the crimes or ethical and moral breeches as has Trump.  But instead, we live in an era when someone profoundly unqualified to be president can not only be nominated, but also elected and shamelessly supported by a sycophantic congressional majority.   
And so Trump has low-crawled into his second year in office lugging a big bag of ticking time bombs from the Russia scandal to making the presidency a profit center for his family's business empire.   But overlooked in this festering cesspool is the one person who may be able to blow up the whole shebang before Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller takes a whack at it. 
Melania Trump. 
Let's get some stuff out of the way from the jump.  While I am led to believe that Melania is not a bimbo because she isn't a blond (I do not claim to be expert in such matters), she has bled out any sympathy I may have had for her as Trump's first-string sex object and more recently as First Lady.  What she has revealed is an obsession with covering up her past, which includes a fiction-filled résumé and a murky immigration history, while floating through a Christian Dior pants-suited four-inch heels present with an incredible lightness of being devoid of original thought (will she ever stop plagiarizing Michelle Obama's best lines?) unless it is occasionally coming up with outlandish excuses for her husband's bad behavior. 
Melania is an over-botoxed lamb glaring through life (the botox maybe?) who cried tears (not of joy) on election night, who slaps away her husband's (small) hands during public appearances and does not even try to hide that she is trapped in the (pussy-grabbing) hell of a misogynistic marriage. 
But . . . but despite these mascara-smearing burdens, Melania finds herself in a unique position, and we can thank Stephanie Clifford for that. 
Clifford, who makes porn flicks under the name Stormy Daniels, has asserted that she had a fling with the future president in a Lake Tahoe casino hotel room following a celebrity charity golf tournament in July 2006, four months after Melania gave birth to Barron Trump.  According to the Wall Street Journal, Clifford was paid $130,000 in hush money a month before the 2016 election as part of an agreement which prevented her from talking about the relationship in the future, which she had blabbed about in the past ("The sex was nothing crazy.  He wasn't like, chain me to the bed or anything.  It was one position") in a cringe-worthy 2011 interview. 
She added: "I can definitely describe his junk perfectly, if I ever had to." 
Clifford's story has become a bit frayed around the edges, but is credible given Trump's history of cheating on his wives, let alone his dozens of documented sexual predations, which he of course boasted about in the infamous "Access Hollywood" live mic tape, which had the perverse effect of not affecting the Evangelical vote because God has forgiven him.  Or something. 
But even if the Big Guy has forgiven him, Melania has not.  She was "blindsided" and "furious" by the Stormy story, the go-to words widely used in cautious mainstream news accounts, reportedly spent several nights away from the presidential pad at a "posh" Washington hotel and refused to join her husband on his junket to Davos late last month, the first overseas trip on which she did not accompany him.   
She flew to Mar-a-Lago while Trump was in Switzerland, reportedly luxurating in the resort's spa, which translates into a $64,000 taxpayer-funded shiatsu massage since that is what the round-trip flight cost.  Her first appearance with her husband in two weeks was after his State of the Union address, and it can be safely assumed she has not seen his "junk" for longer than that. 
(A brief time out to note that Melania has had one redeeming quality: She seems to have tried to keep Barron out of the spotlight's harsh glare on Trump's otherwise dysfunctional family.  I still shudder when I recall Sarah and Todd Palin using son Trig like a stage prop.)
In any event, the affair is Donald's to disprove and Melania's to leverage, and leverage she should for her own good.  And, not incidentally, that of the republic. 
My suggestion would be that Melania begin the process of filing for divorce, and having done so would then make an offer Trump could ill afford to refuse: She will commit to remaining at his side as First Lady for the duration of his time in office on the condition that $1 million a month be deposited for her in an offshore account.  A nice touch to this blackmail scheme (and Trump knows all about blackmail) would be a bank on Cyprus, where his pal Paul Manafort and various money-laundering Russian comrades have done considerable business.        
The upshot of this . . . er, arrangement could well be to do what hundreds of lawsuits, multiple bankruptcies and other imprecations have not been able to do during Trump's many decades as a poster boy for everything that is vile about capitalism: Drive him over the edge. 
Why would this be so? 
Because Trump's ego is so pathetically fragile that he would be unable to handle not having Melania at his side if she were to leave him and could not handle losing control over her if he was to agree to being blackmailed.   This is all about power and control, which was the underlying conflict and eventual deal breaker in his marriage to first wife Ivana.
There is no private Donald Trump.  The golf obsessed, Big Mac addled, Diet Coke gulping sex addict we see in public is who he is.  Trump is unable to control his passions and would not be able to abide not being able to control Melania.  Besides which, no matter which course their marriage were to take, it would only be a matter of time before every sordid detail leaked out. 
And so it is Melania who holds the key to her future, as well as ours.

Tuesday, February 06, 2018

Russia Scandal Blockbuster: Trump To Kind Of Sort Of Plead The 5th Amendment

In a telling and extremely important Russia scandal development, Donald Trump's criminal lawyers have decided that he should refuse to talk to Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller under any circumstances.  Let's be very clear about why they have reached that conclusion since it is established law that a president cannot plead the 5th Amendment. It is because they know Trump is guilty of conspiring with a foreign power -- America's arch enemy -- and obstruction of justice. 
Trump, who has vacillated for months on whether to talk to Mueller, let alone answer written questions, is likely to take the advice of his lawyers, who according to a New York Times story published on Monday night, are rightfully concerned that the president, who as a pathological liar has a long history of making false statements and contradicting himself, would be shark bait for Mueller.   
The decision that the president in effect plead a de facto 5th Amendment sets up a legal donnybrook that, in the end, his lawyers will lose. 
Presidents Nixon (Watergate) and Clinton (Whitewater) tried to duck cooperating in criminal investigations, but the courts were clear in those cases and others through the years: A sitting president has certain privileges, but no blanket right to not comply with a criminal investigation, and the Supreme Court will uphold Mueller because its fealty to the Constitution will outweigh the inclination of a majority of its justices to side with a fellow conservative. 
The decision of Trump's lawyers comes at a crucial time in the sordid history of Russia's successful efforts to cyber sabotage Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election with the help of the Trump campaign and the knowledge and approval of the candidate himself.  The president is increasingly boxed in and his claims that there was no interference and he is being persecuted as a part of a vast liberal conspiracy are ludicrous to anyone not dwelling in the right-wing echo chamber.   
Sycophantic Republican support in Congress -- Trump's firewall against impeachment -- is showing cracks, the grounds for removing him from office are piling up by the week, and the effects of his craziness and bad behavior are casting an ever longer shadow on midterm elections and his re-election campaign, should he be so foolish enough to contemplate running for another term.   
And so all Trump can do, in his lawyers' $500-an-hour view, is not fight, but turn and run from Mueller's perjury chainsaw.  This is something he has done repeatedly in a long career of lying, corruption and sleaze -- and reliably being a coward when the going gets tough. 
Trump has repeatedly flip-flopped on whether to have a sitdown with Mueller. 
Last June, he said he was "100 percent" willing to do so, even under oath.  Early in January, he equivocated but still said he would meet with Mueller, while at a press conference later in the month he dodged the question.   
According to The Times, the decision of Trump's lawyers is based on presumptions which further amplify the Alice in Wonderland quality of where we find ourselves in the 13th month of the Trump presidency:
* He actually is innocent, but if he consents to a voluntary request from Mueller for an interview, he will be charged with lying. 
* He has a right to refuses to a voluntary request, and the special prosecutor lacks the nerve to subpoena him. 
Both arguments reek of desperation.    
The president is not innocent.  Despite his bravado, he cannot outsmart Mueller.  And nothing in Mueller's history as a dogged investigator and prosecutor suggests he will back off from a showdown with the White House.  What he might do is decide to not indict Trump -- and whether a sitting president can be indicted is not settled law -- then refer the case to Congress with a recommendation that Trump be impeached. The reality that Congress is not about to move on impeachment is beside the point.
Two major cases argue against the decision of Trump's lawyers. 
In 1974, Richard Nixon refused to turn over to Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox tapes of incriminating Oval Office conversations with aides.  The matter eventually went before the Supreme Court, which ruled that the president, like every American, was not above the law and had to comply with Cox's request.  Nixon subsequently was impeached and resigned. 
In 1998, after initially refusing to cooperate with Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr and face with being charged with contempt, Bill Clinton testified to a grand jury from the White House on closed-circuit television on allegations stemming from the Whitewater real estate venture in Arkansas.  He survived the ordeal, weathered the Monica Lewinsky impeachment circus and served two full terms.
And in 1987, Ronald Reagan answered written questions on the Iran-Contra Scandal  following a deal his lawyers struck with Independent Counsel Lawrence Walsh.  Trump theoretically has the same option, but only if Mueller agrees.   

Click HERE for a comprehensive timeline of the Russia scandal. 

A Comprehensive Timeline Of The Russia Scandal, 1980~2018

The Russian plot to elect Donald Trump by interfering in the 2016 presidential election through sabotaging Hillary Clinton's campaign was an unprecedented assault from America's greatest foe on the bedrock of its democracy.  It is the most explosive scandal since Soviet spies stole atomic bomb secrets over 70 years ago, and may well be considered the crime of the century.  
Former CIA Director Michael Hayden calls the plot "the most successful covert influence campaign in history.  It took a mature Western democracy.  It turned it on its head."
Although the scandal did not come into public view until the latter stages of the 2016 campaign, its roots date back to 1980 when the first two members of Trump's inner circle who are linked to the scandal got together and the late 1990s and 2000s when Russian leader Vladimir Putin consolidated his power, saw the Internet as a way to further his ambition to return Russia to the Cold War glory of the Soviet Union and first lashed out against Clinton. 
As early as 2007, Trump was making clear his affection for Putin.  By 2015, U.S. intelligence agencies had become aware of some of the tentacles of Putin's plot to interfere in the election, as well as an increasing number of contacts by Trump's inner circle with Russians who had ties to Putin and the Kremlin's intelligence services.   
There also was the unholy alliance between Russian hackers and Julian Assange's WikiLeaks, which released many thousands of hacked Democratic National Committee emails to damage Clinton but not a single Republican National Committee email, although they had been hacked as well.   
Meanwhile, the news media was slow to report on the scandal and the foot-dragging response of U.S. intelligence agencies to it. 
This timeline is a work in progress.  I have tried to avoid conspiracy theories and have only drawn on sources considered to be reputable.  They are listed below.   
1980: Roger Stone, future Trump confidante and dirty trickster, founds a lobbying practice with future Trump presidential campaign manager Paul Manafort.  Trump is one of the firm's first clients.
1982: Soviet KGB chairman Yuri Andropov instructs his intelligence officers to use so-called active measures to discredit adversaries and influence public opinion in a covert effort to prevent the reelection of Ronald Reagan.  Two years later, Reagan wins in a landslide. 
1984: Russian émigré David Bogatin, a former Soviet Army pilot, pays $6 million for five luxury condos in Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue in New York City.  Bogatin is not wealthy and is a front for Russian mobsters investing in high-end U.S. real estate to launder money from their criminal enterprises. Trump personally attends Bogatin's closing.
1984: KGB spy chief General Vladimir Alexandrovich Kryuchov sends a series of classified memos to KGB station chiefs ordering them to try to recruit more Americans who show ideological sympathy toward the USSR.
May 14, 1984: Trump opens the first of three casino-hotels in Atlantic City.
Fall 1986: Trump is seated next to Soviet ambassador Yuri Dubinin at a luncheon.  He and Dubinin discuss building a large luxury hotel across the street from the Kremlin in partnership with the Soviet government. 
January 1987: Dubinin invites Trump to the Soviet Union as an all-expense paid guest of Intourist, which in reality is a subsidiary of the KGB. 
March 11, 1987: Bogatin pleads guilty in federal court to taking part in a massive gasoline bootlegging scheme with Russian mobsters.  The government seizes his five Trump Tower condos. 
May 4, 1987: An Australian police board issues a confidential report stating that an application by Trump to build a casino in Sydney should be denied because of his American Mafia connections.  A financial review also finds that Trump is undercapitalized and his proposal is not financially viable.  
July 1987: Trump and wife Ivana visit Moscow and St. Petersburg.  The Trumps sightsee and inspect potential sites for a Trump Tower in Moscow.   
1988: Stone urges Trump to run for president.  He declines.
1988: Trump invites reputed Russian mobster Robert LiButti to join him for a WrestleMania match in Atlantic City, New Jersey.  He later denies having ever met LiButti.
December 8, 1988: Donald and Ivana attend a state dinner at the Reagan White House where he meets Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.  They discuss economics and hotels. 
January 1989: Trump pays $200,000 to sign a Soviet cycling team for the Tour de Trump, an Albany-to-Atlantic City road race. 
August 28, 1990: The first Soviet connection to the global Internet is made. 
1991: LiButti is banned from New Jersey casinos because of ties to Mafia boss John Gotti, then chief of the Gambino crime syndicate.  Trump is fined $650,000 for his dealings with LiButti, who gambled huge sums at the Trump Plaza hotel casino.
November 6, 1991: Soviet President Boris Yeltsin disbands the KGB, the main state security agency.  He creates the FSK and several other agencies to replace it, ostensibly to diminish the powers of the security police and protect new democratic freedoms.   
December 25, 1991: The Soviet Union falls.  Yeltsin orders  a dramatic shift from a centralized state-owned economy to a market economy, enabling cash-rich mobsters and corrupt government officials to privatize and loot state-held assets.
Early 1992: Russian mob boss and enforcer Vyachelsav Kirillovich Ivankov is sprung from a Siberian gulag after a judge is bribed.  He travels to New York where he partners with Felix Komarov, an art dealer and resident of Trump Plaza on Third Avenue, to build the New York branch of the Russian mafia from an extortion racket into a multibillion-dollar criminal enterprise. 
1995: Konstantine Kilimnik, a Ukrainian businessman who taught Putin judo and has strong ties to Russian intelligence and is an associate of aluminum magnate Oleg Deripaska, a friend of Putin's, joins the International Republican Institute in Moscow, an organization that ostensibly promotes democracy worldwide.  Kilimnik establishes a business relationship with Manafort and sometimes serves as his interpreter. 
April 12, 1995: Yeltsin creates the FSB, which succeeds the FSK as the main Russian security agency relating to internal affairs.  Its powers are later expanded to include intelligence operations abroad.  
June 12, 1995: A New Jersey Division of Gambling Enforcement analysis of casino owner Trump's financial stability concludes that all of his significant sources of cash flow "appear to be one-time occurrences" and that his financial problems are likely to grow because of his debts and his major potential income streams were heavily leveraged. 
July 5, 1995: Yeltsin signs an act into law giving the FSB substantially more surveillance and communications interception powers. 
1996: Manafort advises the Bob Dole presidential campaign.
November 1996: Trump unsuccessfully tries to partner with U.S. tobacco company Brooke Group to build an apartment and office complex in Moscow.
January 23, 1997: Trump meets with retired Soviet general Alexander Lebed, who is running to be president of Russia, at Trump Tower, where they discuss plans to build "something major" in Moscow.     
January 29, 1997: Ivankov, who has been hiding out in Trump Tower, is sentenced to nine years in prison for extortion in federal court in Brooklyn. 
March 26, 1997: Yeltsin names Putin, who had been a KGB officer from 1975 to 1991, to be deputy chief of his presidential staff. 
June 11, 1998: Independent Russian journalists reveal that the FSB has been empowered to place so-called SORM "black boxes" in all Internet service providers servers, creating a back door for it to monitor Internet traffic.  
July 25, 1998: Yeltsin appoints Putin to head the FSB.  One of his first acts is to activate the SORM system. 
August 17, 1998: Russia defaults on $40 billion in debt, which accelerates the exodus of money, including many tens of millions of dollars that flow into Trump's luxury developments and Atlantic City casinos, which are used as pass-throughs for laundering illicit riches.  
October 15, 1998: Ground is broken for 72-story Trump World Tower, then the tallest residential building in the city, on First Avenue in Manhattan.  A third of the units on the tower's priciest floors are bought by either individual buyers from the former Soviet Union or limited liability companies connected to Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan.  Kellyanne Conway, a future Trump campaign manager, also purchases a unit. 
November 20, 1998: Russian Duma (parliament) deputy and pro-democracy advocate Galina Starovoitova is shot to death in the hallway of here St. Petersburg apartment building in the first of several political assassinations tied to Putin and his associates following Putin's FSB appointment. 
August 9, 1999: Yeltsin, his presidency under seige because of impending impeachment proceedings led by the Communists, appoints Putin prime minister. 
Late summer~early fall of 1999: A wave of apartment bombing across Russia kill hundreds and injure thousands, providing an opportunity for Putin to position himself as a strong and aggressive leader capable of dealing with terrorist threats.  The attacks were blamed on Chechen separatists, but there is considerable evidence that the FSB was behind them. 
October 1, 1999: The Clinton administration and Congress, believing that the U.S.'s propaganda war with the Soviet Union had ended with its collapse, shutters the U.S. Information Agency, its preeminent global propaganda tool.  
December 31, 1999: Yeltsin resigns. Putin becomes acting president.
2000: Stone serves as chairman of Trump's presidential exploratory advisory committee.  Trump decides not to run. 
March 26, 2000: Putin is elected president, receiving 53.4 percent of the vote in a three-way race. 
July 16, 2000: Reporter Igor Dominkov, who had written of malfeasance and bribery in the Putin regime, dies of injuries suffered in a May 12, 2000 beating in the entryway of his Moscow apartment building.  
2002: Russian émigré Felix H. Stater, a felon and future fixer for Trump, and his Bayrock Group begin working with Trump on a series of U.S. real estate development deals, one of which becomes the Trump SoHo luxury hotel-apartments, and on projects in Russia, Ukraine and Poland.
2002: Sotheby's International Realty teams with a Russia realty firm to pitch condos in several Trump buildings in New York to Russians at several presentations in Moscow. 
January 2002: In the first known instance of Kremlin-instigated denial of service (DOS) attacks, the website of a Chechen separatist website is paralyzed.
May 24, 2002: President George W. Bush, heralding an historic thaw in U.S.-Russian relations in the wake of the 9/11 attacks and Russia's offensive against Chechen separatists, declares a partnership in the war on terror when he meets with Putin in Moscow.   
August 1, 2002: Pro-democracy Duma deputy Vladimir Golovlev is shot dead on a street near his Moscow home while walking his dog. 
July 3, 2003: Russian investigative reporter Yuri Shchekochikhin, a critic of Putin's reprisals in Chechnya, dies from an apparent poisoning. 
October 23, 2003: Russian oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the CEO of oil giant Yukos, is arrested and charged with fraud and tax evasion.  It is widely believed Putin ordered the arrest because he saw Khodorkovsky as a threat to his rule. 
2004: Ivankov is extradited to Russia to face murder charges. 
January 8, 2004: The first episode of The Apprentice airs.  The television show stars and is co-produced by Trump. 
May 20, 2004: Eduard Nektalov, a diamond dealer from Uzbekistan who owned a condo on a top floor of Trump World Tower and was being investigated for money laundering, is shot dead on Sixth Avenue after rumors circulate that he is cooperating with federal authorities.
July 9, 2004: Paul Klebnikov, an American journalist and chief editor of the Russian edition of Forbes magazine, is assassinated in Moscow in a blow to investigative journalism in Russia.  Three Chechens accused of taking part in the murder are acquitted. 
Early September 2004: Russian journalist and human rights activist Anna Politkovskaya, a leading critic of Putin for atrocities in Chechnya, is poisoned on a flight from Chechnya to Moscow.  She survives. 
June 2005: Manafort proposes to Deripaska that he undertake a consulting assignment to influence politics, business deals and news coverage in the U.S. and Europe to benefit Putin's government.  In a memo, he tells him "We are now confident that this model can greatly benefit the Putin government." 
2006: Oligarchs loyal to Putin begin buying up Internet platforms and subsidize the work of bloggers loyal to the Kremlin. 
2006: U.S. diplomats in Kiev tell the State Department in a confidential cable that Manafort's consulting firm -- Davis, Manafort & Freedman -- is consulting the Ukrainian Party of Regions in an effort to cleanse its gangster image and change it into "a legitimate political force."  Manafort aide Rick Gates is an adviser. 
