Russiagate Timeline March – April 2017


March 2017

March 1, 2017: “In response to reports in The Washington PostThe Wall Street Journal and The New York Times about Jeff Sessions’ pre-election contacts with the Russian ambassador,”[Added March 3, 2017]Bill Moyers  “The Washington Post reports that Jeff Sessions, Trump’s attorney general, did not disclose in his January confirmation hearings that he twice met with Sergey Kislyak,the Russian ambassador. Sessions had said during a confirmation hearing that “I did not have communications with the Russians.” Sessions’ Justice Department spokeswoman says Sessions met with Kislyak in his capacity as a senator on the armed services committee, and that the question during the confirmation hearing was about the Trump campaign’s Russian connections.”Mother Jones

“The Post reveals Sessions’s two interactions with Kislyak. Sessions’s staff releases a statement from the attorney general: “I never met with any Russian officials to discuss issues of the campaign. I have no idea what this allegation is about. It is false.” A statement from Trump’s administration called the questions an “attack” and hinted that Franken was pushing the story for political purposes.  Sarah Isgur Flores, director of public affairs for the Department of Justice, went further in a statement to BuzzFeed. “There was absolutely nothing misleading about his answer. Last year, the Senator had over 25 conversations with foreign ambassadors as a senior member of the Armed Services Committee, including the British, Korean, Japanese, Polish, Indian, Chinese, Canadian, Australian, German and Russian ambassadors,” she said. “He was asked during the hearing about communications between Russia and the Trump campaign—not about meetings he took as a senator and a member of the Armed Services Committee.” Washington Post 

March 2, 2017: Sessions recuses himself from probe into Russian election interference.  “Asked if he would recuse himself from an investigation into ties between Trump’s campaign and Russia, Sessions was vague.“I have said whenever it’s appropriate, I will recuse myself. There’s no doubt about that,” he said. Later that afternoon, Sessions announced that he would recuse himself from “any existing or future investigations of any matters related in any way to the campaigns for President of the United States.” Washington Post“Facing criticism over the revelations that he withheld information regarding his meetings with the Russian ambassador during his confirmation hearings, Sessions announces that he will recuse himselffrom any investigations of Russian interference in the 2016 election.  On NBC, Sessions denies that he ever discussed the Trump campaign with Russians. “I have not met with any Russians at any time to discuss any political campaign and those remarks are unbelievable to me and are false,” he said. “And I don’t have anything else to say about that.”    Alex Oronov, a Ukrainian billionaire businessman who was connected by marriage to Michael Cohen, Trump’s longtime lawyer and associate, dies unexpectedly. Oronov’s daughter was married to Cohen’s brother. Oronov reportedly set up a January 2017 meeting between Cohen and Russian officials to discuss a possible “peace plan” between Russia and Ukraine that would have formalized Putin’s control over Crimea. The New York Times reported that this peace proposal was hand-delivered to Michael Flynn prior to his forced resignation.     The White House acknowledges that Jared Kushner and Flynn met with Sergey Kislyak at Trump Tower in December. The meeting was first reported by The New Yorker.  The Wall Street Journal reports that Donald Trump Jr. was paid at least $50,000 for his October 2016 appearance before a French think tank run by a couple allied with Russia on ending Syrian conflict.    USA Today reports that two other Trump advisers, Carter Page and J.D. Gordon, met with Sergey Kislyak during the Republican National Convention.    In an MSNBC appearance, Page says he doesn’t deny that this meeting took place.    J.D. Gordon tells CNNthat during the Republican National Convention, he did in fact push to alter the Republican platform’s draft policy on Ukraine to align it with Trump’s views on Russia.”Mother Jones“Trump says he has “total confidence” in Jeff Sessions and he shouldn’t recuse himself from the Russia investigation. An hour later, Sessions recuses himself “from any existing or future investigations of any matters related in any way to the campaigns for President of the United States.” [Revised March 13, 2017]Bill Moyers “Despite an earlier denial, former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser Carter Page admits to meeting with Russian ambassador Kislyak during the campaign. Another adviser, J.D. Gordon, admits that he’d met with Kislyak during the Republican Convention in July. Gordon says he had successfully urged changes in the party platform that Trump had sought to soften US policy regarding Ukraine.” [Added March 6, 2017]Bill Moyers 

March 3, 2017: “Page tells Chris Hayes of MSNBC re Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, ‘I’m not going to deny that I talked with him. … I will say that I never met him anywhere outside of Cleveland, let’s just say that much.’” NBC  “Trump dresses down senior staffers in a meeting in the Oval Office over Jeff Sessions’ recusal and over news reports connecting the Trump administration to Russia.” Mother Jones

March 4, 2017: “Trump is reportedly furious that Jeff Sessions had recused himself from the Trump/Russia investigation. He unleashes a tweet-storm, claiming that President Obama had wiretapped his phones during the presidential campaign.Stunned by Trump’s outburst, White House staffers begin searching for evidence to support his false wiretap claim. Among those reportedly involved in the effort are White House Counsel Donald McGahnII and Ezra Cohen-Watnick,a 30-year-old Trump transition team member whom former national security adviser Mike Flynn had brought to the White House as senior director for intelligence programs. “[Revised April 3, 2017]Bill Moyers “Stone tweets — then deletes — about his communications with Assange: “[N]ever denied perfectly legal back channel to Assange who indeed had the goods on #CrookedHillary.” Forty minutes later, the tweet was gone.” [Added April 24, 2017]Bill Moyers  Stone tweets that he “had a “perfectly legal back channel to Assange.” Just Security

March 5, 2017: FBI Director Comey asked the Justice Department to rebut publicly Trump’s assertion that President Obama had ordered the wiretapping of Trump’s phones. Meanwhile, Sean Spicer announces that neither Trump nor the White House would comment further on Trump/Russia matters until Congress completes an investigation into whether President Obama’s executive branch abused its powers during 2016 election. [Added March 6, 2017]Bill Moyers Trump Tweets “How low has President Obama gone to tapp my phones during the very sacred election process. This is Nixon/Watergate. Bad (or sick) guy!” at 4 am. and (New Yorker),  NBC News“Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my “wires tapped” in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!“— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 4, 2017“Press Secretary Sean Spicer says the White House is requesting that the congressional intelligence committees examine Trump’s allegations that Obama wiretapped Trump during the campaign as part of their investigation into Russia’s election activity. Spicer also says the White House will not comment further on the wiretapping allegation until the completion of this investigation.” Mother Jones

