Here's a timeline of Trump and his team's efforts to curtail the Russia investigation

Over the past year, indications that President Donald Trump may have obstructed or attempted to obstruct justice in the Russia investigation has steadily grown.

The recent news that Trump attempted to fire special counsel Robert Mueller sometime in June is but the latest in a steady stream of revelations since January of last year that suggest that the president sought to control – and often curtail – the scope and direction of the investigation.

The next few weeks may prove to be vital to Mueller’s probe – the special counsel is looking to interview both Trump and his former chief strategist Steve Bannon about the details of former FBI director James Comey’s firing in May and former White House chief strategist Michael Flynn’s contacts within the administration.

Here’s a timeline of actions Trump has taken so far, and their surrounding events, that his critics use to make the case he obstructed justice, along with incriminating events committed by those he reportedly sought to protect:


December 22, 2016: Flynn asked then-Russian ambassador to the US Sergei Kislyak to delay a vote on a United National Security Council resolution.

Kevin Hagen/Getty ImagesMichael Flynn.

The UN vote was on a resolution condemning Israel for its continued construction of settlements in the West Bank. The vote went ahead and passed, however, as the US abstaining from the vote.

Source: Business Insider


December 29, 2016: Flynn spoke again with Kislyak, this time asking Russia to refrain from retaliating against sanctions the US imposed that day.

Kislyak told Flynn that Russia had complied with that request soon after their conversation.

Source: Business Insider


January 24, 2017: Flynn lied to the FBI when they interviewed him.

Flynn sat down with FBI investigators without a lawyer, and didn’t inform anyone in the White House about the interview. The White House only found out about the meeting when former acting attorney general Sally Yates informed officials two days later.

Source: Business Insider


January 27, 2017: Trump met with Comey, and asked him to pledge his loyalty to him.

Andrew Harrer-Pool/Getty ImagesU.S. President Donald Trump (L) shakes hands with James Comey, director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (R)

At a private dinner in the White House, Trump gave Comey an odd directive, according to Comey.

“I need loyalty. I expect loyalty,” the president said to him. “That’s what I want, honest loyalty.”

Source: Business Insider


February 13, 2017: After being asked to resign as national security adviser, Flynn steps down.

Mario Tama/Getty ImagesMichael Flynn.

His resignation came after reports that some officials in the White House were worried Flynn might be blackmailed by the Russians. Renewed focus on his contacts with Kislayk hastened his departure as well.

Source: Business Insider


February 14, 2017: Trump met with Comey and asked him to “let go” of investigating Flynn.

The day after Flynn resigned, Trump had another private discussion with Comey in which he defended Flynn and asked Comey to direct the investigation away from him.

“He is a good guy and has been through a lot,” Trump reportedly told Comey. “I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go.”

Comey took down notes about the meeting which have since become the subject of intense scrutiny in the Russia investigation.

Source: Business Insider


Sometime before March 2, 2017: Trump pressured Attorney General Jeff Sessions not to recuse himself from the Russia investigation.

Trump ordered top White House attorney Donald F. McGahn II as well as several other members of his staff to convince Sessions not to recuse himself.

Source: New York Times


March 2, 2017: Sessions recused himself from the Russia probe.

Following evidence of Sessions’ own contacts with Russian officials including Kislyak, the attorney general rebuffed Trump’s demands and distanced himself from involvement in the Russia probe.

Trump reportedly erupted in anger when he learned of the recusal.

Source: New York Times


March 22, 2017: Trump requested that Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and CIA director Mike Pompeo say publicly there was no evidence of collusion. Trump also wanted Coats’s officials to get Comey to stop investigating Flynn

In the days afterward, Trump continued to press Coats, Admiral Mike Rogers, and several congressmen to declare that there was no evidence of collusion between him and Russia.

Source: NBC News, The Washington Post


May 9, 2017: Trump fired Comey.

Drew Angerer/Getty ImagesFormer FBI Director James Comey

Though Trump initially maintained that he had done so because of Comey’s handling of the investigation into 2016 Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton’s controversial email server, he later stated that the Russia investigation was on his mind when he terminated the FBI director.

Source: Business Insider


Days after Comey firing in May 2017: Trump asked deputy director of the FBI Andrew McCabe whom he voted for.

Soon after firing Comey, Trump met with McCabe while he was acting FBI director, which is when he brought up McCabe’s voting record.

Source: The Washington Post


Sometime in June 2017: Trump attempted to fire Mueller.

Trump reportedly ordered McGahn to fire the special counsel, but McGahn threatened to resign instead. Trump walked back his request after that.

Source: New York Times


Between May and July 2017: Trump urged Sessions to pressure FBI director Christopher Wray to fire McCabe. Wray, like McGahn, threatened to resign.

Alex Wong/Getty ImagesU.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions (L) and Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe (R)

On July 26, Trump tweeted several times about Sessions and McCabe, asking why his attorney general didn’t replace him. At one point, the president even mentioned McCabe’s wife’s alleged financial ties to Clinton.

Source: Axios


December 2, 2017: Trump tweeted that he fired Flynn because he lied to the FBI, indicating he knew he had lied when he fired Comey.

Pool/Getty Images

“I had to fire General Flynn because he lied to the Vice President and the FBI,” Trump tweeted. “He has pleaded guilty to those lies. It is a shame because his actions during the transition were lawful. There was nothing to hide!”

His tweet seems to indicate that Trump knew about Flynn’s misdeeds when he was pressuring Comey to lay off of the former national security adviser.

Source: Twitter

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