2006: Manafort buys a condo on an upper floor of Trump Tower for $3.6 million.  Over the next seven years, he also buys a brownstone in Brooklyn and a Trump SoHo condo, using shell companies and paying with cash for the three properties. 
2006: Trump learns that lawyer Michael Cohen and his extended family are buying up numerous units in his properties.  He recruits Cohen for the Trump Organization because of his expertise as a conduit for money from countries of the former Soviet Union, and Cohen later becomes his personal lawyer. 
February 2006: Two of Trump's children, Donald Jr. and Ivanka, travel to Moscow where they are shown around by Felix Sater, a Russian-born Trump business associate with a criminal background. 
July 2006: Putin signs a law expanding the FSB's mission to include killing suspected terrorists on foreign soil.  The definition of terrorism is so vaguely worded that anyone who opposes the Putin regime can be considered a terrorist. 
September 14, 2006: Andrei Koslov, who as a leading executive of the Russian Central Bank had revoked the licenses of several banks complicitous in money laundering for oligarchs and mobsters, dies from gunshot wounds suffered the night before. 
October 7, 2006: Politkovskaya is murdered in an elevator in her central Moscow apartment block. 
October 16, 2006: An attempt in London to poison Alexander Litvinenko on orders of a Putin lieutenant fails.  The former FSB officer specialized in tracking Russian organized crime and had become a  Putin foe.
November 23, 2006: Litvinenko dies in London as a result of a second poisoning attempt.  MI6 officer Christopher Steele heads the spy agency's investigation. 
November 24, 2006: Egor Gaidar, a pro-democracy advocate and former associate of Starovoitova, is poisoned while attending a conference in Ireland.  He falls into a coma, but later recovers.     
January 2007: Future Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner buys 666 Fifth Avenue in New York City at the height of a real estate boom for $1.8 billion, at the time the most expensive building ever sold in the U.S.  It becomes the flagship property of his family's real estate business, but soon plummets in value. 
March 2, 2007: Ivan Safronov, a journalist who had written of critically of the Russian military, dies in a fall from the fifth floor of his Moscow apartment in what is suspected to be a murder made to look like a suicide.
April 27, 2007: Russia launches its first major external cyber attack on government websites in the former Soviet republic of Estonia. 
October 15, 2007: Trump, speaking publicly of Putin for the first of many times, tells Larry King on CNN that Putin "is doing a great job . . . he's doing a great job in rebuilding the image of Russia and also rebuilding Russia period." 
November 2007: Manafort's consulting firm receives a $455,000 wire transfer from billionaire industrialist and Ukraine Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych's political party -- the Party of Regions -- for a public-relations campaign to improve Putin-backed Yanukovych's image in the West. 
November 22, 2007: Trump Vodka debuts at the Moscow Millionaire's Fair. He meets Serge Millian, president of the Russian-American Chamber of Commerce in the USA and later an unnamed source in the Steele dossier.
December 17, 2007: The New York Times publishes a story detailing Sater's criminal past.
December 19, 2007: Trump claims in a legal deposition that he interacted very little with Sater.  He says he plans to build a hotel in Moscow, among other deals which are "very important to me." 
2008: An estimated one third of the six Trump-branded condo skyscrapers in Sunny Isles Beach, Florida, which is nicknamed "Little Moscow," are owned by Russian speakers.  
2008: Donald Jr. tells a real estate conference in New York, "Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets. . . . We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia." 
2008: Manafort partners on an $850 million deal with Deripaska and Ukrainian billionaire mobster Dmitry Firtash, both Putin allies, to buy the Drake Hotel in Manhattan and convert it to luxury condos, possibly as a way to launder illegal funds.  The deal later falls through. 
May 7, 2008: Dmitry Medvedev becomes Russian president because Putin is constitutionally barred from serving more than two consecutive terms. 
July 2008: Russian government hackers take down government websites in the former Soviet satellite of Lithuania. 
July 2008: Trump sells a Florida residence to Russian potash magnate Dmitry Rybolov for $95 million, believed to be the biggest single-family home sale in U.S. history.  The oligarch never lives in the house, which is later demolished.
August 2008: Russian government hackers take down government websites in the former Soviet Republic of Georgia. 
November 8, 2008: Sergei Magnitsky, a Russian lawyer and auditor who uncovered a $230 million web of corruption and tax fraud involving law enforcement, tax officials and the Russian mafia is arrested by the same police whom he alleged were involved in the scheme.
2009: Rinat Akhmetshin, a Russian immigrant who is to attend the June 9, 2016 meeting with Donald Jr., becomes an American citizen. Intelligence officials begin monitoring his activities because of his associations with Russian spies.
2009: Obscured by offshore shell companies, Putin's government begins investing hundreds of millions of dollars in Facebook and Twitter. 
2009: Glenn Simpson a former Wall Street Journal investigative reporter, founds Fusion GPS, a Washington-based strategic intelligence firm. 
January 23, 2009: Human rights lawyer and Putin critic Stanislav Markelov, is gunned down on a street near the Kremlin. 
July 6, 2009: President Obama visits Russia and promises a "reset" in relations.   
July 15, 2009: Human rights activist and Putin critic Natalya Estemirova is abducted from her apartment in Grozny, capital of Chechnya.  Shot in the head and chest, her body is discovered 50 miles away in neighboring Ingushetia.   
July 28, 2009: Ivankov is shot by a sniper in Moscow.  He dies of his wounds 73 days later.  Hundreds of gangsters representing criminal syndicates attend his funeral. 
October 14, 2009: Manafort's firm receives a $750,000 wire transfer from Yanukovych's Party of Regions for the image-enhancement campaign. 
November 16, 2009: Magnitsky dies in a Moscow prison, where he had been held without trial for 11 months, after allegedly being beaten and tortured by Ministry of the Interior officers. 
2010: A Putin-controlled bank finances the financially troubled Trump International Hotel and Tower in Toronto.    
January 2010: Sater becomes Trump's "senior adviser." 
February 2010: Yanukovych is elected Ukraine president. 
April 9, 2010: Trump SoHo opens.
May 10, 2010: Former Bayrock finance director Jody Kriss files a lawsuit against the company alleging that it financed Trump SoHo with mysterious money from Kazhakstan and Russia and calls the building "a Russian mob project." 
June 2010: Ten Russian sleeper agents, including media personality and model Anna Vasilyevna Chapman, are arrested in the U.S. and deported to Russia as part of a prisoner swap.  
June 25, 2010: Secretary of State Clinton urges Russia to bring to justice the officials responsible for Magnitsky's death. 
August 3, 2010: Trump and the promoters of Trump SoHo are sued by buyers who accuse them of fraudulently touting outsized sales figures to encourage them to buy units.
December 6, 2010: Attorney General Eric Holder says he has authorized "significant" actions in a criminal investigation of WikiLeaks and founder Julian Assange following its publication of hacked State Department documents that revealed a hidden world of backstage international diplomacy and impacted negatively on Secretary of State Clinton.
December 7, 2010: WikiLeaks supporters strike back at perceived enemies of Assange, attacking the websites of Swedish prosecutors, the Swedish lawyer whose clients have accused Assange of sex crimes, the Swiss authority that froze Assange's bank account, and MasterCard, which had attempted to block payments to WikiLeaks.
December 30, 2010: Khodorkovsky is sentenced to 14 years in prison. 
2011: As Arab Spring uprisings spread across the Middle East, Putin and his aides come to understand the role Facebook and Twitter are playing and worry that the U.S. has found a tool that can bring people into the streets without any organizing structure.  Social network technology is made a priority for the FSB.
2011: G. Kline Preston, a Nashville lawyer who specializes in Russian affairs, introduced Alexandr Torshin to David Keene, then-president of the National Rifle Association (NRA) and former president of the American Conservative Union.  Torshin is then a member of the Russian Duma and a friend of Mikhail Kalashnikov, the revered inventor of the AK-47 assault rifle, which through the NRA's efforts can be purchased in semi-automatic form by Americans.  
March 2011: Trump reportedly pays $1 million to build a Trump Tower in Batumi on the Black Sea in the Republic of Georgia.  The deal involves unorthodox financing through the Silk Road Group, a trading and transport company that has deals with companies in Russia and Iran and involves Kazakh oligarch Timur Kulibayev and his family, who have a direct link to Putin and are accused of stealing billions of dollars of Kazakh money and laundering it through Trump SoHo and other Trump-branded condos.  The tower is never built. 
September 2011: Alarmed by a new interactive digital map showing election polling places where fraud is suspected that is put online by an independent election group in advance of December 4 elections, pro-Kremlin hackers try to compromise the map by feeding it false information. 
November 2011: Yanukovych rival Yulia Tymoshenko sues Manafort in New York federal court.  She asserts he played a key role in skimming off money from Ukrainian natural gas transactions and laundering it through a labyrinth of New York-based shell companies before being funneled back to Europe to bribe corrupt Ukrainian officials.  The suit is thrown out on the grounds that the allegations were outside U.S. jurisdiction. 
December 4, 2011: Putin's United Russia party wins a majority in parliamentary elections amidst nationwide protests that he blames on Hillary Clinton.   Anti-Putin activists mark the day as the end of democratic reforms in post-Soviet Russia.  
December 4, 2011: Preston serves as an international observer for the Russian elections.  He reports that they were fair, a conclusion at odds with that of many international observers and the interactive digital polling place map, which despite hacking attempts shows massive fraud. 
December 5, 2011: Massive DOS attacks commence that target the websites of independent Russian media outlets following a Kremlin warning not to report election fraud. 
December 5, 2011: A surge of emails ostensibly promote an anti-Putin rally, but the attachments carry malware, which when opened by unsuspecting users overwrite and destroy computer files. 
December 5, 2011: Eugene Kaspersky, who has a KGB background, is the most prominent Russian expert on cybersecurity and later heads Kaspersky Lab, denies that the DOS attacks occurred.
2012: Trump again considers running for president with Stone as an advisor. 
2012: Manafort and Gates start a two-year, undercover lobbying operation for Yanukovyich.
March 4, 2012: Putin is reelected president, winning 63 percent of the vote over three other candidates, amidst further protests.   
May 7, 2012: Putin is sworn in as president.
May 16, 2012: Donald Jr. and Ivanka Trump are on the verge of being indicted by the Manhattan DA's Office for misleading prospective Trump SoHo condo buyers when longtime Trump lawyer Marc Kasowitz, an attorney hired by Trump and major contributor to DA Cyrus Vance Jr.'s reelection campaign, visits Vance.  Vance later overrules his prosecutors and the case is dropped.   
June 19, 2012: Obama meets Putin for the first time at a gathering of Group of 20 leaders in Mexico.  Trump tweets, "Putin has no respect for our president -- really bad body language." 
July 24, 2012: Obama names Lieutenant General Michael Flynn to head the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA).
September 11~12, 2012: Terrorists attack two U.S. facilities in Benghazi, Libya, killing Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other people.
November 2012: At the invitation of Preston, Torshin observes the U.S. presidential election.
November 10, 2012: Alexander Perepilichnyy, a Russian businessman and whistleblower who had left Russia in 2009, collapses and dies while jogging near his Surrey home outside of London.  The death originally was attributed to natural causes, but traces of a chemical from a poisonous plant were later found in his stomach.
He is alleged to have been killed as part of a conspiracy to cover up the theft of $230 million from the Russian Treasury in a corruption and tax fraud scheme by senior Putin officials uncovered by Magnitsky.  He had alerted Magnitsky that much of the stolen money had found its way into Switzerland. 
December 2012: A Russian-led coalition of nations that want to bring the global Internet under nation-by-nation control, and with it the ability to censor content, is beaten back by a U.S.-led coalition that advocates a free Internet at a conference of the International Telecommunication Union in Dubai.     
December 14, 2012: Obama signs the Magnitsky Act, a law punishing Russian officials believed to be responsible for the death of Sergei Magnitsky by prohibiting them from entering the U.S. or using its banking system.
December 19, 2012: In retaliation for the Magnitsky Act, Russia bans the adoption of Russian children by Americans.
2013: The St. Petersburg-based Internet Research Agency, a Russian troll farm, is formed.  Its based task is to flood social media  with articles and comments that painted Russia under Putin as stable and comfortable compared to the chaotic and morally corrupt West. 
Early 2013: Fusion GPS is hired by the American law firm BakerHostetler to conduct a negative publicity campaign against William Browder, a civil rights activist and Putin foe who launched a global human-rights campaign after Magnitsky’s death. BakerHostetler represents Prevezon Holdings, a Russian company the Justice Department has accused of laundering dirty money through New York City real estate.  Among Prevezon’s lawyers is Natalia Veselnitskaya, who was to meet with Donald Jr. and the Trump campaign brain trust in Trump Tower on June 9, 2016. 
February 1, 2013: Clinton steps down as secretary of state. 
March 2013: The Bank of Cyprus, a haven for millions of dollars in Russian money, much of it laundered, teeters on the brink of insolvency.  Following an international bailout, the bank appoints new officers, including vice chair Vladimir Strzhalkovsky, a former KGB agent and longtime Putin associate.  Future Trump commerce secretary Wilbur Ross becomes the bank's major shareholder. 
March 23, 2013: Boris Berezovsky, a Russian oligarch and Putin critic who was given political asylum in Britain in 2003, is found dead by a bodyguard in his Berkshire home, an apparent murder victim.  Putin had repeatedly tried to have him extradited.
April 2013: Viktor Krapunov, a former Kazakh energy minister and mayor of Almaty who has had business dealings with Bayrock, creates three limited liability companies which buy three condos in Trump SoHo. Prosecutors allege the companies are used by Krapunov for his money-laundering network. 
April 8, 2013: Three Russians whom the FBI later accuses of spying on the U.S. discuss recruiting businessman and future Trump campaign aide Carter Page, who has many Russian contacts, to spy for Moscow, according to intelligence intercepts.  The Russians ostensibly work for Vnesheconombank (VEB), a Russian state development bank believed to be an espionage front.
April 15, 2013: Two homemade bombs explode near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing three people and injuring several hundred.  Kyrgyz-American brothers Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev are identified as the perpetrators.  The FBI asserts that the brothers were motivated by radical Islamic beliefs, but there is evidence that they may have been carrying out instructions from the FSB in an effort to take the heat off of Putin, who was being criticized about terror attacks in the Northern Caucasus. 
April 16, 2013: Federal agents raid several Trump Tower condos as part of a dragnet of 29 members of a global sports betting ring overseen by Russian mob boss Alimzhan Tokhtakhounov, who had been indicted for conspiring to fix the ice-skating competition at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. The entire 51st floor of Trump Tower was used by the ring.
May 2013: Torshin attends the NRA national convention in Houston.
June 2013: Flynn visits Moscow at the invitation of Igor Sergun, the chief of GRU, Russia's military intelligence agency, reportedly becoming the first U.S. intelligence officer ever allowed inside the headquarters.  Flynn meets with future U.S. ambassador Sergey Kislyak for the first time.  As DIA director, Flynn reportedly had become disillusioned because of what he believed was the Obama administration's focus on Russia and not ISIS as America's principal enemy.
June 15, 2013: Aras Agalarov, an Azerbaijani-Russian billionaire and close ally of Putin, and pop star son Emin meet Trump in Las Vegas where the Trump-owned Miss USA pageant is being held.  
June 18, 2013: In separate tweets, Trump announces that the Miss Universe Pageant he is co-sponsoring will be broadcast live from Moscow in November and asks "Do you think Putin will be going . . . if so, will he become my new best friend?" 
July 2013: The FBI and Spanish authorities exchange information about Torshin's mob activities.
Summer 2013: Torshin is set to attend a birthday party on the Spanish island of Mallorca for Alexander Romanov, a Russian gangster in the Taganskaya mob that Spanish police say works for Torshin.  Spanish police officers wait for Torshin at the airport and hotel where he would have stayed, ready to arrest him for money laundering, but a Russian prosecutor tips him off at the last minute and he does not show up.  
July 8, 2013: Trump terminates a BBC interview when asked about Sater's mob ties.
August 25, 2013: Page brags in a letter sent to an academic press that was considering publishing a manuscript of his that he was an adviser to the Kremlin. 
September 2013: Keene visits Moscow to speak on behalf of the NRA at a conference of The Right to Bear Arms group run by Maria Butina, a Torshin 
September 6, 2013: Trump tweets that "I am not angry at Russia (or China) because their leaders are far smarter than ours.  We need real leadership, and fast, before it is too late."
September 10, 2013: New York U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara files a civil forfeiture action against Prevzon Holdings and other Russian companies with government ties allegedly involved in the corruption-tax fraud scheme uncovered by Magnitsky. 
September 10, 2013: K.T. McFarland, a Fox News national security analyst who would become Trump's deputy national security adviser, publishes a commentary stating "Vladimir Putin is the one who really deserves that Nobel Peace Prize," referring to Russia's role in Syria at the time.  
October 13, 2013: On The Late Show, David Letterman asks Trump if he had any dealings with Russians.  Trump answers, "Well, I've done a lot of business with Russians." 
Early November 2013: Trump hosts the Miss Universe pageant, then part of the Trump Organization, in Moscow in return for a $20 million licensing fee from the Crocus Group, whose president is Agalarov and vice president is his son, Emin.  Among the celebrity guests is Tokhtakhounov, who is a U.S. fugitive because of gambling ring charges. 
November 5, 2013: Trump denies knowing Sater in a lawsuit-related deposition. 
November 11, 2013: Trump tweets Aras Agalarov that "I had a great weekend with you and your family.  You have done a FANTASTIC job. TRUMP TOWER-MOSCOW is next.  EMIN was WOW!" 
November 20, 2013: Emin Agaralov releases a music video starring Trump reprising his Apprentice television role. 
Late November 2013: Trump, in an interview with a real estate trade paper about his trip to Russia, brags that "Almost all of the oligarchs were in the room" at a Miss Universe pageant after-party in a Moscow nightclub. 
December 2013: Putin sends Agaralov's daughter, Sheyla, to deliver a personal note and gift that Trump later describes as "a present, a beautiful present" to him at Trump Tower as a token of apology for their having been unable to meet when Trump was in Moscow for the beauty pageant.
December 2013: Torshin mob associate Romanov is arrested on and later convicted of money laundering on Mallorca.  In telephone conversations monitored by Spanish authorities, he repeatedly refers to Torshin as "the godfather."
2014: Plans by Trump and the Agalarovs to build a Trump Tower in Moscow collapse because of new Obama administration-imposed sanctions on Russia with intelligence ties.
February 2014: An intelligence report drafted by the GRU documents how Russia can create fake personas through Facebook accounts to spread disinformation.
February 2014: Flynn speaks at a Cambridge University intelligence seminar attended by several Russians.  He meets Svetlana Lokhova, a Russian-British postgraduate whom he invites to accompany him on a forthcoming trip to Moscow.  He signs an email to her "General Misha," the Russian equivalent of Michael.  
Early February 2014: Kushner and wife Ivanka Trump visit Russia where they attend a party with the wife of Roman Abramovich, a Russian oligarch and steel company owner with close ties to Putin.    
February 22, 2014: Yanukovych flees Ukraine amidst a popular uprising.  Russia responds not with cyber attacks, as feared, but with a tidal wave of propaganda spread on social media. 
Late February 2014: A handwritten ledger left behind by Yanukovych shows $12.7 million in undisclosed cash payments to Manafort's firm from the deposed president's political party.
March 17, 2014: The U.S., EU and Canada impose the first round of sanctions on Russia a few hours before Putin signs a decree recognizing Crimea as an independent state, laying the groundwork for its annexation to Russia.  The sanctions contribute to the collapse of the Russian ruble. 
April 2014: Putin declares at a media forum that the CIA created the Internet to undermine the Russian government. 
April 2014: The Translator Project, a propaganda effort run by the Internet Research Agency to use social media to sow political discord in the 2016 election, gets underway. 
April 16, 2014: All Internet operators in Russia are required to install SORM black boxes so that the Kremlin can more extensively monitor Internet traffic, including intercepting messages and information from foreign providers.   
