Politics

Michael Flynn: A timeline of contacts with Russia by Trump's former national security advisor

Retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, who briefly served as President Trump's national security advisor, pleaded guilty Friday to a single count of making false statements to the FBI about contacts with the Russian ambassador. His contacts with high-ranking Russians date back at least to 2015.

2015: Dec. 10

Dinner with Putin

Flynn attends a lavish dinner in Moscow at which he sits next to President Vladimir Putin. He also receives a speaking fee from a Russian government-run television network that U.S. officials consider a propaganda outlet.

 
Michael Flynn and Russian President Vladimir Putin sit side by side at a 2015 dinner in Moscow. Michael Klimentyev / EPA

2016: Sept. 19

Ties to Turkey

About seven weeks before the presidential election, Flynn meets with former CIA Director R. James Woolsey Jr. and Turkey’s minister of foreign affairs, Mevlut Cavusoglu, at the JW Marriott Essex House, a hotel in midtown Manhattan.

Nov. 10

A warning

President Obama warns Trump during a meeting at the White House that Flynn is a problem.

 
President Obama meets with President-elect Donald Trump. Olivier Douliery / Tribune News Service

Nov. 18

Trump picks Flynn

Trump names Flynn as his national security advisor.

Mid-December

A second meeting with Turkish officials

During Trump’s transition to the White House, Flynn reportedly has a second meeting with Turkish government officials at the 21 Club, an upscale New York restaurant. According to the Wall Street Journal, four individuals have told federal investigators that the meeting included discussion of a Turkish proposal to forcibly detain Fethullah Gulen, a Turkish dissident cleric living in exile in Pennsylvania, and deliver him to Turkey, in exchange for up to $15 million. Flynn’s lawyers have denied the account.

Dec. 29

Sanctions against Russia

The Obama administration imposes sanctions on Russia in retaliation for Russia’s hacking of the Democratic National Committee in the summer and other efforts to interfere with the U.S. election. Flynn has five exchanges with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak that day.

2017: Early January

Flynn’s conversations discovered

Intelligence officials, looking for clues to why Putin decided not to retaliate against the imposed sanctions, discover Flynn’s conversations with Kislyak, whose communications are routinely monitored by the U.S government.

Jan. 20

A new president

Trump is inaugurated.

 
Donald Trump is sworn in as the 45th president of the United States by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. Matt Rourke / Associated Press

Jan. 24

FBI interviews Flynn

Flynn denies that he discussed U.S. sanctions against Russia with Kislyak. Flynn has now pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI at that interview.

Jan. 26

Another warning

Sally Yates, the acting attorney general, goes to the White House and warns White House counsel Donald McGahn that Flynn has misled administration officials about his contacts with Kislyak and is potentially subject to Russian blackmail.

Feb. 8

A second denial

Flynn, responding to questions from the Washington Post, once again denies any discussions with Kislyak about sanctions.

Feb. 13

Flynn resigns

Flynn resigns after the Washington Post discloses that he has misled Vice President Mike Pence and other administration officials about his contacts with Kislyak.


Feb. 16

Trump defends Flynn

Trump, at a news conference, says in response to Flynn’s resignation: “I don’t think he did anything wrong. If anything he did something right.”



March 30

A negotiation for testimony

Flynn asks for immunity in exchange for testifying to the House and Senate intelligence committees investigating Russia’s involvement in the 2016 election, negotiations that were first reported by the Wall Street Journal.



Nov. 22

Testimony for immunity

A lawyer for Flynn informs Trump’s lawyers that they can no longer share information with the White House. The statement is the first indication that Flynn is cooperating with the special counsel’s office.

Dec. 1

Guilty plea

Flynn pleads guilty to lying to the FBI. The plea deal was announced by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, who has been investigating whether members of President Trump’s team aided Russian interference in last year’s presidential election.

Former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, Washington, USA - 01 Dec 2017
Michael Flynn, right, arrives at the E. Barrett Prettyman Federal Courthouse in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 1. Reynold /EPA

Times staff members Colleen Shalby, Michael Finnegan, David Lauter, Chris Keller and Kyle Kim contributed to this report.

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