Russia contacts: A sword of Damocles over Trump’s head

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Here is the sequences of those contacts as outlined in court documents released on Monday.

ManafortWASHINGTON: Between March and September 2016, members of the campaign team of presidential candidate Donald Trump held a series of meetings with Russian officials and representatives, the timeline of which is now at the center of the investigation by special prosecutor Robert Mueller.

Here is the sequences of those contacts as outlined in court documents released on Monday:

March 2016: Lobbyist Paul Manafort joins the campaign of presidential candidate Donald Trump. During the preceding decade, Manafort is accused of laundering 18 million dollars amassed through his work for ousted pro-Russian Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovich.

Early March 2016: George Papadopoulos, a young and largely unknown London-based former advisor to presidential candidate Ben Carson, learns he is being named a foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign team.

March 14: Papadopoulos meets in Italy with a “professor” who claims to have an inside track to the Russian authorities.

March 19: John Podesta, campaign manager for Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, has his email server hacked. According to US intelligence agencies, thousands of emails are then copied by the Russian secret service. These emails, which contain often embarrassing information, are leaked in early October, just ahead of the November 8 election.

March 24: Papadopoulos meets again with the “professor” in London, as well as with a woman who presents herself as the niece of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

March 31: Papadopoulos attends a national security meeting presided by Trump, during which he boasts of being able to set up a meeting between Putin and Trump.

April 18: Papadopoulos begins a series of email exchanges and Skype calls with a person in Moscow closely associated with the Russian foreign ministry.

April 26: Papadopoulos meets again with the “professor” in London who says he has “dirt” on Hillary Clinton.

April 27: in a speech at the Mayflower hotel in Washington, Tump promises to “ease tensions” with Russia. The Russian ambassador to Moscow, Sergei Kislyak, is present in the room.

May 2016: Manafort takes over the running of the Trump of the campaign.

May 4: Papadopoulos’ contact in Moscow sends an email saying that the Russian foreign ministry is “open to cooperation”.

May 18: James Clapper, director of US national intelligence, reveals his concerns about the risk of cyber-attacks in the election campaign.

June 2016: Briton Rob Goldstone, a friend of the Trump family, exchanges emails with Donald Trump Jr, the candidate’s eldest son, saying he has information that would be damaging to Clinton that was provided by Yuri Chaika, the Russian attorney general.

June 9: Donald Trump Jr and Jared Kushner, the candidate’s son-in-law, meet in Trump Tower, New York, with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, who they understand to be representing the Russian government and who claims she can provide damaging information about Clinton. The family later claim the meeting was brief and yielded nothing of value.

June 14: CrowdStrike, an American cybersecurity company, reveals that two hacker groups, Fancy Bear and Cozy Bear, have hacked Democratic party computers. CrowdStrike says these groups are linked to the Russian intelligence services.

July 2016: The FBI opens a secret investigation after US intelligence agencies report intensive communications between Trump aides and Russians.

July 7: Carter Page, another Trump campaign adviser, gives a speech in Moscow that is particularly favorable to the Kremlin. Later, on the fringes of the Republican National Convention, Page and another adviser, J.D. Gordon, meet Russian ambassador Kislyak.

July 22: WikiLeaks starts putting out emails stolen from the Democratic Party computer server.

July 27: in a speech, Donald Trump publicly calls on Russia to “find the 30,000 emails that are missing.”

August 4 2016: CIA head John Brennan warns that Russian interference in the US elections would have “serious consequences.”

August 15: Papadopoulos’ superior in the campaign encourages him to go to Moscow for a confidential meeting. In the end, the trip does not take place.

August 19: Manafort is forced to step down as campaign chairman after reports emerge of payments from pro-Russian groups in Ukraine.

September 8: Senator Jeff Sessions, who will be go on to serve as Trump’s attorney general, receives Russian ambassador Kislyak in his office.

October 7: WikiLeaks starts publishing Podesta’s hacked emails.

November 8: Donald Trump is elected 45th president of the United States.

January 27, 2017: Papadopoulos is questioned by the FBI, and makes false statements about his interactions with the Russians

July 27: He is arrested by the FBI at Dulles Airport in Washington

October 4: He pleads guilty to making false statements

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