April 28, 2014: The U.S. imposes a second round of Russia sanctions.  They include a ban on business transactions by seven Russian officials close to Putin and 17 Russian companies. 
April 30, 2014: Flynn is forced out as head of the DIA after clashes over his leadership style and apparent Islamophobia.
June 2014: Field work in the U.S. begins on the Translator Project.
July 17, 2014: The U.S. imposes a third round of Russia sanctions as a result of mounting pro-Russian unrest in Ukraine.  The business ban is extended to include two major Russian energy firms and two banks. 
March 21, 2014: Trump tweets that "Putin has become a big hero in Russia with an all time high popularity.  Obama, on the other hand, has fallen to his lowest ever numbers.  Sad."  
April 17, 2014: Trump tweets that Obama is a weakling compared to Putin. "America is at a great disadvantage.  Putin is ex-KGB.  Obama is a community organizer.  Unfair." 
September 3, 2014: At the invitation of Butina, Paul Erickson, a former American Conservative Union board member and Keene associate, speaks at a Right to Bear Arms meeting in Moscow.
October 8, 2014: The DIA counsel's office tells Flynn he cannot receive foreign government payments without prior approval.  He later receives at least one such payment from a Russian entity without DIA approval.  
November 23, 2014~March 3, 2015: Trump sends nine tweets to two now deleted Russian Twitter accounts about planning to run for president.
2015: The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Court approves a warrant for the FBI to wiretap Manafort.
2015: Israeli government hackers see hacking tools in the computers of Kaspersky Lab, a global anti-virus firm, that could only have come from the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA).  A subsequent NSA investigation finds the tools were in the possession of the Russian government. 
2015: A pattern emerges beginning with the 2015-16 election cycle of emigrees from the Soviet Union and Russia making millions of dollars in contributions to the Trump campaign and Republican politicians after becoming American citizens, thereby circumventing a ban on foreigners contributing directly to U.S. political campaigns.  Several such U.S. citizens have associations with Deripaska and Viktor Vekselberg, a billionaire who is one of the 10 richest Russians.  
January 2015: Putin names Torshin deputy governor of the Central Bank of Russia, the powerful state bank.  Torshin names Butina as his "personal executive assistant." 
February 16, 2015: The last episode of The Apprentice starring Trump airs.
February 27, 2015: Boris Nemtsov, the leading anti-Putin democracy advocate, is fatally shot four times in the back as he walks on a bridge near the Kremlin.    
March 2015: Clinton's use of a private email server while secretary of state is made public.  She states she has turned over work-related emails to the government but that 30,000 or so personal emails on the server were deleted.
March 6, 2015: The Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City is fined $10 million -- the highest fine ever levied by the federal government against a casino -- after admitting to having willfully violated anti-money laundering regulations for years.  Ivankov is identified as one of the Russian mobsters who routinely laundered large sums of money there prior to his 2009 assassination. 
March 18, 2015: Trump launches an exploratory committee for a presidential run.
April 2015: Flynn begins advising two Washington-based companies pursuing efforts to build nuclear power plants in the Middle East in conjunction with a joint U.S.-Russia-Saudi Arabia business venture. 
April 8, 2015: Russian government hacker Fancy Bear, later identified as one of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) computer server hackers, overrides the programming of the French television network TV5Monde's 11 channels. 
April 12, 2015: Clinton announces her candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination.  
May 2015: Ukrainians complain to Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg that Russian trolls are blocking anti-Russian Ukrainian accounts.  Facebook takes no action. 
Summer of 2015: Flynn makes several trips to the Middle East as an adviser on the Middle East nuclear power plant project.
Summer of 2015: Facebook begins inadvertently selling about $100,000 in election-related ads to a shadowy Russian "troll farm" with a history of pushing pro-Kremlin propaganda, while hackers create false Facebook and Twitter accounts in their effort to discredit Clinton.  
June 16, 2015: Trump announces his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination. 
June 18, 2015: Trump boasts in an interview with Sean Hannity on Fox News of his many Russian relationships, including Putin. 
June 29, 2015: Trump boasts of his closeness with Russians in a speech to the Club of Chicago.
July 2015: The GRU gains access to  DNC computer servers.  Some 130 party workers, Clinton campaign staffers and party supporters eventually are targeted.
Summer of 2015: Dutch intelligence notifies U.S. intelligence about the Russian DNC hack.
July 2015: The State Department inspector general alerts the FBI's counterintelligence office that classified information was being stored on Clinton's private server.  Among those involved in the FBI investigation is a senior agent named Peter Strzok. 
August 2015: Trump and Flynn meet for the first time in New York.  He begins to function as an informal foreign policy adviser, an arrangement that is later formalized.
August 21, 2015: Senator Jeff Sessions, who will become a major player in the campaign, appears with Trump at a rally in Alabama.  
September 2015: FBI Special Agent Adrian Hawkins calls the DNC to warn that its computer network had been hacked by "the Dukes," a cyber espionage team linked to the GRU.  A DNC tech-support contractor does not take the call seriously. 
September 2015: The Washington Free Beacon, a conservative website funded by anti-Trump donor Paul Singer, hires Fusion GPS, a Washington, D.C. strategic intelligence firm co-founded by former journalist Glenn Simpson, to compile an opposition research dossier on Trump as the Republican presidential primary campaign heats up. 
September 21, 2015: Trump boasts on the Hugh Hewitt radio show that he was "with [Russian] oligarchs and generals."  
October 11, 2015: Speaking on Face the Nation, Trump brags about sharing air time with Putin on 60 Minutes although they were on separate continents. Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, Trump says there isn't enough proof to blame Russian separatists for shooting down a Malaysian Airlines flight over Ukraine the previous year. 
October 28, 2015: Trump and Sater pursue a new plan to build a massive Trump Tower hotel-spa in Moscow.  Trump is to be paid a $4 million fee and no upfront costs, a percentage of sales and an opportunity to name the project for daughter Ivanka.  Sater boasts in an email to Cohen that as part of the deal, he can get Trump elected with Russian help.  "I will get Putin on this program and we will get Donald elected," Sater writers.  "Buddy our boy can become President of the USA and we can engineer this . . . I will get all of Putins team to buy in on this."  Cohen negotiates the deal at the same time he is a campaign spokesman and Trump is repeatedly stating he has nothing to do with Russia.
Late 2015: Cohen receives a second proposal for a Trump-branded Moscow project, this one from Sergei Gordeev, a billionaire real estate mogul and former Russian legislator.  Cohen declines the proposal because of the Sater hotel-spa project.   
November 5, 2015: Mikhail Lesin, a former top Putin media adviser, is found dead in his Washington hotel room.  A federal prosecutor concludes he died because of a series of drunken falls, while federal law enforcement sources tell BuzzFeed News he was murdered on the eve of a meeting with Justice Department officials. 
November 10, 2015: Trump states during a Republican presidential debate that "I got to know [Putin] very well."
Late 2015: Britain's GCHQ,  equivalent to the U.S.'s NSA, first becomes aware through electronic intelligence of suspicious interactions between individuals connected to Trump and Russian agents.  This intelligence is passed on to the U.S. as part of a routine exchange of information.  Subsequently, Germany, Estonia, Poland, the Netherlands and France pass on corroborating intelligence. 
December 8~13, 2015: A delegation of National Rifle Association (NRA) executives meets in Moscow with Dmitry Rogozin, a hardline Putin deputy, head of Russia's defense industry, longtime opponent of American power and subject of U.S. sanctions.  Torshin hosts a dinner for the delegation.   
December 10-12, 2015: Flynn is paid $45,000 by Russia Today, Putin's state propaganda network, for a three-day Moscow trip in which he gives a speech criticizing Obama's Russia policy and sits at Putin's table at a banquet.  Jill Stein, the 2016 Green Party presidential candidate, also is seated at the table, while Assange speaks by satellite hookup.
December 16, 2015: CIA Director John Brennan writes an internal memo stating that some members of Congress don't "understand the importance and gravity" of Russian election interference.
December 17, 2015: Putin praises Trump and Trump quickly returns the favor, saying "It's always a great honor to be so nicely complimented by a man so highly respected in his own country and beyond." 
December 18, 2015: Trump tells MSNBC News that he has never seen proof of Putin killing journalists.  "He's running a country, and at least he's a leader, unlike what we have in this country.  I think our country does plenty of killing also." 
December 20, 2015: Trump tweets that "If Putin respects me and Putin wants to call me brilliant and other things that he said that were frankly very nice, I'll accept that, and I'll accept it on behalf of the country." 
December 22, 2015: Obama further toughens Russia sanctions to include 34 more individuals and legal entities because of Russian military aggression in Crimea and Eastern Ukraine.  
Mid-January 2016: With the Trump Tower Moscow deal foundering, Cohen emails Dmitry Peskov, Putin's top press aide, for his help.  The deal soon collapses.  
Early 2016: Kushner and his felon father, Charles, give up on a two-year effort to obtain a half-billion dollar business bailout from Qatar to refinance a troubled property at 666 Fifth Avenue in New York.
February 1, 2016: Andrew McCabe is promoted to the position of FBI deputy director.  He assumes responsibility for the Clinton email server investigation.
February 10, 2016: Erickson, now a Republican operative, starts a company, Bridges, LLC, with Torshin assistant Butina.  Erickson claims the LLC is for Butina's graduate school tuition.  
February 11, 2016: Flynn meets with investigators in a routine meeting to discuss his application to renew his security clearance. When asked about his Moscow trip, he reportedly says, "I didn't take any money from Russia, if that's what you're asking me."
February 14, 2016: Torshin tweets that Butina is now in the U.S. and says "She writes me that D. Trump (NRA member) is ready for cooperation with Russia."
February 17, 2016: Trump, attending a campaign event in South Carolina, boasts that "Putin called me a genius," a claim he is to repeat several times more in the coming months. 
February 29, 2016: In a five-page proposal to Trump about his expertise in obtaining nominating convention delegates, Manafort boasts of how he has assisted political leaders, including Russian oligarchs and dictators.  
March 2016: The Russian Institute for Strategic Studies (RISS), a Moscow-based government think tank controlled by Putin, develops a plan to swing the election to Trump and undermine voters' faith in the American electoral system. 
March 2016: The first wave of fake news stories targeting Clinton voters in swing states is detected.  The source is believed to be Eastern European hackers supervised by the Russian government. 
Early March 2016: George Papadopoulos, who is living in London, learns that he has been recruited for Trump's campaign foreign policy team.
March 4, 2016: Strzok texts FBI attorney Lisa Page, with whom he is having an extramarital affair.  He calls Trump "an idiot" and says that Clinton should win "100,000,000-0." 
March 19, 2016: John Podesta, chairman of Clinton's presidential campaign, is emailed a link asking that he change his password.  A Clinton campaign staffer tells him the request is legitimate, but it turns out to be the way that Russia-associated hackers later gained access to his email account. 
March 19, 2016: Reza Zarrab, a Turkish-Iranian gold trader, is arrested when he lands in Miami and held on charges he masterminded a huge operation to help the Iranian government evade U.S. economic sanctions by shipping gold to Iran from Turkey in exchange for Iranian oil and gas.  Flynn later allegedly becomes involved in a plot to gain his release.  
March 21, 2016: Trump introduces his campaign foreign policy team to the press.  It includes Papadopoulos and Page, who is described as the campaign's Russia expert.
March 22, 2016: Bill Rinehart, a former DNC employee working for the Clinton campaign, receives what he thinks is a legitimate email telling him to change his password, giving Russian hackers further access to the campaign. 
March 24, 2016: Papadopoulos meets in London with Joseph Mifsud, a Maltese professor with Kremlin ties.  The professor introduces him to the Russian ambassador and a woman he describes as Putin's niece, later identified to be Olga Vinogradova, who is not related to Putin.  Mifsud also connects Papadopoulos to Ivan Timofeev, a program director for the Valdai Discussion Club, a prestigious gathering of academics that meet with Putin, and an intermediary for the Foreign Ministry.  Papadopoulos subsequently emails then-campaign chairman Corey Lewandowski and Sam Clovis, Trump's national campaign co-chairman, among other campaign officials, about how Putin wants to meet with the Trump team.  Clovis praises him for "great work" but tells him not to commit to a meeting.
March 26, 2016: Manafort, on the recommendation of Stone and Tom Barrack, a Trump friend and later chairman of Trump's Inaugural Committee, is hired by the Trump campaign to line up convention delegates.  It is later revealed that he had taken at least 14 trips to Moscow.
March 31, 2016: Trump is present at a meeting with campaign foreign policy advisers where Papadopoulos says he has connections with a Russian, an apparent reference to Timofeev, to arrange a meeting between Trump and Putin.  Trump expresses interest in the idea.
Spring of 2016: The Trump Tower Moscow deal falls through. 
April 2016: U.S. intelligence intercepts the first communications among Russians who discuss aggressively trying to influence the presidential election by sabotaging Clinton.
April 2016: Manafort joins the Trump campaign as an adviser. 
April 2016: Manafort meets in New York with Kilimnik. 
April 2016: The Clinton campaign and DNC hire Fusion GPS to do Trump opposition research. 
April 2016: Russia gives 10-year extensions to the first of six unused Trump trademarks.  The other five are later also given extensions. 
April 3, 2016: The so-called Panama Papers are leaked.  They reveal a money trail allegedly showing a network of secret offshore deals and vast loans worth $2 billion leading to Putin and his associates.  WikiLeaks begins a protracted and vicious Twitter attack on the papers in defense of Putin.
April 18, 2016: Mifsud introduces Papadolpoulos by email to an unidentified individual with connections to the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.  They have multiple conversations of Skype about a possible meeting between campaign officials and Russians.
April 26, 2016: Papadopoulos has breakfast in London with the professor, who says he has just returned from meetings in Moscow with Russian officials who claim to have "dirt" on Clinton and "thousands" of her emails.
April 27, 2016: Kushner, accompanied by Flynn, meets with Russian ambassador Kislyak at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C.  Trump and Sessions also is present.
April 27, 2016: Trump gives his first major foreign policy speech.  He states that it was possible to improve relations with Russia  Papadopoulos edits the outline of the speech and tells Timofeev that it should be taken as "the signal [for Trump and Putin] to meet."  
Late April 2016: The DNC's IT department notices suspicious computer activity and hires private security firm CrowdStrike to investigate. 
May 2016: CrowdStrike and U.S. intelligence agencies confirm that highly sophisticated Russian intelligence-affiliated adversaries are responsible for the DNC hacks.  Russian cyber espionage units are given "bear" appellations by U.S. intelligence.  Cozy Bear, affiliated with the FSB, and Fancy Bear, affiliated with the GRU, are identified as being responsible for the hacks.     
May 2016: The Washington Free Beacon ends its contract Fusion GPS as it becomes likely that Trump will be the Republican nominee.  Fusion subsequently hires Orbis Business Intelligence, a British intelligence firm co-founded by now former MI6 spy Steele, to assist it in investigating Russia-Trump connections on behalf of the Clinton campaign and DNC. 
May 2016: Torshin proposes a meeting between Putin and Trump in an email to Kushner.  Kushner tells intermediaries, including Rick Dearborn, chief of staff for Trump campaign adviser Jeff Sessions, to reject the offer.  The meeting offer may have originated with an email from Erickson.
May 2016: Papadopoulos, in the course of a night of heavy drinking at the Kensington Wine Rooms in London with Alexander Downer, Australia's High Commissioner to Great Britain, confides that Russia has political dirt on Clinton in the form of emails.  Downer later passes on the information to Australian intelligence officials, who after about two months inform the FBI, which may have opened its investigation into Russian attempts to interfere in the election in July 2016 based on the information.
May 4, 2016: In an interview with The Times of London, Papadopoulos calls on Prime Minister David Cameron to apologize to Trump criticizing the candidate's critical remarks about Muslims. Clovis later severely reprimands Papadopoulos for failing to clear his remarks with the campaign in advance.
May 18, 2016: James Clapper, director of national intelligence, says at a Washington event that there are "some indications" of cyberattacks aimed at presidential campaigns.
May 21, 2016: Papadopoulos tells a high-ranking campaign official, possibly Lewandowski, that "Russia has been eager to meet Mr. Trump for quite some time and have been reaching out to me to discuss." 
May 26, 2016: Torshin, who is seeking to meet with a high-level campaign official to further a meeting between Putin and Trump, is seated with Donald Jr. during a private dinner during the NRA annual meeting in Louisville, Kentucky. 
June 2016: The RISS circulates a policy memo elaborating on election interference efforts.  
June 2016: The primaries over, Russian-Macedonian hackers posing as Americans begin a fake news campaign to energize disappointed Bernie Sanders supporters by targeting them with fake news stories stating that, among other things, Hillary Clinton murdered former Bill Clinton aide Vince Foster. 
June 2016: Kushner takes over all Trump campaign digital efforts, hires Cambridge Analytica and builds a secret 100-person operation in San Antonio.  The data mining firm collects and uses social media information to influence voters, and possibly did so in coordination with Russian interference efforts.  The firm is bankrolled by major Trump donor Robert Mercer, a hedge fund billionaire who is a leading investor in Breitbart News. 
June 2016: The GRU ends its 11-month-long access of DNC computer servers.  
Early June 2016: The CIA concludes in an internal report that Russia is actively engaged in interfering in the presidential election, including the goal of getting Trump elected by sabotaging the Clinton campaign. 
Early June 2016: Cambridge Analytica contacts WikiLeaks in the hopes of obtaining Clinton-related emails about the time it begins working with the Trump campaign.
June 2, 2016: Clinton gives her first major speech on national security in San Diego and repeatedly calls into question Trump's affection for Putin and his "bizarre fascination with dictators and strongmen who have no love for America." 
June 3, 2016: Publicist Rob Goldstone, representing Emin Agaralov, emails Donald Jr. that he had met with "his father Aras this morning and . . . [he] offered to provide the Trump campaign with some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary . . . and would be very useful to your father."   Donald Jr. replies "if it's what you say I love it."
June 6, 2016: Trump reportedly speaks by phone with Emin Agalarov. 
June 7, 2016: Trump promises "big news" on Clinton's "crimes" in a forthcoming "major speech."  
June 9, 2016: As a result of the email exchange with Goldstone, Donald Jr. arranges a meeting of the Trump campaign brain trust at Trump Tower with Goldstone, Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskata and Russian-American lobbyist Akhmetshin, who both have Russian intelligence agency ties.  It is later revealed that Veselnitskaya was not acting as a private lawyer, as she claimed, and her actions were coordinated at the highest levels of the Kremlin. Also attending are Kushner, Manafort and Ike Kaveladze, an official in the Agalarov's real estate company, and translator Anatoli Samochornov.  The dirt on Clinton is believed to be the fact that two of the three billionaire Ziff brothers contributed to her campaign and their investment company is accused of evading tens of millions of dollars of Russian taxes.  The source of the dirt is believed to be Yuri Y. Chaika, Russia's prosecutor general, with whom Veselnitskaya had a close working relationship. The Russians later claim that the subject of the meeting was lifting a Russian ban on Americans adopting Russian children in retaliation for the Magnitsky Act should Trump be elected.
June 12, 2016: Assange states in an interview that WikiLeaks has a "very big year ahead" and promises the imminent release of emails "related to Hillary Clinton."
June 13, 2016: Trump does not give the promised "major speech," ostensibly because of a mass shooting at an Orlando nightclub.  The speech is not rescheduled, possibly because the "dirt" delivered by Veselnitskaya was disappointing.  
June 14, 2016: The Washington Post reports that hackers had gained access to DNC servers in the first public disclosure of the security breach.     
June 15, 2016: A hacker with the online persona Guccifer 2.0 claims credit for the DNC hack and begins posting DNC documents on the Guccifer 2.0 website. 
June 15, 2016: House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy tells fellow Republican leaders that "There's two people I think Putin pays: Rohrabacher and Trump." Dana Rohrabacher is a California Republican.  House Speaker Paul Ryan immediately interjects and swears those present to secrecy. 
June 16, 2016: The FISA Court reportedly turns down an FBI warrant application to wiretap Trump, Manafort, Page and Boris Epshteyn, a Russian-born Republican political strategist who was a senior campaign adviser. 