March 7, 2017:After the fact, Michael Flynn (as Flynn Intel Group) filed a  Foreign Agents Registration Actfor lobbying business in Turkey for Inovo BV, a Dutch company solely owned by Ekim Alptekin. FARA Registration Unit  Alptekin and “Dmitri “David” Zaikin, a Soviet-born former executive in Russian energy and mining companies who also has had dealings with Putin’s government, according to three people with direct knowledge of the activities. This unusual arrangement, in which Alptekin and Zaikin have helped steer Turkish lobbying through various groups since at least 2015.” PoliticoWikiLeaks releases a trove of alleged CIA documents relating to the agency’s hacking tools for smartphones, computers and internet-connected devices. “[Added March 13, 2017]Bill Moyers “Michael Ellis, 32-year-old general counsel to Nunes’ intelligence committee, joins White House Counsel McGahn’s office as “special assistant to the president, senior associate counsel to the president and deputy National Security Council legal adviser.” [Added April 3, 2017]Bill Moyers 

March 8, 2017: “Nigel Farage meets with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange at the Embassy of Ecuador in London, where Assange had found sanctuary since 2012. “[Added March 13, 2017]Bill Moyers Sheri Dillon, Trump’s private tax attorney from the Moscow-awarded international law firm Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, LLP, wrote meaningless certified letter to Trump meant to clear him of Russian connections, which he released  on May 12, 2017. Mother Jones Annotated Letter on   Mother Jones “At a cyber conference in Boston, Comey reiterates that he intends to serve the entirety of his 10-year term. “You’re stuck with me for about 6 1/2 years,” he says. The comments come after Comey had been pressing the Justice Department for days to issue a public denial of Trump’s accusations of wiretappingagainst President Obama. NPR’s Carrie Johnson reported at the time that Comey “has demonstrated a nearly unique ability to draw critics from both ends of the political spectrum.” NPR  Jeff Sessions Likely Met Russian Ambassador A Third Time Huffington Post.

“The Smoking Gun publishes a piece titled revealing Stone’s private communications with Guccifer 2.0. The Smoking Gun reports that Stone first said he did not recall these exchanges, and Stone said the entire exchange was public:

“Asked if he had exchanged private Twitter direct messages with ‘Guccifer 2.0,’ Stone said in a text, ‘don’t recall.’ … Stone said he thought his “entirecommunication” with “Guccifer 2.0” “was on twitter for the world to see.” The “brief exchange was public,” Stone contended.” Just Security

March 8, 2017 Kinnaman of Barna Group met w/ Sharpe (Canada Family Action) on 3/8/17 2017

March 9, 2017: In an online press conference, Assange threatens to release more documents relating to CIA’s hacking capabilities and methods.“[Added March 13, 2017]Bill Moyers “When reporters ask Sean Spicer about Nigel Farage’s meeting with Julian Assange and whether Farage was delivering a message from Trump, Sean Spicer says, “I have no idea.” [Added March 13, 2017]Bill Moyers HPSCI’s Schiff and Nunes sent Dep. Acting AG Dana Boente a request for wiretapping applications, orders and warrants related to Trump and Associates. Washington Post

March 10, 2017: “Following The Smoking Gun revelations, the Washington Timesinterviews Stone about his Direct Message private communications with Guccifer 2.0. Stone says the conversations were “completely innocuous,” and “[i]t was so perfunctory, brief and banal I had forgotten it.”

Only after The Smoking Gun breaks the story about his private Direct Messages with Guccifer 2.0, Stone publishes a statement on his website including the same representations he made to Washington Times, and publishes what he says is the complete exchange with Guccifer 2.0

[Note: it is not credible that this exchange was “banal” and that he had “forgotten” about it, in part, due to Stone’s own Breitbart article preceding the exchange, in which he obviously recognized the importance of Guccifer 2.0.] [Editor’s Note. Be sure to also read Just Security’s Renato Mariotti’s analysis: Method to the “Madness”: Dissecting Roger Stone’s Statement to Congress, by a Former Fed Prosecutor]” Just Security. Washington Times

The yacht belonging to Russian billionaire Dmitri Rybolovlev anchors in a cove in the British Virgin Islands. Another yacht anchors next to Rybolovlev’s—the Sea Owl, owned by Robert Mercer, one of Trump’s biggest donors during the 2016 election and an investor in the conservative Breitbart News.” Mother Jones     “Mike Flynn’s replacement as national security adviser, H.R. McMaster, tells Ezra Cohen-Watnick that he is reassigning him. Unhappy with the decision, Cohen-Watnick appeals to Steve Bannon and Jared Kushner. They intervene and take the issue to Trump, who orders that Cohen-Watnick should remain in his position.” [Added April 3, 2017]Bill Moyers 

March 12, 2017:John McCain tells CNN’s Jake Tapper that former Trump adviser and surrogate Roger Stone “obviously” needs to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee concerning his communications with Guccifer 2.0. McCain says that Stone should also explain fully his involvement matters relating to Ukraine’s pro-Putin former president.” [Added March 20, 2017]Bill Moyers 

March 13, 2017: Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr says Roger Stone’s communications with Guccifer 2.0 are part of the Committee’s ongoing investigation and that Stone could be called to testify. “[Added March 20, 2017]Bill Moyers Bloomberg reports that the Kushner family may receive as much as $400 million from Chinese investor Anbang Insurance Group’s investment in 666 Fifth Avenue. On March 29, Anbang backs out of the deal.”   Salon

March 14, 2017: “House Intelligence Committee Chair Devin Nunes and ranking member Adam Schiff invite former acting Attorney General Sally Yates to testify before their committee at an open hearing on March 28, 2017.”[Added April 3, 2017]Bill Moyers 

