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James Comey, Donald Trump and the Russia Investigation: A Timeline of Events

Former FBI Director James Comey is set to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee Thursday. Here's a look back at key developments.
FBI Director James Comey prepares to testify on Capitol Hill on May 3.Carolyn Kaster / AP

Former FBI Director James Comey is set to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday about Russian involvement in the 2016 presidential election — and his interactions with President Donald Trump with regards to the matter.

Below is a timeline of developments between Comey, Trump and the investigation into Russia's involvement.

Jan. 6: The intel community details that Russia interfered in the 2016 election — to hurt Hillary Clinton and benefit Trump. Comey also tells Trump that the FBI doesn’t have an open counter-intelligence case on him individually, according to Comey’s statement released ahead of his Thursday Senate hearing.

Jan. 27: Trump has dinner with Comey, telling the FBI director: “I need loyalty, I expect loyalty,” per Comey’s June 7 statement.

Related: Comey to Testify He Assured Trump He Was Not Personally Under Investigation

Feb. 13: National Security Advisor Michael Flynn resigns just after The Washington Post first reported that the Justice Department had informed the White House that Flynn could be subject to blackmail after misleading statements about his interaction with Russia's ambassador.

Feb. 14: The New York Times reports that Trump's 2016 campaign "had repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials."

Feb. 14: Comey meets with Trump at the White House, where the president tells the FBI director: "I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go," according to a memo Comey wrote about the meeting. "He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go." Comey also tells Attorney General Jeff Sessions to prevent future direct communication between the president and him, per Comey’s statement.

March 1: The Washington Post reports that Sessions met with Russia's envoy twice in 2016 — which the attorney general didn't disclose in his confirmation hearing.

March 2: Sessions recuses himself from any federal inquiries involving Trump's 2016 campaign.

March 20: Comey confirms his agency is investigating allegations that Trump's 2016 campaign might have contacts with Russian entities.

March 30: Trump calls Comey asking him what could be done to “lift the cloud” over Russia, per Comey’s statement released June 7.

March 31: 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!”

April 11: Trump once again calls Comey and says “the cloud” is getting in the way of his ability to do his job, per Comey’s statement.

May 2: Trump tweets that Comey "was the best thing that ever happened" to Hillary Clinton, and adds that the Russia investigation is "phony."

May 3: Comey tells the Senate Judiciary Committee that he won't be providing updates about the FBI's Russia inquiry until the matter is concluded.

May 8: Former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates testifies to Congress that she first warned White House Counsel Donald McGhan on Jan. 26 about Flynn's misleading comments — 18 days prior to Flynn's ouster as national security adviser.

May 8: Trump tweets, "The Russia-Trump collusion story is a total hoax, when will this taxpayer funded charade end?"

May 9: Trump fires Comey. The original explanation is that it was due to how Comey handled the Hillary Clinton email investigation — and was based on the recommendation from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

Related: Trump Fires FBI Director James Comey Over Email Investigation

May 10: In an Oval Office meeting, Trump spoke with Russian officials about Comey. "I just fired the head of the F.B.I. He was crazy, a real nut job," he told them, according to The New York Times. "I faced great pressure because of Russia. That's taken off."

May 11: In interview with NBC's Lester Holt, Trump said he planned on firing Comey regardless of what Rosenstein recommended. And he suggested the Russia investigation was a reason behind the dismissal. "When I decided to [fire Comey], I said to myself, I said you know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made up story."

May 12: Trump tweets, "James Comey better hope that there are no 'tapes' of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!"

May 17: Rosenstein appoints former FBI Director Robert Mueller as a special counsel in Russia probe.

May 22: Flynn says he will invoke his 5th Amendment rights in response to a subpoena from the Senate Intelligence Committee.