June 20, 2016: Manafort replaces Lewandowksi as Trump's campaign manager.
June 20, 2016: Steele delivers the first of approximately 20 memos to Simpson at Fusion GPS that are to make up his dossier.  They are based on several confidential sources.  He identifies "Source A" as "a senior Russian Foreign Ministry figure," "Source B" as "a former top level intelligence officer still active in the Kremlin," and "Source E" as "an ethnic Russian" and "close associate of Republican US presidential candidate Donald Trump."  
June 22, 2016: Trump, speaking in New York, excoriates Clinton for her handling of the Benghazi attacks and warns that emails she deleted from her private server could make her vulnerable to "blackmail" from unspecified countries hostile to the U.S. 
June 24, 2016: Trump reportedly meets with representatives of Cambridge Analytica at his golf course in Aberdeen, Scotland.  
June 27, 2016: Trump, replying to a news conference question about his dealing with Russia, says "What do I have to do with Russia?  You know the closest I came to Russia, I bought a house a number of years ago in Palm Beach, Florida . . . for $40 million and I sold it to a Russian for $100 million including brokerage commissions."   
July 2016: The FBI and other intelligence agencies collect information, including the Papadopoulos revelation to Downer, indicating that senior Russian intelligence and political operatives are discussing how to influence Trump.  Some of the information indicates that Flynn and Manafort are seen as potential enablers for the Russians.
July 2016: Russia escalates a campaign of harassment of American diplomats and intelligence operatives in Russia. 
Early July 2016: Cohen and Sater exchange emails about Cohen attending an economic forum in Russia to be attended by Putin and top government leaders.  Sater suggests he can introduce him to top leaders, possibly including Putin.  Cohen declines because of the forthcoming Republican National Convention.
July 5, 2016: FBI Director James Comey rebukes Clinton for being "extremely careless," but recommends no criminal charges in connection with her handling of classified information as secretary of state, including emails on a private server, ostensibly lifting a cloud from her presidential campaign. 
July 5, 2016: Steele meets with an FBI agent in London and shares his June 20 memo. 
July 6, 2016: Another batch of hacked DNC documents appears on the Guccifer 2.0 website. 
July 6~8, 2016: Page visits Moscow, where he gives a pro-Russian speech at a university graduation.  He insists he was traveling as a private person, but reportedly meets twice with former spy and close Putin aide Igor Sechin, chairman of Russian government-owned energy giant Rosneft, with Igor Diveykin, a senior Putin administration official, and with Andrei Baranov, head of investor relations at Rosneft.  Steele later states in a memo that Sechin tells Page that if a future Trump administration dropped sanctions, there could be an associated move to offer lucrative contracts to U.S. energy firms.  Diveykin, according to the dossier, told Page that the Russians had compromising material on Clinton and on Trump, which he said Trump needed to keep in mind in his dealings with Russia.  Page later acknowledges that he and Baranov discussed sanctions.  
July 7, 2016: In an email, Manafort offers to provide briefings on the presidential race to Deripaska, creating a potential opening for Russian interests in the Trump campaign. 
July 8, 2016: Page, in an email from Moscow to members of the Trump campaign, says that he had received "incredible insights and outreach" from senior members of Putin's administration.
July 10, 2016: DNC staffer Seth Rich is shot to death in what Washington, D.C. police describe as an attempted armed robbery.   
July 14, 2016: Another batch of hacked DNC documents appear on the Guccifer 2.0 website. 
July 15, 2016: Trump chooses Mike Pence as his running mate. 
Mid-July 2016: Working behind the scenes, the Trump campaign dramatically waters down the Republican National Convention platform on Ukraine, ostensibly in a nod to Putin.  The original platform draft states that Russia sanctions should be toughened because of its takeover of Crimea and aid should be increased to the "embattled" Ukrainian army, but both provisions are removed and replaced with a vague assurance of "appropriate assistance."
Week of July 18: Three Trump national security advisers -- Page, J.D. Gordon and Walid Phares -- meet with Kislyak in Cleveland during the convention. 
Mid-July 2016: Kilimnik brags to friends in Kiev that he was involved in the successful effort by the Trump campaign to soften the RNC platform on Russia.
July 19, 2016: Trump is warned by senior FBI officials that foreign adversaries, including Russia, would probably try to spy on and infiltrate his campaign.  Clinton is given a similar warning.  
July 19, 2016: Trump is nominated for president at the convention after he, Flynn and other surrogates declare, in what becomes an oft-repeated campaign theme, that Clinton should be jailed for her use of the private email server. 
July 19, 2016: Steele subits a memo to Fusion GPS regarding Page's meetings earlier in the month with Sechin and Diveykin. 
July 19, 2016: The debt load on Trump's businesses has almost doubled from $350 million to $630 million over the past year, reports Bloomberg News. 
July 20, 2016: New Yorker reporter Ryan Lizza asks Clovis about allegations the campaign worked with the Republican Party to soften the party's Russian convention platform.  Clovis responds, "I can't talk  about [it]." 
July 22, 2016: WikiLeaks, which is friendly with Putin, begins releasing 44,000 hacked DNC emails.
July 24, 2016: Donald Jr. tells CNN's Jake Tapper that the Clinton campaign's suggestion that Russia was trying to interfere in the election on behalf of his father is "disgusting" and "phony."
July 24, 2016: Manafort appears on ABC's "This Week" and says there are no campaign-Russia connections. 
July 24, 2016: DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz resigns amid the fallout from the hacked emails. 
July 25, 2016: Trump suggests that Russians were behind the DNC hack because Putin "likes" him.
July 26, 2016: Intelligence officials inform the White House that they have "high confidence" that Russia was behind the DNC hacks. 
July 26, 2016: Steele describes a large Russian hacking operation in a memo. 
July 27, 2016: Trump calls on Russia to hack 30,000 so-called "missing" Clinton emails. 
July 27, 2016: Manafort denies any relationship with the Russians and says it's "absurd" to suggest Russia was working on behalf of the Trump campaign.
Late July 2016: The Obama administration secretly debates options for deterring or punishing Russia, including cyberattacks on Russian infrastructure and sanctions that could devastate the Russian economy.  
Late July 2016: The FBI opens an investigation to examine possible links between the Trump campaign and Russia, but its existence is kept secret even from high ranking members of Congress colloquially known as the Gang of Eight, who by law are to be briefed on important intelligence matters. 
Late July 2016: The FBI obtains and later renews a FISA Court warrant allowing it to monitor Page. 
Late July 2016: Steele states in a memo that his Source E reports that a "conspiracy of cooperation" between the campaign and Russia is "well-developed."  Source E states that this is "managed on the Trump side by . . . Manafort," who is using Page and others as intermediaries. 
July 30: Steele reports in a memo that the Russians are uneasy about their U.S. election operation.
August 2016: Brennan convenes a secret task force with analysts and officers from the CIA, FBI and NSA to keep the White House and senior government officials informed. 
August 2016: Manafort meets again with Kilimnik. 
August 2016: Trump donor Rebekah Mercer asks Cambridge Analytics if it can better organize hacked Clinton-related emails being released by WikiLeaks.
August 2016: Clovis tells Papadopoulos that he "would encourage" him to meet with Russian officials in Moscow.  The trip does not take place.
Early August 2016: The CIA concludes that unnamed Trump campaign advisers might be working with Russia to interfere in the election by sabotaging the Clinton campaign through a multi-pronged attack personally approved by Putin that includes email hacking, disinformation and false news stories. 
Early August 2016: The CIA informs the White House of Putin's campaign to interfere in the election.  For the next five months, the administration secretly debates dozens of options on how to retaliate, including whether to use CIA-gathered material that would be embarrassing to Putin. 
Early August 2016: Steele shares his memos with an FBI agent assigned to the bureau's Eurasian Joint Organized Crime Squad in Rome.  
August 4, 2016: Brennan calls Alexander Bortnikov, director of the FSB, the post-Soviet successor to the KGB, to warn him that election interference will not be tolerated. 
August 6, 2016: The Trump campaign says it has fired Stone.  Stone says he resigned, but he remains a prominent surrogate for Trump. 
August 10, 2016: Steele states in a memo that a source says Putin is "generally satisfied with the progress of the anti-Clinton operation to date."  This operation "involved the Kremlin supporting various US political figures, including funding indirectly their recent visits to Moscow."  The source mentions Flynn and Page by name.  A second memo cites Russian efforts to turn Sanders voters to Trump.    
August 12, 2016: A batch of hacked Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) documents and the cellphone numbers and email addresses of most House Democrats appear on the Guccifer 2.0 website. 
August 14, 2016: Stone engages in direct messaging with Guccifer 2.0. 
August 15, 2016: Guccifer 2.0 releases hacked DCCC documents on Florida primary elections. 
August 15, 2016: Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson arranges a conference call with dozens of state election officials to enlist their support to shore up voting systems in light of the Russian effort.  He gets no support. 
August 17, 2017: Trump receives his first classified intelligence briefing, which includes information on "direct links" between Russia and email hacks.  Flynn attends and reportedly keeps interrupting the briefers. 
August 19, 2016: Manafort is forced out as Trump's campaign manager, ostensibly over concerns about his ties with Russian officials.  Stephen Bannon is named campaign chief executive and Conway campaign manager. 
August 20, 2016: Members of the Translator Project team use Facebook to organize 17 pro-Trump rallies collectively called "Florida Goes Trump!"  
August 21, 2016: Guccifer 2.0 releases hacked DCCC documents on Pennsylvania congressional primaries.
Late August 2016: Brennan is so concerned about Trump-Russia links that he initiates one-on-one briefings with the Gang of Eight. 
Late August 2016: Stone boasts that he has communicated with Assange, who he says has materials including "deleted" Clinton emails that would be embarrassing to her.      
August 25, 2016: Brennan tells Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, then the highest ranking Democrat, that the FBI and not the CIA would have to take the lead in what is a domestic intelligence matter. 
Late August 2016: Reid writes to Comey without mentioning the Brennan briefing. He expresses great concern over what he calls mounting evidence "of a direct connection between the Russian government and Donald Trump's presidential campaign." 
August 31, 2016: Guccifer 2.0 releases documents hacked from House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's personal computer.     
September 2016: Intelligence shows that although Republican sites are also being hacked by Russians, only DNC emails are being publicized by WikiLeaks. 
September 2016: Aaron Nevins, a Republican political operative with ties to Stone, receives Democratic turnout analyses hacked by Guccifer 2.0 and publishes them online under a pseudonym. 
September 1, 2016: Trump, in an interview, denies having a relationship with Putin. 
September 1, 2016: Putin, in an interview with Bloomberg News, evades questions about for whom the DNC hackers were working.  "Does it really matter who hacked Mrs. Clinton's election campaign," he says.  "What really matters is the content."
September 5, 2016: Obama, meeting with Putin at a conference of world leaders in Hangzhou, China, tells him that the U.S. knows about Russian election interference and says "[he] better stop or else."  Putin responds by demanding proof and accuses the U.S. of interfering in Russia's internal affairs.
September 5, 2016: U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies are investigating "a broad covert Russian operation in the United States to sow public distrust in the upcoming presidential election and in U.S. political institutions," reports The Washington Post. 
September 8, 2016: Kislyak meets with Sessions meets in his Senate office. They reportedly discuss the campaign. 
September 9, 2016: Trump gives an interview on Russian government funded RT America in which he states that the Russian government is "probably" not interfering in the election and blames Democrats for spreading lies that they are. 
September 11, 2016: Kushner and wife Ivanka sit with the wife of Abramovich at the U.S. Open tennis tournament in Flushing, Queens. 
September 14, 2016: Trump, Donald Jr. and others in the Trump Organization receive an email offering a decryption key and website addresses for already hacked WikiLeaks documents. 
September 14, 2016: Steele states in a memo that Trump has paid bribes to Russians and engaged in compromising personal behavior. 
September 15, 2016: Guccifer 2.0 releases hacked DCCC documents from New Hampshire, Illinois, North Carolina and Ohio. 
September 16, 2016: Stone declares on Boston Herald Radio that "I expect Julian Assange and the WikiLeaks people to drop a payload of new documents on Hillary on a weekly basis fairly soon."  He says he is in touch with Assange "through an intermediary." 
September 20, 2016: WikiLeaks initiates a private on again-off again correspondence with Donald Jr. regarding Clinton e-mails and  campaign-related topics that continues until at least July 2017.  In the initial email, WikiLeaks informs him that "a PAC run anti-Trump site is about to launch [that it has hacked into] . . . Any comments?" 
September 22, 2016: Two other Gang of Eight members -- Dianne Feinstein and Representative Adam B. Schiff, the ranking Senate and House Intelligence Committee Democrats -- release a statement stating that Russian intelligence agencies are "making a serious and concerted effort" to influence the election. 
September 23, 2016: Guccifer 2.0 releases hacked documents from DCCC chairman Ben Ray Lujan.  
September 25, 2016: McConnell writes to state election officials.  He does not mention the Russian connection, but warns of unnamed "malefactors" who might seek to disrupt elections through online intrusions.
September 26, 2016: Page takes a leave of absence from the Trump campaign amid reports that he has close ties to Russia officials. 
Late September 2016: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, at the behind-the-scenes urging of the Obama administration, is asked to warn state election officials of possible attempts to penetrate their computer systems by Russian hackers.  McConnell resists, questioning the veracity of the intelligence. 
Fall of 2016: Trump parrots fake news stories hackers are peddling to voters in key swing state districts.
Fall of 2016: Putin is said to begin a purge of top-level gatekeepers between state cyber agencies and the West in an effort to cover up election interference.      
October 2016: Steele reportedly has a series of off-the-record conversations about his dossier with journalists for The New York Times, The Washington Post, Yahoo! News, The New Yorker and CNN.
October 2016: A memo compiled by Cody Shearer, a political activist and former journalist, that independently sets out some of the same allegations made in the Steele dossier, is given to the FBI by Steele. 
October 3, 2016: Steele meets with four FBI agents in Rome and briefs them on his memos.  The FBI subsequently enters into a series of conversations with Steele to discuss hiring him to continue his research after the election, but he declines because he believes the bureau is moving cautiously. 
October 3, 2016: Stone tweets that he has "total confidence" in "my hero "Julian Assange [who] will educate the American people soon" about why Clinton should be locked up. 
October 4, 2016: Guccifer 2.0 releases documents hacked from the Clinton Foundation. 
October 7, 2016: The Obama administration publicly accuses the Russia government of hacking into emails from the DNC and other institutions and individuals. 
October 7, 2016: National security adviser Susan Rice summons Kislyak to the White House and gives him a message to relay to Putin about U.S. plans to retaliate for the election interference. 
October 7, 2016: The lewd "Access Hollywood" tape is released. A short time later, WikiLeaks begins to publish Podesta's hacked emails.
October 9, 2016: Trump cites WikiLeaks in the second presidential debate to accuse the DNC of rigging the Democratic primaries against  Sanders. 
October 10, 2016: "I love WikiLeaks," Trump says at a Pennsylvania rally in citing hacked emails to attack Clinton. 
October 11, 2016: Donald Jr. delivers a paid speech in Paris to the Center of Political and Foreign Affairs, a pro-Russian French think tank. 
October 12, 2016: Steele states in a memo that Putin is unhappy with the U.S. election interference operation.
October 15, 2016: The FISA Court reportedly approves an FBI application for warrants allowing it examine emails and related documents in conjunction with Russian banks SVB and Alfa because a private computer server in Trump Tower allegedly communicated with the banks' servers in Moscow and may have been used in conjunction with Russian election hacking. 
Mid-October 2016: Flynn, Donald Jr., Conway and Parscale begin following Russian troll factory Twitter accounts and help push their anti-Clinton and fake news messages through to Election Day.
October 16, 2016: Trump tweets out a Wall Street Journal article about contributions McCabe's wife, a Clinton ally, received as a candidate for Virginia state Senate in 2015.  McCabe becomes a fixture in Trump stump speeches about corruption in Washington.
October 19, 2016: Clinton comments at the third and final debate that Putin has backed Trump because he "would rather have a puppet as the president of the United States."  Trump replies, "No puppet, no puppet, you're the puppet."
October 19, 2016: Steele states in a memo that Cohen has helped connect the Trump campaign with Russians, which Cohen later denies.  
October 20, 2016: Trump claims in an interview that he has met Putin.  "Yes, a long time ago.  [We] got along great, by the way."  But then that evening he denies having ever met him during the final presidential debate.  "I don't know Putin.  He has said some nice things about me."
October 21, 2016: WikiLeaks' Twitter account sends Donald Jr. another private message: "Hey Don.  We have an unusual idea.  Leak us one or more of your father's tax returns."
October 22, 2016: Trump tweets about hacked Podesta emails 15 minutes after WikiLeaks asks Donald Jr. to inform his father about the new email release. WikiLeaks subsequently releases the emails.     
Late October 2016: The Russians launch a cyberattack on at least one U.S. voting software supplier and send spear-phishing emails to more than 100 local election officials.     
October 28, 2016: Comey tells Congress that the FBI is reopening its Clinton investigation because of emails found on a computer belonging to former Congressman Anthony Weiner, whose estranged wife is a top Clinton aide. The Clinton campaign is thrown into crisis only 11 days before the election.
October 30, 2016: Reid writes a letter to Comey angrily accusing him of a "double standard" in renewing the Clinton investigation so close to the election while sitting on "explosive information" on ties between Trump and Russia.  
October 31, 2016: The Obama administration, using a secure channel to Moscow originally created to avert a nuclear war, warns that the election interference is unacceptable.  Russia does not reply until after the election when it denies the accusation. 
October 31, 2016: Mother Jones magazine reports without identifying Steele by name that he had produced a dossier that concluded Moscow had been "cultivating, supporting and assisting" Trump for years and had compromising information on him that could be used as blackmail.  The story is little noticed in the flurry of election news, while its publication prompts the FBI to end its discussions with Steele about continuing his research.  
November 6, 2016: Comey announces that after a intensive review of the "new" emails, they were found to be either personal or duplicates of those previously examined, and that the FBI had not changed the conclusions it reached in July in exonerating Clinton. 
November 8, 2016: Sergei Krivov suffers fatal blunt force injuries after calling from the roof of the Russian consulate in New York.  Krivov was widely believed to be a counter spy who coordinated efforts to prevent U.S. eavesdropping.  Russian officials claim he died of a heart attack.
November 8, 2016: Trump defeats Clinton decisively in the Election College but loses the popular vote. 
November 9, 2016: Russia's Parliament erupts in applause when Putin announces Trump's election victory.
November 10, 2016: Obama, meeting with Trump at the White House, expresses profound concerns about Flynn becoming a top national security aide because of problems when he managed the DIA, his 2015 trip to Moscow and other Russia ties. 
November 10, 2016: Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov acknowledges the Trump campaign and other Trump associates had repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials in the year before the election.  The campaign issues a strong denial.
November 10, 2016: Campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks says the campaign had "no contact with Russian officials."
November 12, 2016: Butina throws a costume party for her birthday at Cafe Deluxe in Washington.  She dresses as Empress Alexandra while Erickson comes as Rasputin.  She brags to partygoers that she had been "part of the Trump campaign's communications with Russia." 
November 18, 2016: Trump names Flynn as his national security adviser. 
November 19, 2016: Zuckerberg dismisses as "crazy" the idea that fake news on Facebook played a key role in the election.     
Mid-November 2016: Marshall Billingslea, a former Bush administration national security official, is named to head Trump's national security transition team.  He is deeply concerned about Russian intentions and Trump-Russian contacts.
November 19, 2016: Obama pulls aside Zuckerberg at a conference of world leaders in Lima, Peru and warns him that he needs to take the threat of fake ads seriously. 
November 25, 2016: Trump names McFarland deputy national security adviser.   
Late November 2016: Obama administration officials provide Billingslea with a CIA file on Kislyak because of Billingslea's belief that Flynn is not taking seriously the implications of his contacts with the Russian ambassador. 
November 18~20, 2016: Senator John McCain, attending the annual Halifax International Security Forum in Nova Scotia, is made aware of the Steele dossier by Sir Andrew Wood, a former British ambassador to Russia and former Steele protégé. 