March 15, 2017:Sen. Dan Coats, R.-IN, becomes Director of National Intelligence. “RogerStone is riding in the front passenger seat of a car near Pompano Beach, Florida, when another car broadsides his, shifts gears, backs up and speeds away. In January, Stone had claimed that he was poisoned in late 2016 with polonium, a radioactive material manufactured in a nuclear reactor and used to kill former KGB spy Alexander Litvinenko in 2006. Litvinenko had defected to Britain and become an outspoken critic of Putin. As he lay in a hospital bed, he said Putin had been responsible for his impending death. On Jan. 21, 2016, retired British High Court Judge Sir Robert Owen concluded a House of Commons inquiry and issued a 328-page report finding that Litvinenko’s accusation was probably correct. “ [Added March 20, 2017]Bill Moyers “The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Devin Nunes, says the committee has no evidence to support Trump’s March 4 wiretapping claim. “I don’t think there was an actual tap of Trump Tower,” Nunessays. “Are you going to take the tweets literally? If you are, clearly the president is wrong.” [Added March 20, 2017]Bill Moyers “On the subject of his wiretapping claims, Trump tells Fox News, “I think you’re going to find some very interesting items coming to the forefront over the next two weeks.” [Added April 3, 2017]Bill Moyers    CNN
“Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa), whose committee is one of several where investigations are fully underway, accused Justice Department officials Wednesday of lying when they promised to share informationabout ongoing department probes with lawmakers conducting oversight.“It doesn’t matter whether you have a Republican or Democrat president, every time they come up here for their nomination hearing . . . I ask them, ‘Are you going to answer phone calls and our letters, and are you going to give us the documents we want?’ And every time we get a real positive ‘yes’! And then they end up being liars!” Grassley said, screaming into the phone during an interview with The Washington Post. “It’s not if they’re treating us differently than another committee. It’s if they’re responding at all.”  Nunes and Schiff also sent Comey, Rogers and CIA Director Mike Pompeo a letterWednesday demanding a complete list of people whose names have been “unmasked” after popping up in other surveillance— the way, they noted, authorities discovered that former national security adviser Michael Flynn had contacts with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. If that information isn’t provided by Friday, Nunes said he would likely subpoena those records.  “If there is a criminal investigation regarding the Trump campaign and ties to Russia, I want to know about it because we’re doing congressional investigations of all things Russia,” Graham said in an interview. “I don’t want to run into a criminal investigation not knowing it’s out there.”” Washington Post

March 16, 2017: Senate Intelligence Committee leaders issue a joint statement rebutting Trump’s unfounded assertion that President Obama had wiretapped Trump Tower: “Based on the information available to us, we see no indications that Trump Tower was the subject of surveillance by any element of the United States government either before or after Election Day 2016.” [Added March 20, 2017]Bill Moyers American Oversight calls Congress to investigate Seb Gorka for Failure to Disclose Membership in a Nazi group on Security Clearance Forms

March 17, 2017:Trump lost Republican support for any claims of Obama wiretaps. TimeNBC News’s Timeline published March 20, 2017“Roger Stone says he had only just received the letter from the Senate Intelligence Committee, dated Feb. 17, asking him to preserve his records relating to Russian election interference. Quoted in The New York TimesStone says, “I had never heard allegations that Guccifer 2.0 was a Russian asset until now, and am not certain it’s correct.” He says that his 16 interactions with Guccifer 2.0, which included public Twitter posts and private messages, were all part of “exchanges,” not “separate contacts.” [Added March 20, 2017]Bill Moyers 

March 20, 2017: Adam Schiff delivers the first public statement to FBI Director James Comey at the Senate Intelligence Committee briefing.  Transcript.    Comey testified before Congress on Obama wiretap accusations and Russia. “On the morning of FBI Director Comey’s testimony before Congress on his agency’s investigation into Russian election interference, Trump tweets: “The Democrats made up and pushed the Russian story as an excuse for running a terrible campaign. Big advantage in Electoral College & lost!” Hours later, Comey testifies that the FBI was investigating Russian interference with election, including “the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia’s efforts.” With respect to Trump’s wiretapping claims, Comey says, “I have no information that supports those tweets.” [Added March 20, 2017]Bill Moyers “After FBI Director James Comey says during testimony before Congress that the FBI is investigating possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, Manafort issues a statement denying any role in any cyberattack on the DNC or leaks of DNC emails, and denying that he ever spoke to any Russian official or anyone else claiming involvement in the attack. “The suggestion that I ever worked in concert with anyone to release hacked emails or sought to undermine the interests of the United States is false,” said the statement. “Despite the constant scrutiny and innuendo, there are no facts or evidence supporting these allegations, nor will there be.” NBC“Shortly before the House intelligence committee holds its first public hearing on its investigation into Russia’s interference in the US election, a senior White House official tells the New Yorker’s Ryan Lizza, “You’ll see the setting of the predicate. That’s the thing to watch today.” Lizza later reports:He suggested that I read a piece in The Hill about incidental collection. The article posited that if “Trump or his advisors were speaking directly to foreign individuals who were the target of U.S. spying during the election campaign, and the intelligence agencies recorded Trump by accident, it’s plausible that those communications would have been collected and shared amongst intelligence agencies.”The White House clearly indicated to me that it knew Nunes would highlight this issue. “It’s backdoor surveillance where it’s not just incidental, it’s systematic,” the White House official said. “Watch Nunes today.”- In his opening statement at the hearing, Nunes asks, “Were the communications of officials or associates of any campaign subject to any kind of improper surveillance?” The day’s biggest news, however, comes from FBI Director James Comey who testifies the hearing that the bureau has since July been “investigating the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government, and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia’s efforts.” Both Comey and NSA Director Admiral Michael Rogers dismiss Trump’s claim that Obama wiretapped him during the election.- In response to questions from Mother Jones‘ David Corn, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), chair of the House intelligence committee, tells reporters he has never heard of key figures connected to the Trump-Russia scandal, including Carter Page and Roger Stone.- Spicer tells reporters that Paul Manafort, who ran Trump’s campaign from April 2016 to August 2016, “played a limited role” on the campaign ‘for a very limited amount of time.’” Mother Jones“In a House Intelligence Committee public hearing, Paul Manafort’s name comes up more than two dozen times.” [Added March 27, 2017]Bill MoyersAfter March 20, Date Unknown:”Trump made separate appeals to the director of national intelligence, Daniel Coats, and to Adm. Michael S. Rogers, the director of the National Security Agency, urging them to publicly deny the existence of any evidence of collusion during the 2016 election. Coats and Rogers refused to comply with the requests, which they both deemed to be inappropriate, according to two current and two former officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private communications with the president.” Washington PostSen. Al Franken and Patrick Leahy wrote FBI Director James Comey a letter requesting further investigation into Jeff Sessions’ Russian contacts after a third news report indicating as such on March 8. Huffington Post MSN News

