Major events in Mueller-led Russia probe

Source:Xinhua Published: 2018/5/18 8:41:10

The Russia investigation led by special counsel Robert Mueller reached its one-year mark on Thursday.

Over the past year, the far-reaching investigation has yielded a flurry of criminal indictments and guilty pleas, amid harsh attacks from President Donald Trump and bitter political fights between Republicans and Democrats.

So far, Mueller's team has brought charges against 19 individuals, including several Trump campaign associates, and three Russian entities, notched five guilty pleas and seen one person sentenced.

A number of those charges were related to Russia's alleged interference in the 2016 US presidential election, but none of them has been extended to collusion allegations.

Russia has denied interference in the election campaign.

The following is what's known to the public about the progress that the Mueller probe has made since the special counsel's appointment.

-- On May 17, 2017

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appoints Robert Mueller as special counsel on the Russia probe, eight days after Trump's firing of FBI Director James Comey.

The mandate allows Mueller to look into the alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election and any potential collusion between the Trump campaign and Moscow, among other matters that may arise from the investigation.

-- On October 30, 2017

As part of the investigation, Trump's former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, and his business partner Rick Gates are indicted on 12 counts, including conspiracy against the United States and money laundering.

Manafort pleads not guilty, while Gates later pleads guilty in lesser charges and cooperates with the special counsel.

The same day, George Papadopoulos, Trump's former campaign adviser, pleads guilty to making false statements to the FBI about his Russia contacts.

-- On December 1, 2017

Michael Flynn, Trump's former national security adviser, pleads guilty to "willfully and knowingly (making) false, fictitious and fraudulent statements and representations" to the FBI regarding his communications with Russian ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak.

Flynn agrees to cooperate with the special counsel.

-- On February 16, 2018

Mueller charges 13 Russian individuals and three Russian entities, including the St. Petersburg-based Internet Research Agency, with conspiracy to interfere with the 2016 election.

The same day, Richard Pinedo pleads guilty to identity theft.

Pinedo, of Santa Paula, California, admitted having sold bank account numbers created using the stolen identities of US citizens to people or entities outside the country.

-- On February 20, 2018

Dutch lawyer Alex van der Zwaan pleads guilty after being charged with lying to FBI investigators about his interactions with Gates and an unidentified individual.

The Belgian-born lawyer is the son-in-law of Russian billionaire German Khan.

-- On February 22, 2018

Mueller files 32 new financial charges, including money laundering and bank fraud, against Manafort and Gates.

-- On April 3, 2018

Alex van der Zwaan is sentenced to 30 days in prison and 20,000 US dollars in fines for lying to the FBI. That marks the first sentencing in Mueller's investigation.

-- On April 9, 2018

FBI agents raids the offices and home of Trump's longtime personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, in New York. The search is based on a referral from Mueller's team.

-- On May 16, 2018

Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani says that Mueller's team has informed the president's lawyers that it would follow Justice Department guidance and not seek an indictment against Trump.

Mueller's team declines to comment.

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