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Timeline: Every Big Move in the Mueller Investigation

by Axios | Updated on 12.5.18

More than 18 months of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation has netted 192 criminal charges, 36 indictments or guilty pleas, and 3 prison sentences.

Driving the news: Mueller filed a sentencing memo Tuesday night recommending little to no prison time for President Trump's former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who Mueller says has offered "substantial assistance" over the course of 19 interviews with investigators. Mueller is expected to file two more sentencing memos on Friday — one for Trump's former personal attorney Michael Cohen and one for Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort.


2017

May 17: Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appoints Robert Mueller as special counsel to the Russia probe.

June 14: Mueller's probe expands to investigate Trump for possible obstruction of justice.

Oct. 30: Manafort and his business partner Rick Gates are indicted on 12 counts, including conspiracy against the U.S. and money laundering.

  • The same day, Trump's former campaign adviser, George Papadopoulos, pleads guilty to making false statements to the FBI regarding his contact with Russian leadership. He later claims he misled agents to protect the president.

Dec. 1: Former national security advisor Michael Flynn pleads guilty to "willfully and knowingly [making] false, fictitious and fraudulent statements and representations" to the FBI regarding his conversations with Russian ambassador to the U.S., Sergey Kislyak.

2018

Feb. 16: Mueller indicts 13 Russian nationals and three Russian entities for violating criminal laws to interfere with the 2016 U.S. election.

  • The same day, Richard Pinedo pleads guilty to identity fraud for selling bank account numbers to Russians involved in election interference.

Feb. 20: Dutch lawyer Alex van der Zwaan pleads guilty after being charged on Feb. 16 with lying to FBI investigators about his interactions with Rick Gates and an unidentified individual, labeled "Person A" in court documents.

Feb. 22: Mueller files 32 new financial charges, including money laundering and bank fraud, against Manafort and Gates in the Eastern District of Virginia.

Feb. 23: Gates pleads guilty to conspiracy and lying to investigators.

March 15: Manafort's lawyers file a motion to dismiss Mueller's D.C. indictment.

March 27: Manafort's legal team files a motion to dismiss Mueller's Virginia indictment.

April 3: Alex van der Zwaan is sentenced to 30 days in prison and $20,000 in fines for lying to FBI investigators. The decision marks the first sentencing in Mueller's probe.

April 9: The home, hotel room and office of Trump's personal attorney Michael Cohen is raided by FBI agents.

June 8: Mueller brings new charges against former Manafort and Konstantin Kilimnik, a former aide to Manafort who has been suspected of having ties to Russian intelligence.

  • The charges against both Manafort and Kilimnik include conspiracy and obstruction of justice in an alleged attempt to influence other testimonies. Mueller also charges Manafort with conspiracy to launder money, acting as an unregistered foreign agent and lying to authorities against Manafort.

July 13: Mueller indicts 12 Russian military intelligence officers for hacking and releasing Democratic emails during the 2016 campaign.

Aug. 21: Manafort is found guilty by a Virginia jury on eight counts of fraud.

  • That same day, Cohen pleads guilty in a Manhattan courtroom to eight counts related to tax fraud and campaign finance violations related to the Southern District of New York's investigation. Over the next few months, Cohen reportedly spent more than 70 hours in interviews with the special counsel.

Sept. 7: Papadopoulos is sentenced to 14 days in prison for lying to the FBI.

Sept. 14: Manafort pleads guilty to charges brought by the special counsel and enters into a "cooperation agreement."

Nov. 8: Attorney General Jeff Sessions submits his resignation at the request of President Trump. Sessions' chief of staff Matthew Whitaker, a public critic of the Mueller investigation, is appointed acting AG.

Nov. 20: Trump's lawyers say they've submitted written answers to questions from the special counsel.

Nov. 29: Cohen pleads guilty in the Mueller investigation to lying to Congress about the length and scope of his work on plans to build a Trump Tower in Moscow. Trump's business entanglements are publicly brought into the Mueller investigation for the first time, with Trump himself reportedly referred to as "Individual 1" in court documents.

Dec: 4: Mueller files a memo recommending no prison time for Flynn, citing his "substantial assistance" and cooperation in the special counsel's investigation.

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Axios

Written by Axios

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(58)
  • Robert
    12/05/2018
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    192 criminal charges, 36 indictments or guilty pleas, and three prison sentence. Man oh man this sounds like a witchhunt, they’re not finding anything. How can any respectable Republican continue to back a criminal for president and destroy the republican party and our democracy all at the same time? Why is it that these representatives continue to admire the emperors new clothes?

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  • Robert
    12/05/2018
    ···

    This guy knows what he’s doing😋 Let him do it and protect him from the “Warlock-in-chief” and his minions who call it a “witch hunt”

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  • Dicr
    12/06/2018
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    It’s just amazing to me tRump minions can’t grasp the most obvious facts. Mueller needs to be applauded for running such a thorough investigation. The best part is the forfeitures by Manafort pay for it.