March 21, 2017: Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), chair of the House Intelligence Committee, took a call while sharing an Uber with a staffer and mysteriously switched cars without saying where he was going.  He went to the White House (CNNDevin Nunes Vanished the Night Before He Made Trump Surveillance Claims The Daily Beast March 24., “bypasses his fellow committee members and  with alleged evidence that Trump associates may have been “incidentally” swept up in foreign surveillance by American spy agencies. Nunes refuses to release the information or name his sources, even to fellow committee members. And he confirms that he still had seen no evidence to support Trump’s claim that President Obama had ordered his wires tapped. “[Added March 27, 2017]Bill Moyers Wired   Washington Post New York TimesEzra “Cohen-Watnick came upon the information as he was reviewing how widely intelligence reports on intercepts were shared within the American spy agencies.” Cohen-Watnick gave the information to White House counsel Michael Ellis who gave it to Nunes. Bi-partisan speculation exists that Cohen-Watnick and Nunes were trying to justify Trump’s Obama wiretapping accusations.  NY Times“In his daily press briefing, Sean Spicer says that, with respect to the Trump campaign, Paul Manafort had “played a very limited role for a very limited period of time.” [Added March 27, 2017]

March 22, 2017:Nunes makes a morning statement at the Capitol building “I recently confirmed that on numerous occasions the intelligence community incidentally collected information about US citizens involved in the Trump transition…“This appears to be all legally collected foreign intelligence under FISA, where there was incidental collection that ended up in reporting channels and it was widely disseminated,” Wired He referred to Unmasking in the press conference (identification in the intelligence reports).  “Next, Nunes visits the White House to brief Trump on the intelligence reports. Directly after, he holds another press conference, this time on the White House lawn.” Wired   Adam Schiff, D-CA, Ranking Dem. on House Intelligence Committee released statmenet that “most of the names in the intercepted communications were in fact masked” and that “Nunes did not share his information with his colleagues prior to holding public press conferences”. Wired   In the evening, Sen. John McCain, R-AZ, gave an interview on MSNBC and “called for a congressional select committee or independent commission to take charge”. NBC News    “Since disclosing the existence of the intelligence reports, Mr. Nunes has refused to identify his sources, saying he needed to protect them so others would feel safe going to the committee with sensitive information. In his public comments, he has described his sources as whistle-blowers trying to expose wrongdoing at great risk to themselves.  That does not appear to be the case. Several current American officials identified the White House officials as Ezra Cohen-Watnick, the senior director for intelligence at the National Security Council, and Michael Ellis, a lawyer who works on national security issues at the White House Counsel’s Office and was previously counsel to Mr. Nunes’s committee. Though neither has been accused of breaking any laws, they do appear to have sought to use intelligence to advance the political goals of the Trump administration.”  NY TimesFLYNN: March 22, 2017 House Oversight Committee (Chaffetz & Cummings) Requests All Documents on Flynn’s Foreign Contacts and Payments to Reince Priebus, James Comey, James Mattis, and Daniel Coats“In a joint letter to White House chief of staff Reince Priebus, the chairman and ranking member of the House Oversight Committee request information and documents relating to payments that former national security adviser Mike Flynn received from entities affiliated with foreign governments, including Russia and Turkey. “[Added May 2, 2017]Bill Moyers “The Associated Press reports that, starting in the mid-2000s, Manafort worked on behalf of Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska to “influence politics, business dealings and news coverage inside the United States, Europe and the former Soviet republics to benefit the Putin government.” The news service quotes a 2005 strategy memo authored by Manafort, who writes, “We are now of the belief that this model can greatly benefit the Putin government if employed at the correct levels with the appropriate commitment to success.” Manafort denies working on behalf of Russian interests.  Mother Jones reports that Manafort tried to help Deripaska secure a visa to the United States. The aluminum magnate had been denied entry to the United States at various points because of suspected ties to the Russian mafia.   Rep. Devin Nunes, without briefing Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), his Democratic counterpart on the intelligence committee, or other members of the panel, calls a surprise press conference, announcing that he has seen evidence that the intelligence community “incidentally” picked up communications by Trump transition officials in the course of lawful surveillance on foreign parties. He claims that the names of Trump officials were “unmasked” and that “none of this surveillance was related to Russia.”    In a remarkable departure from intelligence committee norms, Nunes visits the White House to brief Trump on his findings. The president later says he feels “somewhat” vindicated by the information Nunes shared.   Schiff releases a statement expressing “grave concerns” about Nunes’ actions and casting doubt about whether a “credible investigation” can be conducted under these circumstances.– Schiff tells MSNBC’s Chuck Todd that there is “more than circumstantial evidence now” of potential collusion between Trump officials and Russian operatives.– CNN, citing “US officials,” reports that the ‘FBI has information that indicates associates of President Donald Trump communicated with suspected Russian operatives to possibly coordinate the release of information damaging to Hillary Clinton’s campaign.’” Mother Jones–“Today, Chairman Nunes shared information with WH still withheld from our committee. He cannot conduct a credible investigation this way.— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) March 22, 2017 Trump tweets:   Just watched the totally biased and fake news reports of the so-called Russia story on NBC and ABC. Such dishonesty!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 23, 2017–Rep. Nunes apologizes to Democratic members of the intelligence committee for failing to brief them on the new information he obtained and instead taking it straight to the White House, but he won’t explain why he took this unusual action.” Mother JonesAtty. David O’Neil for Sally Yates, wrote Justice Department official Samuel Ramer a letter, disagreeing with the Department’s decision to block Yates’s congressional testimony.

March 23, 2017: “In a letter to acting Assistant Attorney General Samuel R. Ramer, Sally Yates’ lawyer disagrees with the Justice Department’s objections to Yates’ anticipated congressional testimony. Associate Deputy Attorney General Scott Schools responds that Yates’ testimony is “likely covered by the presidential communications privilege and possibly the deliberative process privilege.” But Schools adds that Yates needs only the consent of the White House, not the Justice Department, to testify. “[Added April 3, 2017]Bill Moyers 

March 24, 2017: “Paul Manafort, Carter Page and Roger Stone volunteer to be interviewed by the House Intelligence Committee.” [Added March 27, 2017]Bill Moyers Yates’ lawyer writes to White House Counsel McGahn about Yates’ upcoming testimony before the House Intelligence Committee. He notes that unless McGahn objects before 10 a.m. on March 27, Yates will appear and answer the committee’s questions. “[Added April 3, 2017]Bill Moyers
Nunes canceled House Intelligence Committee open hearing, announced NSA Director Mike Rogers and FBI Director James Comey for a closed-door briefing. “Chairman just cancelled open Intelligence Committee hearing with (former Director of National Intelligence James) Clapper, (former CIA Director John) Brennan and (former deputy Attorney General Sally) Yates in attempt to choke off public info,” Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the committee tweeted moment before going to speak to the press Friday morning.”CNN   “Rep. Devin Nunes holds a press conference, where he announces that Paul Manafort has volunteered to testify before the House intelligence committee. He also announces that the committee will be delaying its next open hearing, which had been planned for March 28.” Mother Jones    Roger Stone and Carter Page volunteered to talk to House committee, CNN on Stone & Page CNN on ManafortRep. Nunes cancels public hearings scheduled for March 28. Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former CIA Director John Brennan and former acting Attorney General Sally Yates had been slated to testify before his committee. Nunes postpones their appearances indefinitely. “[Added March 27, 2017]Bill Moyers 

