There are lines catapulting left, right and centre in the ongoing, and complex web, that is the investigation into Russian involvement in the United States 2016 election.
Here’s a timeline showing the key moments in how the investigation has developed.
- By ITV News Washington Producer Dominique Heckels
- 7 October 2016
US intelligence accuses Russia of interfering in the election by hacking the Democratic Committee’s computers and leaking information.
- 10 October 2016
At a rally in Pennylvania Trump says “he love[s] WikiLeaks” speaking to some of the hacked Clinton emails the website had leaked.
- 8 November 2016
Trump wins the United States 2016 election.
- 10 November 2016
Putin spokesman confirms contacts between the Russian government and the Trump campaign during the election, saying the “quite natural” ties were between both the Trump and Clinton campaigns.
A Trump spokesperson denies any “communication between the campaign and any foreign entity during the campaign."
Obama meets with Trump at the White House. During this meeting, Obama warns Trump against hiring Flynn.
- 18 November 2016
Trump names Michael Flynn as his national security adviser.
- 4 December 2016
Adding yet more weight to their bromance, Putin praises Trump calling him “a clever man.”
- 9 December 2016
Fuelling the claims that Russia had helped Trump win the election, The New York Times breaks the news that Russia also may have hacked the Republican Committee.
- 26 December 2016
Oleg Erovinkin, a former official of Russia’s state security committee and suspect in aiding a former British spy in compiling a dossier on Trump’s ties to Russia, is found dead in the back seat of his car in Moscow.
- 29 December 2016
As punishment for Russia’s alleged election interference, President Obama orders the expulsion of 35 suspected Russian diplomats from the United States and imposes sanctions on some Russian intelligence services.
Mike Flynn talks about sanctions with Russian Ambassador to the United States, Sergey Kislyak.
- 6 January 2017
Trump and Obama are briefed on Russian hacking.
- 15 January 2017
US Vice President Mike Pence says that Mike Flynn did not talk sanctions on his phone call with the Russian ambassador to the United States.
- 26 January 2017
Acting attorney general Sally Yates meets with White House counsel Don McGahn to discuss “a very sensitive matter.” Yates warns McGahn that Mike Flynn is making false statements regarding his calls with Kislyak.
- 27 January 2017
Trump and Comey have dinner at the White House.It is later reported that Trump asked Comey to pledge his loyalty to him; Comey declined. The White House has disputed this account.
- 30 January 2017
Trump fires Acting attorney general Sally Yates for refusing to enforce his travel ban, which is later blocked by federal courts.
- 8 February 2017
The Senate confirms Jeff Sessions as attorney general.
- 9 February 2017
The Washington Post reports that Flynn did discuss US sanctions with Kislyak, opposing all previous statements from Flynnand Vice President Mike Pence.
- 13 February 2017
Flynn resigns after it is revealed he had lied to the Vice President about his conversations with Russian Ambassador to the United States.
- 1 March 2017
The Washington Post breaks the news that Attorney-General Sessions met with the Russian ambassador twice during the campaign.
- 2 March 2017
Sessions recuses himself from the Russian investigation.The New York Times reports that Jared Kushner also met with Russian Ambassador to the United States, Kislyak along with Flynn in December.
- 4 March 2017
Trump accuses Obama of having ordered a tapping of the phones at Trump Tower during the campaign.
- 3 May 2017
FBI Director James Comey testifies in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee on the Russian interference in the election. It later surfaces that colleagues had to put the record straight with the Senate after Comey’s testimony.
- 8 May 2017
Former acting Attorney-General Sally Yates and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper testify before the Senate on the Russian interference in the election.
Yates confirms that she informed the White House that Flynn was “compromised” in her meeting with White House counsel Don McGahn in January.
- 9 May 2017
Trump fires FBI Director James Comey.
- 10 May 2017
Meeting with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov sarcastically responds to a question by a reporter asking about Comey’s firing: “Was he fired? You’re kidding, you’re kidding.”
Photos emerge from the Russian government of Trump meeting with Russian Ambassador to the United States, Sergey Kislyak and Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov in the Oval Office.
- 11 May 2017
Trump tweets: “Russia must be laughing up their sleeves" over the controversy which he described as a Democrat "excuse" for losing the election.
- 15 May 2017
The New York Times report that President Trump allegedly shared classified information on with Russian Foreign Minister and Ambassador to the US.
Israel is said to be the source of the intelligence.
The White House issues various statements saying the sharing of classified information did not happen.
Trump’s National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster denies the reports saying, he was “in the room and it didn’t happen.”
- 16 May 2017
Trump tweets it did happen. He says he had the "absolute right" to share data about terror threats.
- 17 May 2017
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appoints a special counsel to investigate Russia’s probe, former FBI Director Robert Mueller.
President Trump says he respects the decision but the investigation is a “witch-hunt”.
- 19 May 2017
The NY Times report that during the meeting with the Russians in the Oval Office, Trump called Comey a “nut-job” and that his firing had relieved “great pressure” on him.
- 23 May 2017
Trump hires attorney Marc Kasowitz to represent him during investigations into alleged ties between his presidential campaign and Russia.
- 25 May 2017
Joe Lieberman, who is allegedly the front-runner for the new FBI director withdraws his name.
Lieberman, a senior counsel for the Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP, said it "would be best to avoid any appearance of a conflict of interest."
That evening, The Washington Post reveals that Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and top adviser, is under scrutiny by the FBI in the Russian probe, particularly in relation to his meeting with the Russian ambassador to the United States.