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Timeline of Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections

This is a timeline of major events related to election interference that Russia conducted against the U.S. 2016 elections. It also includes major events related to investigations into suspected inappropriate links between associates of Donald Trump and Russian officials.[1] Those investigations continued in 2017, 2018, and 2019. These events are related to, but distinct from, Russian interference in the 2018 United States elections.

Contents

Relevant individuals and organizationsEdit

This is a list of individuals and organizations that have been involved in the events related to either the election interference that Russia conducted against the 2016 U.S. elections and/or the resulting investigations into suspected inappropriate links between associates of Donald Trump and Russian officials. Seth Abramson estimated more than 400 people could be listed here.[2]:3

A–EEdit

F–KEdit

L–QEdit

R–ZEdit

Before Donald Trump's candidacyEdit

1986Edit

1987Edit

1991Edit

1996Edit

  • Trump returns to Russia, visits Moscow with Howard Lorber and Bennett S. LeBow[14] to scout potential properties for "skyscrapers and hotels",[15] registers his trademark, and makes connections with the development company Bayrock Group (which would result in Trump Soho) and Felix Sater, who became crucial to later Trump Moscow talks.[16][12] Trump subsequently announces a plan to invest $250 million in Russia and brand two luxury residential buildings in Moscow, which doesn't come to fruition.[2]:14

2000Edit

2001–2004Edit

2004Edit

2005Edit

  • Trump gives Bayrock Group an exclusive deal to build a Trump-branded property in Moscow.[21]
  • Kilimnik leaves the IRI to work for Manafort in Ukraine.[20]
  • June: Paul Manafort and his business partner Rick Davis propose a plan to Deripaska under which they would influence news coverage, business dealings, and politics in the former Soviet Union, Europe, and the United States "to benefit President Vladimir Putin's government." They eventually sign a $10 million contract that starts in 2006 using LOAV Ltd. instead of Davis-Manafort; they maintain a business relationship until at least 2009.[22]

2006Edit

  • At Donald Trump's request, Sater accompanies Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr. on a Moscow trip, and arranges for Ivanka to sit in Putin's office chair during a tour of the Kremlin.[23][2]:17
  • January: Davis introduces Senators John McCain, Saxby Chambliss, and John E. Sununu to Deripaska at the World Economic Forum in Davos. They meet at a private apartment and have dinner at Peter Munk's ski chalet. Later in the month, Deripaska sends Davis and Manafort a letter thanking Davis for arranging the meeting with the senators.[24]
  • August: Davis and Deripaska meet with McCain at a restaurant for a dinner with a dozen people in Montenegro. McCain is there as part of an official Senate trip. Davis is in Montenegro because his firm, Davis-Manafort, assisted the governing party with their recent independence campaign, which was bankrolled by Deripaska, the largest employer in Montenegro. After the dinner, a group including Davis and McCain travel to a nearby yacht on the Adriatic Sea for a party celebrating McCain's 70th birthday.[24][25]

2007Edit

  • Manafort founds Pericles Emerging Markets, an investment fund primarily backed by Deripaska.[26][27]
  • October 15: Trump praises Putin in an interview on CNN.[28]
  • 2007–2012: Manafort receives $12.7 million in undisclosed cash payments from Viktor Yanukovych's pro-Russian Ukrainian Party of Regions.[27]
  • November: Trump attends the Millionaire's Fair in Moscow, where he announces that Trump Vodka will expand its distribution into Russia, his first foray into the Russian market.[29][30][31]

2008Edit

  • 2008:
    • Around 2008, Trump Jr. travels to Russia a half-dozen times in 18 months, looking for deals.[32]
    • Deripaska transfers $18.9 million to Pericles Emerging Markets to purchase Black Sea Cable. It is unclear what happened to the money: Deripaska demands an accounting of the funds in 2013, sues Pericles in 2014, and sues Manafort in 2018.[26][27][33]
    • A spokesperson for Deripaska denies he ever hired Manafort's consulting company.[22]
  • July: Trump sells the Palm Beach estate Maison de L'Amitie to Russian oligarch Dmitry Rybolovlev for a record $95 million. Trump bought the property for $41.35 million three years earlier and made only minor improvements.[34]
  • September: Trump Jr., then an executive vice president of The Trump Organization, says, "Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets, say, in Dubai, and certainly with our project in SoHo and anywhere in New York. We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia."[35][36][37]
  • November: Davis-Manafort is disbanded shortly after the presidential election.[38]

2010Edit

2011Edit

2012Edit

2013Edit

  • Apparent security hackers gain access to the Trump Organization's domain registrar account at GoDaddy and register hundreds of "shadow" subdomains with IP addresses located at a company in St. Petersburg Russia known for hosting websites containing malware. In November 2017, the subdomains disappeared after the Trump Organization was notified of the issue, although the company denies that any breach occurred. August is specifically noted.[52]
  • January: Carter Page, a petroleum industry consultant, passes documents about the oil market to Victor Podobnyy, a Russian intelligence agent. He later claims the documents were public information. Podobnyy is charged with being an unregistered foreign agent in 2015.[53]
  • March 13: The FBI interviews Manafort about his offshore business dealings.[54]
  • March 19: Manafort has dinner with Rohrabacher as part of his lobbying efforts for the government of Ukraine. Vin Weber, a partner at Mercury Affairs, is also in attendance.[55] Three days later, Manafort gives Rohrabacher a $1,000 campaign contribution.[56] Richard Gates, Manafort's deputy, pleads guilty in 2018 to lying about the meeting to the FBI.[55]
  • April 13: Two agents of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) discuss recruiting Page.[57][58]
  • May 3–5: Butina and Torshin attend the NRA convention in Houston, Texas.[59][60]
  • June 15–18: Attending the Miss USA 2013 pageant, Trump dines with Aras Agalarov, Emin Agalarov, and Rob Goldstone in Las Vegas.[61] The next day he announces that Miss Universe 2013 will be held in Moscow.[61] He sends Putin a letter inviting him to the pageant[62] and asks on Twitter whether the Russian president will be his "new best friend".[63]
  • July 3: Carter Page schedules a dinner with potential investor Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg to pitch his fledgling natural gas business. It is unclear whether the meeting took place.[25]
  • August:
    • Eric Trump tells author James Dodson, "We don't rely on American banks [...] We have all the funding we need out of Russia", and says, "We go there all the time". In May 2017, Eric Trump calls this "fabricated" and an example of why people distrust the media.[64][35][65][66][67]
  • August 25: Page sends a letter to an academic press in which he claims to be an adviser to the Kremlin.[68]
  • Early October: Butina makes a presentation on "Right to Bear Arms" to the Association for the Promotion of Weapons Culture in Israel. Her presentation includes a slide claiming her organization has cooperation agreements with similar organizations in Kazakhstan, Ukraine, and Estonia, and she informs the group that it also has a cooperation agreement with the NRA. Another slide states it has a cooperation agreement with the International Defensive Pistol Association, which the Texas-based organization denies when asked in 2018.[69]
  • October 17: In an appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman, Donald Trump says he has conducted "a lot of business with the Russians" and that he has met President Vladimir Putin.[70][71]
  • Early November: Keene, Alan Gottlieb, Gottlieb's wife, and Paul Erickson attend the "Right to Bear Arms" conference in Moscow where they meet with Butina and Torshin.[72][43][73] Gottlieb and Keene are invited speakers at the event.[74][49][75] Gottlieb and his wife dine with Torshin and Butina, and receive "gifts that [display] research into their interests." In 2017, Gottlieb tells the Washington Post, "They wanted to keep communications open and form friendships."[43]
  • November 9–11: The Trump-owned Miss Universe pageant is held in Moscow, sponsored by Sberbank.[64] According to various reports, the event's $20 million licensing fee is paid by a Moscow real estate development firm called the Crocus Group, whose president is Aras Agalarov and vice president is his son, pop singer Emin Agalarov.[29][76] One VIP guest is Alimzhan Tokhtakhounov, an alleged Russian mobster and fugitive who was recently indicted for running a high-stakes illegal gambling ring out of a Trump Tower apartment in New York City.[77] While Putin does not attend, the event is attended by Vladimir Kozhin,[78] the head of the Kremlin's property department,[79] which is responsible for development projects.[80] After the event, Trump tells Real Estate Weekly, "the Russian market is attracted to me. I have a great relationship with many Russians".[35][81] During the trip, Trump meets Herman Gref, the CEO of state-controlled Sberbank, Russia's largest bank, and other oligarchs close to Putin.[82] Agalarov and Gref co-host a dinner for Trump at the Moscow branch of Nobu, which is owned by Agalarov.[83] Afterwards, Trump tweets to Agalarov, "I had a great weekend with you and your family. You have done a FANTASTIC job. TRUMP TOWER-MOSCOW is next."[83][84]
  • November 12: The Moscow Times reports that Trump is in talks with Russian companies to build a new Trump tower in Moscow.[85]
  • November 21: The Ukrainian crisis starts when President Yanukovych suspends preparations for the implementation of an association agreement with the European Union.
  • December 10: John Bolton promotes gun rights in Russia in a video made for Butina's "Right to Bear Arms" organization.[86][59]
  • December 23: Trump, Trump Jr., Emin Agalarov, and Kaveladze reach an agreement for the Trump Tower Moscow project under which the Trump Organization would receive a 3.5% commission on all sales.[87]:67–68

2014Edit

  • 2014:
    • Butina tells an American Facebook friend who complained about California's gun restrictions that he should "hold demonstrations" for gun rights.[88]
    • Patten provides lobbying and consulting services to the Ukrainian Opposition Bloc political party and Lyovochkin, a party leader, without registering as a foreign agent. He travels many times to Ukraine to meet with Lyovochkin and Kilimnik.[89]
    • Patten works for Cambridge Analytica to hone their microtargeting operations during the 2014 midterm elections.[90]
  • Before January 24: The Crocus Group sends The Trump Organization a proposal to build a 194-meter tall building with 800 units at the Crocus City site in Moscow where the Miss Universe pageant was held.[87]:68
  • February 1–4: Kushner and Ivanka Trump travel to Russia on a four-day trip at the invitation of Dasha Zhukova, a longtime friend of Ivanka and the wife of Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich.[91] They attend a gala fundraiser for the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center in Moscow along with Vekselberg, other oligarchs, Russian government officials, and their families.[91] Ivanka and Emin Agalarov tour the proposed Trump Tower Moscow site at Crocus City.[87]:68 In 2016–17, Kushner omits the trip from his security clearance applications.[91]
  • February 10: In a Fox and Friends phone interview, Trump says Putin contacted him while he was in Moscow for the Miss Universe pageant.[92]
  • March 6:
  • March 21: Trump posts two tweets praising Putin regarding "Russian Empire"[95][96] on the day the Russian Federal Assembly ratifies the Treaty on Accession of the "Republic of Crimea", formalizing the annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation.
  • April: The Russian Internet Research Agency (IRA) creates a department called the "translator project". The department's focus is on interfering in the U.S. election.[97][98]
  • April 12: Asked about Putin by Eric Bolling on the Fox News show Cashin' In, Trump says Putin has taken the mantle from Obama. He continues, "Interestingly, I own the Miss Universe pageant, and we just left Moscow. He could not have been nicer. He was so nice and so everything. But you have to give him credit that what he's doing for that country in terms of their world prestige is very strong."[99]
  • April 24: Butina presents NRA president Jim Porter with an honorary membership in "Right to Bear Arms".[100][101]
  • April 25–27: Butina and Torshin attend the NRA annual conference in Indianapolis. Butina attends several meetings as a guest of Keene.[72][102]
  • May: The IRA begins its election interference campaign of "spread[ing] distrust towards the candidates and the political system in general."[97][98]
  • May 27: Speaking at a National Press Club luncheon, Trump again claims to have spoken to Putin. "I own the Miss Universe [pageant]. I was in Russia. I was in Moscow recently. And I spoke indirectly and directly with President Putin who could not have been nicer. And we had a tremendous success."[103]
  • June 3: Kaveladze emails Trump Jr. and others about design elements and architectural details for Trump Tower Moscow.[87]:68
  • June 4–26: Aleksandra Krylova and Anna Bogacheva, two IRA employees, travel to the U.S. to collect intelligence. Maria Bovda, a third employee, is denied a visa.[97] All three are indicted in February 2018 for their work on election interference.[98]
  • June 10: Trump Jr. emails Kaveladze and others about design elements and architectural details for Trump Tower Moscow.[87]:68
  • June 16: Trump Jr. emails Kaveladze and others again about design elements and architectural details for Trump Tower Moscow.[87]:68
  • July 2: The FBI interviews Richard Gates about his international business dealings.[54]
  • July 7: The Trump Organization sends Crocus Group a set of questions about the "demographics of these prospective buyers" in the area around the proposed Trump Tower Moscow site, the development of neighboring parcels, and concepts for redesigning portions of the building.[87]:68
  • July 22: Laurence Levy, a lawyer with the law firm Bracewell & Giuliani, advises Rebekah Mercer, Steve Bannon, and Alexander Nix on the legality of their company, Cambridge Analytica, being involved in U.S. elections. He advises that Nix and any foreign nationals without a green card working for the company not be involved in any decisions about work the company performs for any clients related to U.S. elections. He further advises Nix to recuse himself from any involvement with the company's U.S. election work because he is not a U.S. citizen.[104][105]
  • July 30: The FBI interviews Manafort about his international business dealings.[54]
  • August 4: The Trump Organization requests from Crocus Group the specifications for a Marriott-branded tower under construction near Crocus City.[87]:68
  • Late 2014: Butina resigns from her position as the head of "Right to Bear Arms".[106]
  • September–November: The Trump Organization becomes less and less responsive to emails from the Crocus Group about the Trump Tower Moscow project, with the last response sent on November 24. Discussions end in the planning stage with no construction occurring.[87]:68
  • September 3: Paul Erickson attends a "Right to Bear Arms" forum in Moscow where he is a featured speaker.[72][107][108]
  • September 11: The IRA spreads a hoax they created about a fictitious chemical plant fire in Centerville, St. Mary Parish, Louisiana, purportedly started by ISIS. The hoax includes tweets and YouTube videos showing a chemical plant fire. Centerville is home to many chemical plants, but the plant named in the tweets does not exist. Initial tweets are sent directly to politicians, journalists, and Centerville residents.[109]
  • September 21 – October 11: The Material Evidence art exhibition is displayed at the Art Beam gallery in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York City. It portrays the conflicts in Syria and Ukraine in a pro-Russian light. It is promoted by Twitter accounts that also spread the September 11 chemical plant fire hoax.[109] The exhibition is partly funded by the IRA.[110]
  • November 21: Bruce Ohr and Christopher Steele discuss cultivating Deripaska as a U.S. intelligence asset.[111]
  • November 26–30: An unnamed IRA employee travels to Atlanta.[97][98]
  • December 13:
    • The IRA uses Twitter to spread a hoax about an Ebola outbreak in Atlanta. Many of the Twitter accounts used in the September 11 chemical plant fire hoax also spread this hoax. The hoax includes a YouTube video of medical workers wearing hazmat suits.[109]
    • Using a different set of Twitter accounts, the IRA spreads a hoax about a purported police shooting of an unarmed black woman in Atlanta. The hoax includes a blurry video of the purported event.[109]