March 25, 2017:Rep. Adam Schiff, D-CA releases a statement about the investigation.The American people demand – and deserve – the truth. Congress must create an independent commission to #FollowTheFacts on Russia.— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) March 25, 2017

March 26, 2017: “In an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, Roger Stone says, “I reiterate again, I have had no contacts or collusions with the Russians. And my exchange with Guccifer 2.0, based on the content and the timing, most certainly does not constitute collusion.” [Added March 27, 2017]Bill Moyers 

March 27, 2017: Trump hosts a PGA Tournament at Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, VA, for which he sold tickets. He had three meetings at the club and left for DC at noon.  NY Times  Trump tweetsthat the House Intelligence Committee should be looking into Bill and Hillary Clinton’s ties to Russia: “Trump Russia story is a hoax.” [Added April 3, 2017]Bill Moyers “Rep. Adam Schiff, Ranking Democrat on the Investigation Committee, Rep. Jackie Speier, D-CA, and others stated that Nunes should recuse himself from the investigation.    “The New York Times reports that in early December 2016, Jared Kushner met with Sergey Gorkov, the chief of Russia’s state-owned development bank at the request of Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak. The paper also reports that the Senate intelligence committee has informed the White House that it will seek to question Kushner about this meeting and his interactions with the Kislyak.”The New York Times reports that on the evening of March 21, Rep. Nunes met with a source on the grounds of the White House grounds. The source reportedly showed Nunes “dozens” of classified intelligence reports. The next day, Nunes announced he had viewed evidence that showed that US intelligence agencies had “incidentally” collected communications among Trump transition team members while surveilling other parties.   House Democrats, including minority leader Nancy Pelosi and Adam Schiff, call on Devin Nunes to recuse himself from the House intelligence committee investigation into Russia’s election interference. ” Mother JonesNunes’ spokesperson Jack Langer explained: “Chairman Nunes met with his source at the White House grounds in order to have proximity to a secure location where he could view the information provided by the source … The Chairman is extremely concerned by the possible improper unmasking of names of U.S. citizens, and he began looking into this issue even before President Trump tweeted his assertion that Trump Tower had been wiretapped.” NBC NewsCalls for Nunes’ Recusal:″After much consideration I believe Chairman should recuse himself from involvement in investigation/oversight of Trump campaign & transition— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) March 27, 2017The time is long overdue for @SpeakerRyan to call on @DevinNunes to recuse himself at the very least.— Nancy Pelosi (@NancyPelosi) March 27, 2017The time is long overdue for @SpeakerRyan to call on @DevinNunes to recuse himself at the very least.— Nancy Pelosi (@NancyPelosi) March 27, 2017

March 28, 2017:    Devin Nunes Says He Will Continue To Lead Russia Inquiry NY Times Sean Spicer denied White House intentionally blocking Sally Yates’s testimony in January.  “Nunes argues he had to review classified, executive branch documents from a secure facility at the White House because the reports had not been provided to Congress and could not be transported to the secure facilities used by the House intelligence committee. It is very unusual for a committee chairman and ranking member not to coordinate meetings related to an investigation. Nunes would not name the source of the information, nor would he disclose who invited him on the White House grounds for the meeting. He described the source as an intelligence official.” Fortune“The Washington Post reports that the Trump administration has tried to prevent former acting Attorney General Sally Yates from testifying before the House intelligence committee. Yates—who was fired by Trump in January after she instructed Justice Department lawyers not to defend the administration’s executive order temporarily blocking immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries—was scheduled to testify before the committee in a public hearing that was canceled by Nunes. The White House denied that it had tried to block Yates from testifying, calling the Post‘s story “entirely false.”                              NBC reports:A bank in Cyprus investigated accounts associated with President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, for possible money-laundering,two banking sources with direct knowledge of his businesses here told NBC News.Manafort — whose ties to a Russian oligarch close to President Vladimir Putin are under scrutiny—was associated with at least 15 bank accounts and 10 companies on Cyprus, dating back to 2007, the sources said. At least one of those companies was used to receive millions of dollars from a billionaire Putin ally, according to court documents.Banking sources said some transactions on Manafort-associated accounts raised sufficient concern to trigger an internal investigation at a Cypriot bank into potential money laundering activities. After questions were raised, Manafort closed the accounts, the banking sources said.According to a Manafort spokesman, “All were legitimate entities and established for lawful ends.”Mother Jones    Trump Tweeted: Why isn’t the House Intelligence Committee looking into the Bill & Hillary deal that allowed big Uranium to go to Russia, Russian speech….— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 28, 2017…money to Bill, the Hillary Russian “reset,” praise of Russia by Hillary, or Podesta Russian Company. Trump Russia story is a hoax. #MAGA!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 28, 2017

Feds Arrest 10 Bonanno Organized Crime Family Members and Associates NBC NY  “Ten members and associates of the Bonanno organized crime family, including alleged acting captain Ronald Giallanzo, were arrested early Tuesday by the FBI and NYPD Joint Organized Crime Task Force, officials said. The 37-count federal indictment charges the men with operating a racketeering conspiracy since 1998 that earned them more than $26 million in illicit proceeds, according to prosecutors. Operating mainly in the Howard Beach section of Queens, the defendants allegedly engaged in loansharking, illegal gambling, robbery, and extortion, prosecutors said.”  Link to the Arrested

CREW and Democracy 21 Letter to the Office of Congressional Ethics Re” Request for Inquiry into whether Rep. Nunes violated House Ethics Rules

March 29, 2017:Sen. Ron Wyden, D-OR, asks the Senate Intelligence Committee for a thorough review of Trump & associates and Russians  Press Release“Sens. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.), respectively the chairman and vice chairman of the Senate intelligence committee, hold a press conference. They vow a tough, bipartisan investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. “This investigation’s scope will go wherever the intelligence leads,” Burr says. According to Burr, seven committee staffers have been assigned to the probe and the committee has begun to schedule the first of 20 interviews.” Mother Jones

