Key events in Michael Flynn’s interactions with Russia
WASHINGTON (AP) — Key dates related to former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s interactions with Russian government officials:
— Dec. 21, 2016: The government of Egypt submits a resolution to the U.N. Security Council on the issue of Israeli settlements. A vote is planned for the next day.
— Dec. 22, 2016: A “very senior member” of the presidential transition team directs Flynn to contact officials with several foreign governments, including Russia, about the resolution. According to court papers, the transition official — identified to The Associated Press by a former transition team official as Jared Kushner — tells Flynn to see what the governments’ positions were on the resolution and to try to get them to delay the vote on the resolution or defeat it. Flynn then calls Sergey Kislyak, Russia’s ambassador to the U.S., and asks him to have Russia vote against or delay the resolution.
— Dec. 23, 2016: Kislyak tells Flynn that Russia would not vote against the resolution if it came to a vote.
— Dec. 28, 2016: President Barack Obama imposes sanctions on Russia in response to the Kremlin’s interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. According to court papers, Kislyak contacts Flynn.
— Dec. 29, 2016: Flynn calls a “senior official” on the presidential transition. Flynn and the official, who is with Trump and other senior advisers at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, discuss what, if anything, to tell Kislyak about the U.S. sanctions. Flynn also discusses the potential fallout from the sanctions and the view of members of the transition team at Mar-a-Lago that they “did not want Russia to escalate the situation.” Immediately after the call, Flynn calls Kislyak and requests that he not escalate the situation. Flynn reports the content of that call back to the transition official.
That “senior official,” though also not named in court papers, has been identified to the AP as former deputy national security adviser KT McFarland, who is now up for an ambassadorship.
— Dec. 31, 2016: Kislyak tells Flynn that Russia has decided not to retaliate over the sanctions. Flynn conveys this back to senior members of Trump’s transition team.
— Jan. 15, 2017: Vice President Mike Pence says in an interview on “Face the Nation” that Flynn did not discuss U.S. sanctions with Kislyak.
— Jan. 20, 2017: Trump is inaugurated as president. Flynn formally becomes national security adviser .
— Jan. 24, 2017: Flynn is interviewed by FBI agents investigating Russia’s interference in the 2016 election and contacts with Trump associates. According to court papers, Flynn lies to the agents about his contacts with Kislyak regarding the U.S. sanctions and the U.N. Security Council resolution.
— Jan. 26, 2017: Acting Attorney General Sally Yates alerts White House counsel Don McGahn that Flynn was potentially compromised and vulnerable to blackmail because of discrepancies between public assertions — including by Pence — that Flynn and Kislyak had not discussed sanctions and the reality of what occurred.
— Feb. 13, 2017: Trump forces Flynn to resign from his White House post. White House officials justified the firing by saying Flynn had misled them, including Pence, about whether he had discussed sanctions with Kislyak. Flynn’s firing came only after media reports about his contacts with Kislyak.
— Feb. 14, 2017: In an Oval Office meeting, Trump tells FBI Director James Comey he hopes that he can “let go” of an investigation into Flynn. Comey later says he interpreted the statement as a presidential directive. At the time, the FBI had an active investigation into whether Flynn had lied to its agents.
— March 7, 2017: Flynn and his firm, Flynn Intel Group, register with the Justice Department as foreign agents. The registration stems from Flynn’s lobbying and investigative research work for a Turkish businessman. Flynn’s firm was paid $530,000 for the work that he acknowledged could have benefited the government of Turkey.
— May 9, 2017: Trump fires Comey.
— June 8, 2017: Comey testifies before the Senate intelligence committee about his meetings with Trump and what he interpreted as the president’s efforts to pressure him regarding the FBI investigation into Flynn. Comey also tells the committee that he believes Trump fired him to interfere with his investigation of Russia’s ties to the Trump campaign.
— Dec. 1, 2017: Flynn pleads guilty to a felony charge of lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russia. He also admits that he lied to the Justice Department about aspects of his Turkish lobbying. He also said he omitted the fact that the lobbying was directed and supervised by Turkish government officials.