January–June 2015Edit

2016 presidential campaignEdit

June–December 2015Edit

  • June 16: Donald Trump announces his candidacy for president.[126]
  • June 17: In an interview on the Fox News show Hannity, Sean Hannity asks Trump if he has talked to Putin. Trump replies, "I don't want to say. But I got to meet all of the leaders. I got to meet all—I mean, everybody was there. It was a massive event. And let me tell you, it was tremendous."[127]
  • Late June: Flynn travels to Egypt and Israel.[123] In September 2017, members of Congress present evidence to Mueller that Flynn's purpose was to promote a Russian-backed plan for the building of 40 nuclear reactors, with "total regional security" to be provided by U.S.-sanctioned Russian weapons exporter Rosoboron.[128][129][130][131]
  • July: Trump receives an invitation to Moscow for the 60th birthday of Aras Agalarov, who co-hosted the Miss Universe pageant with him in 2013.[132]
  • July onward: Thousands of fake Twitter accounts run by the IRA begin to praise Trump over his political opponents by a wide margin, according to a later analysis by The Wall Street Journal.[133][134]
  • July 11: Butina attends FreedomFest in Las Vegas, where Trump is speaking and taking questions. She asks Trump his stance on continuing sanctions; he replies he knows Putin and doesn't think sanctions are needed.[41] Reviewing a video of the encounter, Bannon points out that "Trump had a fully developed answer".[135]
  • July 13: Butina is present at Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's presidential candidacy announcement.[41]
  • July 15: George Papadopoulos contacts Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski about joining the campaign as a policy advisor.[136][87]:81
  • July 24: Rob Goldstone emails Trump's assistant Rhona Graff, suggesting that Emin Agalarov could arrange a meeting between Putin and Trump.[137][138]
  • Summer: Hackers linked to the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) gain access to the Democratic National Committee's computer network.[139] Dutch intelligence services alert their U.S. counterparts that a hacking group known as Cozy Bear has penetrated the Democratic National Committee (DNC) servers.[140]
  • August:
    • Papadopoulos emails Michael Glassner, the executive director of Trump's campaign committee, expressing further interest in joining the campaign as a policy advisor. He continues corresponding with Glassner and Lewandowski for months, but is repeatedly told no position is available for him.[136]
  • August 4–6: Rohrabacher and Behrends travel to Russia.[141] While there, Rohrabacher meets Butina and Torshin for breakfast.[142] In July 2018, Rohrabacher tells Politico he dined with Butina and another congressman accompanying him on the trip.[143]
  • August 8: Roger Stone leaves the Trump campaign. The campaign says it fired Stone, but Stone insists he quit. He subsequently gives the press a resignation letter that the campaign says it never received.[144]
  • August 17: Konstantin Rykov, the founder of the Russian online newspaper Vzglyad, registers two domain names: Trump2016.ru and DonaldTrump2016.ru.[87]:66
  • August 18: Georgi Asatryan of Vzglyad emails Hope Hicks to arrange an in-person or phone interview with Trump. According to the Mueller Report, the proposed interview never occurs.[87]:66
  • August 21: Sessions makes his first appearance at a Trump campaign rally.[145]
  • September:
    • An FBI special agent reports to the DNC that at least one of its computer systems has been hacked by an espionage team linked to the Russian government. The agent is transferred to a tech-support contractor at the help desk, who makes a cursory check of DNC server logs and does not reply to the agent's follow-up calls, allegedly because of a belief that the call might have been a prank.[146]
    • Jill Stein speaks briefly with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at a Russia Today gala in New York City.[147]
    • The FBI and Ohr try to recruit Deripaska as an informant on the Kremlin and Russian organized crime in exchange for a U.S. visa. Steele helped set up the meeting.[111]
    • A New York architect completes plans for a bold glass obelisk 100 stories high in Moscow, with the Trump logo on multiple sides.[148]
  • September–October: The Washington Free Beacon, a conservative website primarily funded by billionaire Paul Singer, hires Fusion GPS to perform opposition research on Trump. Initially a Marco Rubio supporter, Singer continues to fund the research after Rubio withdraws from the race.[149][150]
  • September 11: Trump speaks at the Yalta European Strategy conference in Kiev via satellite. The organizer of the event, Victor Pinchuk, donates $150,000 to Trump's charity, the Trump Foundation.[151][152]
  • Late September: Felix Sater meets with Michael Cohen on behalf of I.C. Expert Investment Company to discuss building a Trump Tower in Moscow. I.C. Expert is a Russian real estate development corporation controlled by Andrei Vladimirovich Rozov. Sater agrees to find a developer and arrange for financing. Sater later contacts Rozov to propose that I.C. Expert work with the Trump Organization on the project.[153][154][87]:69
  • September 21: On Hugh Hewitt's radio program, Trump says, "The oligarchs are under [Putin's] control, to a large extent. I mean, he can destroy them, and he has destroyed some of them... Two years ago, I was in Moscow... I was with the top-level people, both oligarchs and generals, and top-of-the-government people. I can't go further than that, but I will tell you that I met the top people, and the relationship was extraordinary."[155]
  • September 22: Cohen forwards a Trump Tower Moscow preliminary design study to Giorgi Rtskhiladze, who then emails it to his associate Simon Nizharadze, writing, ""[i]f we could organize the meeting in New York at the highest level of the Russian Government and Mr. Trump this project would definitely receive the worldwide attention."[87]:70
  • September 24: Rtskhiladze emails Cohen a draft letter for the Trump Organization to send to the mayor of Moscow, explaining, ""[w]e need to send this letter to the Mayor of Moscow (second guy in Russia) he is aware of the potential project and will pledge his support." Later that day he sends Cohen a translation of the letter that describes Trump Tower Moscow as a "symbol of stronger economic, business and cultural relationships between New York and Moscow and therefore United States and the Russian Federation."[87]:70
  • September 27: Rtskhiladze emails Cohen a proposal for the Trump Organization to partner with Global Development Group LLC on the Trump Tower Moscow project. He describes Global Development as controlled by Nizharadze and the architect Michail Posikhin. In September 2018 Cohen tells Mueller's team that he declined the proposal and decided to continue with Sater's proposed partner, I.C. Expert Investment Company.[87]:69–70
  • October: For his remarks during a cybersecurity forum in Washington, D.C., Flynn receives $11,250 from Kaspersky Government Security Solutions Inc., the American subsidiary of Kaspersky Lab, owned by Eugene Kaspersky.[156][157]
  • October 9: Sater emails Cohen about his plans to meet with and persuade Andrey Molchanov to provide the land for a Trump Tower in Moscow.[153][154]
  • October 12: Cohen has a series of email exchanges with Felix Sater about developing a Trump property in Moscow.[132] Sater tells Cohen that VTB Bank will fund the project, and that his associates will be meeting with Putin and a deputy on October 14.[153][154]
  • October 13: Sater sends Cohen a letter of intent signed by Andrey Rozov for Trump to sign in order to move the Moscow project forward.[158][154]
  • October 28: Trump signs a letter of intent {LOI} to construct a Trump-branded building in Moscow hours before the third Republican presidential debate, a fact made public in August 2017.[159][160][153][154][161] The LOI proposes that the tower have "[a]pproximately 250 first class, luxury residential condominiums" and "[o]ne first class, luxury hotel consisting of approximately 15 floors and containing not fewer than 150 hotel rooms." The Trump Organization would receive 1%–5% of all condominium sales and 3% of all rental and other revenues, and 20% of the operating profit.[87]:71
  • November:
    • Trump associate Felix Sater emails Trump lawyer Michael Cohen: "Michael, I arranged for Ivanka to sit in Putin's private chair at his desk and office in the Kremlin [...] Our boy can become president of the USA and we can engineer it. I will get all of Putin's team to buy in on this".[162][29] Sater also tells Cohen that the Kremlin's VTB Bank is ready to finance a Trump Tower project in Moscow.[64]
  • November 3:
    • In an email to Cohen, Sater predicts that building a Trump Tower in Moscow will help Trump's presidential campaign. "I will get Putin on this program and we will get Donald elected."[132][154]
    • The IRA Instagram account "Stand For Freedom" attempts to organize a confederate rally in Houston, Texas, on November 14. It is unclear if anyone showed up. The Mueller Report identifies this as the IRA's first attempt to organize a U.S. rally.[163][87]:29
  • November 10: At the Republican debate in Milwaukee, Trump claims that he met Putin in a green room and "got to know him very well" while waiting to record their 60 minutes interviews that aired on September 27. Fact checkers quickly point out that Trump and Putin could not have met in the green room because Trump was interviewed in New York City and Putin was interviewed in Moscow.[164]
  • November 16: Lana Erchova (a.k.a. Lana E. Alexander) sends an email to Ivanka Trump in which she offers the services of her husband, Dmitry Klokov, to the Trump campaign.[165][87]:72 According to the Mueller Report, Klokov is the "Director of External Communications for PJSC Federal Grid Company of Unified Energy System, a large Russian electricity transmission company, and had been previously employed as an aide and press secretary to Russia's energy minister."[165][87]:72–73 Ivanka forwards the email to Cohen.[87]:73 At least until August 2018, Cohen mistakenly thinks Klokov is the Olympic weightlifter of the same name.[87]:73
  • November 18:
    • IC Expert, the developer for the Trump Tower Moscow project and a signatory to Trump's letter of intent, receives a non-revolving line of credit from Sberbank for 10.6 billion rubles.[166] IC Expert provides 100% of its equity to secure the line of credit.[166] Sberbank agrees to finance 70% of the project, its largest commercial real estate loan to date.[25]
    • Klokov writes in an email to Cohen that he is a "trusted person" offering "political synergy" and "synergy on a government level" to the Trump campaign. He suggests that Cohen travel to Moscow and meet with him and an intermediary. He says the conversations could facilitate an informal meeting between Trump and Putin, and that any such meeting must be separate from any business negotiations, though it would lead to high-level support for projects.[87]:73[165]
  • November 19:
    • The IRA creates the @TEN_GOP Twitter account. Purporting to be the "Unofficial Twitter account of Tennessee Republicans," it peaks at over 100,000 followers.[167]
    • Julian Assange privately tells a group of core WikiLeaks supporters that he prefers the GOP win the election because Clinton "is a bright, well connected, sadistic sociopath" who will have "greater freedom to start wars than the GOP and has the will to do so."[168]
    • Kolokov writes in an email to Cohen that a properly publicized meeting between Trump and Putin could have a "phenomenal" impact "in a businesss dimension" and boost the "level" of projects if he receives Putin's endorsement.[87]:73–74 Cohen rejects Kolokov's offers, writing, ""[c]urrently our LOI developer is in talks with VP's Chief of Staff and arranging a formal invite for the two to meet."[87]:74[165] In September 2018, Cohen tells Mueller's team that he rejected the offers because he was already pursuing business with Sater and understood Sater had Russian government connections of his own.[87]:74
  • November 25: In an email to incoming NRA President Pete Brownell, Erickson writes, "most of the FSB agents 'assigned' to her [Butina] want to marry her", saying that is why she was able to arrange a tour of a Russian arms factory for the NRA delegation.[169]
  • December: Unable to find a position in the Trump campaign, Papadopoulos joins the Ben Carson campaign.[136]
  • December 1: Sater emails Cohen, asking, "Please scan and send me a copy of your passport for the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs."[87]:76
  • December 2:
    • Trump tells the Associated Press that he is "not that familiar with" Felix Sater and refers questions to his staff.[170][154]
    • Flynn and his son, Michael G. Flynn (called "Jr."), visit Kislyak at his home.[171]
  • December 3: Barbara Ledeen, a longtime staffer for Senator Chuck Grassley on the Senate Judiciary Committee and wife of close Flynn associate and Iran–Contra affair figure Michael Ledeen, sends Peter W. Smith a 25-page proposal for finding Clinton's missing emails.[172][87]:62 The proposal posits that Clinton's private email server was hacked and proposes, among other things, contacting foreign intelligence services to determine if they have any copies of Clinton's emails.[87]:62 At the time, her investigation is not connected to the Trump campaign, though she gives Flynn regular updates throughout the summer of 2016.[87]:62 Smith forwards the email to two colleagues.[87]:62
  • December 8–13: Outspoken Trump supporter Milwaukee Sheriff David Clarke, former NRA President David Keene, future NRA President Pete Brownell, NRA Golden Ring of Freedom Chair Joe Gregory, major NRA donors Hilary[173] and Arnold Goldschlager, Outdoor Channel CEO Jim Liberatore,[174] and NRA member Paul Erickson travel to Moscow for the "Right to Bear Arms" convention. They meet Russian government officials, including Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin[175] and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. Rogozin is under U.S. sanctions. Butina accompanies the delegation on a tour of the gun manufacturer ORSIS, where they meet with the company's executives, including Svetlana Nikolaev, president of ORSIS's parent company and wife of billionaire Konstantin Nikolaev. They also meet with Torshin and Sergei Rudov, the head of the Saint Basil the Great Charitable Foundation. They attend a party at a Moscow hunting club hosted by Torshin and Pavel Gusev, the Chairman of the Public Council of the Russian Ministry of Defense. Clarke later files an ethics report showing that Butina's organization, "Right to Bear Arms", covered $6,000 of his expenses.[41][121][176][177][178][179][180] After the Lavrov meeting, Butina emails Torshin, writing, "We should let them express their gratitude now, and put pressure on them quietly later."[181] In May 2018, NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch denies there was an NRA trip to Moscow, then clarifies in July 2018 that it wasn't an official trip.[107][182][183]
  • December 10:
    • Flynn gives a paid speech on world affairs in Moscow, at a gala dinner organized by RT News.[184] Flynn had appeared on RT as an analyst after retiring from the U.S. Army. Putin is the dinner's guest of honor.[185] Flynn is seated next to Putin; also seated at the head table are Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein and members of Putin's inner circle, including Sergei Ivanov, Dmitry Peskov, Vekselberg, and Alexey Gromov.[186][187] For his speech, Flynn nets $33,500 of the $45,000 paid to his speakers bureau.[188] For all of 2015, Flynn receives more than $65,000 from companies linked to Russia.[189]
    • ABC News reports that Trump denied knowing Sater under oath in a 2013 video deposition even though Sater was involved in several of his high-profile projects. Trump testified, "If he were sitting in the room right now, I really wouldn't know what he looked like." On December 30, Sater tells Cohen that he helped bury the story.[154][190][191]
  • December 16: Smith declines to help Ledeen's endeavor to find Clinton's emails because he feels the search isn't viable at the time.[87]:63
  • December 19: In an email to Cohen, Sater talks about securing financing from VTB, a Russian bank under American sanctions.[132][87]:76 Sater also asks for Cohen's and Trump's passport information so that VTB can facilitate obtaining visas.[87]:76 VTB would be issuing the invitation, he writes, because "[p]olitically neither Putins office nor Ministry of Foreign Affairs cannot issue invite, so they are inviting commercially/ business."[87]:76 He writes that they will be invited to the Russian consulate that week to receive an invitation and visas for traveling to Russia.[87]:76 Cohen sends images of his own passport but not Trump's.[154][192][87]:76
  • December 21:
    • Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta receives an email, which is later leaked by WikiLeaks, advising the campaign on how to handle Trump, recommending that the "best approach is to slaughter Donald for his bromance with Putin".[193]
    • Sater texts Cohen asking again for a copy of Trump's passport.[87]:77 Cohen replies, "After I return from Moscow with you with a date for him."[87]:77 In September 2018 Cohen tells Mueller's team that Rhona Graff provided Trump's passport to Cohen's office, but the Mueller Report says the team could not find any evidence of a copy being sent to Sater.[87]:76-77
    • On Russian Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Prikhodko's behalf, Mira Duma emails Ivanka Trump an invitation for Donald Trump to attend the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. Duma is acquainted with Ivanka from the fashion industry.[87]:78
  • December 30: Cohen emails Sater complaining about the lack of progress on the Trump Tower Moscow project. Sater responds that he helped bury an ABC News story in which Trump denied knowing him.[154][190] Cohen tells Sater in a text message that he will set up a meeting with Russian government officials himself."[87]:74
  • December 31: Sater tells Cohen that Genbank (Генбанк [ru]), recently put under U.S. sanctions, will be the new funder for the Trump Tower Moscow project.[154]
  • Late 2015 – early 2016: Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump are included on emails about the Trump Tower Moscow project. Ivanka Trump recommends an architect.[154][194]

