Here is a timeline of Michael Flynn’s involvement with Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, his brief career as Trump’s national security adviser, and the probe into Russia’s interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign.
Aug. 7: Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, retires from the DIA and the military under pressure from the Obama administration.
June 16: Donald Trump announces his bid for president.
Dec. 10: Flynn is paid to attend a dinner for Russian broadcaster RT in Moscow, sitting at the same table as Russian president Vladimir Putin.
February: Flynn joins the Trump campaign as an adviser.
July 22: WikiLeaks releases emails hacked from Democratic National Committee computers, reportedly by Russians.
Nov. 8: Flynn publishes an essay in “The Hill” titled “Our ally Turkey is in crisis and needs our support” without disclosing that he was a paid consultant to Turkey.
Nov. 10: At a White House meeting, Obama reportedly warns Trump against hiring Flynn.
Nov. 16: Flynn is named by Trump to be his national security adviser.
— General Flynn (@GenFlynn) December 10, 2016
Dec. 1 or 2: At a meeting at Trump Tower, Flynn and Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law, meet Russia’s ambassador to the U.S., Sergey Kislyak. According to the Washington Post, Kislyak later reported to Moscow that Kushner suggested using Russian diplomatic facilities in the United States to set up a secret and secure communications channel between Trump’s transition team and the Kremlin.
Dec. 22: A person described in the plea agreement as a “very senior member” of Trump’s transition team directs Flynn to contact foreign governments, including Russia, to learn how they stood on an Egyptian resolution to the U.N. on Israeli settlements, and to try to influence those governments to delay the vote on the resolution or defeat it. Flynn calls Kislyak and requests that Russia vote against or delay the resolution.
Dec. 23: Kislyak tells Flynn that Russia would not vote against the resolution if it came to a vote.
Dec. 28: President Obama signs an executive order imposing sanctions on Russia in retaliation for meddling in U.S. elections. Kislyak contacts Flynn that day.
Dec. 29: Flynn makes a phone call with what the plea agreement describes as a “senior official” with Trump’s transition team at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida to discuss what to tell Kislyak about the sanctions. The official and Flynn discuss that members of the transition team do not want Russia to escalate the situation. Immediately after the call, Flynn calls Kislyak and requests that Russia not escalate and only respond to the sanctions in a reciprocal manner. After this call, Flynn calls back to Mar-a-Lago to tell the senior official about the substance of the Kislyak conversation.
Dec. 30: Putin says Russia would not take retaliatory measures in response to the U.S. sanctions. Trump praises Putin in a Twitter post.
Great move on delay (by V. Putin) - I always knew he was very smart!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 30, 2016
Dec. 31: Kislyak calls Flynn to tell him Russia chose not to retaliate in response to Flynn’s request. Flynn later tells Trump transition team officials about this conversation with Kislyak.
Jan. 13: Reports surface that Flynn was in frequent contact with Kislyak.
Jan. 14: Flynn tells Vice President-elect Mike Pence that he did not discuss Russia sanctions on a call with Kislyak, a claim Pence later repeated in a television interview.
Jan. 20: Trump is sworn in as president.
Jan. 24: The FBI interviews Flynn about his Russian contacts.
Jan. 26: Acting Attorney General Sally Yates tells White House officials that Flynn may be vulnerable to blackmail over statements about contacts with Kislyak.
Feb. 8: In an interview, Flynn twice denies having meetings with Kislyak.
Feb. 9: The Washington Post reports that Flynn privately discussed U.S. sanctions against Russia with Kislyak in December, contrary to public assertions by Trump officials. Flynn’s spokesman says “that while he [Flynn] had no recollection of discussing sanctions, he couldn’t be certain that the topic never came up.”
Feb. 13: Flynn resigns amid what White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer would later call an “eroding level of trust.”
Feb. 14: In a private meeting, Trump asks FBI Director James Comey to drop the investigation of Flynn, according to a memo Comey wrote shortly after the meeting that was shared with the New York Times. Trump tells Comey, “I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go. He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.”
March 7: Flynn files documents with the Department of Justice disclosing that he earned $530,000 as a consultant for Turkey.
March 31: In a statement, Flynn’s attorney, Robert Kelner, writes “General Flynn certainly has a story to tell, and he very much wants to tell it, should the circumstances permit.” Trump tweets that Flynn should seek immunity, complaining that the Russia probe is a “witch hunt.”
Mike Flynn should ask for immunity in that this is a witch hunt (excuse for big election loss), by media & Dems, of historic proportion!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 31, 2017
The White House also releases a revised financial disclosure form for Flynn that shows he received speaking fees from RT TV, the Russian television network, and two other Russian firms. Flynn failed to report that income when he initially filed his disclosure form in February.
April 25: Flynn reportedly tells friends that “I just got a message from the president to stay strong.”
May 9: Trump fires Comey.
May 10: Trump tells Russian officials at the White House that Comey was “crazy, a real nut job” and that “I faced great pressure because of Russia. That’s been taken off.”
May 17: Rod Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, appoints former FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III as special counsel to investigate any possible collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government’s efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election.
Oct. 30: Mueller charges former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and a longtime business partner with conspiracy to launder money, making false statements, and other charges in connection with their work for a Russia-friendly political party in Ukraine. Another campaign aide, former foreign-policy adviser George Papadopoulos, pleads guilty to making a false statement to the FBI about his attempts to contact Russian officials.
Dec. 1: Flynn pleads guilty to making false statements to the FBI over his conversations with Kislyak, saying in a statement that he was cooperating with Mueller’s investigation “to set things right.”