November 28, 2016: David J. Kramer, a former State Department official with Russia expertise and staffer at the McCain Institute for International Leadership in Washington, D.C., meets Steele in London at McCain's behest and they discuss the dossier. 
November 30, 2016: Simpson confidentially shares a copy of the Steele dossier with McCain.  A copy also is reportedly given to the British government.
December 1, 2016: Kushner and Flynn meet with Kislyak at Trump Tower. They discuss easing  sanctions while Kushner proposes that a secret communications channel be set up between the Trump transition team and Kremlin using Russian diplomatic facilities in the U.S. to shield their discussions from monitoring. 
Early December 2016: Steele provides an encrypted copy off his final memo to Fusion GPS with instructions to pass it on to McCain and Kramer.  
December 4 or 5, 2016: Colonel Sergei Mikhailov, deputy chief of the KGB's Information Security Center, and his deputy, Major Dmitry Dokuchaev, who are believed to have been involved in election hacking, are arrested and subsequently disappear after reportedly being charged with passing on information to the CIA about the hacking.  Also charged and disappeared is Rusian Stoyanov, a Kaspersky Lab executive.  
December 8, 2016: Page visits Moscow to meet with what he calls "business leaders and thought leaders." 
December 9, 2016: Obama orders a comprehensive review of Russian interference in U.S. elections going back to 2008 with the intention of making some of the findings public.  They are not. 
December 9, 2016: McCain meets privately with Comey in his FBI office and gives him a copy of the Steele dossier. 
December 12, 2016: Trump tweets "Can you imagine if the election results were the opposite and we tried to play the Russia/CIA card?  It would be called conspiracy theory!" 
December 13, 2016: Kushner, at the request of Kislyak, meets with Sergei Gorkov, a close associate of Putin and chief executive of VEB, which had been sanctioned by the Obama administration and one of its executives convicted of espionage.  
December 13, 2016: A Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman terms emerging stories about election-related hacking a power struggle between American intelligence agencies. 
December 13, 2016: Steele files his final report with Fusion GPS.     
December 16, 2016: Obama, in one of his last news briefings, expresses anger that the election "came to be dominated by a bunch of these leaks." 
December 18, 2016: Conway tells CBS News that there was no contact between the Trump campaign and the Russians: "Absolutely not. And I discussed that with the president-elect just last night.  Those conversations never happened."
December 21, 2016: Yves Chandelon, the chief NATO auditor responsible for investigating Russian money laundering, is found in his car in a small Belgian town with a wound to the head in what may have been a murder made to resemble a suicide.
December 23, 2016: Trump tweets: "Vladimir Putin said today about Hillary and Dems: 'In my opinion, it is humiliating.  One must be able to lose with dignity.'  So true!" 
December 26, 2016: Oleg Erovinkin, a former FSB spy, Sechin aide at Rosneft and possibly a key source in the Steele dossier, is found dead in the back seat of his chaffeur-driven Lexus in Moscow.  The cause of death is stated to be a heart attack, but some intelligence sources believe Erovinkin was assassinated as part of an effort to wipe out a U.S. espionage network. 
December 28, 2016: It is widely reported that after five months of internal debate, Obama will announce new sanctions against Russia because of its election interference.
December 28, 2016: In response, Trump tweets: "Doing my best to disregard the many inflammatory President O statements and roadblocks.  Thought it was going to be a smooth transition -- NOT!"
December 29, 2016: Obama announces the new sanctions, which include expelling 35 diplomats and closing Russian compounds in Maryland and on Long Island.
December 29, 2016: Flynn, who is vacationing in the Dominican Republic, makes a series of calls to McFarland at Mar-a-Lago, Trump's Palm Beach, Florida resort.  They discuss how Trump should  respond to sanctions.  Flynn calls Kislyak and asks him to "refrain from escalating the situation" because of the new sanctions.   
December 29, 2016: McFarland writes in an email that "If there is a tit-for-tat escalation Trump will have difficulty improving relations with Russia, which has just thrown the U.S.A. election to him."  When the email is revealed in November 2017, a White House spokesman says McFarland  was merely describing how the Democrats were portraying Trump's win.
December 30, 2016: Kislyak tells Flynn the Kremlin has chosen to moderate its response "as the result of his request." 
December 30, 2016: Putin says Moscow will not retaliate in response to the sanctions prompting Trump to him in a tweet, saying "Great move on delay (by V. Putin) -- I always knew he was very smart!" 
Early January 2017: The CIA and FBI are said to have "high confidence" that Russia was trying to help Trump through a hacking campaign, while the NSA has only "moderate confidence."  The agencies also believe that Russia gained computer access to election boards in several states.
Early January 2017: Intelligence officials, looking for clues as to why Putin did not retaliate against new sanctions, discover Flynn's conversations with Kislyak, whose communications are routinely monitored.
Early January 2017: U.S. intelligence officials warn their Israeli counterparts to be careful sharing information with Trump because he might be compromised by the Russians.
Early January 2017: The president-elect's inner circle pleads with him at a Trump Tower meeting to acknowledge Russia's election interference.  He refuses, becomes agitated, rails that U.S. intelligence can't be trusted and scoffs at the suggestion that his candidacy had been propelled by forces other than himself.
Early January 2017: The FISA Court order allowing investigators to wiretap Manafort is renewed and includes a period when he was known to talk to by then-President Trump.  The order also allowed investigators to search a storage facility belonging to Manafort. 
January 2, 2017: Former Russian spy Chapman praises Trump in an Instagram post. 
January 3~5, 2017: In a series of tweets, Trump attacks the integrity of the U.S. intelligence community's findings that Russia interfered in the election.  In one tweet, he writes: "Julian Assange said 'a 14 year old could have hacked Podesta' -- why was DNC so careless?  Also said Russians did not give him the info!" 
January 4, 2017: Flynn tells Trump transition counsel Donald McGahn  that he is under federal investigation for secretly working as a paid lobbyist for Turkey during the campaign.  McGahn fails to follow up on the information. 
January 5, 2017: Obama's national security director releases the public version of a secret assessment stating that the CIA, FBI and NSA believe that Russia hacked Democratic email accounts and then passed the emails on to WikiLeaks: "We assess that Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the U.S. presidential election.  Russia's goals were to undermine public faith in the U.S. democratic process, denigrate Secretary of State Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency.  We further assess that Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump." 
January 5, 2018: Obama holds a brief White House meeting with Comey and Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates following release of the secret assessment.  Also present are Vice President Biden and national security adviser Susan Rice.  The president asks if there is any reason why his administration cannot share information fully as it pertains to Russia with the incoming administration.  The answer remains classified, is redacted from a memorandum written by Rice, which she sent to herself in the form of an email on January 20 and was made public in February 2018.   
January 6, 2017: Comey briefs the president-elect on the contents of the Steele dossier in a meeting at Trump Tower and begins keeping contemporaneous notes on his meetings with Trump, something he had never felt the need to do with Obama. 
January 10, 2017: BuzzFeed News publishes a story on the Steele dossier and a redacted version of the dossier.  The story notes that the dossier has been circulating among elected officials, intelligence agents and journalists.  Shortly thereafter, Steele goes to ground for two months.
January 10, 2017: Attorney General nominee Sessions states at a Senate confirmation hearing that he never had communications with Russians.
January 10, 2017: Rice informs Trump of a military plan to retake the ISIS stronghold of Raqqa, Syria with the help of Syrian-Turkish forces.  National security adviser designate Flynn, who has been secretly lobbying for the anti-Kurd Turkish government, tells Rice to hold off approving the mission. 
January 11, 2017: Former Blackwater boss Erik Prince, working as an emissary for Trump, meets secretly with Kirill Dmitriev, a Russian banker said to be close to Putin in the Seychelles islands in an apparent effort to establish a back-channel line of communication between Moscow and the president-elect. 
January 11, 2017: Trump, in a news conference at Trump Tower, claims he has a relationship with Putin, saying "He's done a very brilliant job in terms of what he represents and who he is representing." 
January 11, 2017: Trump, responding to the BuzzFeed report, tweets that "Russia has never tried to use leverage over me.  I HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH RUSSIA -- NO DEALS, NO LOANS, NO NOTHING!" 
January 13, 2017: Trump, in a Wall Street Journal interview, says he is open to lifting sanctions against Russia if it is helpful on other fronts. 
January 14, 2017: The transition team announces that Maryland U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein will replace Yates.
January 15, 2017: Vice President Pence states on Face the Nation that Flynn, whom Trump has named national security adviser, did not discuss sanctions with Kislyak nor did any Trump associates have contacts with Russians. 
Mid-January 2017: Page and Bannon, who wil become Trump's chief strategist,reportedly discuss the Steele dossier in a phone call probably monitored by the FBI. 
January 17, 2017: Putin dismisses the Steele dossier as "false." 
Mid-January 2017: Manfort advises Trump chief of staff Reince Priebus in a phone call on how the handle the burgeoning Russia investigation.  He says that Steele dossier is "garbage" and suggests it was motivated by Democratic activists and donors working with Ukrainian government officials who supported Clinton. 
January 18, 2017: Kushner omits Kislyak meetings on security clearance application. 
January 20, 2017: Trump becomes president.  Several prominent Russians with close ties to Putin have ticketed seats to the inauguration, including Veselnitskaya. 
January 20, 2017: Trump insists that the Russia scandal is "fake news" while naming Flynn and other people to key positions in his administration who had contacts with Russians involved in the interfering effort.
January 20, 2017: Flynn texts Alex Copson, a former business associate, assuring him that Russia sanctions would immediately be "ripped up" by the Trump administration, which would help facilitate the deal to nuclear power plants in the Middle East with which Copson was involved.  
January 22, 2017: Flynn is sworn in as national security adviser.
January 22, 2017: Trump singles out Comey at an event in the Blue Room at the White House, man-hugs him and declares, "Oh, and there's James!  He's become more famous than me." 
January 24, 2017: Flynn is interviewed by the FBI in his White House office about his contacts with Kislyak.  He denies that they discussed sanctions.
January 25, 2016: The House Intelligence Committee, chaired by Republican Representative Devin Nunes, announces that it will investigate Russian election meddling and any connection to political campaigns. 
January 26, 2017: Acting Attorney General Yates tells now-White House counsel McGahn  that misstatements made by Flynn to the Trump administration regarding his meetings with Russians make him vulnerable to blackmail by Moscow. 
January 27, 2017: Yates, responding to a query from McGahn, says that Flynn could be criminally prosecuted. 
January 27, 2017: Trump tells Comey "I need loyalty, I expect loyalty" during a private dinner in the Green Room at the White House.  Comey, according to a memo he made of the meeting, replies that he can pledge "honesty" but not pledge "loyalty." 
January 27, 2017: FBI agents interview Papadopoulos.  He falsely tells them that contracts with Mifsud and other Russians occurred before he joined the campaign. 
January 28, 2017: Trump receives a congratulatory phone call from Putin. 
Late January 2017: Cohen, Sater and Andrii Artemenko, a wealthy oligarch and Ukrainian lawmaker, meet at the Loews Regency Hotel in Manhattan where a "peace plan" for control of Russian-held Crimea is hatched.   
Late January 2017: Cohen delivers the "peace plan" to Flynn at the White House, reports The New York Times.
January 30, 2017: Yates agrees to a request from McGahn to see intelligence data about Flynn.  
January 30, 2017: Trump fires Yates, allegedly over her conclusion that Trump's Muslim ban is unconstitutional.
January 30, 2017: Deutsche Bank, with whom Trump has done hundreds of millions of dollars of business,  agrees to pay a $425 million fine to settle charges it laundered billions of dollars from 2010 to 2014 in a scheme known as the "Global Laundromat" run by Russian criminals with ties to Putin.
February 2017: Hicks, now White House director of strategic communications, is twice warned by the FBI about repeated attempts by Russian operatives to make contact with her during the transition.  
February 2017: Federal officials seek the extradition to the U.S. of Firtash, a former Manafort business partner, on racketeering charges. 
February 2, 2017: Trump abruptly cancels a meeting with Torshin after Spanish police identify him as a "godfather" of an organized crime money-laundering scheme.
February 4, 2017: Trump defends Putin in a Fox News interview, saying "I do respect him," and when pressed on allegations Putin was behind certain atrocities, responds: "What, you think our country's so innocent?" 
February 7, 2017: Trump tweets that "I don't know Putin, have no deals in Russia, and the haters are going crazy -- yet Obama can make a deal with Iran, #1 in terror, no problem!"
February 7, 2017: Alarmed at reports that Trump plans to ease Russia sanctions, two senators introduce bipartisan legislation to bar the administration from granting sanctions relief without congressional review.
February 8, 2017: The Senate confirms Sessions in a 52-47 vote.
February 13, 2017: Conway says that Flynn "enjoys the full confidence of the president."  Several hours later, he is forced to resign as national security adviser, ostensibly because he misled Pence about his communications with Kislyak. 
February 14, 2017: Trump tells Comey in a private Oval Office meeting that he wants him to drop the FBI's investigation of Flynn.
February 14, 2017: Members of Trump's campaign and other associates had repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials in the year before the election, reports The New York Times. 
February 14, 2017: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says Trump is encouraging him to foster closer ties with Russia to try to resolve a long-standing territorial dispute between the two countries over Russian-held islands off the Hokkaido coast. 
February 15, 2017: Priebus asks Comey and his top deputy, McCabe, to refute news reports about Trump campaign ties with Russian government officials.  They demur. 
February 15, 2017: Comey confronts AG Sessions and tells him he doesn't want to be left alone again with the president.
February 15, 2017: Trump tweets "This Russian connection non-sense is merely an attempt to cover-up the many mistakes made in Hillary Clinton's losing campaign." 
February 16, 2017: Trump, discussing Flynn's ouster at a press conference, denies having any links to Russia and again calls the scandal "fake news."
February 20, 2017: Russian U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin, widely believed to be a spy, dies in a New York hospital after suddenly becoming ill.  The U.S. State Department, at the request of Russia, suppresses public disclosure of the cause of death, citing Churkin's posthumous diplomatic immunity. 
February 23, 2017: Trump dodges answer a question about WikiLeaks during an interview, again blames the DNC for getting hacked and erroneously claims CrowdStrike is Ukraine-based.
February 24, 2017: Comey rejects requests from the Trump administration to publicly rebut reports about Trump associates' contacts with Russians.  Trump counters by tweeting that FBI sources are leaking information to the press and demands that stop. 
February 26, 2017: Trump tweets that "Russia talk is fake news put out by the Dems, and played up by the media, in order to mask the big election defeat and the illegal leaks." 
February 26, 2017: Chuck Todd of NBC News notes a pattern in which Trump attacks the press immediately after a new Trump-Russia story breaks. 
February 27, 2017: Trump tells a reporter that "I haven't called Russia in 10 years."
Late February 2017: Sessions consults with career Justice Department lawyers who recommend that he recuse himself from the Russia investigation. 
March 2017: Over the course of five interviews, the FBI questions Page about allegations that he served as a middleman between the Trump campaign and Moscow during the election.
March 2017: Kushner's real estate company ends talks with Anbang, a Chinese insurance company with close ties to the Beijing government, to unload 666 Fifth Avenue.  The deal reportedly collapses because of Kushner's notoriety and the likelihood it would be subject to review by a government committee on foreign investment in the U.S. because some of the financing would be under a government program intended for distressed areas and not tony projects.
March 1, 2017: Sessions did speak with Kislyak during the campaign, contradicting his past statements, reports The Washington Post.
March 2, 2017: Sessions recuses himself from the Justice Department's investigation into Russia-Trump connections after acknowledging that he failed to disclose his meetings with Kislyak despite a Trump order to McGahn to stop the attorney general from doing so.  The president reportedly erupts into anger in front of numerous White House officials. 
March 2, 2017: Alex Oronov, a naturalized U.S. citizen, dies under unexplained circumstances in his native Ukraine.  He reportedly helped set up the late January meeting between Cohen, Sater and Artemenko. 
March 4, 2017: Trump, reportedly furious that Sessions recused himself, tweets that Obama ordered the phones at Trump Tower to be wiretapped.  The claim had originated in an RT broadcast in Moscow and was then picked up by Andrew Napolitano, a Fox News legal analyst.    
March 5, 2017: Comey asks the Justice Department to deny Trump's wiretapping claim.  Justice refuses and Comey's request is leaked to the news media. 
March 5, 2017: Trump reverses his pledge to mandate American steel for the Keystone Pipeline.  A direct beneficiary is Abramovich. 
March 11, 2017: Trump fires Bharara, who was conducting, among others, a Russia-related investigation. 
March 17, 2017: At least 63 wealthy Russians have invested nearly $100 million in Trump luxury high rises in southern Florida, according to Reuters. 
March 20, 2017: Comey in effect calls Trump a liar in publicly acknowledging for the first time in testimony before Congress that the FBI's investigation into Russian election interfering includes Trump associates' contacts with Russians who were working to sabotage Clinton. 
March 20, 2017: In a series of four tweets during and after Comey's testimony, Trump says there is no evidence he "colluded" with Russia, says "The Democrats made up and pushed the Russia story as an excuse for running a terrible campaign," and claims the "real story . . . is the leaking of classified information." 
March 21, 2017: Nikolai Gorokhov, a lawyer for the Magnitsky family and key witness for the U.S. government in a money laundering suit against a Russian holding company, falls or is thrown from the 4th floor of his Moscow apartment.  He is seriously injured but survives.
March 22, 2017: Manafort secretly worked on behalf of a Russian billionaire to enhance the image of Putin and the Russian government in the West, reports The AP.  White House press secretary Sean Spicer downplays Manafort's role in the campaign and states Trump has no personal financial dealings with Russia.
March 22, 2016: Nunes accuses the Obama administration of "unmasking" the names of Trump transition team members even though the intelligence is not related to the Russia investigation.
March 23, 2017: Denis Voronokov is shot to death on a street in Kiev, Ukraine, after being hunted by the FSB.  The former Russian military colonel and Putin insider was preparing to testify about the inner workings of the Putin regime. 
March 27, 2017: Trump tweets: "Why isn't the House Intelligence Committee looking into the Bill & Hillary deal that allowed big Uranium to go to Russia . . . "   
Late March 2017: In the wake of Comey's testimony, Trump makes separate appeals to Daniel Coats, the director of national intelligence, and Admiral Michael S. Rogers, director of the NSA to publicly deny the existence of any evidence of Trump-Russia collusion.  They refuse. 
Late March 2017: Trump begins to openly discuss his desire to fire Comey with White House officials.
Late March 2017: Flynn offers to be interviewed by investigators for Senate and House committees examining Trump campaign ties to Russia in exchange for immunity from prosecution.  The offer is later withdrawn. 
March 29, 2017: Trump remains silent about massive anti-Putin demonstrations across Russia.
March 30, 2017: Trump asks Comey in a phone call what could be done to "lift the cloud" over him because the FBI investigation was hurting his ability to govern.  Comey replies that the FBI and Justice were reluctant to make statements about the president's status "because it would create a duty to correct, should that change."    
March 31, 2017: Trump applauds Flynn's apparent request for immunity, tweeting "Mike Flynn should ask for immunity in that this is a witch hunt (excuse the big election loss), by media & Dems, of historic proportion!"
April 2017: The Senate and House intelligence committees secure access to top-level intelligence from the FBI, CIA, NSA and other agencies on Trump-Russia ties that in theory will enable them to dig deeper. 
April 2017: Putin, using a back channel with the State Department, proposes full normalization of relations with the U.S., including restoration of diplomatic, intelligence and military channels.  The reset plan becomes bogged down in the subsequent fallout from the toughening of sanctions. 
April 3, 2017: Trump tweets "Was the brother of John Podesta paid big money to get the sanctions on Russia lifted?  Did Hillary know?
April 7, 2017: Spanish authorities arrest Pyotr Levashov at the request of U.S. authorities, who believe he is one of the election interference hackers.  They say he distributed fake news to try to influence voters through sendings billions of spambot messages by infecting tens of thousands of computers. 
April 8, 2017: Nunes ostensibly recuses himself from the House Intelligence Committee's investigation after it is revealed that White House security staffers fed him information in an effort to bolster Trump's false claim that Obama had personally ordered that his Trump Tower phones be tapped.