January–March 2016Edit

  • January: Flynn applies to renew his security clearance for five years. In an interview with security investigators he claims U.S. companies paid for his trip to the RT dinner in Moscow. Documents subsequently obtained by the House Oversight Committee show that RT paid for the trip.[195]
  • January 7: Ivanka Trump forwards to Rhona Graff the December 21 invitation for her father she received from Duma on Prikhodko's behalf.[87]:78
  • January 11: Cohen tries to send an email to Dmitry Peskov asking to be connected to Putin's chief of staff, Sergei Ivanov, but it bounces because of a typo in the email address.[87]:74
  • January 14:
    • Cohen emails Peskov atinfo@prpress.gov.ru seeking help to jump-start the Trump Tower Moscow project because "the communication between our two sides has stalled", but does not receive a response.[132][154][196][197][87]:74 In August 2017 Peskov tells CNN that Cohen's email "went unanswered [because it] was solely regarding a real estate deal and nothing more."[196]
    • Graff responds to Duma's December 21 email that Trump is "honored to be asked to participate in the highly prestigious" St. Petersburg Forum, but must decline the invitation because of his "very grueling and full travel schedule." Graff asks Duma if she should "send a formal note to the Deputy Prime Minister," and Duma replies that that would be "great."[87]:78–79
  • January 16: Cohen emails at Peskov at Pr_peskov@prpress.gov.ru, the correct address he mistyped on January 11, and repeats his request to speak with Ivanov.[154][87]:74 Later Cohen tells Congress and Mueller's team that he received no response to this email and abandoned the Trump Moscow Project. He later admits to federal prosecutors that he did receive a response and continued working on the project and keeping Trump updated on progress into June 2016.[198][87]:74–75
  • January 19: Konstantin Sidorkov, executive at VKontakte (commonly called VK, Russia's equivalent of Facebook), emails Trump Jr. and social media director Dan Scavino offering to help promote Trump's campaign to its nearly 100 million users. Goldstone brokered the overture.[132] Sidorkov emails again on November 5, 2016.[199]
  • January 20:
    • A Russian social media company emails Trump Jr., Trump's personal assistant, and Scavino about setting up a page for Trump's campaign.[132]
    • Peskov's personal assistant Elena Polikova sends an email to Cohen from her personal account asking him to call her on her personal phone number, which she provides.[87]:75 Cohen calls her and explains the nature and status of the project, and asks for assistance with securing land and financing.[87]:75[154][200] The conversation includes a discussion of giving Putin a $50 million penthouse in the tower as a gift.[154][200] Later Cohen tells prosecutors that Polikova took notes, asked detailed questions, and said she needed to follow up with people in Russia.[87]:75
  • January 21: Sater texts Cohen asking for a call. He writes, "It's about Putin they called today."[87]:75[154] Sater emails Cohen a draft invitation from Genbank for Cohen to visit Russia, which Sater says is being offered at the behest of VTB, and asks Cohen if any changes need to be made.[87]:75 Sater and Cohen work on edits for the next few days.[87]:75
  • January 25: Sater sends Cohen a signed invitation from Andrey Ryabinskiy of the company MHJ to travel to "Moscow for a working visit" about the "prospects of development and the construction business in Russia," "the various land plots available suited for construction of this enormous Tower," and "the opportunity to co-ordinate a follow up visit to Moscow by Mr. Donald Trump."[87]:75[154] In September 2018 Cohen tells Mueller's team that he didn't use the invitation to travel to Moscow because he didn't receive any concrete proposals for suitable land plots.[87]:75-76
  • January 26: Sater asks Cohen to take a call from Evgeny Shmykov, who is coordinating their project in Moscow. Cohen agrees.[154]
  • February–April: Papadopoulos works for the same company as Mifsud, the London Centre of International Law Practice.[48][201][202]
  • February 2: Trump comes in second in the Iowa caucuses. In 2017 Cohen asserts that all efforts on the Trump Tower Moscow project ended before this date.[154]
  • February 4: Papadopoulos contacts Lewandowski via LinkedIn and emails Michael Glassner about joining the Trump campaign.[87]:82
  • February 4–6: Papadopoulos reaches out to the London Centre of International Law Practice (LCILP) looking for a job because his role at the Carson campaign is over. He takes a position at the ICILP's London office.[87]:81–82
  • February 10: IRA instructs workers to "use any opportunity to criticize Hillary and the rest (except Sanders and Trump—we support them)." [132]
  • February 28: Sessions formally endorses Trump.[145]
  • February 29:
    • Manafort submits a five-page proposal to Trump outlining his qualifications to help Trump secure enough convention delegates and win the Republican presidential nomination. Manafort describes how he assisted several business and political leaders, notably in Russia and Ukraine.[203]
    • Trump receives a letter from Aras Agalarov expressing "great interest" in Trump's "bright electoral campaign."[132]
  • March: Carter Page begins working for the Trump campaign as an unpaid foreign policy adviser.[204][205][206]
  • Early March: Papadopoulos tells Glassner he is free again to join Trump's campaign. Glassner connects Papadopoulos with campaign co-chairman Sam Clovis. Clovis tells Papadopoulos that improving Russia relations is a top foreign policy goal for the campaign.[136]
  • Clovis recommends Carter Page to the campaign.[207]
  • March 2:
    • Assange consoles a core WikiLeaks supporter who is upset about Clinton's success in the primary elections the day before, writing, "Perhaps Hillary will have a stroke."[168]
    • Papadopoulos again emails Glassner about joining the Trump campaign. Joy Lutes responds to Papaoapoulos that Glassner instructed her to introduce him to national co-chair and chief policy advisor Sam Clovis.[87]:82
  • March 3:
    • Sessions is appointed to the Trump campaign's national security advisory committee.[145]
    • Clovis researches Papadopoulos on Google. Clovis is impressed with his past work at the Hudson Institute and arranges a phone call for March 6.[87]:82
  • March 6: Clovis asks Papadopoulos to join the Trump campaign as a foreign policy advisor after discussing the position in a phone call.[87]:82[208][209][210] The campaign hires Papadopoulos on Ben Carson's recommendation.[211] Papadopoulos is told that a priority of the campaign is a better relationship with Russia.[132][87]:82
  • March 12: Russian-American Simon Kukes donates $2,700 to the Trump campaign. It is his first-ever political donation. In 2017 his 2016 political donations become a subject of the Mueller investigation.[212]
  • March 14: Papadopoulos first meets Mifsud while in Rome on a trip to visit officials affiliated with Link Campus University as part of his LCILP job.[208][213][87]:82–83 After Papadopoulos mentions his position with the Trump campaign, Mifsud shows more interest and offers to introduce him to European leaders and others with contacts to the Russian government.[87]:83
  • March 15:
    • Trump says he has become "the biggest political story anywhere in the world."[214]
    • In Moscow, Russian military intelligence hacker Ivan Yermakov, working for Fancy Bear, begins probing the DNC computer network.[214]
    • In St. Petersburg, shift workers posing as Americans follow instructions to attack Clinton on Facebook and Twitter.[214]
  • March 16:
    • The FBI releases its Report of Investigation on Flynn's security clearance renewal application.[195]
    • WikiLeaks publishes a searchable archive of 30,000 Clinton emails that had been released by the State Department in response to a FOIA request.[215][87]:44–45 Internal Wikileaks messages indicate the purpose of the archive is to annoy Clinton and establish WikiLeaks as a "resource/player" in the election.[87]:44–45
  • March 17:
    • According to Trump's written answers to Mueller's team, Prikhodko sends another invitation for Trump to attend the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum to Rhona Graff.[87]:79
    • Papadopoulos returns to London from his Rome trip.[87]:84
  • March 19: Podesta is asked to change his email password in an apparent phishing attempt, believed to be spearheaded by Russian hackers. They gain access to his account,[139] and proceed to steal the entire contents of his account, about 50,000 emails.[132]
  • March 21:
    • In a Washington Post interview,[216][217] Trump names members of his foreign policy team, including Papadopoulos and Page.[132][87]:84 Page had helped open the Moscow office of investment banking firm Merrill Lynch and advised Russian state-owned energy giant Gazprom, in which Page is an investor. He had blamed 2014 US sanctions relating to Russia's annexation of Crimea for driving down Gazprom's stock price.[218]
    • Hackers allegedly steal over 50,000 emails from Podesta's account.[219]
  • March 24:
    • In London, Papadopoulos meets Mifsud and Olga Polonskaya, who falsely claims to be Putin's niece.[220] Polonskaya tells Papadopoulos that she is a friend of the Russian ambassador in London and offers to help establish contacts with Russia.[87]:84 Papadopoulos leaves the meeting with the expectation that he will be introduced to the Russian ambassador, but it never occurs.[87]:84 Polonskaya is in regular email contact with Papadopoulos, in one message writing, "We are all very excited by the possibility of a good relationship with Mr. Trump".[213]
    • Papadopoulos emails Trump campaign officials about his new Russian contacts.[132] He emails Trump's foreign policy team that he met with Putin's niece and the Russian ambassador in London, and claims the ambassador also acts the as the Deputy Foreign Minister of Russia.[87]:84 He writes that the Russian leadership wants to meet with campaign officials in a "neutral" city or Moscow "to discuss U.S.-Russia ties under President Trump", and that Putin and the Russian leadership are ready to meet with Trump.[87]:84 Clovis replies that he thinks any meetings with Russians should be delayed until after the campaign has a chance to talk with NATO allies and "we have everyone on the same page."[87]:85
    • Papadopoulos searches Google for information on Polonskaya and discovers that she is not Putin's niece.[87]:84
  • March 28: Manafort is brought on to the campaign to lead the delegate-wrangling effort.[132]
  • March 29:
    • On Stone's recommendation,[221] Manafort joins the Trump campaign as convention manager, tasked with lining up delegates.[222]
    • Polonskaya attempts to send Papadopoulos a text message that was drafted by Mifsud. The message addresses Papadopoulos's "wish to engage with the Russian Federation."[87]:87
  • March 30: Alexandra Chalupa, who worked in the White House Office of Public Liaison during the Clinton administration, briefs the DNC's communications staff on Manafort's and Trump's ties to Russia.[223]
  • March 31:
    • At the first meeting of Trump's foreign policy team, which includes Trump and Sessions, Papadopoulos speaks of his connections with Russia, and offers to negotiate a meeting between Trump and Putin.[132][224][87]:86 The meeting is held at the yet-to-open Trump International Hotel Washington, D.C..[136] Sessions later states he opposed the idea,[213][225][226][227] and two people who were present support his assertions, but differ in what he objected to and how strongly.[87]:86 In late summer 2017 Papadopoulos amd J.D. Gordon tell Mueller's team that Trump was "supportive and receptive to the idea of a meeting with Putin," and that Sessions supported Papadopoulos's efforts to arrange a meeting.[87]:86 Papadopoulos's lawyers assert in a September 2018 court filing that Trump nodded in agreement to the offer, and that Sessions said the campaign should look into it.[228]
    • Graff prepares a letter for Trump's signature that declines Prikhodko's March 17 invitation to St. Petersburg because of Trump's busy schedule, but says he otherwise "would have gladly given every consideration to attending such an important event."[87]:79
    • New York investment banker Robert Foresman emails Graff seeking an in-person meeting with Trump. The email is sent after Trump business associate Mark Burnett brokers an introductory phone call. Foresman writes that he has long-standing personal and professional expertise in Russia and Ukraine, and mentions that he was involved with setting up an early private back channel between Putin and former president George W. Bush. He also writes about an "approach" he received from "senior Kremlin officials" about Trump. He asks Graff for a meeting with Trump, Lewandowski, or "another relevant person" to discuss the approach and other "concrete things" that he doesn't want to discuss over "unsecure email."[87]:79
  • Spring:
    • U.S. intelligence officials' suspicions of Russian meddling in the presidential election grow after their counterparts in Europe warn that Russian money might be flowing into the election.[119]
    • Stone tells associates he is in contact with Assange.[229]