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  • Robert
    12/06/2018
    ···

    Trump is going to take down his family because of their ignorance. This is not a real estate deal New York City,wanting to be a mob boss is not an enduring feature, and criminal activity get you jail time. And for the ignorant fools out there to keep talking about collusion, it’s not collusion it’s conspiracy, treason, violation of the emoluments clause, and just being arrogant narcissistic asshole.

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  • SneakyPete
    12/06/2018
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    18 MONTHS INVESTIGATION & NO TRUMP COLLUSION YET More than 18 months of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation has netted 192 criminal charges, 36 indictments or guilty pleas, and 3 prison sentences. And sadly it continues on with nary an inkling of any TRUMP-Russia COLLUSION Folks. SneakyPete..... 👿👿👿. 12*5*18.....

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  • doingmypart
    12/06/2018
    ···

    Corrupt compromised GOP leadership is the only reason tRump is still in the White House. Can’t wait to find out what the tRump administration and Putin has on all of you, keeping you from doing your job. My hope is you all go down when tRump goes down. You have failed to do your job and should be held accountable for your failure to protect the American people and our democracy.

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  • Clint
    12/05/2018
    ···

    So what’s it going to be republicans. We all new all of this before the election and have gotten nothing but proof ever since. You wish you had this much on Hillary after the years and millions spent on multiple investigations that proved nothing. But why would you do anything. Across this country we see republican after republican getting caught committing crimes that you keep trying to pin on Democrat’s. Look at all the election fraud going on. Congratulations you finally found it after years of claiming it was happening and it’s right in your own backyard. I’m proud to say, as a once registered republican, Obama flipped me but after the past two years you have all made sure I will never come back.

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  • Michael r
    12/06/2018
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    Protect the Mueller investigation to the end and accept the results and deal with all crimes and misdeeds!

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  • MoonRiver
    12/06/2018
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    Just like any good investigation I will wait on this till Mueller has finished investigating. You need a wide net for a big fish. So far we only have the minnows. This looks like RICO to me.

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  • Mathias
    12/06/2018
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    I’m surprised that people call this an unfounded investigation after 192 criminal charges, 36 indictments or guilty pleas, and three prison sentence. It’s evident that something is going on whatever it is, and the investigation is getting tampered with.

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  • David
    12/06/2018
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    For all the criminal charges, convictions and jail sentences, which of them point to Trump colluding with Russia? NONE! Mueller does not even have paragraph one for why he opened the Trump investigation! Many of these criminal charges are for crimes committed when Mueller was in charge of the FBI. This only proves he didn’t do his job back then! So, Dems, get ready, when Trump pulls the plug on the swamp you can watch all the Liberal Dems get sucked right down the drain where they belong.....locked up in the septic tank with Clinton and Obama.

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  • RAN
    12/05/2018
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    Stop wasting our money with this foolishness!

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  • Dave
    12/06/2018
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    You build a case just like you build a building from the bottom up or one brick at a time! It will get to the top, it a matter of time, just like Nixon.

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  • 12yanogden
    12/05/2018
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    I am glad to see justice in progress and am hopeful for more accountability in the future.

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  • Mary
    12/06/2018
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    To all of you who are worrying about the cost: It is pretty much paying for itself due to the fiscal penalties Paul Manafort had to pay. Educate yourselves. What was a waste of money were the 8 GOP led Benghazi investigations with zero indictments. Now, that was an expensive time wasting witch hunt.

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  • ConservativeGuy
    12/06/2018
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    It’s amazing how many people have inside information into this investigation. I say that we wait until the report is issued, the response is received and the AG or Congress has the opportunity to review. Tax evasion 10 years ago and unnecessary lies from people associated with a person do not implicate the person.

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  • Tom
    12/05/2018
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    Remember what I said about mueller? He’s incontinent his entire career he has been in incontinent he couldn’t sell ice water to somebody in hell. This is why Republicans allow it to continue, they knew he can’t wipe his own ass, let alone get trump. Trump also knows this. It’s not the Russians; its the left leaning commies within this our own country who should go to jail. Yes dems and libtards. This will all come to light soon. Then the really fun begins.

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  • Marylynn
    12/06/2018
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    The witch hunt isn't over and there may be more indictments coming, perhaps some very close to Comrade Bone Spurs... We'll see as the witch hunt continues. I applaud Mr. Mueller and can't wait to see what else he uncovers.

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  • denali
    12/06/2018
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    For all of you that say there is no collusion, it’s actually conspiracy and you can’t say there is no collusion/conspiracy because newsflash, we don’t know yet because we haven’t seen Mueller’s findings. But keep denying all the indictments, the guilty pleas, the obstruction of justice and the crime in this administration, just keep denying it. We now know who are traitors to our country and it is all of you deniers. It sure the hell looks like we have a bunch of liars and corrupt people in this administration.

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  • Thomas
    12/06/2018
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    Good thorough investigations take time! You never go after the main suspect first you build your case! Trump is in deep trouble and you know it. Stop supporting a liar who is corrupt and had colluded with Russians. The evidence is clear! He also is obstructing justice by his actions verbal and non verbal and stupid tweets! comments! Stop being complicit by allowing this corruption to go on unchecked! #Shiv

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