April 9, 2017: McFarland is asked to step down as deputy national security adviser.  Media reports say she was not a good fit at the NSC.  
April 11, 2017: Trump asks Comey in a phone call when he plans to issue a statement that he is not under investigation.  Comey responds that he has passed the request on to his bosses at Justice but had not heard back.   
April 25, 2017: House Oversight Committee members assert that Flynn may have violated federal law by not fully disclosing his business dealings with Russians. 
April 28, 2017: The Senate Intelligence Committee asks four Trump campaign associates -- Flynn, Page, Manafort and Stone -- to hand over emails and other records of their dealings with Russians and says it is prepared to subpoena those who refuse to cooperate.  
Early May 2017: Comey meets with Rosenstein to request a substantial increase in funding and personnel to expand the FBI's investigation in light of information showing possible evidence of Trump-Russia collusion. 
Early May 2017: Stone, who is being investigated for his Russia ties, reportedly lobbies the president to fire Comey. 
Early May 2017: White House lawyers warn Trump that it would be inappropriate for him to reach out to Flynn because he is under investigation. 
May 2, 2017: Trump agrees in a phone conversation with Putin to meet with foreign minister Sergey Lavrov, who will be meeting with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in coming days.  Putin neglects to tell Trump that the Lavrov-Tillerson meeting with be 4,100 miles away in Alaska, while the White House keeps secret the forthcoming visit. 
May 2, 2017: Clinton says Comey's decision to tell Congress of the "new" Clinton emails and WikiLeaks email disclosures helped alter the outcome of the election because people inclined to vote for her "got scared off." 
May 2, 2017: In two tweets, Trump says "FBI Director Comey was the best thing that ever happened to Hillary Clinton in that he gave her a free pass for many bad deeds!" and "Trump/Russia story was an excuse used by the Democrats as justification for losing the election.  Perhaps Trump just ran a great campaign?" 
May 2, 2017: Trump criticizes Comey in a tweet, saying "[He] was the best thing to ever happen to Hillary Clinton in that he gave her a free pass for many bad deeds." 
May 3, 2017: Comey tells Congress, "It makes me mildly nauseous to think that we might have had some impact on the election" because of his Clinton case disclosure.  He says the Russia investigation is continuing. 
May 5, 2017: An aide to Sessions reportedly approaches a Capital Hill staff member asking whether the staffer has any derogatory information about Comey because the attorney general wanted one negative story about the FBI director each day. 
May 5, 2017: Kushner reportedly urges Trump to take a hard line when he announces support for an Arab boycott of Qatar, which had turned down Kushner and his father for a half-billion dollar bailout.
May 5, 2017: Russian hackers release a trove of emails purportedly from French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron's campaign.
May 6~7, 2017: Trump spends the weekend at his Bedminster, New Jersey, golf course fuming over Comey and decides to fire him. 
May 7, 2017: Trump and aide Stephen Miller finishing drafting a letter firing Comey aboard Air Force One after it returns to Washington.  McGahn convinces the president not to release the letter because of its angry, meandering tone and the possibility it could be interpreted to be an attempt to obstruct justice.  
May 7, 2017: Trump tweets "When will the Fake Media ask about the Dems dealings with Russia?" 
May 8, 2017: Rosenstein drafts a letter at Trump's request laying out a rationale for firing Comey based on his handling of the Clinton email server investigation. 
May 8, 2017: Yates testifies before a Senate subcommittee about the repeated warnings given Trump and his White House legal counsel about Flynn being a security risk and possibly liable for criminal prosecution because of his Russia ties. 
May 8, 2017: Trump tweets that "The Russia-Trump collusion story is a total hoax, when will this taxpayer funded charade end?"  
May 9, 2017: Trump fires Comey, asserting that he mishandled the Clinton email investigations.  He uses the Rosenstein letter as a justification. McCabe is named acting FBI director.
May 9, 2017: Rosenstein threatens to resign after the White House portrays him as the mastermind behind the Comey firing.  
May 9, 2017: Trump hires a Washington law firm to send a letter to Senator Lindsey Graham, who says he intends to look into Trump's extensive business dealings with Russians.  Trump claims again that he has no connections to Russia. 
May 9, 2017: The Senate Intelligence Committee issues a subpoena to Flynn demanding that he turn over records of his interactions with Russians after he refuses to do so.  A federal grand in Alexandria, Virginia issues subpoenas to a number of Flynn's business associates.  
May 10, 2017: Trump, meeting with Lavrov and Kislyak at the White House, boasts about highly classified information from an ally about ISIS.  He tells them "I just fired the head of the FBI.  He was crazy, a real nut job. . . . I faced great pressure because of Russia.  That's taken off."
May 10, 2016: Trump reportedly calls 
Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe to chastise him for allowing Comey to return to Washington on an FBI-owned plane after being fired.  He later asks him how he had voted in the 2016 election.  McCabe responds that he had not voted.
May 11, 2017: Testifying before Congress, McCabe rejects White House assertions that Comey had lost the backing of rank-and-file agents, and says the bureau's Russia investigation will continue.  
May 11, 2017: Trump, in an interview with NBC News's Lester Holt, suggests the real reason he fired Comey was the Russia investigation.
May 11, 2017: Trump tweets that "Russia must be laughing up their sleeves watching as the U.S. tears itself apart over a Democratic excuse for losing the election."
May 12, 2017: Trump issues a veiled threat to Comey to not leak any information that he may have and indicates he may have tapes of their conversations. 
May 12, 2017: The Justice Department abruptly settles its money-laundering case case against Prevezon Holdings for a mere $6 million.  
May 14, 2017: Right-wing Republican opposition researcher Peter W. Smith is found dead in a Rochester, Minnesota hotel room.  Smith had implied in an interview with a Wall Street Journal reporter about 10 days before his apparent suicide that he worked for Flynn, who he says was colluding with Russian hackers trying to obtain the "missing" Clinton emails.  
May 15, 2017: The Washington Post publishes a story on Trump's boast to Lavrov and Kislyak and remarks about Comey.  The White House denies that the president revealed sensitive intelligence. 
May 16, 2017: Trump, in early morning tweets, contradicts his aides and appears to acknowledge that The Post story is accurate, while the White House refuses to release a transcript of the Lavrov and Kislyak meeting. 
May 16, 2017: Fox News publishes, with the help of a wealthy Trump backer, a story stating that Rich stole DNC emails prior to his murder.  The story is an attempt to discredit the U.S. intelligence community's conclusion that Russia hacked the emails, which Assange cryptically suggested may have been linked to the email thefts.  Fox says that Democrats might have been connected to the murder and that a cover-up had thwarted the official investigation. 
May 17, 2017: Rosenstein names Robert Mueller, who preceded Comey as FBI director, as special counsel to oversee its Russia investigation.  While Republicans and Democrats widely praise the selection, Trump calls the revived scandal investigation the "greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history." 
May 17, 2017: Trump releases a statement saying Mueller's investigation "will confirm what we already know -- there was no collusion between my campaign and any foreign entity." 
May 17, 2017: Putin says he is willing to provide Congress with a transcript of the meeting.  Democrats and Republicans reject the offer.  
May 18, 2017: FBI and congressional investigators say Flynn and other Trump campaign advisers were in contact with Russians in at least 18 calls and emails during the last seven months of the presidential race, according to Reuters. 
May 18, 2017: Trump yet again calls the Russia investigation a "witch hunt," but for the first time equivocates, saying that "I cannot speak for others." 
May 19, 2017: Rosenstein tells members of Congress that Mueller has been given the authority to investigate the possibility of a cover-up. 
May 19, 2017: Russian officials bragged in conversations during the presidential campaign that they could use Flynn to influence Trump and his team, according to CNN.
May 20, 2017: The House Intelligence Committee asks Michael Caputo to submit to a voluntary interview, reports The New York Times.  Caputo, who worked for the Trump campaign for six months, had extensive dealings with Kremlin officials in the 1990s. 
Late May 2017: Trump berates Sessions in an Oval Office meeting for recusing himself.  Sessions plans to resign but is talked out of doing so by Priebus, Pence and Bannon.  Sessions subsequently sends a resignation letter to Trump, who rejects it.
May 22, 2017: Flynn's lawyers tell the Senate Intelligence Committee that he is invoking the Fifth Amendment rather than comply with a subpoena to produce documents regarding his contacts with Russians.  
May 23, 2017: Brennan tells the House Intelligence Committee that the Trump campaign may have been successfully recruited by Russia and said there is evidence of "troubling" contacts between the campaign and Russian officials.
May 23, 2017: Trump retains Kasowitz in connection with the scandal.  He previously represented Trump in fraud, divorce and numerous other cases, and has clients with extensive Kremlin ties. 
May 23, 2017: Fox News retracts the Rich story.
May 30, 2017: Cohen says he will refuse to cooperate with the Senate and House intelligence committee investigations. 
May 31, 2017: White House press secretary says the administration will stop answering news media queries about Trump's alleged ties to Russia. 
May 31, 2017: Clinton, in an interview at Recode's Code Conference, says she is "leaning" toward believing that Trump's campaign colluded with Russia.
June 1, 2017: Shifting from previous blanket denials of Russian involvement, Putin says "patriotically minded" private Russian hackers could have been involved in cyberattacks to help the Trump campaign. 
Early June 2017: Mueller is said to be expanding his investigation beyond Trump-Russia ties to include the roles of Sessions and Deputy AG Rosenstein in firing Comey.
June 2, 2017: Mueller assumes control over a federal grand jury criminal investigation of Flynn's ties to Turkey and the criminal investigation of Manafort.
June 3, 2017: NSA employee Reality Winner is arrested and charged with releasing a classified report on Russian election hacking. 
June 5, 2017: Trump, in a series of tweets, chastises the Justice Department for his problems and again criticizes Sessions for recusing himself.
June 6, 2017: Kushner reportedly urges Trump to take a hard line as he announces support for an Arab boycott of Qatar, which had turned down Kushner and his father for a half-billion dollar bailout loan in early 2016. 
June 7, 2017: Coats and Rogers, testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee, refuse to discuss Trump's efforts to get them to deny the existence of evidence of Trump-Russia collusion. 
June 8, 2017: Comey, in testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee carried lived on national television, calls Trump a liar and untrustworthy, implies the president has obstructed justice and says he leaked notes of his February 14 meeting with Trump to The New York Times with the intention of getting a special counsel named. 
June 9, 2017: Trump says Comey's testimony vindicates him, accuses the former FBI director of lying and offers to give sworn testimony.  Reports circulate that Kasowitz is planning to file a complaint with the Justice Department inspector general against Comey for "leaking" memos of his conversations with Trump.  
June 11, 2017: Trump calls Comey "cowardly" and vows to find out if he leaked any more sensitive information. 
June 12, 2017: A longtime Trump friend says the president is considering whether to fire Mueller as some of Trump's conservative allies attack the special counsel's credibility. A subsequent New York Times report states that Trump ordered Mueller to be fired but ultimately backed down after McGahn threatened to resign rather than carry out the directive.  At about the same time, Trump is said to press senior aides to devise and carry out a campaign to discredit three senior Comey-era FBI officials -- McCabe, who was to become deputy director and briefly had been acting director after Comey was fired; Jim Rybicki, Comey's chief of staff and senior counselor, and James Baker, formerly the bureau's senior counsel. 
June 13, 2017: Kasowitz bragged to friends that he got Bharara fired after telling Trump "this guy is going to get you," according to Talking Points Memo.
June 13, 2017: Rosenstein says Mueller will have "full independence" and only he can fire him for cause, while Adam Schiff, the ranking House Intelligence Committee Democrat, says Congress would immediately reappoint Mueller. 
June 13, 2017: Sessions testifies before the Senate Intelligence Committee, indignantly denies any collusion with Russia but declines to answer key questions about his conduct and interactions with Trump. 
June 14, 2017: Mueller is investigating whether Trump obstructed justice, reports The Washington Post. 
June 15, 2017: Pence hires a criminal defense lawyer Richard Cullen to assist him in the various investigations.
June 15, 2017: Trump's transition team general counsel orders team members to preserve documents and other materials related to the Russia investigations because of the possibility some of them are under investigation. 
June 15, 2017: Trump, in a series of tweets, says that Mueller is "a very bad and conflicted," that "They made up a phony collusion with the Russians story, found zero proof, so now they go for obstruction of justice on the phony story.  Nice," and "You are witnessing the single greatest WITCH HUNT in American political history -- led by some very bad and conflicted people!" 
June 16, 2017: Trump attacks Rosenstein in a tweet for leading a "witch hunt" in acknowledging publicly for the first time that he is under investigation. 
Mid-June 2017: Coats and Rogers tell Mueller's team and Senate investigators that Trump suggested they say publicly there was no collusion between his campaign and the Russians. 
Summer of 2017: Mueller's team interviews Steele. 
June 20, 2017: Sessions hires a criminal defense lawyer to help him in the various investigations.
Summer of 2017: Trump repeatedly urges senior Senate Republicans, including the Senate Intelligence Committee chairman, to end the committee's investigation into the scandal.
June 21, 2017: Samuel Liles, acting director of the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) intelligence and cyber division, tells the Senate Intelligence Committee that people connected to the Russian government tried to hack election-relted computer systems in 21 states.
June 21, 2017: Johnson tells the House Intelligence Committee that the Obama administration feared acknowledging Russian election interference would reveal too much about intelligence gathering and be interpreted as "taking sides" in the race. 
June 22, 2017: Trump, in two tweets, says that he did not tape his meetings with Comey and states "By the way, if Russia was working so hard on the 2016 Election, it all took place during the Obama Admin.  Why didn't they stop them?"
June 23, 2017: Trump says in a "Fox & Friends" interview that his tweet hinting at taped meetings with Comey was intended to influence his testimony before Congress.
June 25, 2017: Presidential counselor Conway, appearing on ABC's "This Week," blames the Obama administration for failing to deal with Russian interference in the election. 
June 26, 2017: Trump tweets  " . . . under a magnifying glass, they have zero 'tapes' of T people colluding.  There is no collusion & no obstruction.  I should be given an apology!"
July 27, 2017: Papadopoulos is arrested by FBI agents at Dulles Airport outside Washington.  
June 27, 2017: Manafort registers retroactively as a foreign agent.  He reveals that he failed to disclose, as required by law, that his consulting firm received more than $17 million over two years from Yanukovych's political party before Yanukovych fled Ukraine to Russia in 2014. 
June 29~30, 2017: The Wall Street Journal publishes two stories based on an interview with Smith about Flynn's possible collusion with Russian hackers. 
July 6, 2017: Trump, at a news conference in Warsaw, Poland, again questions U.S. intelligence agency claims Russia interfered in the election and said Obama deliberately didn't address Russian hacking for political reasons.  
July 7, 2017: Trump and Putin meet for the first time at a G20 meeting in Hamburg, Germany.  Trump raises the issue of election interference, which Putin denies.  Putin claims Trump had "agreed" with his statements of denial. It is later revealed that Trump met with Putin in an undisclosed hour-long second meeting without the benefit of his own interpreter or national security advisers. 
July 9, 2017: Trump, returning from Europe, declares it is "time to move forward" in a constructive relationship with Russia and says he is prepared to team with Moscow on forming an "impenetrable Cyber Security" unit to prevent future hacking breaches.
July 9~11, 2017: The New York Times publishes stories on consecutive days on Donald Jr.'s meeting with Veselnitsakya and other Russians on June 9, 2016. 
July 8, 2017: Donald Jr. says in a statement that the June 9, 2016 meeting was about adoption.  It is later revealed that Trump overruled aides to personally direct that a misleading statement be issued by Donald Jr. on the meeting and was the sole author of those statements, making himself further vulnerable to coverup allegations.  It also is later revealed that Hicks said during a conference call on the statement that Donald Jr.'s emails about the meeting "will never get out," leaving Mark Corallo, chief spokesman for Trump's legal team, with concerns that Hicks could be contemplating obstructing justice.
July 10, 2017: Donald Jr. hires a criminal defense lawyer to assist him in the various investigations. 
July 12, 2017: Trump tweets that Donald Jr. "was open, transparent and innocent.  This is the greatest Witch Hunt in political history.  Sad!"
July 12, 2017: Two Democratic Party donors and a former party staff member file an invasion-of-privacy lawsuit against the Trump campaign and Stone, accusing them of conspiring with Russian hackers in the release of hacked Democratic emails and files that exposed their personal information to the public.  
July 12, 2017: Mueller's investigators are skeptical that Russian hackers could have independently known which high-impact states and districts in those states to specifically target to try to undermine the Clinton campaign without the help of knowledgeable American political operatives, according to a McClatchy News Service report. 
July 12, 2017: Trump criminal defense lawyer Jay Sekulow tells CNN that neither he nor Trump were involved in drafting Donald Jr.'s statement on the June 9, 2016 meeting.     
July 14, 2017: Trump hires criminal defense lawyer Ty Cobb, a former prosecutor, while Kushner hires a new criminal lawyer.  Kushner, meanwhile, had been urged to step down by some members of Trump's legal team who viewed him as an increasing legal liability for the president because of his role in the scandal.  The move ultimately was rejected. 
July 14, 2017: Kushner has updated his security clearance application at least three times because of omissions and added more than 100 names of foreign contracts after initially providing none, as well as dozens of financial holdings, CBS News and The Washington Post report. 
July 15, 2017: Trump tweets that the scandal is a "hoax," yet again attacks Clinton and defends Donald Jr.'s June 9, 2016 meeting with Russians. 
July 17, 2017: Approaching six months in office, 58 percent of voters disapprove of Trump in the Washington Post-ABC Poll, a level never reached by presidents Clinton and Obama and reached only in the second term by President George W. Bush.
July 17, 2017: Regarding the June 9, 2016 meeting, Trump tweets: "Most politicians would have gone to a meeting like the one Don jr attended in order to get info on an opponent.  That's politics!"
July 18, 2017: Referring to his second meeting with Putin at the G20 conference, Trump tweets: "Fake News story of secret dinner with Putin is 'sick." 
July 19, 2017: Trump, in an interview with The New York Times, says he would not have appointed Sessions if he knew he was going to recuse himself, and warns Mueller not to delve into his family's finances.  Behind the scenes, Trump again demands Sessions' resignation, but Priebus argues that would trigger the resignations of Rosenstein and the third-ranking Justice Department official, and Trump backs down.
July 20, 2017: The Treasury Department fines ExxonMobil $2 million for signing business agreements with the head of Russian-government owned energy giant Rosneft in 2014 in violation of sanctions.  Tillerson was chief executive of the U.S. energy giant at the time. 
July 20, 2017: Thomas Bossert, Trump's chief counterterroris adviser, says it's "pretty clear" that Russia interfered in the election. 
July 20, 2017: Trump's advisers are exploring his options to pardon scandal suspects and how to undermine Mueller's investigation, according to multiple media reports. 
July 20, 2017: Corallo resigns because of growing frustration with the Trump legal team and concerns about whether he was being told the truth. 
July 21, 2017: Kislyak told his superiors in Moscow that he had substantive discussions about campaign-related matters and policy issues important to Moscow when he met with Sessions, contradicting public assertions by the embattled attorney general, reports The Washington Post.
July 21, 2017: Kushner and Manafort, threatened with subpoenas, agree to turn over documents to Senate and House intelligence committees.
July 21, 2017: Brennan and Clapper express anger at Trump's statements disparaging the community and express incredulity at his embrace of Russia. 
July 21, 2017: Spicer resigns after Trump names Anthony Scaramucci communications director. 
July 22, 2017: Trump tweets that he has "complete power to pardon, why think of that when only crime so far is LEAKS against us.  FAKE NEWS." 
July 22, 2017: Defying Trump, congressional leaders reach an agreement on sweeping new sanctions to punish Russia for its election interference. 
July 23, 2017: Scaramucci says on CNN's "State of the Union" that Trump remains unconvinced of Russian election interference because he cannot separate intelligence findings from his view that the issue is being used to cast doubt on his presidency. 
