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The Key Themes, Dates and Characters in the Russia Investigation

The fundamentals

  • Russia performed a crusade to steer the consequence of the 2016 American presidential election, denigrating Hillary Clinton and boosting Donald J. Trump, consistent with American intelligence companies. President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia individually ordered it.

  • The F.B.I., bringing up 4 Trump crusade aides’ ties to Russia, opened a counterintelligence investigation in the summer season of 2016 to decide whether or not Trump friends aided Russia’s election interference.

  • Robert S. Mueller III, the former F.B.I. director, used to be appointed the particular recommend in May 2017 to take over the investigation. The inquiry has expanded to inspect whether or not President Trump attempted to hinder the investigation itself.

  • Nineteen folks — together with 4 Trump friends — and 3 corporations were indicted in the case. Five have pleaded responsible; 13 are Russians accused of meddling in the election. [See a breakdown of the charges here.]

the primary focuses of the investigation


Mr. Mueller is investigating Russia’s efforts to steer the presidential race and sow discord by way of spreading inflammatory messages on social media and stealing emails from Mrs. Clinton’s crusade chairman and the Democratic National Committee, that have been then strategically launched to undermine the Clinton crusade.


Investigators are analyzing what Mr. Trump’s aides and friends knew about Russia’s meddling, specifically the free up of 1000’s of stolen Democratic emails stolen, and whether or not any of them aided Moscow’s effort.


Mr. Mueller is investigating an array of the president’s movements — together with the firing of the former F.B.I. director, James B. Comey — to decide whether or not Mr. Trump sought to hinder the investigation into Russia’s movements.

Foreign Influence

Mr. Mueller is investigating whether or not Trump friends ran afoul of American lobbying or anti-corruption regulations. Two aides to the Trump crusade, together with its onetime chairman, have been charged with monetary crimes associated with their paintings as advisers to a pro-Russia former president of Ukraine.

Key occasions


Russia’s annexation of Crimea in March 2014 brought about global ire, and the United States spoke back by way of implementing sanctions and taking different steps designed to isolate Moscow on the international degree.

Out to revive its personal affect, Russia sought to undermine the United States, taking purpose at its vulnerabilities — specifically home political polarization. As early as April 2014, a pal of President Vladimir V. Putin began an operation that incorporated putting in place a troll farm to create pretend social media posts and sending operatives to the United States to collect intelligence on the political procedure. The mentioned purpose: “spread distrust towards the candidates and the political system in general.

American officers have traced different components of Russia’s interference, significantly the hacking and leaking of Democratic emails, to Russian intelligence companies wearing out Mr. Putin’s orders.

June 16, 2015

Donald J. Trump announced his campaign for president.

March 31, 2016

As he closed in on a surprising victory in the Republican number one, Mr. Trump met in Washington along with his overseas coverage advisers. One, George Papadopoulos, instructed the crew that he had connections to assist prepare a gathering between Mr. Trump and Mr. Putin. Others at the assembly famous that Russia used to be beneath sanctions. Mr. Sessions, then a senator from Alabama and a most sensible Trump crusade adviser, temporarily close down the topic and stated it must now not be mentioned once more, a former crusade professional has stated. That dialog suits into the purview of Mr. Mueller’s investigation.

April 26, 2016

A London-based professor with ties to the Russian executive knowledgeable Mr. Papadopoulos that the Russians had thousands of emails that might embarrass Mrs. Clinton.

June nine, 2016

Donald Trump Jr. and most sensible crusade officers met with Natalia V. Veselnitskaya, a Russian legal professional, at Trump Tower to talk about what an middleman promised to be incriminating details about Mrs. Clinton. Paul Manafort, the crusade chairman, and Jared Kushner, Mr. Trump’s son-in-law, have been amongst the ones additionally at the assembly, the place Ms. Veselnitskaya complained about American sanctions on Russia. The particular recommend is investigating.

June 14, 2016

Crowdstrike, a cybersecurity company employed by way of the Democratic National Committee, introduced that it had expelled two Russian hacker teams — known as Cozy Bear and Fancy Bear — that had penetrated the D.N.C.’s techniques. The teams had won get entry to to 1000’s of emails and confidential paperwork. Just over a month later, WikiLeaks launched just about 20,000 hacked Democratic emails.

July 31, 2016

In mild of current ties between 4 crusade aides and Moscow, the F.B.I. opened its investigation into the Trump crusade’s hyperlinks to Russia.

Nov. eight, 2016

Mr. Trump received the presidential election, defeating Hillary Clinton in an unusual dissatisfied.