March 30, 2017: Senate Intelligence Committee Session 1 VIDEO Disinformation: A Primer in Russian Active Measures and Influence Campaigns

Senate Intelligence Committee Session 2 VIDEO Disinformation: A Primer in Russian Active Measures and Influence Campaigns


“The Senate intelligence committee convenes its first hearing into Russian interference in the presidential election.  The New York Timesreports that two White House officials, Ezra Cohen-Watnick and Michael Ellis, “played a role in providing” Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) access to intelligence reports showing that “President Trump and his associates were incidentally swept up in foreign surveillance by American spy agencies.” Cohen-Watnick was brought on to the National Security Council by Michael Flynn, for whom he had worked at the National Security Council. After Flynn’s ouster, his replacement, national security adviser Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, attempted to “sideline” Cohen-Watkins, according to Politico. Jared Kushner and White House strategist Stephen Bannon intervened on the NSC staffer’s behalf, taking the matter all the way to Trump. Ellis worked for Nunes before taking a job in the White House as a lawyer working on national security matters.  The Wall Street Journal reports that former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn has told the FBI and the congressional committees investigating ties between the Trump campaign and Russia that he will agree to be interviewed in exchange for immunity from prosecution. Flynn’s attorney says in a subsequent statement that the retired general “certainly has a story to tell, and he very much wants to tell it, should the circumstances permit.” Mother Jones

“The Senate Intelligence Committee opens its hearings into the Trump/Russia investigation. Clinton Watts, senior fellow at George Washington University’s Center for Cyber and Homeland Security and former FBI agent, testifies that the committee should follow the money funding misinformation websites. Watts then adds a more ominous suggestion: “Follow the trail of dead Russians,” he says. “There’s been more dead Russians in the past three months that are tied to this investigation who have assets in banks all over the world. They are dropping dead, even in Western countries.” Eight Russian politicians, activists, ambassadors and a former intelligence official have died since Trump’s election. Some were apparent assassinations. “[Added April 3, 2017]Bill Moyers

The New York Times reports that Nunes’ sources for the information that he’d reviewed nine days earlier on White House grounds — and then reported to Trump directly without informing anyone on his committee — are two members of the Trump administration: Ezra Cohen-Watnick (the NSC staffer whose job Trump had saved personally around March 13) and Michael Ellis (who had served as general counsel of Nunes’ committee before becoming Trump’s “special assistant, senior associate counsel and deputy National Security Council legal adviser” on March 7). “[Added April 3, 2017]Bill Moyers 

“The Wall Street Journal reports that Mike Flynn is seeking immunity from prosecution in return for testifying before congressional intelligence committees. The next day, his lawyer confirms, “Gen. Flynn certainly has a story to tell, and he very much wants to tell it, should circumstances permit.” [Added April 3, 2017]Bill Moyers 

March 31, 2017: Trump tweets, “Mike Flynn should ask for immunity in that this is a witch hunt (excuse for big election loss), by media & Dems, of historic proportion!”[Added April 3, 2017]Bill Moyers 

“During an appearance with Bill Maher, Roger Stone denies that Guccifer 2.0 was an arm of Russia. “I’ve had no contacts with Russians,” he insists. “[Added April 3, 2017]Bill Moyers 

NBC reports that the Senate intelligence committee has denied Flynn’s request for immunity, telling Flynn’s lawyer the request was “wildly preliminary” and currently “not on the table.” Mother Jones

March (date unknown): “Weeks after its former CEO, Rex Tillerson, becomes Secretary of State, Exxon Mobil files an application with the Treasury department for a waiver from US sanctions on Russia. Exxon seeks the waiver in order to resume an exploration and drilling project with Russian-state oil giant Rosneft. Tillerson has said that he will recuse himself from State Department decisions that could benefit Exxon for one year.”Mother Jones

April 2017

April 3, 2017:Sen. Rand Paul,R-KY Tweets “Smoking gun found! Obama pal and noted dissembler Susan Rice said to have been spying on Trump campaign.”  New Yorker

April 4, 2017:“The (Pentagon Inspector General) initiated an investigation to determine if Lt. Gen. (Retired) Flynn accepted payments in violation of the Emoluments Clause, implementing laws, or Department of Defense regulations” USA Today

April 5, 2017:In an interview with The New York Times, Trump says, “The Russia story is a total hoax.” [Added April 10, 2017]Bill Moyers7 “The House ethics committee announces that it is investigating Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), the chairman of the House intelligence committee investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election, due to allegations that he made “unauthorized disclosures of classified information.” In a statement, Nunes says that he will temporarily remove himself from the House intelligence committee’s Russia investigation into Russian interference while the House ethics committee investigates, “despite the baselessness of the charges” against him.”Mother Jones       The New York Times reported that Kushner failed to list Russian contacts on his SF-86 questionnaire, which alerted House Democrats and prompted them to write a letter to Comey and Phalen.   NY TimesNunes Recuses: “The House ethics committee announces that it is investigating Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), the chairman of the House intelligence committee investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election, due to allegations that he made “unauthorized disclosures of classified information.” In a statement, Nunes says that he will temporarily remove himself from the House intelligence committee’s Russia investigation into Russian interference while the House ethics committee investigates, “despite the baselessness of the charges” against him.” Mother JonesNew York Times breaks: Kushner Omitted Meeting With Russians on Security Clearance Forms Kushner failed to disclose meetings with Sergey Kislyak and Russian State-controlled bank VEB.April 7, 2017: Defense Intelligence Agency sent a classified letter to the House Oversight Committee dated October 8, 2014, warning Flynn of Foreign Payments without permission after they fired him. The letter states there were no records showing that he sought permission or approval of the money he received from speaking at the Moscow RT Gala in December 2015 during which he dined with Putin.  The Defense Department gave House Oversight Committee an unclassified version the week of April 27, 2017 House Democrats Oversight Committee                April 8, 2017:  “In a post on April 8, the [Shadow Brokers] said Mr. Trump had abandoned those who helped get him elected. “The ShadowBrokers is losing faith in you,” it said, adding, “Is appearing you are abandoning ‘your base,’ ‘the movement,’ and the peoples who getting you elected.” NY Times  Shadow Brokers Letter
   April 11, 2017: “In an interview with the Daily Telegraph, Eric Trump says that the Trump administration’s decision to launch missiles at a Syrian military target shows that there is no connection between President Trump and the Russian government, which backs the Assad regime. The Washington Post reports that in the summer of 2016, the FBI and DOJ obtained a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court warrant to monitor the communications of Trump campaign foreign policy adviser Carter Page. “This is the clearest evidence so far that the FBI had reason to believe during the 2016 presidential campaign that a Trump campaign adviser was in touch with Russian agents,” notes the Post.””Mother Jones