April–May 2016Edit

  • April:
    • Between April and November 2016, there are at least 18 further exchanges by telephone and email between Russian officials and the Trump team.[230][231]
    • Hackers linked to the GRU gain access to the DNC computer network.[139]
    • Russian social media company SocialPuncher releases an analysis showing that Trump has quoted or retweeted Twitter bots 150 times since the beginning of 2016.[232][233]
    • The IRA starts buying online ads on social media and other sites. The ads support Trump and attack Clinton.[97][98]
    • Marc Elias, a lawyer at Perkins Coie and general counsel for the Clinton campaign, takes over funding of the Fusion GPS Trump investigation. He uses discretionary funds at his disposal and does not inform the campaign about the research.[234][235][150]
    • The intelligence agency of a Baltic state shares a piece of intelligence with the director of the CIA regarding the Trump campaign. The intelligence is allegedly a recording of a conversation about Russian government money going to the Trump campaign.[236]
  • April 1: Carter Page is invited to deliver a commencement address at a prestigious economic school in Moscow.[132]
  • April 1–3:
    • Rohrabacher meets with Natalia Veselnitskaya in Moscow to discuss the Magnitsky Act. Vladimir Yakunin, under U.S. sanctions, is also present.[237][238] Rohrabacher later says he met Yakunin at the request of Kislyak.[239] He also meets with officials at the Russian Prosecutor General's office, where he receives a document full of accusations against Magnitsky. U.S. Embassy officials are worried Rohrabacher may be meeting with FSB agents. The meeting at the prosecutor's office is not on his itinerary.[237] The document is given to Rohrabacher by Deputy Prosecutor Viktor Grin, who is under U.S. sanctions authorized by the Magnitsky Act. Rohrabacher subsequently uses the document in efforts to undermine the Magnitsky Act.[239] His accepting the document from Grin, a sanctioned individual, and using it to influence U.S. government policy leads to a July 21, 2017, complaint being filed against Rohrabacher and his staff director, Paul Behrends, for violating Magnitsky Act sanctions.[240]
    • While in Moscow with Rohrabacher, Rohrabacher's aide Paul Behrends introduces Congressman French Hill to Veselnitskaya and Rinat Akhmetshin.[241][238] Veselnitskaya gives Hill a document nearly identical to the one Grin gave to Rohrabacher.[242]
  • April 4:
    • A rally is held in Buffalo, New York, protesting the death of India Cummings. Cummings was a black woman who had recently died in police custody. The IRA's "Blacktivist" account on Facebook actively promotes the event, reaching out directly to local activists on Facebook Messenger asking them to circulate petitions and print posters for the event. Blacktivist supplies the petitions and poster artwork.[243]
    • Graff emails her March 31 letter for Prikhodko to Jessica Macchia, another executive assistant to Trump, to print on letterhead for Trump to sign.[87]:79
    • Graff forwards Foresman's March 31 email to Macchia.[87]:79
  • April 6: Hackers allegedly spearphish the credentials of a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) employee.[219]
  • April 10–11: Papadopoulos learns of Polonskaya's attempt to send him a text message on March 29 and sends her an email to arrange another meeting. She reponds that she is "back in St. Petersburg" but "would be very pleased to support [Papadopoulos's] initiatives between our two countries" and "to meet [him] again." Papadopoulos replies that she should introduce him to "the Russian Ambassador in London" to talk to him or "anyone else you recommend, about a potential foreign policy trip to Russia." Mifsud is copied on the email exchange. Mifsud writes, "This is already been agreed. I am flying to Moscow on the 18th for a Valdai meeting, plus other meetings at the Duma. We will talk tomorrow." Polonskaya responds that she has "already alerted my personal links to our conversation and your request," that "we are all very excited the possibility of a good relationship with Mr. Trump," and that "[t]he Russian Federation would love to welcome him once his candidature would be officially announced."[87]:87
  • April 11: Manafort and Konstantin Kilimnik exchange emails about whether recent press coverage of Manafort joining the Trump campaign can be used to make them "whole" with Deripaska. Manafort is in debt to Deripaska for millions of dollars at the time.[26] Kilimnik confirms to Manafort that Deripaska is aware Manafort is on Trump's campaign team.[132]
  • April 12:
    • Russian hackers use stolen credentials to infiltrate the DCCC's computer network and install malware.[132]
    • Papadopoulos and Mifsud meet at the Andaz Hotel in London.[87]:88
  • April 16: A rally protesting the death of Freddie Gray attracts large crowds in Baltimore. The IRA's Blacktivist Facebook group promotes and organizes the event, including reaching out to local activists.[244]
  • April 18:
    • While in Moscow, Mifsud introduces Papadopoulos to Ivan Timofeev via email. Timodeev is the program director of the Kremlin-sponsored Valdai Discussion Club and a member of the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC). Papadopoulos and Timofeev communicate for months over email and Skype about potential meetings between Russian government officials and members of the Trump campaign. Later records indicate that Timofeev discussed Papadopoulos with former Russian Foreign Minister Igor S. Ivanov.[220][213][210][87]:88 In Agust 2017, Papadopoulos tells Mueller's team that he believed at the time his conversations with Timofeev were monitored.[87]:88
    • Russian hackers break into the DNC's computers.[132]
  • April 19:
    • Russian hackers create a fictitious online persona, "Carrie Feehan", to register the domain DCLeaks.com, paid for in bitcoin, to release stolen documents.[219][132]
    • The IRA purchases its first pro-Trump ad through its "Tea Party News" Instagram account. The Instagram ad asks users to upload photos with the hashtag #KIDS4TRU to "make a patriotic team of young Trump supporters."[245]
  • April 20: Sater texts Cohen asking when he is going to travel to Moscow.[87]:77
  • April 21: A staffer at the Center for the National Interest photographs a detailed outline of the foreign policy speech Trump was scheduled to deliver on April 27, which was sitting on the desk of Simes, the Center's president. The House Intelligence Committee would later investigate Simes' involvement in drafting the speech.[246]
  • April 22: Ivan Timofeev thanks Papadopoulos "for an extensive talk" and proposes meeting in London or Moscow.[132]
  • April 23: A small group of white-power demonstrators hold a rally they call "Rock Stone Mountain" at Stone Mountain Park near Stone Mountain, Georgia. They are confronted by a large group of protesters, and some violent clashes ensue. The counterprotest was heavily promoted by IRA accounts on Tumblr, Twitter, and Facebook, and the IRA website blackmatters.com. The IRA uses its Blacktivist account on Facebook to reach out, to no avail, to activist and academic Barbara Williams Emerson, the daughter of Hosea Williams, to help promote the protests. Afterward, RT blames anti-racist protesters for violence and promotes two videos shot at the event.[243]
  • April 25:
    • Timofeev emails Papadopoulos that he spoke "to Igor Ivanov[,] the President ofRIAC and former Foreign Minister of Russia," and relays Ivanov's advice on how best to arrange a "Moscow visit."[87]:88
    • Before the second Mifsud meeting, Papadopoulos emails Stephen Miller, informing him that "[t]he Russian government has an open invitation by Putin for Mr. Trump to meet him when he is ready" and that "[t]he advantage of being in London is that these governments tend to speak a bit more openly in 'neutral' cities."[220][132][87]:89
    • Papadopoulos meets Mifsud in London again at the Andaz Hotel. Mifsud claims that he has learned that Russians are in possession of thousands of stolen emails that may be politically damaging to Clinton.[247][213][220][87]:88–89 This is the first of at least two times the Trump campaign is told Russia has "dirt" on Hillary Clinton. Two months later the Russian hacking is publicly revealed.[132]
    • Foresman emails Graff to remind her of his March 31 email seeking a meeting with Trump, Lewandowski, or another appropriate person.[87]:79–80
  • April 27:
    • Trump, Sessions and Jared Kushner greet Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington D.C. This contact is repeatedly omitted from testimony or denied.[217][248][249] Afterward, Kislyak reports the conversation with Sessions to Moscow.[250] Kushner is the first to publicly admit the Kislyak meeting took place in his prepared statement for Senate investigators on July 24, 2017.[251] Also in attendance are the ambassadors from Italy and Singapore, who are major players in the upcoming sale of stakes in Rosneft.[2]:124
    • Trump speaks at the Mayflower Hotel at the invitation of The National Interest, the magazine of the Center for the National Interest.[116] He delivers a speech that calls for improved relations between the US and Russia. The speech was edited by Papadopoulos[213] and crafted with the assistance of Simes[2]:126 and Richard Burt.[252] Burt is a board member of the Center for the National Interest and a lobbyist for Gazprom.[253] Papadopoulos brings the speech to the attention of Mifsud and Polonskaya, and tells Timofeev that it should be considered "the signal to meet".[213] Simes later moves to Moscow.[254]
    • Papadopoulos emails Miller that he has "some interesting messages coming in from Moscow about a trip when the time is right."[220]
    • Papadopoulos tells Lewandowski via email that he has "been receiving a lot of calls over the last month about Putin wanting to host [Trump] and the team when the time is right."[210][87]:89
    • Graff sends Foresman an apology and forwards his March 31 and April 26 emails to Lewandowski.[87]:80
  • Late April: The DNC's IT department notices suspicious computer activity. Within 24 hours, the DNC contacts the FBI, and hires a private cybersecurity firm, CrowdStrike, to investigate.[255]
  • April 30: Foresman sends Graff another email reminding her of his meeting requests on March 31 and April 26. He suggests an alternative meeting with Trump Jr. or Eric Trump so that he can tell them information that "should be conveyed to [the candidate] personally or [to] someone [the candidate] absolutely trusts".[87]:80
  • May:
    • CrowdStrike determines that sophisticated adversaries—denominated Cozy Bear and Fancy Bear—are responsible for the DNC hack. Fancy Bear, in particular, is suspected of affiliation with Russia's Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU).[256]
    • Erickson contacts Trump campaign advisor Rick Dearborn. In an email headed "Kremlin Connection", Erickson seeks the advice of Dearborn and Sessions about how to arrange a meeting between Trump and Putin. Erickson suggests making contact at the NRA's annual convention in Kentucky. The communication refers to Torshin, who is under instructions to contact the Trump campaign.[257][258]
    • At Butina's urging, Christian activist Rick Clay emails Dearborn with the subject "Russian backdoor overture and dinner invite"[259] offering a meeting between Trump and Torshin.[260] Dearborn, then Sessions's Chief of Staff, sends an email mentioning a person from West Virginia seeking to connect Trump campaign members with Putin. Dearborn appears "skeptical" of the meeting request.[261] Jared Kushner rejects the request. Torshin and Trump Jr. later meet and speak at the NRA convention.[260]
    • Papadopoulos travels to Greece and meets with Greece's president Prokopios Pavlopoulos, defense minister Panos Kammenos, foreign minister Nikos Kotzias, and a former prime minister. Putin makes an official visit to Athens during Papadopoulos's trip.[262]
    • Michael Caputo arranges a meeting in Miami with Stone, Florida-based Russian Henry Oknyansky (a.k.a. "Henry Greenberg"), and Ukrainian Alexei Rasin.[87]:61[263] Rasin claims to have evidence showing Clinton was involved in laundering hundreds of thousands of dollars through Rasin's companies.[87]:61 Stone turns down the offer, telling them that Trump won't pay for opposition research.[87]:61[263] In June 2018, after many repeated denials, Stone finally admits to knowingly meeting with a Russian national in 2016 when asked about this meeting by The Washington Post.[263] In May 2018, Caputo tells Mueller's team that he did not attend the meeting, did not know what Oknyansky was offering, and did not know payment was asked for until Stone told him later.[87]:61 In July 2018, Oknyansky tells Mueller's team that Rasin was motivated by money, and that Caputo attended the meeting.[87]:61 According to the Mueller Report, Mueller's team is unable to find any evidence that Clinton ever did any business with Rasin.[87]:61
    • A new American shell company, "Silver Valley Consulting", is set up by Russian-born accountant Ilya Bykov for Aras Agalarov.[264]
    • Patten and Kilimnik write a letter for Lyovochkin to use in lobbiying a "high-ranking member" of the State Department. In August 2018, Patten pleads guilty to failing to register as a foreign agent for this work.[114]
  • May 2:
    • A second rally is held in Buffalo, New York, protesting the death of India Cummings. Like the April 4 rally, the event is heavily promoted by the IRA's Blacktivist Facebook account, including attempted outreach to local activists.[243]
    • Graff forwards Foresman's April 30 email to Stephen Miller.[87]:80
  • May 4:
    • Timofeev emails Papadopoulos that his colleagues from the ministry "are open for cooperation."[132] Papadopoulos forwards the email to Lewandowski and asks whether this is "something we want to move forward with."[87]:89
    • Manafort meets with Kilimnik.[132]
    • Starting 4 May,[265] and continuing through September, a pair of servers owned by Alfa-Bank look up the Trump Organization's mail1.trump-email.com domain on a server housed by Listrak and administered by Cendyn more than 2,000 times. Alfa-Bank performed the most lookups during this period, followed by Spectrum Health, and then Heartland Payment Systems with 76 lookups; beyond that no other visible entity made more than two.[266]
    • Trump becomes the only remaining candidate for the Republican presidential nomination when John Kasich withdraws.[267]
    • Sater texts Cohen asking when he will be traveling to Moscow. He writes that he set expectations in Russia that it would probably be after the convention. Cohen responds that he expects to travel before the convention, and that Trump will travel after he becomes the nominee.[87]:77[200][154]
  • May 5:
    • Papadopoulos forwards Timofeev's email to Clovis,[132][87]:89 who replies, "[t]here are legal issues we need to mitigate, meeting with foreign officials as a private citizen."[210]
    • Sater texts Cohen that Peskov would like to invite him to the St. Petersburg Forum June 16–19 and possibly meet Putin or Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. He continues, "He said anything you want to discuss including dates and subjects are on the table to discuss."[87]:77[200][154]
  • May 6:
    • Sater texts Cohen to confirm his travel to Moscow around June 16–19. Cohen replies, "[w]orks for me."[87]:77
    • In London, during a night of heavy drinking, Papadopoulos tells Australian ambassador Alexander Downer that the Russians have politically damaging material on Clinton. After WikiLeaks releases the DNC emails two months later, Australian officials pass this information to American officials, causing the FBI to open a counterintelligence investigation into the Trump campaign.[132][87]:89
  • May 8: Timofeev proposes connecting Papadopoulos with another Russian official.[132]
  • May 10: Dearborn receives an email about arranging a back-channel meeting between Trump and Putin with the subject line "Kremlin Connection." It is sent from a conservative operative who says Russia wants to use the NRA's convention to make "first contact."[132]
  • May 14: Papadopoulos tells Lewandowski the Russians are interested in hosting Trump.[132]
  • May 15: David Klein, a distant relative of Trump Organization lawyer Jason Greenblatt, emails Clovis about a possible campaign meeting with Chief Rabbi of Russia Berel Lazar. Klein writes that he contacted Lazar in February about a possible meeting between Trump and Putin and that Lazar was "a very close confidante of Putin." Later Klein and Greenblatt meet with Lazar at Trump Tower.[87]:90
  • May 16:
    • Page floats the idea with the campaign team of Trump going to Russia in instead of Page "to raise the temperature a little bit.[132]
    • Dearborn receives a similar second proposal, which he forwards to Kushner, Manafort and Rick Gates. Both efforts (to arrange a back-channel meeting between Trump and Putin) appear to involve Alexander Torshin, who was instructed to make contact with the Trump campaign.[132] Kushner rebuffs the proposal.[132]
  • May 19:
    • Manafort becomes Trump’s campaign chairman and chief strategist.[268]
    • Mother Jones reports that before Trump launched his campaign in 2015, Lewandowski and other political advisors suggested to Trump that they follow standard practice and hire someone to perform opposition research on him. Trump refused.[269]
  • May 19–22: The NRA annual conference is held in Louisville, Kentucky. Trump and Trump Jr. attend.[270][271][272][273] Trump Jr. meets briefly with Torshin and Butina on May 20.[132]
  • May 21:
    • Papadopoulos forwards Timofeev's May 4 email to Manafort stressing the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA)'s desire to meet with Trump, writing, "Russia has been eager to meet Mr. Trump for quite sometime and have been reaching out to me to discuss."[87]:89–90 Manafort shoots down the idea in an email to Rick Gates,[136][210] with a note: "Let[']s discuss. We need someone to communicate that DT is not doing these trips. It should be someone low level in the Campaign so as not to send any signal."[132][87]:90
    • Two competing rallies are held in Houston to alternately protest against and defend the recently opened Library of Islamic Knowledge at the Islamic Da'wah Center. The "Stop Islamization of Texas" rally is organized by the Facebook group "Heart of Texas". The Facebook posting for the event encourages participants to bring guns. A spokesman for the group converses with the Houston Press via email but declines to give a name. The other rally, "Save Islamic Knowledge", is organized by the Facebook group "United Muslims of America" for the same time and location. Both Facebook groups are later revealed to be IRA accounts.[274][275]
  • May 22: Politico reports on Trump's past associations and dealings with the American Mafia and other criminal figures, including Sater.[276][154]
  • May 25:
    • The Westboro Baptist Church holds its annual protest of Lawrence High School graduation ceremonies in Lawrence, Kansas. The "LGBT United" Facebook group organizes counterprotesters to confront the Westboro protest, including by placing an ad on Facebook and contacting local people. About a dozen people show up. Lawrence High School students do not participate because they are "skeptical" of the counterprotest organizers. LGBT United is an IRA account that appears to have been created specifically for this event.[277]
    • Thousands of DNC emails are stolen.[132]
  • May 26: The Associated Press reports that Trump has secured enough delegates to become the presumptive Republican nominee.[139]
  • May 27: At a rally, Trump calls Putin "a strong leader."[132]
  • May 27–28: Putin makes an official visit to Greece and meets with government leaders. His visit overlaps with a trip to Greece by Papadopoulos.[262][278]
  • May 29: The IRA hires an American to pose in front of the White House holding a sign that says, "Happy 55th Birthday, Dear Boss." "Boss" is a reference to Russian oligarch Yevgeny Prigozhin.[97][98]

June 2016Edit

  • June:
    • Around this time, the conspirators charged in the July 2018 indictment stage and release tens of thousands of stolen emails and documents using fictitious online personas, including "DCLeaks" and "Guccifer 2.0".[279]
    • The FBI sends a warning to states about "bad actors" probing state voter-registration databases and systems to seek vulnerabilities; investigators believe Russia is responsible.[280]
    • Fusion GPS hires Steele to research Trump's activities in Russia. A resultant 35-page document, later known as the Trump–Russia dossier or Steele dossier, is published on January 10, 2017, by BuzzFeed News.[281]
    • A former GRU officer arranges for Felix Sater and Michael Cohen to attend the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, which Putin regularly attends. Sater wants to use the trip to push forward the Moscow Trump Tower deal. Cohen cancels at the last minute. Sater does not attend the forum.[282]
  • Early June:
    • At a closed-door gathering of foreign policy experts visiting with the Prime Minister of India, Page hails Putin as stronger and more reliable than Obama and touts the positive effect a Trump presidency would have on U.S.–Russia relations.[283]
    • Before traveling to New York to translate at the June 9 Trump Tower meeting, Kaveladze contacts Roman Beniaminov, a close associate of Emin Agalarov, to find out why Kushner, Manafort, and Trump Jr. were invited to a meeting ostensibly about the Magnitsky Act. Beniaminov tells Kaveladze that he heard Goldstone and Agalarov discuss "dirt" on Clinton. In November 2017, Kaveladze's lawyer tells The Daily Beast that Beniaminov was Kaveladze's only source of information about the meeting.[284]
  • June 1:
    • Papadopoulos emails Lewandowski asking whether he wants to have a call about a Russia visit and whether "we were following up with it."[87]:90 Lewandowski refers him to Clovis.[132][87]:90 Papadopoulos emails Clovis about more interest from the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to set up a Trump meeting in Russia.[132][87]:90 He writes, "I have the Russian MFA asking me if Mr. Trump is interested in visiting Russia at some point."[285][286] He continues that he "[w]anted to pass this info along to you for you to decide what's best to do with it and what message I should send (or to ignore)."[87]:90
    • The IRA plans a Manhattan rally called "March for Trump" and buys Facebook ads promoting the event.[97][98]
  • June 1–2: Deripaska and Anton Inyutsyn, the Russian Deputy Minister of Energy, attend the Clean Energy Ministerial in San Francisco, California. Deripaska also visits UC Berkeley. The trip coincides with nearby Trump rallies in Sacramento and San Jose.[287]
  • June 3:
    • Aras Agalarov is told that the Russian government wants to give the Trump campaign damaging information about Clinton.[132]
    • Goldstone emails Trump Jr. offering, on behalf of Emin Agalarov, to meet an alleged Russian government official who "would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father", as "part of Russia and its government's support for Mr. Trump." Trump Jr. responded 17 minutes later:[288][289] "If it’s what you say I love it especially later in the summer," and schedules the meeting. Goldstone also offers to relay the information to Trump through his assistant.[290] This is the second time a Trump campaign official was told of "dirt" on Clinton.[132]
    • $3.3 million began moving between Aras Agalarov and Kaveladze, a longtime Agalarov employee once investigated for money laundering.[288]
  • June 4: The IRA email account allforusa@yahoo.com sends news releases about the "March for Trump" rally to New York City media outlets.[97][98]
  • June 5: The IRA contacts a Trump campaign volunteer to provide signs for the "March for Trump" rally.[97][98]
  • June 6:
    • Hillary Clinton becomes the presumptive Democratic nominee.
    • Trump Jr. calls two blocked numbers at Trump Tower.[291] According to CNN, the two people Trump Jr. called were Nascar CEO Brian France and businessman Howard Lorber.[292]
    • At a primary night rally in New York, Trump promises a speech discussing information about Clinton. Trump says "I am going to give a major speech on probably Monday of next week [June 13], and we are going to be discussing all of the things that have taken place with the Clintons".[293]
    • Goldstone follows up with Trump Jr. about when Jr. can "talk with Emin by phone about this Hillary info." Trump Jr. calls Emin.[132] Phone records show Trump Jr. called a blocked number before and after calls to Emin.[132]
  • June 6–7: Trump Jr. and Emin Agalarov discuss setting up their June 9 meeting in three phone calls.[294]
  • June 8: The DCLeaks website comes online.[219]
  • June 9: Kushner, Manafort and Trump Jr. meet in Trump Tower with Goldstone, Russian attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya,[295] Russian-American lobbyist Rinat Akhmetshin,[296] Kaveladze of Aras Agalarov's Crocus Group,[297] and translator Anatoli Samochornov.[298][299] Veselnitskaya is best known for lobbying against the Magnitsky Act, an American law that blacklists suspected Russian human rights abusers.[300] Trump Jr. later acknowledges that he asked Veselnitskaya for damaging information about the Clinton Foundation and says she had none.[301] Samochornov, Kaveladze, and Akhmetshin later tell the Senate Judiciary Committee that Trump Jr. told Veselnitskaya to come back after they won the election.[302][299] Trump Jr. calls a blocked number before (June 6) and after the meeting. Trump spends the day at Trump Tower, where the private residence has a blocked number, and holds no public events.[291]
  • June 9–14: Sater repeatedly tries to get Cohen to confirm his trip to Russia.[154]
  • June 11–12: The DNC expels Russian hackers from its servers. Some of the hackers had been accessing the DNC network for over a year.[303]
  • June 12: On ITV, Assange tells Robert Peston' on his television show Peston on Sunday that emails related to Clinton are "pending publication" and says, "WikiLeaks has a very good year ahead."[304][305][87]:52
  • June 14:
    • The DNC publicly alleges that they have been hacked by Russian state-backed hackers.[304][303] Following this news, a small group of politically diverse prominent computer scientists scattered across the US, including a member Dexter Filkins calls "Max" in his October 2018 New Yorker article, begin combing the Domain Name System (DNS).[266]
    • Sater meets Cohen in the Trump Tower lobby. Cohen tells him he will not be traveling to Russia (two days before planned departure).[154][306]
    • The GRU uses its @dcleaks_ persona to reach out to WikiLeaks and offer to coordinate the release of sensitive information about Clinton, including financial documents.[307][87]:45
  • Mid June: Shortly after the DNC announced that it had been hacked, the RNC informs the FBI that some Republican campaign email accounts hosted by Smartech have been hacked. Compromised accounts include the campaign committees of "Senator John McCain, Senator Lindsey Graham, [...] Representative Robert Hurt[,] [s]everal state GOP organizations, Republican PACs, and campaign consultants." Approximately 300 emails from May through October 2015 are eventually posted on DCLeaks.com.[308][87]:41
  • June 15:
    • "Guccifer 2.0" (GRU) claims credit for the DNC hacking and posts some of the stolen material to a website. CrowdStrike stands by its "findings identifying two separate Russian intelligence-affiliated adversaries present in the DNC network in May 2016."[309]
    • Gawker publishes an opposition research document on Trump that was stolen from the DNC. "Guccifer 2.0" sent the file to Gawker.[219][310]
    • House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and House Speaker Paul Ryan meet separately with Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman at the Capitol. Groysman describes to them how the Kremlin is financing populist politicians in Eastern Europe to damage democratic institutions. McCarthy and Ryan have a private meeting afterwards with GOP leaders that is secretly recorded. Toward the end of their conversation, after laughing at the DNC hacking, McCarthy says, "there's two people, I think, Putin pays: Rohrabacher and Trump...[laughter]...swear to God." Ryan then tells everyone to keep this conversation secret. A transcript of the recording becomes public a year later.[311][312]
  • June 19: After communicating with the MFA via email and Skype, Papadopoulos tells Lewandowski by email that the MFA is interested in meeting with a "campaign rep" if Trump can't meet with them. Papadopoulos offers to go in an unofficial capacity.[285][286][87]:90
  • June 20:
    • Aras Agalarov wires more than $19.5 million to his account at a bank in New York.[302]
    • Trump fires Lewandowski.[313] Manafort becomes campaign manager.[314]
  • June 22: Wikileaks reaches out to "Guccifer 2.0" via Twitter. They ask "Guccifer 2.0" to send them material because it will have a bigger impact if they publish it. They also specifically ask for material on Clinton they can publish before the convention.[219]
  • June 23:
  • June 24: The IRA group "United Muslims of America" buys Facebook ads for the "Support Hillary, Save American Muslims" rally.[97][98]
  • June 25:
    • The IRA's "March for Trump" rally occurs.[97][98]
    • The IRA Facebook group LGBT United organizes a candlelight vigil for the Pulse nightclub shooting victims in Orlando, Florida.[318][319]
  • June 29: Goldstone emails Trump campaign social media director Dan Scavino about promoting Trump on VKontakte. He says the email is a follow-up to his recent conversation with Trump Jr. and Manafort.[199]
  • Summer:
    • Papadopoulos is approached via LinkedIn by American-Belarussian Sergei Millian of the Russian-American Chamber of Commerce. They meet repeatedly in Manhattan. Millian offers to start an energy business together, to be financed by Russian billionaires "who are not under sanctions". Millian also claims that one Russian billionaire would consider the possibility of opening a Trump hotel in Moscow. Papadopoulos does not follow up.[213]
    • IRA employees use the stolen identities of four Americans to open PayPal and bank accounts to act as conduits for funding their activities in the United States.[97][98]
    • The FBI applies for a FISA warrant to monitor communications of four Trump campaign officials. The FISA Court rejects the application, asking the FBI to narrow its scope.[320] A warrant on Carter Page alone is granted in October 2016.[58]