Dec. 29, 2016

Then-President Barack Obama introduced sanctions towards Russia, bringing up its makes an attempt to intervene with the presidential election. That day, Michael T. Flynn, in line to be Mr. Trump’s nationwide safety adviser, mentioned the sanctions with the Russian ambassador to the United States. He later pleaded responsible to mendacity to investigators about the conversations, which undermined current American coverage and flouted a caution from a senior Obama management professional to prevent meddling in overseas affairs sooner than the inauguration.

Jan. 20, 2017

Mr. Trump used to be inaugurated as the 45th president of the United States.

Feb. 13, 2017

Mr. Flynn resigned as national security adviser following revelations that he had misled Vice President Mike Pence and different most sensible officers about his conversations in December with the Russian ambassador. The F.B.I. had additionally requested him about the ones calls.

Feb. 14, 2017

In the Oval Office, President Trump privately requested Mr. Comey, the F.B.I. director, to shut down the investigation into Mr. Flynn.

“I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go,” Mr. Trump stated, consistent with a memo Mr. Comey wrote. “He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.” Mr. Mueller is investigating the episode as he examines whether or not the president attempted to hinder the inquiry itself.

March 2, 2017

Citing his position as a most sensible Trump crusade adviser and beneath scrutiny over conferences he had with Russians, Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from all campaign-related issues at the Justice Department, together with the Russia investigation. Rod J. Rosenstein, the deputy legal professional normal, later become the most sensible Justice Department professional overseeing the Russia inquiry.

May nine, 2017

Mr. Trump fired Mr. Comey as the F.B.I. director. Initially, he cited his dealing with of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails, however later gave varying rationales, pronouncing at one point that the Russia allegations have been a “made-up story.”

One day later, Mr. Trump instructed Russian officers whom he used to be webhosting in the Oval Office that firing Mr. Comey had relieved “great pressure” on him.

“I just fired the head of the F.B.I. He was crazy, a real nut job,” Mr. Trump stated. “I faced great pressure because of Russia. That’s taken off.” Mr. Comey’s firing may be an issue of Mr. Mueller’s obstruction inquiry.

May 17, 2017

Mr. Rosenstein appointed Mr. Mueller, the former F.B.I. director, to function particular recommend and oversee the investigation.

Oct. three, 2017

Mr. Papadopoulos used to be charged with mendacity to the F.B.I. and signed a plea deal two days later. He started cooperating with the investigation.

Oct. 30, 2017

Mr. Manafort and Rick Gates, his trade affiliate and the deputy crusade chairman, surrendered to the government and pleaded now not responsible to fees together with cash laundering and tax fraud.

Dec 1. 2017

Mr. Flynn pleaded responsible to mendacity to investigators and stated he had agreed to cooperate with the particular recommend.

Feb. 16, 2018

Thirteen Russians and 3 corporations have been charged in a sprawling indictment. Federal prosecutors accused the Russians of stealing the identities of American voters, posing as political activists and the use of the flash issues of immigration, faith and race to govern a crusade in which the ones problems have been already specifically divisive.

Feb. 23, 2018

Mr. Gates changed his plea to responsible, admitting that he lied to federal investigators and dedicated monetary fraud, and started cooperating with the particular recommend.

April nine, 2018

F.B.I. brokers raided the hotel and office of Michael D. Cohen, Mr. Trump’s private legal professional and fixer, in line with a referral from the particular recommend.

Who’s Who

TRUMP, Donald J., Republican candidate for president, later 45th president of the United States
Donald J. Trump Jr., his son
Jared Kushner, his son-in-law
Paul Manafort, his crusade chairman
Jeff Sessions, his crusade adviser, later legal professional normal
Michael T. Flynn, his first nationwide safety adviser
George Papadopoulos, a crusade adviser on overseas coverage
Carter Page, a crusade adviser on overseas coverage
Michael D. Cohen, his longtime legal professional and fixer

President Trump’s criminal staff

Donald F. McGahn II, the White House recommend
Jay Sekulow, Mr. Trump’s private legal professional
Rudolph W. Giuliani, Mr. Trump’s private legal professional
Emmet T. Flood, a White House legal professional who additionally represented President Bill Clinton right through his impeachment
John Dowd, resigned in March 2018 as Mr. Trump’s lead legal professional in the inquiry
Ty Cobb, a White House legal professional who’s retiring in May 2018

Department of Justice

Rod J. Rosenstein, the deputy legal professional normal
Robert S. Mueller III, the particular recommend and former F.B.I. director
James B. Comey, the former F.B.I. director

Further studying

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