April 12, 2017:“The Associated Press confirms that at least $1.2 million in payments listed next to Paul Manafort’s name on a “black accounts” ledger in Ukraine that was uncovered in August 2016 were in fact received by Manafort’s consulting firm. Manafort had initially denied receiving illicit payments, and told the AP that “any wire transactions received by my company are legitimate payments for political consulting work that was provided. I invoiced my clients and they paid via wire transfer, which I received through a U.S. bank.”CNNBreaks news that classified documents contradict any claims that Susan Rice’s “unmasking” requests were illegal or otherwise source of leaks. “Sebastian Gorka, a Trump foreign policy aide, cast Rice’s actions as worse than the Watergate scandal that felled President Richard Nixon in an interview with pro-Trump Fox News host Sean Hannity.”  “CNN reports that both Republican and Democratic lawmakers have reviewed documents related to allegations that Obama administration national security adviser Susan Rice had improperly requested the “unmasking” of Trump transition team members in intelligence reports. The lawmakers who reviewed these reports “have so far found no evidence that Obama administration officials did anything unusual or illegal,” CNN reported, though Trump had previously called the allegations a “massive story.” In an interview on the Fox Business Network, Trump says that it is “not too late” to fire FBI director James Comey, but also says that he still has confidence in him.””Mother Jones

April 12, 2017: “The Associated Press confirms that newly obtained financial records show Paul Manafort’s firm had received two wire transfers — one in 2007 and another in 2009 — corresponding to two of the 22 entries next to Manafort’s name in Ukraine’s Party of Regions Black Ledger. Manafort’s spokesman says Manafort intended to register retroactively with the US Justice Department as a foreign agent for the work he had done on behalf of political interests in Ukraine through 2014.” [Added April 17, 2017]Bill MoyersApril 13, 2017: “Former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page tells ABC’s George Stephanopoulos he won’t reveal who brought him into the Trump campaign. Page also says he didn’t recall discussing the subject of easing Russian sanctions in conversations with Russian officials during his July 2016 trip to Moscow. “We’ll see what comes out in this FISA transcript,” Page says, referring to surveillance collected after the FBI obtained a secret court order to monitor him under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. “Something may have come up in a conversation… I have no recollection.” Later he continues, “Someone may have brought it up. I have no recollection. And if it was, it was not something I was offering or that someone was asking for.” Page says that from the time of his departure as an adviser to the Trump campaign through Inauguration Day, he maintained “light contact” with some campaign members. “[Added April 17, 2017]Bill Moyers

April 13, 2017: “House Democrats send a letter to FBI Director James Comey and the head of the National Background Investigations Bureau, calling for the suspension of Jared Kushner’s security clearance. Kushner, they write “failed to disclose key meetings with (dozens of) foreign government officials during his application process,” including Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak and Sergey Gorkov, the head of Vnesheconombank, a Russian state-owned development bank. “Knowingly falsifying or concealing information on a SF-86 questionnaire is a felony, punishable by up to five years in prison,” the lawmakers write.” Mother JonesMid-April 2017WSJ: “federal investigators requested Mr. Manafort’s banking records from Citizens Financial GroupInc.“

April 14, 2017: “Legistorm reports that Andrii Artemenko, the pro-Putin Ukrainian lawmaker that in January met with two Trump associates to discuss a possible peace plan for Ukraine and Russia, is paying $30,000 a month to a pro-Trump preacher in Pennsylvania who has ties to Russia and Ukraine. According to Legistorm, the funds were for “strategic counseling and representation to advance US-Ukraine relations, including engagement with public officials, legislators and government agencies” and a filing from Armstrong’s LLC notes the payments were not financed by a foreign government. The preacher, Dale Armstrong, helps run twogroups focused on bringing biblical values to Ukraine and other former Soviet republics.” Mother Jones

Shadow Brokers released NSA CODE “Most of the code was designed to break through network firewalls and get inside the computer systems of competitors like Russia, China and Iran. That, in turn, allows the N.S.A. to place “implants” in the system, which can lurk unseen for years and be used to monitor network traffic or enable a debilitating computer attack. According to these experts, the coding resembled a series of “products” developed inside the N.S.A.’s highly classified Tailored Access Operations unit, some of which were described in general terms in documents stolen three years ago by Edward J. Snowden, the former N.S.A. contractor now living in Russia.The timing of the leaks coincides with the United States’ recent shift in policy in Syria, which has escalated the conflict with the Syrian government’s main backer, Russia. The Shadow Brokers wrote in broken English in an online post, which cited the American missile attack on a Syrian air base among other reasons for the leak, that after a hiatus, it had returned to leaking because it was upset that President Trump was abandoning “the peoples who getting you elected.” Among the leaks on Friday was an extensive list of PowerPoint and Excel documents that, if authentic, indicate that the N.S.A. has successfully infiltrated EastNets, a company based in Dubai that helps to manage transactions in the international bank messaging system called Swift.” NY Times

April 18, 2017: Adam Khan replies with “Trump-tied businessmen met NSC officials, Bannon over Venezuala sanctions, sources say”

April 19, 2017:  Reuters exclusive of Russian think tank, RISS, “described by officials as the Kremlin’s in-house foreign policy think tank and staffed by Putin-appointees, had developed plans to interfere with the US election. Seven current or former US officials describe documents produced and circulated by RISS in June and October 2016, first calling on the Kremlin to mount a propaganda campaign to help elect a pro-Russia president and later to stoke concerns about Hillary Clinton and voter fraud.having released June and October 2016 strategic plans to interfere with the election.” Mother JonesMary McCord Resigns, acting Head of National Security for the DOJ and acting assistant attorney general in the department’s national security division, will leave the department in May 2017. McCord heads the department’s investigation into Russia interference in the presidential election. The Intercept     Mother Jones

April 19, 2017: “The White House refuses the March 22 bipartisan request from the House Oversight Committee for more information and documents relating to payments that former national security adviser Mike Flynn received from entities affiliated with the Russian and Turkish governments.” [Added May 2, 2017] Bill Moyers
April 21, 2017: CNN Reports Russian infiltration of Trump Campaign including Carter Page.   CNN reports that in the summer of 2016, at the height of the presidential campaign, US and European intelligence found that Russian intelligence operatives were attempting to infiltrate the Trump campaign through Trump advisers, including Carter Page. Citing US officials, the network reports that Page and several other Trump advisers were repeatedly in contact with Russian officials and other Russians on the radar of intelligence agencies.” Mother Jones