July 2016Edit

  • July:
    • The IRA's translator project grows to over 80 employees.[97][98]
    • Carter Page makes a five-day trip to Moscow.[321] The Steele dossier alleges that in July, Page secretly met Rosneft chairman Igor Sechin in Moscow, together with a "senior Kremlin Internal Affairs official, DIVYEKIN", that Sechin offered Trump a 19% stake in Rosneft (worth about $11 billion) in exchange for lifting the sanctions against Russia after his election,[322][323] and that Page confirmed, on Trump's "full authority", that he intended to lift the sanctions.[324][325][326]
  • July 5:
    • At his London office, Steele reveals to an FBI agent from Rome some of his findings that indicate a wide-ranging Russian conspiracy to elect Trump.[213][327]
    • "United Muslims of America", an IRA group, orders posters with fake Clinton quotes promoting Sharia Law. The posters are ordered for the "Support Hillary, Save American Muslims" rally they are organizing.[97][98]
  • July 6:
    • "Guccifer 2.0" releases another cache of DNC documents and sends copies to The Hill.[328][329]
    • WikiLeaks asks "Guccifer 2.0" via Twitter direct messaging to provide any information related to Clinton they may have.[87]:45
  • July 6–10: The IRA's "Don't Shoot" Facebook group and affiliated "Don't Shoot Us" website try to organize a protest outside the St. Paul, Minnesota, police headquarters on July 10 in response to the July 6 fatal police shooting of Philando Castile. Some local activists become suspicious of the event because St. Paul police were not involved in the shooting: Castile was shot by a St. Anthony police officer in nearby Falcon Heights. Local activists contact Don't Shoot. After being pressed on who they are and who supports them, Don't Shoot agrees to move the protest to the St. Anthony police headquarters. The concerned local activists investigate further and urge protesters not to participate after deciding Don't Shoot is a "total troll job." Don't Shoot organizers eventually relinquish control of the event to local organizers, who subsequently decline to accept any money from Don't Shoot.[330][331]
  • July 7:
    • In a lecture at the New Economic School in Moscow,[332] Page criticizes American foreign policy, saying that many of the mistakes spoiling relations between the US and Russia "originated in my own country."[333] Page had received permission from the Trump campaign to make the trip.[334]
    • In an email exchange using his official Trump campaign email address, Manafort asks Kilimnik to forward an offer to provide "private briefings" to Deripaska.[335][336]
  • July 8: Carter Page emails Trump campaign officials about his presentation at the New Economic School. He describes meeting Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich.[337] He says Dvorkovich "expressed strong support for Mr. Trump and a desire to work together toward devising better solutions in response to the vast range of current international problems."[338]
  • July 9:
  • July 10: A Black Lives Matter protest rally is held in Dallas. A "Blue Lives Matter" counterprotest is held across the street. The Blue Lives Matter protest is organized by the "Heart of Texas" Facebook group, controlled by the IRA.[340][318][275]
  • July 11-12:
    • FBI informant Stefan Halper has an initial encounter with Carter Page at a London symposium.[341] A former federal law enforcement official tells The New York Times the encounter was a coincidence, rather than at the FBI's direction.[342]
    • Papadopoulos and fellow campaign foreign policy advisor Walid Phares exchange emails discussing the upcoming Transatlantic Parliamentary Group on Counterterrorism (TAG) conference, of which Phares is also co-secretary general. In the email chain, Phares advises Papadopoulos that other summit attendees "are very nervous about Russia. So be aware."[87]:91
  • July 12:
    • An IRA group buys ads on Facebook for the "Down with Hillary" rally in New York City.[97][98]
    • The Illinois State Board of Elections discovers some of its servers have been hacked and closes the security hole used to compromise the systems.[316][317]
  • July 13:
    • A hacker or group calling themselves "Guccifer 2.0" releases over 10,000 names from the DNC in two spreadsheets and a list of objectionable quotes from Sarah Palin.[329]
    • Kukes donates $49,000 to the Trump Victory fund. In 2017, his 2016 political donations become a subject of the Mueller investigation.[212]
    • The Illinois State Board of Elections takes its website offline.[316][317]
  • July 14: "Guccifer 2.0" sends Assange an encrypted 1 GB file containing stolen DNC emails, and Assange confirms that he received it. Wikileaks publishes the file's contents on July 22.[307][87]:46
  • July 16:
    • The IRA's Blacktivist group organizes a rally in Chicago to honor Sandra Bland on the first anniversary of her death. The rally is held in front of the Chicago Police Department's Homan Square building. Participants pass around petitions calling for a Civilian Police Accountability Council ordinance.[343][344]
    • Papadopoulos, Clovis, and Phares attend the TAG conference. Contemporaneous handwritten notes in Papadopoulos's journal show that he, Clovis, and Phares discuss potential September meetings with representatives of the "office of Putin" in London. The notes say they will attend as unofficial campaign representatives. Later Clovis tells a grand jury that he does not recall attending the TAG conference, although a photograph from the conference shows him seated next to Papadopoulos.[87]:91
  • July 18: "Guccifer 2.0" dumps a new batch of documents from the DNC servers, including personal information of 20,000 Republican donors and opposition research on Trump.[345]
  • July 18–21: Republican Convention in Cleveland[346]
    • Nigel Farage encounters Stone and Alex Jones at a restaurant. The next day, Stone contacts Manafort and suggests a meeting between Trump and Farage. Manafort responds that he will pass on the request.[315]
    • July 18:
      • Kislyak attends the convention, meeting Page and J. D. Gordon;[1] as Trump's foreign policy advisers, they stress that he would like to improve relations with Russia.[347] Sessions speaks with Kislyak at a Heritage Foundation event.[1][145]
      • Gordon lobbies to remove arms sales to Ukraine from the Republican platform, citing concerns over conflict escalation in Donbass.[348][349] In December 2017, Diana Denman, a Republican delegate who supported the weapons sale, says that Trump directed Gordon to weaken that position.[350]
    • July 21:
  • July 19:
    • Steele files a dossier memo alleging that during his Moscow trip, Page secretly met Rosneft chairman Igor Sechin, together with a "senior Kremlin Internal Affairs official, DIVYEKIN", that Sechin offered Trump a 19% stake in Rosneft (worth about $11 billion) in exchange for lifting the sanctions against Russia after his election, and that Page confirmed, on Trump's "full authority", that he intended to lift the sanctions.[321][322][323][324][325][326]
    • The Illinois State Board of Elections informs the Illinois Attorney General (IAG) and the Illinois General Assembly of the breach. The IAG notifies the FBI, which brings in the Department of Homeland Security to help investigate.[316][317]
  • July 21–August 12: The Illinois State Board of Elections brings its website back online. The GRU attacks the system five times per second before giving up on August 12.[316][317]
  • July 22: WikiLeaks publishes 20,000 emails from seven key DNC officials. The emails show them disparaging Bernie Sanders and favoring Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential primaries.[352]
  • July 23: The IRA-organized "Down with Hillary" rally is held in New York City. The agency sends 30 news releases to media outlets using the email address joshmilton024@gmail.com.[97][98]
  • July 24:
    • DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz is forced to resign because of the WikiLeaks email publication.[353]
    • Appearing on This Week, Manafort denies there are any links between him, Trump, or the "campaign and Putin and his regime".[354]
  • July 25–28: Democratic Convention in Philadelphia.[355]
  • July 25:
    • Based on assessments from cybersecurity firms, the DNC and the Clinton campaign say that Russian intelligence operators have hacked their e-mails and forwarded them to WikiLeaks.[356]
    • Stone emails his associate Jerome Corsi, "Get to (Assange) [a]t Ecuadorian Embassy in London and get the pending (WikiLeaks) emails".[357] Corsi later passes this along to Ted Malloch, a conservative author in London.[357]
  • July 26:
    • Trump denies having any investments in Russia.[154][358]
    • The Australian government informs the U.S. government of Papadopoulos's May 6 interactions with their ambassador in London. The FBI opens its investigation of potential coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign five days later.[87]:89[359]
  • July 27:
    • On or about this date "the Conspirators attempted after hours to spearphish for the first time email accounts at a domain hosted by a third-party provider and used by Clinton's personal office. At or around the same time, they also targeted seventy-six email addresses at the domain for the Clinton Campaign."[360][361]
    • Trump calls for Russia to give Clinton's missing emails to the FBI. His tweet is before his statements on the matter to the press.[362]
    • Trump tells a CBS affiliate in Miami, "I have nothing to do with Russia. Nothing to do. I never met Putin. I have nothing to do with Russia whatsoever." This contradicts his many claims since 2013 to have met Putin and done business in Russia.[62]
    • At a news conference, Trump says he "hopes" Russia can find Clinton's missing emails. The remark triggers a backlash from media and politicians who criticize Trump's "urging a foreign adversary to conduct cyberespionage" against his political opponent.[363][364] Trump responds that he was being "sarcastic".[365] A 2018 indictment alleges Russian intelligence officers began a spearphishing attack on non-public Clinton campaign email accounts that night,[366][87]:49 In April–May 2018, Flynn tells Mueller's team that after this event, Trump repeatedly asks "individuals affiliated with his Campaign[sic]" to find Clinton's emails.[87]:62
  • July 28: Clinton formally accepts the Democratic nomination.[367]
  • July 29:
    • Kilimnik sends Manafort an email requesting to meet in person so he can brief Manafort on a meeting he had "with the guy who gave you your biggest black caviar jar several years ago", saying he has important messages to deliver from this person.[26] In September 2017, The Washington Post reports that investigators believe Kilimnik and Manafort used the term "black caviar" in communications as a reference to expected payments from former clients.[368] In December 2018, TIME magazine reveals that the names "Victor" and "V." mentioned in the emails between Kilimnik and Manafort refer to Deripaska aide and former Russian intelligence officer Commander Viktor A. Boyarkin.[369]
    • Cambridge Analytica employee Emily Cornell sends an email to people working with the pro-Trump Make America Number 1 super PAC, which is funded by Robert and Rebekah Mercer. Cornell notes Cambridge Analytica's work for the super PAC and suggests they capitalize on the recently released DNC emails and any Clinton emails that may be stolen as suggested by Trump on July 27.[370]
  • July 31:
    • The FBI starts a counter-intelligence investigation into Russian interference, including possible coordination between Trump associates and Russia.[371][372] The investigation is issued the code name "Crossfire Hurricane."[373]
    • In an interview on This Week, Trump tells George Stephanopoulos that people in his campaign were responsible for changing the GOP's platform stance on Ukraine, but that he was not personally involved.[374]
    • Kilimnik again emails Manafort to confirm their dinner meeting in New York, saying he needs two hours "because it is a long caviar story to tell."[26]
    • Stone emails Jerome Corsi telling him to use Ted Malloch as an intermediary with Assange. Malloch tells Corsi he doesn't have a relationship with Assange and suggests using people close to Farage instead.[375][376][87]:55
  • July 31 – August 2: The FBI sends two agents to London who interview Downer about his interactions with Papadopoulos.[373]
  • End July: CIA Director John Brennan, alarmed at intelligence that Russia is trying to "hack" the election, forms a working group of officials from the CIA, FBI, and NSA.[377]