July 24, 2017: Kushner secured a $295 million real estate deal in 2015 with Lev Leviev, a Soviet-born oligarch who was a business partner in Prevezon Holdings, The Guardian reports. 
July 24~25, 2017: Kushner testifies  before the Senate and House intelligence committees in a closed session.  In a prepared statement, he denies any collusion in his four meetings with Russian officials and says his real estate company and other business interests have not relied on Russian funds.  He contradicts Trump and administration members who deny any Russian contacts during the campaign by confirming that he had several. 
July 25, 2017: Trump, in an interview, says Mueller's job is not safe. 
July 25, 2017: In a series of tweets, Trump says that "Jared Kushner did very well yesterday in proving he did not collude with the Russians.  Witch Hunt.  Next up, 11 year old Barron Trump!" and "Problem is the acting head of the FBI & the person in charge of the Hillary investigation, Andrew McCabe, got $700,000 from H for wife!" 
July 25, 2017: The Senate Judiciary Committee subpoenas Manafort to publicly testify.
July 25, 2017: The House approves in a 419-3 vote a sweeping package of economic sanctions against Russia. 
July 26, 2017: Trump, for the third consecutive day, publicly criticizes Sessions for recusing himself and not pursuing an investigation against Clinton as the president's aides consider whether to replace him.  In a tweet, he also calls for the firing of McCabe, who is a potential corroborating witness for Comey's conversations with Trump.
July 26, 2017: Armed with a search warrant, FBI agents working for Mueller enter Manafort's Alexandria, Virginia home by picking the front door lock.  They seize document binders and copy his computer files, looking for evidence he set up secret offshore bank accounts. 
July 27, 2017: The Senate approves in a 98-2 vote and sends to Trump the sweeping package of economic sanctions against Russia, setting up a congressional confrontation with the president, who has sought to ease sanctions. 
July 28, 2017: Russia, retaliating for congressional approval of expanded sanctions, seizes two U.S. diplomatic compounds and orders the U.S. embassy in Moscow to reduce its staff. 
July 28, 2017: Trump fires Priebus.  
July 30, 2017: Putin dramatically escalates his pushback against sanctions by ordering the U.S. to reduce its diplomatic staff by 755 people, the largest forced reduction since the Communist revolution in 1917. 
July 31, 2017: Scaramucci is fired.
July 31, 2017: Trump overruled his aides to personally direct that a misleading statement be issued by Donald Jr. on the June 9, 2016 meeting and was the sole author of those statements, making himself further vulnerable to coverup allegations, reports The Washington Post. 
Late July 2017: Strzok is transferred from Mueller's team.  It later emerges that he exchanged text messages with Page that expressed anti-Trump views.  
August 2017: Chief District Court Judge Beryl A. Howell gives Mueller permission to empanel a grand jury in Washington.
August 1, 2017: Christopher Wray is confirmed as FBI director.
August 1, 2017: A lawsuit is filed against Fox News and a wealthy Trump backer for its story about the Rich murder being linked to DNC email thefts. The suit states that the White House was aware of the story and Trump himself might have worked on it. 
August 2, 2017: Trump signs the sanctions bill. 
August 2, 2017: Four senators -- two Democrats and two Republicans -- announce legislation to prevent Trump from firing Mueller without cause.
August 3, 2017: Trump, speaking at a rally in West Virginia, forcefully dismisses allegations of collusion with Russia as "a total fabrication" and blames the scandal on Democrats who "still can't get over" 2016 election results. 
August 4, 2017: Trump, inviting speculation that he or a family member could be indicted by the grand jury empaneled by Mueller, retweets a video clip from "Fox & Friends" in which guest and longtime Trump friend Jeanine Pirro calls Mueller's investigation politically motivated. 
August 6, 2017: Trump and Conway call Mueller's investigation a  "fabrication" in separate interviews.
August 7, 2017: Trump calls Senator Thom Tillis, a North Carolina Republican, and tells him he doesn't like a bipartisan bill being drafted to protect Mueller. 
August 10, 2017: Trump's aversion to criticizing Putin remains intact as he says he is "very thankful" that U.S. diplomats were expelled because it means a smaller State Department payroll.   He also contradicts private statements about his desire to dismiss Mueller, saying he has not considered firing him. 
August 11, 2017: Akhmetshin testifies before the Mueller grand jury. 
August 16, 2017: Rohrabacher meets with Assange, who he says assured him Russia did not leak emails damaging to Clinton to WikiLeaks.   
Late August 2017: Subpoenas are issued by Mueller's grand jury to six prominent Washington lobbying firms in connection with the finances of Flynn and Manafort. 
August 28, 2017: Cohen tells the House Intelligence Committee in a letter that claims of his ties to Russian officials are false.
August 30, 2017: Trump calls Grassley, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, a day after reports Donald Jr. will meet with the committee in a closed session to talk about Russia.  Trump promises him support for the biofuel ethanol, a key issue for the Iowa lawmaker.
August 31, 2017: The Trump administration orders Russia to close its San Francisco consulate and annexes in Washington and New York in response to Russia's July 28 order to reduce the number of U.S. diplomatic personnel in that country.
August 31, 2017: Two senior Republican senators -- Graham and Grassley -- allege Comey began writing a statement clearing Clinton before the FBI had interviewed key witnesses in the spring of 2016. 
Early September 2017: Mueller alerts the White House that he probably will seek interviews with six top current and former Trump advisers: Hicks, McGahn and his assistant James Burnham, Priebus, Kushner assistant Josh Raffel, and Spicer.
Early September 2017: Mueller begins looking into the lobbying activities of Michael Flynn Jr., son of Trump's former national security adviser.
September 1, 2017: Trump lashes out at Comey in a tweet, charging that he had "exonerated" Clinton before fully completing the FBI investigation into her private email server. 
September 1, 2017: In media reports, The existence and contents of the original Comey firing letter are revealed in several media reports.  One report states that Pence was aware of the original letter, may have helped cover it up and then lied about the basis for the firing.
September 1, 2017: Despite his recusal, Nunes complains to Sessions in a letter that the Justice Department has been slow to respond to House Intelligence Committee subpoena requests. 
September 1, 2017: The Justice Department states in a brief there is no evidence to support Trump's claim that Obama had personally ordered that his Trump Tower phones be tapped.
September 5, 2017: Putin, visiting China, responds to a question about the possibility of Trump being impeached by saying he is "not my bride, and I am not his groom."
September 5, 2017: Nikita Isaev, leader of a far-right Russian political party, says Trump should be hit with compromising material he claims is being held by Russia in retaliation for closing Russian diplomatic missions.
September 5, 2017: Trump's attorneys ask a federal judge to dismiss an invasion-of-privavy lawsuit filed by two Democratic Party donors and a former party staff member accusing the Trump campaign and Stone of conspiring with Russian hackers in the release of hacked Democratic emails and files that exposed their personal information to the public. 
September 7, 2017: Donald Jr. explains in a statement before meeting in a closed session with the Senate Intelligence Committee that he set up the June 9, 2016 meeting with Russians because it was important for him to learn about Clinton's "fitness" to be president.
September 7, 2017: Wray says he has seen no interference from the White House on the Russia investigation.
September 10, 2017: Bannon, dismissed as White House chief strategist, says Trump's dismissal of Comey was the biggest mistake in "modern political history" in a 60 Minutes interview.
September 12, 2017: White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders says that the Justice Department should "certainly look at" charging Comey for leaking classified information.
September 12, 2017: The Campaign Legal Center, a campaign finance reform group, accuses Facebook of being used as an "accomplice" in  Russian interference and urges  Zuckerberg to reverse his position and publicly release secretly-sponsored Russian political ads.
September 13, 2017: The U.S. government bans use of Kaspersky Lab software on their networks because of concerns that the company has ties to the Russian government and its cyberespionage activities. 
September 13, 2017: Two Democratic lawmakers assert that Flynn failed to disclose a 2015 Middle East trip to pursue the nuclear power plant project.
September 13, 2017: Rohrabacher proposes in a call to Trump chief-of-staff John Kelly that a pardon deal be made for Assange in return for the WikiLeaks founder providing digital evidence that he says would clear Russia of election meddling allegations. 
Mid-September 2017: Friction escalates between McGahn and Cobb regarding how or whether to cooperate with Mueller.  A New York Times reporter overhears Cobb stating that McGahn had "a couple of documents locked in a safe" to which he wanted access.
Mid-September 2017: Mueller obtains Russian-linked Facebook ads after getting a search warrant for them. 
Mid-September 2017: The Secret Service stops protecting Donald Jr., who says he is seeking more privacy. 
September 15, 2017: Manafort spokesman Jason Maloni appears before Mueller's grand jury. 
September 15, 2017: Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Grassley, citing what he calls Justice Department stonewalling, considers issuing subpoenas to compel several witnesses to testify about what they know concerning Trump's Russia connections and Comey's firing. 
September 19, 2017: The Senate Intelligence Committee abruptly cancels an interview with Cohen, accusing him of releasing a public statement despite requests he refrain from public comment.. 
September 19, 2017: The Republican National Committee acknowledges it is helping pay Trump's lawyer fees related to the scandal and has directed more than $427,000 to his attorneys.
September 20, 2017: Manafort is doing unregistered work for Kurdish Iraqis who are seeking an independence referendum while under investigation for similar work, reports The New York Times.
September 21, 2017: Under growing public pressure to reveal more about covert Russian propaganda on its site, Facebook turns over more than 3,000 Russian-linked ads to congressional committees investigating the scandal.  The ads sought to exploit racial and social divides in American society.  A subsequent investigation by social media companies identifies the Internet Research Agency as being at the center of the propaganda effort.
September 22, 2017: DHS contacts election officials in 21 states to notify them that they had been targeted by Russian hackers during the campaign. 
September 24~26, 2017: Kushner and wife Ivanka reportedly move their private email accounts to a Trump Organization server after their use of private accounts for White House business comes under scrutiny.
September 25, 2017: Trey Gowdy, Republican chairman of the House Oversight Committee and persistent Clinton email server critic, joins Democrats in asking that the administration disclose the use of a private server personal email address by Kushner and any other White House aide for government business.  The New York Times reports that at least five other aides, including Kushner's wife Ivanka also did.
September 26, 2017: Stone testifies before the House Intelligence Committee in a closed session and states that he believes the DNC hacking was an "inside job."
September 28, 2017: Evidence emerges that Twitter may have been used more extensively than Facebook in Russia's covert propaganda campaign. The company tells congressional investigators it has shut down 201 accounts tied to Russian operatives, including three linked to RT that spent $274,100 in election ads.
September 29, 2017: Two months after signing a law imposing new sanctions on Russia, Trump has not begun enforcing it. 
Early October 2017: Hoping that Mueller will clear Trump, his legal team pursue a new course of cooperating with the special counsel and then asking him to affirm that Trump is not under investigation, something he was unsuccessful in getting Comey to do before eventually firing him.
Early October 2017: Trump loyalists reportedly are losing patience with Republican congressional leaders over Russia investigations reaching into the president's inner circle and hobbling the White House. 
October 2, 2017: RT and Sputnik,  Russian government-controlled news outlets, join alt-right sites in publishing fake news accounts on Facebook and elsewhere of the Las Vegas hotel massacre, including false information about the shooter's political affiliation.
October 4, 2017: Senate Intelligence Committee leaders say political candidates should expect further efforts to Russian meddle and sow chaos in elections in November and 2018.  Committee chairman Richard Burr complains that the committee has "hit a wall" in an attempt to verify the Steele dossier because Steele will not talk to them.
October 5, 2017: Papadopoulos pleads guilty to making false statements to the FBI abut his contacts with Mifsud.  He agrees to cooperate with Mueller's investigation. 
October 6, 2017: Steele says he is willing to meet with the Senate Intelligence Committee.
October 9, 2017: Google reveals that Russian operatives exploited YouTube, the DoubleClick ad network and Google searches as part of its election interference.
October 10, 2017: Page tells the Senate Intelligence Committee he will not cooperate and will plead the Fifth Amendment if called to testify. 
October 13, 2017: Priebus is interviewed by Mueller's team. 
October 13, 2017: Manafort's business dealings with Deripaska total about $60 million over the past decade, more than previously disclosed, reports NBC News.
October 15, 2017: The Trump campaign spent more than $1.1 million on legal fees in the third quarter of the year, a sharp increase coinciding with the escalation of Russian scandal investigations.
October 16, 2017: Lawyers for Fusion GPS, which contracted with Steele to assemble his dossier, send a scathing letter to Nunes, who has issued subpoenas to the firm despite having recused himself from the House Intelligence Committee investigation.  They accuse him of a "pattern of unprofessional conduct" and say they will advise Fusion GPS to not cooperate.
October 19, 2017: CIA Director Mike Pompeo falsely asserts that U.S. intelligence agencies determined that Russian election interference did not alter the outcome.
October 19, 2017: Trump suggests that Russia, the FBI and Democrats could have underwritten the Steele dossier.  He offers no evidence.
October 19, 2017: Putin defends Trump in a speech, calling on Americans to stop showing him "disrespect."
October 20, 2017: Trump pledges at least $430,000 of his own money to help cover aides' Russia investigation legal costs, raising ethical and obstruction-of-justice concerns.
October 24, 2017: The Clinton campaign and DNC helped fund the research that resulted in the Steele dossier, reports The Washington Post. 
October 25, 2017: House Republicans announce investigations into unproven allegations that the Clinton Foundation received donations in exchange for Clinton's support as secretary of state for a business deal giving Russia control over a larger share of the U.S. uranium production and another into how the FBI investigated Clinton's use of a private email server while she was secretary of state.
October 27, 2017: A federal grand jury in Washington approves the first charges brought by Mueller.
October 27, 2017: Trump tweets that "It is now commonly agreed, after many months of costly looking, that there were no collusion between Russia and Trump. Was collusion with HC!"
October 29, 2017: Trump, in a series of angry tweets, demands that Clinton be pursued more forcefully by congressional investigators, writing "Do something!" 
October 30, 2017: Mueller announces that Papadopoulos has pleaded guilty 
to lying to the FBI about contacts with Mifsud, while Manafort and Gates have been indicted for conspiring against the U.S. for money laundering and tax and foreign lobbying violations.  They enter not guilty pleas.  The White House says the announcements have nothing to do with the president's campaign or campaign activity and there is no evidence of collusion.
October 30, 2017: Russian agents intending to sow discord among Americans during the election campaign disseminated inflammatory posts that reached 126 million Facebook users, published more than 131,000 Twitter messages and uploaded over 1,000 YouTube videos, according to information provided Congress by Facebook, Twitter and Google. 
November 2, 2017: Page, in testimony before the House Intelligence Committee, finally admits to meeting with Russian government officials during a July 2016 trip to Moscow. 
November 2, 2017: At least six members of the Russian government involved in the DNC hacking have been identified and evidence is being assembled to charge them, reports The Wall Street Journal.
November 3, 2017: Trump presses the Justice Department to investigate his political opponents, claiming that Democrats were the ones who acted corruptly during the election, as three House Republicans file a resolution calling on Mueller to recuse himself because of conflicts of interest.
November 5, 2017: Commerce Secretary Ross hid business tries to close allies of Putin and continues to have a significant interest in a Russian shipping firm, reports The New York Times.
November 5, 2017: Veselnitskaya claims in a Moscow interview that Donald Jr. had told her at the June 9, 2016 meeting that key sanctions against Russia might be lifted in what seems to be a tacit exchange for Russian help in his father's campaign.
November 8, 2017: Longtime Trump associate and confidante Keith Schiller tells the House Intelligence Committee that salacious claims in the Steele dossier are false.
November 10, 2017: Mueller is investigating the role played by Flynn and son Michael Jr. in an alleged plot to kidnap Fetullah Gulen, a Muslim cleric living legally in the U.S., and send him to Turkey in exchange up to $15 million, reports The Wall Street Journal.  It is later reported by The Daily Beast that securing Zarrab's release was to be part of the plot.  
November 11~12, 2017: Trump, after an informal meeting with Putin at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation conference in Vietnam, says that the Russian leader believes he is sincere in his denials of election interference.  He later angrily asserts that questions about the interference are a politically motivated "artificial Democratic hit job" hindering cooperation with Russia, calls Comey a proven "liar" and "leaker," and says that former top U.S. intelligence officials who concluded that interference took place are "political hacks" before later walking back the jab.
November 12, 2017: Brennan and Clapper say Trump is being played by Putin and accuse him of being susceptible to foreign leaders who stroke his ego. 
November 12, 2017: Responding to Trump's latest attack on him, Comey quotes a English Baptist sermon, tweeting "If you want truth to go around the world you must hire an express train to pull it; but if you want a lie to go around the world, it will fly; it is light as a feather and a breath will carry it."
November 13, 2017: RT officially registers as a foreign agent, complying under protest with a Justice Department deadline.
November 14, 2017: Sessions, testifying before the House Judiciary Committee, states he has "always told the truth regarding Trump campaign contacts with Russians but now recalls a discussion with Papadopoulos about such contacts.
Mid-November 2017: Kushner is questioned about Flynn by Mueller's team. 
November 16, 2017: Senate Judiciary Committee leaders charge that Kushner failed to disclose to the committee in July 24 testimony that he received and forwarded WikiLeaks emails, including Torshin's May 2016 proposal of a meeting between Putin and Trump.
November 22, 2017: Flynn lawyer Robert Kelner informs Trump lawyer John Dowd that he can no longer discuss Mueller's investigation with Dowd and his colleagues, a sign that Flynn is negotiating with the special counsel.  Meanwhile, Zarrab is said to be cooperating with investigators and could provide incriminating evidence against Flynn.
November 25, 2017: Putin signs a bill allowing the Russian government to list foreign news outlets as foreign agents in retaliation for the U.S. similarly listing Russian-government backed news outlets.  Hours later, Trump in a tweet praises Fox News, calls CNN "fake news," and says CNN International represents "our nation to the world very poorly."   
November 27, 2017: Kelner meets with Mueller's team. 
November 28, 2017: Zarrab pleads guilty and will testify against a co-dendant.
November 28, 2017: Randy Credico, a comedian who has run frequently for New York state offices and his an admirer of Assange, tweets that he has been subpoenaed to appear before the House Intelligence Committee.  Credico appears to be the link between WikiLeaks and Stone, who had advance knowledge about hacked Clinton emails.  
November 30, 2017: Prince testifies before the House Intelligence Committee in a closed session.  He offers blanket denials of any involvement in or awareness of Trump campaign-Russia dealings..
November 30, 2017: Schiff says Sessions would not answer directly where Trump ever asked him to hinder the Russia investigation during a closed House Intelligence Committee session on November 14.
November 30, 2017: Manafort, who has been under house arrest since his indictment, offers four properties his lawyers claim are worth $11.65 million as bail. 
December: Sessions reportedly begins pushing Wray to oust McCabe, alleging ties to Democratic politicians.  Wray reportedly threatens to resign.
December 1, 2017: Flynn, who says he is cooperating with Mueller, enters a guilty plea to a single count of lying to FBI agents about his backchannel communications with Kislyak during the presidential transition.  Court documents show that Flynn's communications were part of a coordinated effort by aides running the transition and, in at least one instance, he was directed by a "very senior member" of the transition team regarding the communications.
December 2, 2017: Trump says he is not worried about what Flynn might tell Mueller.  "What has been sown is no collusion, no collusion.  There has been absolutely no collusion.  So we're very happy."
December 3, 2017: In a predawn tweet, Trump denies that he asked him to halt his investigation into Flynn, saying it is "Just more Fake News covering another Comey lie!"  He later tweets that the FBI's reputation is "in tatters." 
December 3, 2017: Kushner, in yet another security clearance application omission, failed to disclose his role as co-director of the Charles and Seryl Kushner Foundation from 2006 to 2015, a period when the group funded an Israeli settlement considered to be illegal under international law, reports Newsweek.
December 4, 2017: Dowd says Trump knew in late January, more than two weeks before he fired Flynn, that the then-national security adviser had probably given the FBI the same inaccurate information he provided to Pence about a December 29, 2016 call to Kislyak.