April 23, 2017:Senate Intel Committee has only 7 part-time and unqualified staffers assisting and haven’t conducted witness interviews. None of the seven staffers assigned to the investigation are working on it full-time, none have investigative or legal experience, and most have no Russia expertise. Daily Beast

JARED KUSHNER’S REAL-ESTATE FIRM SOUGHT MONEY DIRECTLY FROM QATAR GOVERNMENT WEEKS BEFORE BLOCKADE The Intercept Jared Kushner’s firm made a direct pitch to Qatar’s minister of finance in April 2017 in an attempt to secure investment in a critically distressed asset by , March 2 2018 “At the previously unreported meeting, Jared Kushner’s father Charles, who runs Kushner Companies, and Qatari Finance Minister Ali Sharif Al Emadi discussed financing for the Kushners’ signature 666 Fifth Avenue property in New York City. The 30-minute meeting, according to two sources in the financial industry who asked not to be named because of the sensitivity of the potential transaction, included aides to both parties, and was held at a suite at the St. Regis Hotel in New York. A real estate firm tied to Jared Kushner made a direct pitch to Qatar’s minister of finance in April 2017 in an attempt to secure investment for 666 Fifth Avenue. A follow-up meeting was held the next day in a glass-walled conference room at the Kushner property itself, though Al Emadi did not attend the second gathering in person.  The failure to broker the deal would be followed only a month later by a Middle Eastern diplomatic row in which Jared Kushner provided critical support to Qatar’s neighbors. Led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, a group of Middle Eastern countries, with Kushner’s backing, led a diplomatic assault that culminated in a blockade of Qatar. Kushner, according to reports at the time, subsequently undermined efforts by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to bring an end to the standoff.”

April 25, 2017:House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz, R-UT,  said Flynn took money without clearance. Politico   Flynn’s lawyer, Robert Kelner, said in a statement that Flynn briefed the Defense Intelligence Agency on his Moscow December 25 trip. Politico “Michael Flynn may have broken the law by failing to disclose a $34,000 payment from RT, a Russian state-owned media outlet, on his 2016 application to renew his security clearance. Flynn received the fee for speaking at 2015 gala hosted by RT, where he was seated beside Vladimir Putin.  “As a former military officer, you simply cannot take money from Russia, Turkey or anybody else,” Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) said. “And it appears as if he did take that money. It was inappropriate. And there are repercussions for the violation of law.”  The revelation comes after Chaffetz, the committee’s chairman, and Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), its ranking member, asked the White House and other federal agencies to provide documents related to Flynn’s foreign communications and payments, including his security clearance application. The Defense Intelligence Agency provided documents to the committee, according to Chaffetz and Cummings, but the White House has declined to comply with the document request.   Flynn’s attorney issues a statement implying that Flynn obtained all necessary permissions related to his appearance at the RT event: ‘General Flynn briefed the Defense Intelligence Agency, a component agency of the Department of Defense, extensively regarding the RT speaking event trip both before and after the trip, and he answered any questions that were posed by DIA concerning the trip during those briefings.’” Mother Jones

“I just got a message from the president to stay strong,” Flynn said after the meal was over, according to two sources who are close to Flynn and are familiar with the conversation, which took place on April 25. “Yahoo News

“The Senate Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism reveals that it has scheduled former acting Attorney General Sally Yates and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper to testify on May 8, 2017.”[Added May 2, 2017]Bill MoyersThe Senate confirms Rod Rosenstein as deputy attorney general. Because Attorney General Jeff Sessions had recused himself from matters relating to the 2016 presidential election, including the Trump/Russia investigation, Rosenstein becomes the top Justice Department official supervising FBI Director Comey on that investigation.” [Added May 15, 2017]Bill Moyers

April 26, 2017:Alt-right Reddit board /Pol/ run by 4Chan discuss strategies for their Meme War against Macron in the upcoming election.

Bribe Cases, a Jared Kushner Partner and Potential Conflicts President Trump’s son-in-law, a top adviser, had help building a real estate empire from a member of one of Israel’s wealthiest families. NY Times  “It was the summer of 2012, and Jared Kushner was headed downtown. His family’s real estate firm, the Kushner Companies, would spend about $190 million over the next few months on dozens of apartment buildings in tony Lower Manhattan neighborhoods including the East Village, the West Village and SoHo. For much of the roughly $50 million in down payments, Mr. Kushner turned to an undisclosed overseas partner. Public records and shell companies shield the investor’s identity. But, it turns out, the money came from a member of Israel’s Steinmetz family, which built a fortune as one of the world’s leading diamond traders.” Detained in Israel August 14, 2017.

April 27, 2017:  DOD confirmation of April 4 Michael Flynn investigation. USA Today  “Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) the ranking Democrat on the House oversight committee, releases documents (The October 8, 2014 letter warning Flynn)…The documents released by Cummings show that the DIA counsel’s office responded to an inquiry from Flynn with a letter explaining that he could not receive foreign government payments without prior approval, due to the constitution’s emoluments clause.The DIA documents released by House oversight also state that, contrary to the implication of Flynn’s attorney on April 25, the DIA has no record of Flynn seeking permission to receive payments from a foreign source.” Mother Jones House Democrats Oversight Committee 

April 28, 2017: “The chair and vice chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee send letters to several former Trump campaign advisers, including Carter Page, Mike Flynn, Paul Manafort and Roger Stone. Among other requests, the letters ask for a “list of all meetings between you and any Russian official or representative of Russian business interests which took place between June 16, 2015 and Jan. 20, 2017.” The letters also request information about any such meetings of which they are aware, as well as all documents relating to Trump campaign communications with Russian officials or business representatives. The committee also seeks information about any financial and real estate transactions related to Russia from June 15, 2015 through Trump’s inauguration. “[Added May 8, 2017]Bill Moyers

April 29, 2017: “In an interview airing on Trump’s 100th day in office, he tells CBS’ John Dickerson, “The concept of Russia with respect to us [the Trump campaign] is a total phony story.” Dickerson then asks, “You don’t think it’s phony that they, the Russians, tried to meddle in the election?” Trump answers, “That I don’t know.” Later, Trump says, “I’d love to find out what happened.” [Added May 2, 2017]Bill Moyers

May – June 2017 Continued