August 2016Edit

  • August:
  • August 2:
    • Manafort, Gates, and Kilimnik meet at the Grand Havana Room of 666 Fifth Avenue in New York City.[381] This meeting is considered the "heart" of Mueller’s probe, per February 2019 reporting.[382] Manafort gives Kilimnik polling data at the meeting.[383] Manafort asked Kilimnik to pass the data to pro-Russian Ukrainians Serhiy Lyovochkin and Rinat Akhmetov.[384][385]
    • Corsi writes to Stone: "Word is friend in embassy plans 2 more dumps," referring to Assange; and "One shortly after I'm back. 2nd in Oct. Impact planned to be very damaging."[357]
  • August 2–3: The IRA's "Matt Skiber" persona contacts the real "Florida for Trump" Facebook account. The "T.W." persona contacts other grassroots groups.[97][98]
  • August 3:
    • Trump Jr., George Nader, Erik Prince, Stephen Miller, and Joel Zamel meet at Trump Jr.'s office in Trump Tower. Nader relays an offer from the leaders of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) to help get Trump elected. Zamel pitches his Israeli company's services for a multimillion-dollar campaign to manipulate social media. It is not known whether the social media campaign occurred.[386]
    • A private jet carrying Deripaska's family arrives at Newark Liberty International Airport near New York City a little after midnight New York time and returns to Moscow that afternoon. The trip's timing is considered suspicious because it is within hours of Manafort's meeting with Kilimnik. In 2018, a spokesperson for Deripaska confirms the flights and passengers.[387]
  • August 4:
    • Brennan calls his Russian counterpart Alexander Bortnikov, head of the FSB, to warn him against meddling in the presidential election.[377]
    • The IRA's Facebook account "Stop AI" accuses Clinton of voter fraud during the Iowa Caucuses. They buy ads promoting the post.[97][98]
    • IRA groups buy ads for the "Florida Goes Trump" rallies. The 8,300 people who click on the ads are sent to the Agency's "Being Patriotic" Facebook page.[97][98]
    • In an InfoWars interview, Stone tells Jones that Assange has proof of wrongdoing by the Clinton Foundation and is ready to release it.[388]
    • Stone sends Sam Nunberg an email in which he claims that he dined with Assange the night before.[388]
  • August 5:
    • Stone writes an article for Breitbart News in which he insists "Guccifer 2.0" hacked the DNC, using statements by "Guccifer 2.0" on Twitter and to The Hill as evidence for his claim. He tries to spin the DNC's Russia claim as a coverup for their supposed embarrassment over being penetrated by a single hacker.[389] The article leads to "Guccifer 2.0" reaching out to and conversing with Stone via Twitter.[390]
    • In response to questions about Page's July 7 speech in Moscow, Hope Hicks describes him as an "informal foreign policy adviser [who] does not speak for Mr. Trump or the campaign."[283]
    • The IRA Twitter account @March_For_Trump hires an actress to play Hillary Clinton in prison garb and someone to build a cage to hold the actress. The actress and cage are to appear at the "Florida Goes Trump" rally in West Palm Beach, Florida on August 20.[97][98]
  • August 6: Assange addresses the Green Party National Convention in Houston by videolink, to discuss the hacked DNC documents published by WikiLeaks.[391] Green candidate Jill Stein later states she does not know why or how this address was arranged.[147]
  • August 8: Stone, speaking in Florida to the Southwest Broward Republican Organization, claims he is in contact with Assange, saying, "I actually have communicated with Assange. I believe his next tranche of his documents pertain to the Clinton Foundation."[392][389] Stone later claims the communications were through an intermediary.[393]
  • August 9:
    • WikiLeaks denies having communicated with Stone.[394] Privately, Assange tells a core group of WikiLeaks supporters that he is unaware of any communications with Stone.[168]
    • Bloomberg reports that the Spanish Civil Guard believes Torshin assisted the Taganskaya crime syndicate with money laundering through banks in Spain.[395]
  • August 11: The IRA Twitter account @TEN_GOP claims that voter fraud is being investigated in North Carolina.[97][98]
  • August 12:
    • In a #MAGA Podcast, Stone says Assange has all the emails deleted by Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills.[396]
    • Journalist Emma Best has two simultaneous conversations by Twitter direct message with "Guccifer 2.0" and WikiLeaks. Best tries to negotiate the hosting of stolen DNC emails and documents on archive.org. WikiLeaks wants Best to act as an intermediary to funnel the material from "Guccifer 2.0" to them. The conversation ends with "Guccifer 2.0" saying he will send the material directly to WikiLeaks.[397]
    • "Guccifer 2.0" releases a cache of documents stolen from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.[398]
    • The GRU stops its five-attempts-per-second attack on the Illinois State Board of Elections servers.[316][317]
  • August 12–18: The IRA's persona "Josh Milton" communicates with Trump Campaign officials via email to request Trump/Pence signs and the phone numbers of campaign affiliates as part of an effort to organize pro-Trump campaign rallies in Florida.[399][87]:35
  • August 13:
    • Twitter and Wordpress temporarily suspend Guccifer 2.0's accounts.[398] Stone calls "Guccifer 2.0" a hero.[400]
    • Russian-American Simon Kukes attends a $25,000-per-ticket Trump fundraising dinner at the home of Woody Johnson in New York. Kukes's 2016 political donations become a subject of the Mueller investigation.[401][402]
  • August 14: The New York Times reports that Manafort's name has been found in the Ukrainian "black ledger". The ledger, belonging to the Ukrainian Party of Regions, shows $12.7 million in undisclosed cash payments to Manafort from 2007 to 2012. Manafort's lawyer, Richard A. Hibey, says Manafort never received "any such cash payments".[27] The Associated Press later verifies some of the entries against financial records.[403]
  • August 15:
    • Papadopoulos emails Clovis about requests he received from multiple foreign governments, "even Russia[]," for "closed door workshops/consultations abroad." He asks if there is still interest for himself, Clovis, and Phares "to go on that trip." Clovis copies Phares and tells Papadopoulos that he can't "travel before the election", wtiting, "I would encourage you [and Walid Phares to] make the trip, if it is feasible." The trip never occurs.[87]:92[285][286]
    • A Trump campaign county chair contacts the IRA through their phony email accounts to suggest locations for rallies.[97][98]
    • An alleged candidate for Congress contacts Guccifer 2.0 to request information on the candidate's opponent. Guccifer 2.0 responds with the requested stolen information.[219][87]:43
    • Guccifer 2.0 begins posting information about Florida and Pennsylvania races stolen from the DCCC.[219]
  • August 16:
    • Stone tells Jones that he is in contact with Assange, claiming he has "political dynamite" on Clinton.[404]
    • The IRA buys ads on Instagram for the "Florida Goes Trump" rallies.[97][98]
    • Stone sends "Guccifer 2.0" an article[405] he wrote for The Hill on manipulating the vote count in voting machines.[406] "Guccifer 2.0" responds the next day, "@RogerJStoneJr paying u back".[400]
  • August 17:
    • Trump is warned in an FBI briefing that foreign adversaries including Russia would likely attempt to infiltrate his campaign. This is Trump's first classified briefing. Clinton receives a similar briefing in the same month.[407][408][409]
    • Bannon is named Trump campaign CEO.[410]
    • Kellyanne Conway is named Trump campaign manager.[410]
  • August 18:
    • The FBI issues a nationwide "flash alert" warning state election officials about foreign infiltration of election systems in two states, later reported to be Arizona and Illinois. The alert includes technical evidence suggesting Russian responsibility, and urges states to boost their cyberdefenses. Although labeled for distribution only to "NEED TO KNOW recipients," a copy is leaked to the media.[411]
    • The IRA uses its joshmilton024@gmail.com email account to contact a Trump campaign official in Florida. The email requests campaign support at the forthcoming "Florida Goes Trump" rallies. It is unknown whether the campaign official responded.[97][98]
    • The IRA pays the person they hired to build a cage for a "Florida Goes Trump" rally in West Palm Beach, Florida.[97][98]
  • August 19:
  • August 20: 17 "Florida Goes Trump" rallies are held across Florida. The rallies are organized by Russian trolls from the IRA.[98][415]
  • August 22:
    • Florida GOP campaign advisor Aaron Nevins contacts Guccifer 2.0 and asks for material. Nevins sets up a Dropbox account and "Guccifer 2.0" transfers 2.5 gigabytes of data into it. Nevins analyzes the data, posts the results on his blog, HelloFLA.com, and sends "Guccifer 2.0" a link. "Guccifer 2.0" forwards the link to Stone.[219][416]
    • "Guccifer 2.0" allegedly sends DCCC material on Black Lives Matter to a reporter, and they discuss how to use it in a story. "Guccifer 2.0" also gives the reporter the password for accessing emails stolen from Clinton's staff that were posted to "Guccifer 2.0's" website but had not yet been made public. On August 31, The Washington Examiner publishes a story based on the material the same day the material is released publicly on Guccifer 2.0's website.[417][219][87]:43
  • August 23: The Smoking Gun reaches out to "Guccifer 2.0" for comment on its contacts with Stone. "Guccifer 2.0" accuses The Smoking Gun of working with the FBI.[400]
  • August 25:
    • Trump names Clovis as a campaign national co-chairman.[418]
    • Banks, Wigmore, and Farage attend a Trump fundraising dinner and participate in a Trump rally in the Mississippi Coliseum. Wigmore and Farage meet Trump for the first time at the dinner. At the rally, Trump introduces Farage to the crowd as "Mr. Brexit."[413][419][315]
    • Interviewed by Megyn Kelly on the The Kelly File, Assange says that he will not release any damaging information on Trump. He also tells her significant information will be released on Clinton before November.[420]
  • August 26:
    • After Clinton claims that Russian intelligence was behind the leaks, Assange says she is causing "hysteria" about Russia, adding, "The Trump campaign has a lot of things wrong with it, but as far as we can see being Russian agents is not one of them."[421]
    • Illinois State Board of Elections produces a report on the June–August hacking of their systems by the GRU.[316][317]
  • August 26–27: Frederick Intrater registers several Internet domain names that are variations on the term "alt-right." The domain names are registered using his name and the name and contact information of his employer, private equity firm Columbus Nova. Intrater is the brother of Columbus Nova CEO Andrew Intrater and a cousin of Vekselberg. Columbus Nova is the American investment arm of Vekselberg's business empire.[422]
  • August 27:
    • The IRA Facebook group "SecuredBorders" organizes a "Citizens before refugees" protest rally at the City Council Chambers in Twin Falls, Idaho. Only a small number of people show up for the three-hour event, most likely because it is Saturday and the Chambers are closed.[423]
    • Through Assange's attorney Margaret Ratner Kunstler, the widow of William Kunstler, Randy Credico knows that Wikileaks will release information about the Clinton campaign in the near future and texts Stone that "Julian Assange has kryptonite on Hillary." Credico continues to update Stone about the upcoming Wikileaks release of numerous emails stolen from Podesta and the Clinton campaign. The emails are released beginning on October 7.[424]
  • August 28: Peter W. Smith sends an encrypted email to an undisclosed list of recipients that includes Trump campaign co-chair Sam Clovis. The email says that after two days of meetings in D.C. on Clinton's private email server, he determined that the server was hacked by "State-related players" as well as private mercenaries. He writes, "Parties with varying interests, are circling to release ahead of the election."[87]:63[425]
  • August 29: The Washington Post is the first to report that Illinois discovered in July that its voter registration servers were hacked, and that the user ID and password of an Arizona election official in Gila County was stolen in June. Arizona Secretary of State Michele Reagan shut down the state's voter registration system for a week but did not find that any state or county systems were compromised.[316][426]
  • August 31:
    • "Guccifer 2.0" leaks campaign documents stolen from House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's hacked personal computer.[427][428]
    • An American contacts the IRA's "Being Patriotic" account about a possible September 11 event in Miami.[97][98]
    • The IRA buys ads for a September 11 rally in New York City.[97][98]
    • Smith sends an email to an undisclosed list of recipients in which he claims KLS Research met with parties who had access to Clinton's missing emails, including some with "ties and affiliations to Russia". Mueller's team is unable to determine whether such meetings occurred or find any evidence that Smith's team was in contact with Russian hackers.[87]:65
  • Late August: Brennan gives individual briefings to the Gang of Eight on links between the Trump campaign and Russian interference in the election.[429]
  • Late August–Early September:
    • According to December 2018 McClatchy DC reporting, Cohen's cellphone communicates with cell towers in the vicinity of Prague, and communication intercepts by an Eastern European intelligence agency overhear a Russian conversation that states Cohen is in Prague. If true, it would lend credence to the allegation in the Steele dossier that Cohen traveled to Prague to meet with Russians.[430]
    • August 31 or September 1: FBI informant Stefan Halper meets with Trump advisor Sam Clovis, who stated they talked about China.[341]

