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Timeline of events leading to New York Times's report on Comey meeting with Trump

Posted at 11:07 PM, May 16, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-17 11:22:49-04

The New York Times reported on Tuesday that former FBI Director James Comey had written a memo, accusing Donald Trump of asking Comey to end an ongoing investigation into Michael Flynn, Trump's former National Security Adviser. Below is a timeline of pertinent events involving Comey, Flynn and Trump.

  • July 5, 2016: Comey released a statement and held a press conference declaring Hillary Clinton would not be charged for improperly handling emails while heading the State Department. Comey went on to say that Clinton was "extremely careless" in her handling of documents. The press conference came under fire from both sides of the aisle as Republicans were hoping Clinton would be criminally charged, while Democrats thought Comey should not have offered an opinion on the incident.
  • July 18, 2016: Flynn made his most public appearance during the 2016 election cycle. Speaking from the stage in Cleveland at the Republican National Convention, Flynn led chants of "Lock Her Up," despite Comey's announcement coming two weeks prior. 
  • Oct. 28, 2016: Comey sent a letter to Congress that he was reopening the Clinton case as it was discovered that Clinton staffer Huma Abedin had forwarded some secret documents to her husband while Abedin worked at the State Department. This announcement drew praise from Republicans, including Trump. Just nine days later, and two days before the election, Comey announced that the investigation was closed. 
  • Nov. 10, 2016: Two days after winning the presidential election, Trump met with President Barack Obama in the Oval Office. There, it was revealed that Obama recommended to Trump that he not hire Flynn to be part of his national security team. Trump opted to ignore Obama's recommendation. 
  • Jan. 10, 2017: Just 10 days before Trump's inauguration, multiple media outlets reported that the FBI had briefed Trump and Obama that Russia was actively trying to compromise Trump's presidency. This came as word was slowly coming from Washington officials that Russia had meddled in the 2016 election.
  • Jan. 26, 2017: Acting Attorney General Sally Yates met with Trump informing him that his National Security Adviser Flynn had been in communications with Russia over sanctions, and that Flynn had lied to Vice President Mike Pence.  
  • Feb. 13, 2017: After reports surfaced that Flynn had lied to Pence, Trump asked Flynn to step down as National Security Adviser. 
  • May 3, 2017: Comey goes before the Senate judiciary committee, telling senators he was "mildly nauseous" that his decision to reopen the Clinton case influenced the election. At that same hearing, Comey confirmed that Yates had warned the President about Flynn's discussions with Russia. 
  • May 9, 2017: After Trump returned to the White House from a weekend in New Jersey, he fired Comey, stating originally that he did so based on the Justice Department's recommendation. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein prepared a memo recommending Comey's firing on the basis of Comey's handling of the Clinton case.
  • May 11, 2017: Trump refuted his own administration officials by telling NBC's Lester Holt that he would have fired Comey regardless of the Justice Department's recommendation. He also called Comey a "showboat."
  • May 12: 2017, Trump tweets that "James Comey better hope that there are no 'tapes' of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press." This brought up questions on whether Trump has been recording conversations in the Oval Office; something his spokespeople have not given a clear answer on. 
  • May 16, 2017: A week after Comey was fired, the New York Times reported that Comey has a memo accusing Trump of requesting him to drop an investigation into Flynn. Comey reportedly documented this interaction in a memo, which was obtained by the Times.