December 4, 2017: Manafort and a Russian colleague with intelligence service ties believed to be Kilimnik were ghost-writing an English-language op-ed piece about Manafort's work for Ukraine in violation of a court order banning him from making statements to the press, Mueller's office says in a court filing.  Judge Amy Berman Jackson reprimands Manafort's lawyer, Kevin Downing, saying "This is a criminal trial, not a public relations campaign."
December 5, 2017: The conservative group Judicial Watch says internal Justice Department emails show that Andrew Weissman, a senior prosecutor assigned to Mueller's team, is biased against Trump and calls for the entire investigation to be shut down. 
December 6, 2017: A resolution from  liberal Democrat to impeach Trump is tabled by a 364-58 vote.  Democratic leaders say it is premature to consider impeachment.
December 6, 2017: In over seven hours of testimony before the House Intelligence Committee, Donald Jr. refuses to say what he and his father discussed after the June 9, 2016 Trump Tower meeting.
December 7, 2017: Wray, appearing before the House Judiciary Committee, defend's the FBI's integrity in response to hostile questioning from Republicans.  He declines to discuss an investigation by the Justice Department's inspector general into the FBI's investigation into Clinton's private email server  that now includes looking into why Strzok was transferred from Mueller's team.
December 7, 2017: The Republican dominated House Committee on Ethics clears Nunes of wrongdoing related to accusations that he improperly disclosed classified information in an effort to bolster Trump's false claim that Obama had personally ordered that his Trump Tower phones be tapped. 
December 7~8, 2017: Hicks is interviewed by Mueller's investigators, including her role in formulating a statement for Donald Jr. about the June 9, 2016 meeting. 
December 8, 2017: The Trump administration says it will levy new sanctions on Russia to try to force it to comply with a Cold War-era nuclear arms treaty it has violated by deploying a banned cruise missile.
December 12, 2017: PolitiFact names Trump's claim that Russian election interference is a "made-up" story" its "Lie of the Year." 
December 13, 2017: Rosenstein, testifying before the House Judiciary Committee in open session, defends Mueller in allegations that bis might being affecting this investigation.  He states that he had not seen good cause to fire Mueller.
December 14, 2017: Trump lawyer Kory Langhofer accuses Mueller of illegally obtaining emails and other documents involving the transition team in one of the mounting attacks on the investigation.  In a rare public statement, a Mueller spokesman defends how the materials were obtained.
December 15, 2017: Trump again castigates the FBI and dismisses the Russia investigation as a "scam" before departing to address the FBI at its  Quantico, Virginia training academy.
Mid-December 2017: Rosenstein, visiting the White House to enlist Trump's support in fighting off document demands from Nunes and the House Intelligence Committee, undercuts him and wants to know if he is "on my team." 
December 17, 2017: Trump says he has no plans to fire Mueller. 
December 17, 2017: Putin phones Trump to thank him for a tip from the CIA that apparently thwarted a terror attack in St. Petersburg.  The FSB says it arrested the terrorists, whom it says were connected to ISIS, in raids on December 13~14.
December 18, 2017: The Senate Intelligence Committee orders members of Stein's Green Party campaign to turn over documents relating to the committee's investigation on Russian election interference.
December 18, 2017: Clapper, appearing on CNN, says Putin treats Trump like an "asset."
December 19, 2017: Donald Jr., in a speech in Palm Beach, Florida, suggests top government officials are working to undermine his father's administration, an apparent allusion to "deep state" conspiracy theories pushed by Republicans seeking Mueller's ouster.
December 20, 2017: Mark Warner, Democratic vice chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, describes attacks on Mueller as "reckless, inappropriate" and "extremely worrying."
December 20, 2017: In a policy shift, the Trump administration sanctions Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov and four other high-profile individual with ties to Russia under the Magnitsky Act.
December 22, 2017: Some 22 former U.S. attorneys, who served under presidents from Nixon to Obama, say in an open letter that it is "critical" to the "interests of justice and public trust" that Mueller must be allowed to continue his investigation unimpeded.
December 26, 2017: Trump again attacks the Steele dossier, tweeting that "Dossier is bogus.  Clinton campaign, DNC funded Dossier . . . And [the FBI] used this Crooked Hillary pile of garbage as the basis for going after the Tump Campaign!"
December 28, 2017: Trump, in an impromptu interview with The New York Times, says he believes Mueller will treat him fairly, contradicting some Republicans, and repeatedly insists there has been no collusion.
December 29, 2017: The Trump administration grants Deutsche Bank and four other megabanks temporary multi-year waivers of punishment for their prior convictions for manipulating global interest rates. 
December 30, 2017: The State Department releases emails from Abdein found by the FBI on Weiner's laptop, some of which were considered to be classified at the time.
December 31, 2017: Nunes may be wielding his influence as chairman of the House Intelligence Committee to block critical lines of inquiry into the scandal despite his public recusal from the probe, reports The Washington Post.
Late December 2017: Mueller, meeting with Trump lawyers Dowd and Sekulow, raises the likelihood he will want to interview the president, triggering a discussion among Trump's attorneys about how to avoid a sit-down encounter or set limits on one.  Mueller indicates that of especial interest to his investigation are the circumstances surrounding the firings of Flynn and Comey.  
January 2, 2018: Trump tweets that the Justice Department should prosecute Comey and prosecute and jail Abedin for confidential State Department emails found on Weiner's laptop.  He tweets "Jail!  Deep State Justice Dept must finally act?" 
January 2, 2018: The founders of Fusion GPS call for the full release of their testimony before congressional committees investigating the scandal, most of which has not been made public.  
January 3, 2018: Bannon is quoted as saying in Fire and Fury -- a new tell-all book by Michael Wolff -- on the Trump White House that the June 9, 2016 meeting involving Donald Jr., Kushner and Manafort, "Even if you thought that this was not treasonous, or unpatriotic, or bad shit, and I happen to think it's all of that, you should have called the FBI immediately."  A furious Trump fires back that Bannon "lost his mind" after being dismissed from the White House and had "very little to do" with him winning.
January 3, 2018: Kushner adds still more business interests to his security clearance application that he had not previously disclosed.
January 3, 2018: As Republicans escalate efforts to discredit Mueller's investigation, Manafort sues the special prosecutor over his indictment on business dealings ostensibly having nothing to do with Russian interference in the campaign.  He asks a federal court to narrow Mueller's authority.
January 4, 2018: Trump private lawyer Charles Harder unsuccessfully seeks a cease-and-desist order to stop publication of Fire and Fury while Bannon is accused of breaching a confidentiality agreement with the White House.
January 4, 2018: Leaders of the House Freedom Caucus, a right-wing Republican group, call on Sessions to resign because he has not sufficiently defended Trump or protected him from investigations into his Russia ties.
January 4, 2018: In a letter to Rosenstein, Nunes suggests that the House Intelligence Committee is expanding its investigation to include the Justice Department's handling of the Russia investigation.
January 5, 2018: Escalating the conservative pushback over the scandal, Senate Judiciary Committee Republicans, led by Grassley and Graham, tell the Justice Department they have reason to believe Steele lied to federal authorities, possibly the FBI, about contacts with reporters concerning his dossier in the committee's first criminal referral.
January 5, 2018: Federal law enforcement authorities are actively investigating the Clinton Foundation, something that Trump has long called for, and whether Hillary Clinton as secretary of state exchanged policy favors or special access for contributions to the charity, according to media reports.
January 6, 2018: Trump insists at a Camp David news conference that he is not under investigation, saying  "There's been no collusion, no crime . . . Everything I've done is 100 percent proper."
January 7, 2018: Bannon, finding himself cut off from political allies and financial patrons, apologizes to the president, calling Donald Jr. "both a patriot and a good man." 
January 9, 2018: Feinstein, the ranking Senate Judiciary Committee Democrat, releases the transcript of Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson's closed-door testimony before the committee.  He tells lawmakers, among other things, that Steele had "a Sterling reputation as a person who doesn't exaggerate" and said he believed Steele had unearthed "a security issue about whether a presidential candidate was being blackmailed," a reference to Trump.
January 9, 2018: Bannon is subpoenaed to testify before Mueller's grand jury, the first time the special prosecutor has used a grand jury to seek information from a member of Trump's inner circle.   
January 9, 2018: Cohen, depicted as a central figure in the Russia scandal, files defamation lawsuits against Fusion GPS and BuzzFeed News in what is viewed as part of the conservative pushback in defense of Trump. 
January 10, 2018: Democrats on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee release a report outlining Putin's decades-long efforts to undermine democracy and issue warnings that the Kremlin will likely move to influence upcoming U.S. elections.   
January 10, 2018: Trump responds to the Fusion GPS transcript release in a tweet, calling Feinstein "sneaky."  He urges Republicans to "take control" of the scandal investigation. 
January 10, 2018: Trump declines to commit to an interview with Mueller, reversing a position he took last year, saying "For 11 months they've had this phony cloud over this administration, over our government . . . it's a Democratic hoax."
January 10, 2018: Manafort and Gates are sued in a New York state court by a Cyprus-based company tied to Deripaska, accusing the men of misappropriating more than $18.9 million that the company had invested in Ukrainian telecoms. 
January 16, 2018: Bannon, invoking presidential executive privilege, refuses to answer most questions during a contentious closed 10-hour hearing before the House Intelligence Committee.  
January 17, 2018: Bannon reaches an agreement with Mueller to be interviewed, according to media reports. 
January 17, 2018: Sessions becomes the first member of Trump's Cabinet to be interviewed by Mueller's investigators. 
January 17, 2018: Mueller's team and the Senate Intelligence Committee are examining hundreds of newly uncovered payments from Kislyak and other Russian diplomats marked as suspicious by U.S. banks that may be connected to the scandal, reports BuzzFeed News.
January 17, 2018: A PBS-NPR-Marist poll finds that Americans say, by a 68 percent to 14 percent margin, that Mueller should be allowed to finish his investigation. 
January 18, 2018: Mueller and the FBI are investigating whether Torshin illegally funneled money to the NRA to help Trump, according to a McClatchy News Service report.
January 18, 2018: The House Intelligence Committee releases a transcript of Simpson's closed-door testimony before the committee.  He tells lawmakers, among other things, that Russians "infiltrated" the NRA.
January 18, 2018: House Intelligence Committee Republicans, continuing their pushback and led by Nunes, 
circulate but do not release a classified memo criticizing the FBI investigation of Russia's election meddling.  The memo claims that a FISA Court warrant application by the FBI in the fall of 2016 to wiretap Page was improper because it was based, in part, on information in the Steele dossier, which was financed by the Clinton campaign and DNC.    Democrats respond that the memo is a political stunt.  
January 21, 2018: #SchumerShutdown, the hashtag that Republican leaders and the White House are using to accuse Democrats of causing the government shutdown, becomes the top trending hashtag being promoted by Russian bots and trolls on Twitter.
January 23, 2018: Top congressional Democrats call on Facebook and Twitter to investigate what they call Russian efforts to promote the release of the classified memo criticizing the FBI investigation of Russia's election meddling. 
January 24, 2018: Trump says he would agree to an interview with Mueller while sidestepping the question of whether he would do so under oath.  "I would love to do it, and I would like to do it as soon as possible.  I would do it under oath, absolutely. . . . "Here's the story, just so you understand," he said during an impromptu question-and-answer session with reporters.  "There's been no collusion whatsoever.  There's been no obstruction whatsoever, and I'm looking forward to it."
January 24, 2018: Associate AG Stephen Boyd states that releasing the classified memo would be "extraordinarily reckless," jeopardizing the sources and methods used to collect the information in it.
January 24, 2018: Russian-linked trolls are using Fox News host Sean Hannity's website to bolster the campaign to undermine Mueller, reports Newsweek. 
January 25, 2018: Democrats renew calls for legislation to protect Mueller after The New York Times publishes a story that Trump ordered Mueller to be fired in June 2017.  Trump denies the story, calling it "fake news."
January 26, 2018: Trump, en route to Davos, Switzerland for the World Economic Forum aboard Air Force One, erupts in anger after learning that Boyd had warned that releasing the classified memo would be "extraordinarily reckless."  The president views the warning as yet another example of the Justice Department undermining him and stymieing congressional Republicans. 
January 29, 2018: McCabe, the frequent target of attacks from Trump, announces he is stepping down immediately.  Wray suggests that the departure of McCabe, who was scheduled to retire in March, was in part due to an upcoming FBI inspector general's report about the Clinton email investigation. 
January 29, 2018: House Intelligence Committee Republicans, backed by Trump, vote along party lines to release the classified memo.  Under an obscure rule, Trump has five days to stop the release for national security reasons.
January 29, 2018: Wray and Rosenstein meet with Kelly at the White House in an effort to prevent release of the classified memo.
January 29, 2018: The Trump administration finally accedes to one aspect of a congressional mandate stemming from new sanctions passed in July with near unanimity in response to election interference.  The administration publishes a list of Russian politicians and oligarchs, but says it has decided not to punish anyone under the new sanctions.  The list, for the most part, appears to have been copied from a Forbes magazine ranking of Russian billionaires, and some of the individuals named have been Putin victims.  
January 29, 2018: Veselnitskaya and other Russian participants in the June 9, 2016 Trump Tower meeting attempted to enlist a Swiss law enforcement official as a virtual double agent, according to reports in two Swiss newspapers.  The interest of Veselnitskaya and the others may have had to do with Veselnitskaya's efforts to weaken or get rid of the Magnitsky Act.  A large amount of the funds that Magnitsky had said were stolen in a massive tax fraud scheme are believed to have made their way to Switzerland, information gleaned by Perepilichnyy before his 2012 death under suspicious circumstances.  The Swiss agent, identified only as "K," has been fired. 
January 30, 2018: Trump states that he "100 percent" supports release of the classified memo after giving his State of the Union address.
January 31, 2018: The FBI issues a statement forcefully arguing against release of the classified memo.  "[W]e have grave concerns about the material omissions of fact that fundamentally impact the memo's accuracy," the statement says.
January 31, 2018: Schiff accuses Nunes of making "material changes" to the classified memo before sending it to the White House to approve public release, a move he charges should prevent Trump from releasing it.
January 31, 2018: Trump's campaign and the RNC paid a total of $5.5 in legal bills during 2017, according to a Federal Election Commission filing.
February 1, 2018: Although it is highly unusual for a president to advocate the release of classified information, Trump plans to tell Congress he has no objections to releasing the memo without any redactions although the intelligence community and congressional Democrats oppose its release.  Wray reportedly threatens to resign. 
February 2, 2018: The four-page classified memo is released. 
February 2, 2018: Schiff, who says he has examined the intelligence underlying the FISA application savaged in the classified memo, states in an unreleased 10-page classified response that the memo was politically motivated.  Committee Republicans vote against releasing Schiff's response, warning that it might contain too much classified information to permit its release.
February 2, 2018: McCain issues a blistering statement, saying "The latest attacks against the FBI and Department of Justice serve no American interests -- no party's, no President's, only Putin's."
February 2, 2018: McFarland, embroiled in the Russia scandal, withdraws her nomination to become ambassador to Singapore.
February 3, 2018: The president tweets that the classified memo "totally vindicates Trump" in the investigation into Russian election interference and campaign collusion.
February 4, 2018: Four Republican members of the House Intelligence Committee, appearing on Sunday talk shows, dispute the classified memo's findings and say it does not vindicate Trump.   Brennan blasts the memo and accuses Nunes of abusing his power by selectively releasing information to accuse FBI officials of improperly obtaining a FISA warrant.
February 5, 2018: In a tweet, Trump refers to Schiff as "little Adam Schiff" and calls him one of the "biggest liars and leakers in Washington." He says Schiff "must be stopped," but does not elaborate.
February 5, 2018: Grassley releases a heavily redacted version of a memo alleging that Steele misled the FBI that he had sent to the Justice Department on behalf of the Senate Judiciary Committee on January 5. 
February 5, 2018: The House Intelligence Committee votes unanimously to release the Schiff response.  Trump has five days to stop the release for national security reasons. 
February 5, 2018: Lawyers for Trump have advised him against sitting down for an interview with Mueller, reports The New York Times.
February 6, 2018: Tillerson warns that Russia already is meddling in the 2018 midterm elections and the U.S. is inadequately prepared to counter that threat. 
February 9, 2018: Trump blocks release of the Schiff response, citing national security concerns although it had been reviewed by the FBI and Justice Department.  Democrats denounce the move as politically motivated hypocrisy. 
February 9, 2018: Rachel Brand, the number three person at the Justice Department, announces she is stepping down for a private-sector job.  NBC News reports Brand wanted to avoid any possibility that she would have to oversee the Russia investigation if Mueller was fired.
February 9, 2018: The resignations of two senior officials prominently discussed in text messages exchanged by FBI personnel formerly assigned to the Russia investigation are announced: Mike Kortan, FBI assistant director for public affairs, and David Laufman, chief of the Justice Department's counterintelligence and export control section.
February 10, 2018: Democrats say they will redact the Schiff memo in an effort to meet Trump's security concerns. 
February 12, 2018: Grassley and Graham, in conjunction with their concerns about FBI conduct, say they have questions about Rice's January 20, 2017 email concerning a January 5, 2017 White House meeting. 
February 13, 2018: In a striking contrast to Trump's view, intelligence agency chiefs tell the Senate Intelligence Committee that Russia is likely to meddle in the 2018 midterm elections to sow further political and social divisions. 
Week of February 11: Bannon spends 20 hours in interviews with Mueller, according to published reports. 
February 14, 2018: Russia-linkd bots flood Twitter following the Parkland, Florida school shootings with stories arguing that mental health and not guns are to blame.
February 15, 2018: The U.S. joins Britain in formally blaming Russia for a huge cyberattack last June aimed at Ukraine but crippled computers worldwide.
February 15, 2018: Russian authorities block the website of prominent opposition leader Aleksei A. Navalny, as well as his American service providers, Instagram and YouTube, after he refused a court order to remove a posted video accusing Sergei E. Prikhodko, a high-ranking official, of accepting a bribe from Deripaska. 
February 16, 2018: In the first charges directly related to election meddling, Mueller indicts 13 Russian nationals and three Russian organizations, including the Internet Research Agency, for illegally using social media through the Translator Project to sow political discord in the 2016 election. These included actions that supported Trump's candidacy and disparaged Clinton. 
February 16, 2018: Trump tweets that no members of his campaign were implicated in the indictment: "Russia started their anti-US campaign in 2014, long before I announced that I would run for President.  The results of the election were not impacted. The Trump campaign did nothing wrong -- no collusion!"
Read more here: 18, 2018: Mueller and the FBI are investigating whether Torshin illegally funneled money to the NRA to help Trump win the presidency, reports the McClatchy News Service.     

SOURCES: ABC News,, Alliance for Securing Democracy, The Atlantic, The Associated Press, Bloomberg News, Business Insider, BuzzFeed News, CBS News, CNBC, CNN, Capital Alpha Security, "Collusion: Secret Meetings, Dirty Money, and How Russia Helped Donald Trump Win" (Luke Harding, 2017), Daily Caller, El Pais (Spain), Engadget The Financial Times, Foreign Policy, Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel, The Guardian, The Hill, HuffPost, The Independent UK, The Intercept, The Japan Times, Just Security,  Krebson Security, Los Angeles Times, McClatchy News Service, Mashable, The Moscow Project, Mother Jones, Moyers & Company, Narativ, NBC News, National Public Radio, Newsweek, New York magazine, The New Yorker, New York Review of Books, NewsMax Media, The New Republic, The New York Times, "Orders to Kill: The Putin Regime and Political Murder" (Amy Knight, 2017), The Palmer Report, Paste magazine, Philadelphia Inquirer, Politico, PolitiFact, PostimusMaximus, ProPublica, RagePath, Real Estate Weekly, "The Red Web" (Andrei Soldatov and Irina Borogan, 2015, 2017), Reuters, Roll Call, Russia Today Network, Salon, Scribd, Slate, Small Wars Journal, Christopher Steele-Orbis Business Intelligence, Tages-Anzeiger (Switzerland), Talking Points Memo, ThinkProgress, Time, The Village Voice, Vox, WNYC New York, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Washington Times, The Watchdog Report, Wikipedia, Wired magazine, Yahoo! Finance, Yahoo! News, YouTube.