September 2016Edit

  • September:
    • The Egyptian Embassy in Washington, D.C., reaches out to Papadopoulos expressing Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi's interest in meeting Trump. With Bannon's approval, Papadopoulos arranges a meeting between Trump and el-Sisi at the Plaza Hotel in New York City.[136] While the meeting does not appear to relate to campaign contacts with Russia, it highlights that Papadopoulos was more than a "coffee boy", as Trump campaign officials later claim.[213]
    • The CIA gives a secret briefing to congressional leaders on Russian interference in the election. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell voices doubts about the intelligence.[431]
    • Mifsud hires Mangiante to work for the London Centre of International Law Practice, on Pittella's recommendation. Papadopoulos, a former employee of the Centre, contacts her via LinkedIn. They begin dating in March 2017.[48]
    • Stone emails Credico to ask Assange for Clinton emails from August 10–30, 2011.[432]
    • The FBI makes a second attempt to recruit Deripaska as an informant on Manafort, the Kremlin, and Russian organized crime in exchange for a U.S. visa.[111]
  • September 2:
    • Lisa Page writes in a text message to Peter Strzok that a meeting at the FBI was set up "because Obama wanted 'to know everything we are doing'."[433] She was referring to the FBI investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, not the Clinton emails investigation, which had been concluded months earlier.[434][433]
    • Peter W. Smith incorporates "KLS Research", an LLC registered in Delaware, as a vehicle to manage funds raised to pay for the search for Clinton's emails and "to avoid campaign reporting."[435][87]:63 KLS is structured as an "independent expenditure group," which is forbidden by law from coordinating with the Trump campaign.[436] Over $30,000 flows through the company during the campaign.[87]:63
  • September 3: The IRA Facebook group "United Muslims of America" organizes a "Safe Space for Muslim Neighborhood" rally outside the White House, attracting at least 57 people.[437]
  • September 3–5: Wealthy Republican donor Peter W. Smith gathers a team to try to acquire the 30,000 deleted Clinton emails from hackers. He believes Clinton's private email server was hacked and copies of the emails were stolen.[438] Among the people recruited are former GCHQ information-security specialist Matt Tait,[439] alt-right activist Charles C. Johnson, former Business Insider CTO and alt-right activist Pax Dickinson, "dark web expert" Royal O'Brien, and Jonathan Safron.[440] Tait quickly abandons the team after learning the true purpose of the endeavor.[440] Hackers contacted in the search include "Guccifer 2.0" and Andrew Auernheimer (a.k.a. "weev").[440] The team finds five groups of hackers claiming to have the emails. Two of the groups are Russian. Flynn is in email contact with the team. Smith commits suicide on May 14, 2017, about ten days after telling the story to The Wall Street Journal but before the story is published in June.[438]
  • September 4–5: At the 2016 G20 Hangzhou summit, Obama confronts Putin about Russian cyber attacks, telling him to stop. Putin explains Russia's stance on the issue.[441]
  • September 8:
    • Smith transfers $9,500 from KLS Research to his personal account, then withdraws $4,900 of it in cash and writes checks for the remaining amount. In August 2018, BuzzFeed News reports that the FBI suspects the money was used to pay hackers.[442]
    • Sessions meets with Kislyak a third time, in Sessions's office;[1] he later says they discussed Ukraine and terrorism.[443]
  • September 9:
    • Papadopoulos contacts deputy communications director Bryan Lanza about a request from Interfax for an interview with Ksenia Baygarova. Lanza approves the interview.[136]
    • The IRA sends money to its American groups to fund the September 11 rally in Miami, and to pay the actress who portrayed Clinton at the West Palm Beach, Florida, rally.[97][98]
    • Smith circulates a document claiming his Clinton email search initiative is being performed in coordination with the Trump campaign "to the extent permitted as an independent expenditure organization." The document lists Flynn, Clovis, Bannon, and Conway as involved campaign members, and Corsi under "Independent Groups/Organizations/Individuals". Later, Mueller's team is unable to confirm the active participation of Bannon and Conway.[87]:63–64[425]
  • Mid-September: Papadopoulos approaches British government officials asking for a meeting with senior ministers. He is given a meeting with a mid-level Foreign Office official in London. Papadopoulos mentions he has senior contacts in the Russian government. British officials conclude he is not a major player and discontinue contact.[444]
  • September 15:
    • DCLeaks sends a Twitter direct message to Wikileaks asking how to discuss submission-related issues because Wikileaks is not responding to messages on their secure chat and DCLeaks has something of interest to share.[87]:46
    • "Guccifer 2.0" sends a Twitter direct message to DCLeaks informing them that WikiLeaks is trying to contact them to set up communications using encrypted emails.[87]:46–47
    • Papadopoulos meets with Stefan Halper's research assistant Azra Turk for drinks in London. She asks him questions about whether the Trump campaign was working with Russia. Papadopoulos becomes suspicious about the line of questioning and comes to believe Turk is an intelligence agent, possibly from Turkey. In May 2019, The New York Times reports that Turk was an undercover FBI agent supervising Halper's inquiries into possible connections between the Trump Campaign and Russia.[445]
  • September 16: Barbara Ledeen emails Smith about a cache of purported Clinton emails she says she found on the dark web. She asks for help raising money to pay for a technical advisor to authenticate the emails. Erik Prince provides the money. In April 2018 Prince tells Mueller's team that the technical advisor determined that the emails were forgeries.[87]:64[425]
  • September 20:
    • Flynn meets with Rohrabacher. On November 10, 2017, the Mueller investigation is reported to have asked questions about this meeting.[446]
    • Alleged GRU hackers compromise a DNC account on a cloud-computing service and begin copying 300 GB of data off of the servers.[87]:49–50
    • While browsing a political chatroom, Jason Fishbein comes across the password to a non-public website (PutinTrump.org) focusing on Trump's ties to Russia that is nearing launch. He sends the password and website to WikiLeaks in a Twitter direct message. WikiLeaks tweets about the website and password.[447][87]:59–60
  • September 20–26: BlackMattersUS, an IRA website, recruits activists to participate in protests over the police shooting of Keith Lamont Scott in Charlotte, North Carolina. The IRA pays for expenses such as microphones and speakers.[448]
  • September 21:
    • The New York Times delivers potential evidence of communications with Trump's domain with Alfa-Bank and other entities to BGR Group, a Washington lobbying firm that worked for Alfa-Bank, from a story Lichtblau was pursuing following findings "Max" and his lawyer decided to hand over to him.[266]
    • WikiLeaks sends a Twitter direct message to Trump Jr. about the password to PutinTrump.org. Several hours later, Trump Jr. emails senior campaign staff about the WikiLeaks direct message and website, including Conway, Bannon, Kushner, David Bossie, and Brad Parscale. After the public launch of PutinTrump.org, Trump Jr. sends a Twitter direct message to WikiLeaks, "Off the record, l don't know who that is but I'll ask around. Thanks." This is believed to be the first direct communication between Trump Jr. and WikiLeaks.[447][87]:60[449]:33
  • September 22:
    • Senator Dianne Feinstein and Representative Adam Schiff issue a statement warning that Russia is trying to undermine the election. Their warning is based on what they learned from intelligence briefings as members of the Gang of Eight.[450]
    • The IRA buys ads on Facebook for "Miners for Trump" rallies in Pennsylvania.[97][98]
    • DCLeaks sends an encrypted file to WikiLeaks and, separately, a tweet with a string of characters. The Mueller Report suspects that this was a transfer of stolen documents, but does not rule out that Andrew Müller-Maguhn or another intermediary may have hand-delivered the documents. In 2018, Müller-Maguhn, a known hacker and frequent visitor to Assange, denies transporting material to him.[87]:47[451]
  • September 23:
    • Yahoo News reports that U.S. intelligence officials are investigating whether Page has set up private communications between the Trump campaign and senior Russian officials, including talks on possibly lifting sanctions if Trump is elected.[452]
    • The "A record" of the Trump Organization's mail1.trump-email.com domain is deleted.[266]
  • September 24: Trump campaign denies all knowledge of Carter Page as he exits campaign.[453]
  • September 25:
    • When asked by CNN about allegations linking Page to Russia, Conway denies that Page is part of the Trump campaign.[454][455]
    • Page sends Comey a letter asking that the FBI drop the reported investigation into his activities in Russia. He denies meeting with sanctioned Russian officials.[456]
    • FBI informant Stefan Halper asks Trump advisor George Papadopoulos if he is aware of any efforts by Russians to interfere with the 2016 election; Papadopoulos twice denies it.[457]
  • September 26: Page tells Josh Rogin in an interview for The Washington Post that he is taking a leave of absence from the Trump campaign. He denies meeting with sanctioned individuals in Moscow.[458]
  • September 27: Ten minutes after Alfa-Bank servers made a last failed attempt to contact to Trump Organization's mail1.trump-email.com domain (which had its "A record" deleted September 23), one of the Alfa-Bank servers looks up the new domain name trump1.contact-client.com, which was routed to the same Trump server. The new domain does not appear to have been previously active and the PTR record did not include the new, alternate name. According to "Max"'s data, the Alfa-Bank server only looked up the new domain once.[266] Spectrum Health never succeeded in relocating the Trump server through the new route.[266]
  • September 28: Russian-American Simon Kukes donates $99,000 to the Trump Victory Committee, which distributes donations between Trump, the RNC, and state Republican parties. His 2016 political donations become a subject of the Mueller investigation.[401]
  • September 29:
    • Comey testifies before the House Judiciary Committee, confirming that federal investigators have detected suspicious activities in voter registration databases, as stated in the August 18 alert.[459]
    • Butina meets J.D. Gordon at a party at the Swiss ambassador's residence. Gordon was the Director of National Security for the Trump campaign from February to August. That night, Paul Erickson emails Butina and Gordon offering to "add an electronic bridge" to their meeting at the party. In his email to Butina, Erickson writes that Gordon is "playing a crucial role in the Trump transition effort and would be an excellent addition to any of the U.S./Russia friendship dinners to occasionally hold." He writes that all the "right" people listen to Gordon on international security. Erickson's email to Gordon describes Butina as a "special friend" of the NRA and the special assistant to the deputy governor of the Bank of Russia.[460]
  • September 30: Ksenia Baygarova interviews Papadopoulos for Interfax on Trump's foreign policy positions in relation to Russia.[461] The interview was approved by Trump campaign deputy communications director Bryan Lanza. Baygarova later tells The Washington Post that she had been tasked to interview a representative from each campaign. She says Papadopoulos was the only person from the Trump campaign to respond. She describes him as not very experienced.[136] Adverse publicity generated by the interview leads to Papadopoulous being fired from the campaign in October.[87]:93
  • Late September: Lichtblau and his lawyer meet a roomful of officials at FBI HQ, and is told they are looking into potential Russian interference in the election. FBI officials ask Lichtblau to delay publishing his story.[266]

October–November 2016Edit

  • Early October: A team of FBI agents travel to Europe to speak with Steele about his dossier.[213] On or about the same date, Steele gives the FBI a dossier of allegations compiled by Cody Shearer, which corresponded "with what he had separately heard from his own independent sources." It includes the unverified allegation that Trump was sexually compromised by the Russian secret service at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Moscow in 2013.[462][463]
  • October 1: Stone tweets that something damaging to Clinton will happen soon.[464]
  • October 2:
    • "Miners for Trump" rallies are held across Pennsylvania. The IRA uses the same techniques to organize the rallies as they used for the "Florida Goes Trump" rallies, including hiring a person to wear a Clinton mask and a prison uniform.[97][98]
    • Stone tells Jones on InfoWars, "I'm assured the motherlode is coming Wednesday...I have reason to believe that it is devastating."[400]
  • October 3:
    • Stone tweets that Assange will release something soon.[465]
    • WikiLeaks sends a Twitter direct message to Trump Jr. asking him to help "push" a WikiLeaks tweet from earlier in the day ("Hillary Clinton on Assange 'Can't we just drone this guy?[']") that includes a link to truepundit.com. Trump Jr. responds, "Already did that earlier today. It’s amazing what she can get away with. What’s behind this Wednesday leak I keep reading about?"[447][87]:60[449]:34
  • October 4: Assange announces the pending release of a million documents about the U.S. presidential election. He denies any specific intent to harm Clinton.[466]
  • October 5:
    • (Wednesday) Stone tweets that a payload from Assange is coming.[219]
    • Trump Jr. retweets a WikiLeaks tweet announcing an "860Mb [sic]" archive of various Clinton campain documents from "Guccifer 2.0".[449]:34
  • October 6: Stone tweets, "Julian Assange will deliver a devastating expose on Hillary at a time of his choosing. I stand by my prediction."[219]
  • October 7:
    • At 12:40 PM EDT,[467] The DHS and the ODNI issue a joint statement[468] accusing the Russian government of breaking into the computer systems of several political organizations and releasing the obtained material via DCLeaks, WikiLeaks, and "Guccifer 2.0", with the intent "to interfere with the U.S. election process."[469]
    • Corsi holds a conference call with members of WorldNetDaily in which he warns them of the imminent release of the Access Hollywood tape and tells them "to reach Assange immediately". In November 2018 he tells Mueller's team that he thought Malloch was on the call and assumed Malloch had successfully contacted Assange because of the subsequent Podesta emails release later in the day. Travel records show Malloch was on a trans-Atlantic flight at the time. The Mueller Report says Corsi's sometimes conflicting statements about the call's contents have not been corroborated.[87]:58–59
    • At 4:03 PM EDT,[467] The Washington Post publishes a raw video tape from the television show Access Hollywood of Trump bragging about grabbing women by their genitals.[470] While the tape is not relevant to the Russian interference in the election, the distraction of its release lessens the public impact of the joint intelligence report released hours earlier and may have triggered WikiLeaks' Podesta emails release 30 minutes later.[467][471][389]
    • Around 4:30 PM EDT,[467] WikiLeaks begins publishing thousands of Podesta emails, revealing excerpts from Clinton's paid speeches to Wall Street.[472][473] Trump Jr. retweets WikiLeaks' and others' announcements about the release.[449]:34
  • October 8: Kushner's company receives $370 million in new loans, including $285 million from Deutsche Bank, to refinance his portion of the former New York Times building. The size and timing of the Deutsche Bank loan draws scrutiny from the House Financial Services Committee, the Justice Department, and, later, the Mueller investigation. The concern is that the transaction may be related to Russian money laundering through Deutsche Bank.[474][475]
  • October 9: Banks, Wigmore, and Farage attend the second presidential debate in St. Louis, Missouri.[315]
  • October 11:
    • Trump Jr. travels to Paris to give a paid speech at the Ritz Hotel. The dinner event is sponsored by the Center of Political and Foreign Affairs, a group founded by Fabien Baussart and his business partner. Baussart is openly linked to Russian government officials. Randa Kassis, one of the hosts, travels to Moscow after the election and reports the details of the event to Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov.[476]
    • Podesta says he thinks the Trump campaign had advance notice of WikiLeaks's release of his emails.[219]
  • October 12: WikiLeaks writes to Trump Jr., "Hey Donald, great to see you and your dad talking about our publications" and "Strongly suggest your dad tweets this link if he mentions us wlsearch.tk."[477][447][87]:60 Fifteen minutes later, Donald Trump tweets, "Very little pick-up by the dishonest media of incredible information provided by WikiLeaks. So dishonest! Rigged system!"[478]
  • October 13: WikiLeaks again denies communicating with Stone.[479] Later that day, Stone and WikiLeaks communicate by private Twitter message.[219][480]
  • October 14:
    • Trump Jr. tweets about wlsearch.tk as requested by WikiLeaks on October 12.[481][447][87]:60[482]
    • Pence denies that the Trump campaign is working with WikiLeaks, stating that "nothing could be further from the truth".[483]
  • October 15:
    • The Democratic Coalition Against Trump files a complaint with the FBI against Stone for colluding with Russia. They ask the FBI to look into connections between Stone, the Trump campaign, and the hacking of Podesta's emails.[484]
    • The National Security Division of the Justice Department acquires a FISA warrant to monitor the communications of two Russian banks as part of an investigation into whether they illegally transferred money to the Trump campaign.[236]
  • October 16: The IRA's Instagram account "Woke Blacks" makes a post aimed at suppressing black voter turnout.[97][98]
  • October 18: Butina and Gordon attend a Styx concert together.[460][485]
  • October 19:
     
    Senator Harry Reid Letter to FBI Director James B. Comey[486]
    • The FBI and the US Department of Justice (DoJ) apply for a FISA warrant to conduct surveillance on Carter Page.[58][487] In its approval, the FISA Court finds there is probable cause to believe Page is a Russian agent.[488]:67–68[489]
    • During the third presidential debate, Clinton blames Russia for the DNC email leaks and accuses Trump of being a "puppet" of Putin.[490] Trump denies ever having met Putin and any connection to him.[491] Banks, Wigmore, and Farage are in attendance.[315]
    • A Financial Times probe finds evidence a Trump venture has links to alleged laundering network.[492]
    • Stone denies having advance knowledge of WikiLeaks' release of Podesta's emails.[493][389]
    • The IRA runs its most popular ad on Facebook. The ad is for the IRA's Back the Badge Facebook group and shows a badge with the words "Back the Badge" in front of police lights under the caption "Community of people who support our brave Police Officers."[494]
  • October 21:
    • WikiLeaks sends Trump Jr. private tweets suggesting that the campaign give them Trump's tax returns to publish so that they seem less of a "'pro-Trump' 'pro-Russia'" source.[478]
    • DOJ and FBI request and obtain new FISA wiretap on Carter Page.[495]
  • October 22: A large rally is held in Charlotte, North Carolina, protesting the police shooting of Keith Lamont Scott. The IRA website BlackMattersUS recruits unwitting local activists to organize the rally.[496] BlackMattersUS provides an activist with a bank card to pay for rally expenses.[448]
  • October 24: Trump announces at a Florida campaign rally, "I have nothing to do with Russia, folks. I'll give you a written statement."[455]
  • October 27: At the Valdai Discussion Club yearly forum, Putin denounces American "hysteria" over accusations of Russian interference, saying "Does anyone seriously think that Russia can influence the choice of the American people?"[497]
  • October 28:
    • The FBI reopens its Hillary Clinton email investigation after a monthlong delay during which it focused on investigating the Trump campaign's connections to Russia, according to the report of the Justice Department's inspector general.[498][499] A key influence on the decision was a probably fake Russian intelligence document discussing a purported email from Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch to Clinton campaign staffer Amanda Renteria in which she promises to go easy on Clinton.[467][500] Nine days after announcing he was reopening the probe, Comey said the FBI found nothing to change its July decision against bringing charges.[498][499]
    • Peter W. Smith sends an email to an undisclosed list of recipients in which he writes that there is a "tug-of-war going on within WikiLeaks over its planned releases in the next few days" and that WikiLeaks "has maintained that it will save its best revelations for last, under the theory this allows little time for response prior to the U.S. election November 8." An attachment to the email says that WikiLeaks will release "All 33k deleted Emails" by November 1.[87]:64–65
  • October 30:
    • Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid sends FBI Director James Comey a letter asking him to reveal Trump's ties to the Russian Federation.[486]
    • Cohen and Giorgi Rtskhiladze exchange text messages in which they discuss suppressing tapes of Trump's 2013 trip to Moscow rumored to be in the possession of Aras Agalarov's company, Crocus Group [ru]. In May 2018 Rtskhiladze tells Mueller's team that he was told the tapes were fake but did not relay that information to Cohen.[501]:27–28[502]
  • October 31:
    • Through the "red phone", Obama tells Putin to stop interfering or face consequences.[503]
    • Mother Jones magazine's David Corn reports that a veteran spy, later publicly identified as Steele, gave the FBI information alleging a Russian operation to cultivate Trump, later known as the "Steele dossier".[504]
    • Slate publishes an article by Franklin Foer alleging that a Trump server was in suspicious contact with Alfa-Bank in Russia.[505] Snopes examined the story and rated it "Unproven". Several cyber security experts saw nothing nefarious, while the FBI was still investigating the matter: "One U.S. official said investigators find the server relationship 'odd' and are not ignoring it. But the official said there is still more work for the FBI to do. Investigators have not yet determined whether a connection would be significant."[506]
    • The New York Times publishes an article by Lichtblau and Steven Lee Myers with a headline that seems to exonerate the Trump campaign, but withholds some information.[507]
  • November:
    • Mangiante quits the London Centre of International Law Practice after complaining to Mifsud about not being paid her salary.[48]
    • Paul Manafort and Rick Gates falsely assert in writing to the Justice Department that their work for the Ukrainian government did not require registering as foreign agents in the United States. In September 2018, Manafort pleads guilty to lying to the Justice Department about the extent of his work for Ukraine.[508]
    • The GRU targets over 120 Florida election officials' email accounts with spearphishing attacks.[509][87]:51 They receive emails purportedly from VR Systems, the state's voter registration and election results service provider, asking them to open a purported Word document containing a trojan.[509][510] At least some emails contain British spellings and come from Gmail acounts, which VR Systems doesn't use.[510] Many of the emails are flagged by spam filters.[510] They also receive an email from VR's chief operating officer warning them about the malicious emails.[510] Later, the FBI believes one county government's network was compromised in a way that would have given security hackers the ability to alter voter registration data, but this is disputed by state election officials.[509][87]:51[510]
  • November 2: The IRA Twitter account @TEN_GOP alleges "#VoterFraud by counting tens of thousands of ineligible mail in Hillary votes being reported in Broward County, Florida." Trump Jr. retweets it.[97][98]
  • November 3: The IRA Instagram account "Blacktivist" suggests people vote for Stein instead of Clinton.[97][98]
  • November 4: Mother Jones reports that an October security sweep of the DNC offices in Washington, D.C., discovered a signal that may have belonged to a device outside the office that could intercept cell phone calls. The DNC says details of the security sweep were passed on to the FBI and "another agency with three letters," but no device was ever found.[511]
  • November 5:
    • Konstantin Sidorkov again emails Trump Jr. and Trump campaign social media director Dan Scavino. He again offers to promote Trump to VK's 100 million users. His previous email was sent on January 19, 2016.[199]
    • Anti-Clinton "Texit" rallies are held across Texas. The IRA's "Heart of Texas" Facebook group organizes the rallies around the theme of Texas seceding from the United States if Clinton is elected. The group contacts the Texas Nationalist Movement, a secessionist organization, to help with organizing efforts, but they decline to help. Small rallies are held in Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin, and other cities. No one attends the Lubbock rally.[512][513][514]

Post-election transitionEdit

November–December 2016Edit

  • November–December:
  • November–January:
    • During the transition period, the FBI warns Trump aide Hope Hicks at least twice that she might be approached by Russian government operatives using fake identities.[519][520]
    • The British Foreign Office holds a series of meetings with Cambridge Analytica executives in London, Washington, and New York to "better understand" how Trump won and acquire insights into the "political environment" following his win.[521]
  • November 9: Dmitriev reaches out to Nader expressing the desire to build closer relationships with the U.S. and the Trump team.[522]
  • November 8:
    • Trump is elected President of the United States.[523]
    • Hours after the polls close, the hashtag #Calexit is retweeted by thousands of IRA accounts.[514]
    • Rospatent, the Russian government agency responsible for intellectual property, grants 10-year extensions on four of Trump's trademarks.[524]
  • November 10:
    • Kislyak states that Russia was not involved with U.S. election hacking.[525]
    • Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov tells the Interfax news agency "there were contacts" with the Trump team during the campaign.[526]
    • Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova tells Bloomberg News that it was "normal practice" for Russian Embassy staffers to meet with members of the Trump campaign. She says the Clinton campaign declined requests for meetings.[526]
    • In a private Oval Office meeting, Obama warns Trump against hiring Flynn.[527]
    • Mark Zuckerberg calls the idea that "fake news" on Facebook could have influenced the election "crazy."[528][529]
  • November 11:
  • November 12:
    • Butina holds a birthday party at Cafe Deluxe in Washington, D.C., attended by Erickson and Trump campaign aides.[380][174] She claims to be part of Russian communications with the Trump campaign, something she has bragged about for months.[380]
    • A Trump protest called "Trump is NOT my President" attracts 5,000–10,000 protestors in Manhattan who march from Union Square to Trump Tower. The protest is organized by the IRA using their BlackMattersUS Facebook account.[97][98][535]
    • Banks, Farage and Wigmore visit Trump Tower unannounced and are invited inside by Bannon. They have a long meeting with Trump. Wigmore asks Trump's receptionist for the Trump transition team's contact information.[536][315][537]
  • November 13: Zakharova jokingly comments on the Rossiya 1 show Sunday Evening with Vladimir Solovyov that "our people in Brighton Beach won the election for Donald Trump."[538]
  • November 15:
    • Devin Nunes replaces former Representative Mike Rogers as a Trump transition team national security advisor.[539]
    • Banks and Wigmore meet with Yakovenko in London; they discuss their November 12 meeting with Trump, and Sessions's role in the new administration. At Yakovenko's request, Banks provides Yakovenko with contact information for the Trump transition team.[536][537][540][541]
  • November 18:
    • Trump announces he will nominate Sessions as Attorney General[542] and Flynn as National Security Adviser.[543] Elijah Cummings, ranking member of the House Oversight Committee, sends Pence a letter warning that Flynn's connections to Russia and Turkey might create conflicts of interest. He asks the Trump administration's transition team for documents related to Flynn.[544] Receipt of the letter is acknowledged on November 28.[230]
    • Elijah Cummings, ranking member of the House Oversight Committee, writes a letter to Pence warning that Flynn's connections to Russia and Turkey might create conflicts of interest. He asks the Trump administration's transition team for documents related to Flynn.[544] Receipt of the letter is acknowledged on November 28.[230]
  • November 19:
    • The IRA organizes the "Charlotte Against Trump" rally in Charlotte, North Carolina.[97][98]
    • Obama privately meets Mark Zuckerberg at a gathering of world leaders in Lima, Peru. Obama urges Zuckerberg to take the threats of political disinformation and "fake news" seriously, and warns him that doing nothing will cause problems in the next election. Zuckerberg responds that there were only a few messages, and doing something about the problem would be difficult.[529]
  • November 21:
  • Late November: Senior members of Trump's transition team warn Flynn about the dangers of contacting Kislyak, including that Kislyak's conversations are probably being monitored by the FBI and the NSA. Flynn is recorded a month later discussing sanctions with Kislyak.[548]
  • November 23–28: Kaveladze and Rob Goldstone attempt to set up a meeting between Natalia Veselnitskaya and the Trump transition team during Veselnitskaya's trip to the U.S.[302][138]
  • November 25: Trump announces K. T. McFarland will be the deputy national security advisor for his new administration after Paul Erickson lobbies former campaign officials and Trump donors to get her the position.[549][550]
  • November 30: On a recommendation from the GSA, Trump transition team members discuss installing Signal, an encrypted messaging app, on Flynn's phone to encrypt his communications.[551]
  • December: Concerned that the incoming Trump administration will suppress the information collected in the Russia investigation, the White House spreads it across government agencies to leave a trail for future investigators.[552]
  • December 1: According to an anonymous letter to The Washington Post citing leaked intercepts of Russian diplomatic communications, during a transition team meeting at Trump Tower, Kushner asks Kislyak about the potential to communicate directly with the Kremlin over a Russian-encrypted channel. Flynn also attends the meeting.[553][554]
  • Early December: In Russia, FSB cyber chief Sergei Mikhailov, senior Kaspersky Lab researcher Ruslan Stoyanov, and hacker Dmitry Dokuchayev (known as "Forb") are arrested for treason.[555][556]
  • December 8: The IRA runs an ad on Craigslist to hire someone to walk around New York City dressed as Santa Claus while wearing a Trump mask.[245][87]:32
  • December 9:
    • Republican Senator John McCain delivers the Steele dossier to Comey.[320]
    • The Trump transition team dismisses reported intelligence assessments finding Russian interference in the election. Their statement says, "These are the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. The election ended a long time ago in one of the biggest Electoral College victories in history. It's now time to move on and 'Make America Great Again.'"[431]
  • December 10: Glenn R. Simpson tells Ohr that Cohen was the "go-between from Russia to the Trump campaign", and gives him a memory stick containing evidence. Ohr memorializes the meeting in handwritten notes.[557]
  • December 12: Kislyak meets with Kushner's assistant, Avi Berkowitz, to arrange a meeting between Kushner and the FSB-connected Sergey Gorkov, head of sanctioned Russian bank Vnesheconombank.[64][558][559][560]
  • December 13:
    • Gorkov arrives from Moscow to secretly meet Kushner in New York, before flying to Japan, where Putin is holding a summit. The meeting is first reported in March 2017, and attracts the interest of federal and congressional investigators in May. Kushner later characterizes the meeting as brief and meaningless. The White House later describes the meeting as a diplomatic encounter. The bank later says they discussed Kushner's real estate business.[64][559][561]
    • Trump picks Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State; Russian officials praise the decision.[562]
  • December 15:
  • December 16: Speaking at his final press conference as president, Obama comes just short of saying Putin was personally behind the DNC and Podesta hacks.[570]
  • December 18: Speaking to CBS News, Conway says it is "false" and "dangerous" to suggest that members of the Trump campaign spoke to any Russians during the campaign.[455][571]
  • December 22: At the direction of a "very senior member" of the transition team, Flynn asks Kislyak to delay or defeat a pending vote on a United Nations Security Council resolution. Flynn later pleads guilty to lying to the FBI about the effort to defeat the resolution.[572][573]
  • December 23: Kislyak calls Flynn and tells him Russia will not vote against the United Nations Security Council resolution they spoke about the day before.[573]
  • December 26: Oleg Erovinkin, a former KGB official, is found dead in the back seat of his car in Moscow. He was suspected of assisting Steele in compiling his dossier.[574]
  • December 28: Kislyak texts Flynn and asks him to call, setting off the series of calls in the following days.[575]
  • December 29:
    • Following Executive Order 13757 signed the previous day, Obama's administration expels 35 Russian diplomats, locks down two Russian diplomatic compounds, and expands sanctions against Russia.[576][577][578][579] Flynn consults with the Trump transition team,[580][581] then speaks with Kislyak by telephone to request that Russia not escalate matters in response to Obama's actions.[582][583] Flynn later pleads guilty to lying to the FBI about his conversations with Kislyak regarding the new sanctions.[573]
    • Before Flynn's call to Kislyak, K. T. McFarland emails other Trump transition officials saying that Flynn will be speaking to Kislyak to try to prevent a cycle of retaliation over the newly imposed sanctions. The email is forwarded to Flynn, Reince Priebus, Bannon, and Sean Spicer.[584]
    • The NCCIC releases a joint analysis report titled "GRIZZLY STEPPE – Russian Malicious Cyber Activity" as a follow-up to the October 7, 2016, joint statement on election security. The report describes methods used by Russian intelligence groups APT29 and APT28 to penetrate election-related servers.[585]
  • December 30: Putin announces he will not retaliate against the U.S. expulsions, contrary to recommendations from Lavrov.[586] In reply, Trump tweets "Great move on delay (by V. Putin) – I always knew he was very smart!"[587] This action is widely interpreted as praising Putin's actions.
  • December 31: Kislyak calls Flynn to tell him that Russia has decided not to retaliate based upon Flynn's request. Afterward, Flynn tells senior members of the transition team about his conversations with Kislyak and Russia's decision not to escalate.[573]

January 2017Edit

  • January:
    • McGahn researches the Logan Act and federal laws related to lying to federal investigators. Records turned over to the Mueller investigation show McGahn believes Flynn violated one or more of those laws.[588]
    • The FBI obtains a new FISA warrant for Carter Page, replacing the expired warrant from October 2016.[488]:163–164[489]
  • Early January:
  • January 4: The FBI begins investigating Flynn's December phone calls with Kislyak.[594]
  • January 5:
     
    Susan Rice's email to herself on January 20, 2017.
    • Obama is briefed on the intelligence community's findings.[595]
    • U.S. intelligence agencies release a report concluding that Putin ordered the cyber-campaign to influence the 2016 election.[132][596]
    • Flynn, Kushner and Bannon meet with the King of Jordan. According to BuzzFeed, they discuss a plan to deploy American nuclear power plants in Jordan with security support from a Russian company. "People close to the three Trump advisers" deny the allegations.[597][598]
    • R. James Woolsey Jr., who became a senior adviser to Trump in September 2016, resigns amid Congressional hearings into cyber attacks and public statements by Trump critical of the United States Intelligence Community.[599]
  • January 6:
  • January 8: Bloomberg reports that Ted Malloch was interviewed by the Trump transition team for the position of U.S. Ambassador to the European Union. Malloch was recommended for the position by Nigel Farage.[609] In 2018, Malloch is served a search warrant by the FBI and questioned by Mueller.[610][611]
  • January 9:
    • Cohen and Vekselberg meet at Trump Tower to discuss their mutual desire to improve Russia's relationship with the U.S. under the Trump administration.[612] After President Trump was inaugurated, Cohen received a $1 million consulting contract from Columbus Nova, headed by Andrew Intrater, who also attended the Vekselberg meeting.[613]
    • Kushner is named Senior Advisor to the President.[614]
    • Profexer, a Ukrainian hacker who is the author of a hacking tool described in the December 29, 2016, NCCIC report on Russian cyber attacks, goes dark. He turns himself in to the Ukrainian police and becomes a cooperating witness for the FBI. The Ukrainian police say he was not placed under arrest.[615]
  • January 10:
    • In a confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sessions denies communicating with the Russian government during Trump's election campaign.[616]
    • BuzzFeed publishes the Steele dossier alleging various misdeeds by Trump and associates in Russia.[617] Trump dismisses the dossier as "fake news".[618]
  • January 11:
    • Trump tweets, "Russia has never tried to use leverage over me. I HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH RUSSIA – NO DEALS, NO LOANS, NO NOTHING!".[619] USA Today says this is "not exactly true".[620]
    • BBC News's Paul Wood writes that the salacious information in Steele's dossier was also reported by "multiple intelligence sources" and "at least one East European intelligence service".[621][622]
    • Erik Prince, a Trump campaign donor and brother of forthcoming Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, meets in the Seychelles with Kirill Dmitriev, CEO of the Russian government's $10bn Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF). Prince will claim in August that he scarcely remembers Dmitriev. Dmitriev's identity is revealed in November 2017, and Prince confirms the meeting in an interview with House investigators on November 30.[623][624] The meeting was organized by the U.A.E. and reportedly includes talks of a "back channel" with Moscow to try to influence Russian policy in the Middle East, joint U.S.–Russian military operations in Syria, peace between Ukraine and Russia, nuclear non-proliferation, RDIF investment in the midwest, and a joint investment fund between RDIF and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation.[569][625][626][627] George Nader, an adviser to crown prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan of the U.A.E., facilitates and attends.[628][593] In May 2018 Dmitriev suggests the meeting was more than a chance encounter.[629] The meeting occurs amid a series of meetings of politically connected individuals from Russia, France, Saudi Arabia, and South Africa that are part of a larger gathering hosted by the crown prince.[630]
    • Michael Cohen tells Sean Hannity on The Sean Hannity Show that there is no relationship between Russia and the people around Trump or the Trump campaign.[631][632]
  • January 12:
    • "Guccifer 2.0" denies having any relation to the Russian government.[219][633]
    • Deripaska's longtime American lobbyist Adam Waldman makes the first of nine visits with Assange in 2017 at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.[634]
  • January 13:
    • President-elect Trump nominates U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein as Deputy Attorney General.[635]
    • Sean Spicer claims in a press conference that Flynn had only one call with Kislyak, about setting up a call between Trump and Putin.[636] Emails from December show Spicer most likely knew Flynn discussed sanctions with Kislyak on December 29, 2016, and may have known about the purpose of the call in advance.[584]
    • Waldman visits Assange for the second time.[634]
    • K.T. McFarland insists to a reporter at The Washington Post that Flynn and Kislyak did not discuss sanctions and only spoke with each other prior to December 29. The statement contradicts emails between herself and Flynn.[637]
    • The Senate Intelligence Committee announces it will investigate Russian cyberattacks, meddling in the election, and "intelligence regarding links between Russia and individuals associated with political campaigns."[154][638][639]
  • January 15: Interviewed on CBS's Face the Nation and Fox News Sunday, Vice President-elect Pence repeatedly denies any connection between the Trump campaign team and Russians.[230] He also denies Flynn discussed sanctions with Kislyak.[636]
  • January 16: Anthony Scaramucci, then a member of the Trump transition team, meets Dmitriev at the World Economic Forum in Davos. They discuss possible joint investments with the Russian Direct Investment Fund, which is under U.S. sanctions.[625][640][641]
  • January 17:
    • Sessions states in writing that he has not been "in contact with anyone connected to any part of the Russian government about the 2016 election."[642] Sessions had been accused of failing to disclose two meetings with Kislyak.[643]
    • Leonard Blavatnik, Sergei Kislyak, and Russian-American president of IMG Artists Alexander Shustorovich attend the Chairman's Global Dinner, an invitation-only inaugural event. Other attendees include Michael Flynn, Manafort, Bannon, and Nix. Blavatnik and Shustorovich donated $1 million each to the Trump inaugural fund. Shustorovich is a longtime business partner of Vekselberg, and, nearly 20 years earlier, the Republican National Committee returned his six-figure donation because of his past ties to the Russian government.[644][645][608]
  • January 17–20: Dmitriev circulates a memo at the World Economic Forum in Davos that describes his discussions with Prince in the Seychelles on January 11.[627]
  • January 18:
    • Jared Kushner files his security clearance application without listing his meetings with Russians.[646]
    • The Daily Sabah reports a breakfast event occurred at the Trump International Hotel Washington, D.C., with about 60 invitees, including Nunes, Flynn, and foreign officials.[647] The Daily Beast reports in January 2019 Mueller is investigating whether foreigners contributed money to the Trump inaugural fund and PAC through American intermediaries.[648]
  • January 18/19: McClatchy[649] and The New York Times report that Manafort, Page and Stone have been under investigation by the FBI, NSA, CIA, and FinCEN,[650] based on intercepted Russian communications and financial transactions.[651] Sources say "the investigators have accelerated their efforts in recent weeks but have found no conclusive evidence of wrongdoing."[650]
  • January 19:
  • January 20: Obama leaves office.[657] See Timeline of the presidency of Donald Trump.

Investigations' continuing timelinesEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

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