Democracy & Government

A Timeline: Michael Flynn, Russia and the Trump Administration

Former national security advisor Michael Flynn has pled guilty to lying to the FBI and is likely cooperating with Robert Mueller's investigation. Here's a look at everything we know about Flynn's ties to Russia.

A Timeline: Michael Flynn, Russia and the Trump Administration

Michael Flynn, former national security advisor to President Donald Trump, leaves following his plea hearing at the Prettyman Federal Courthouse, December 1, 2017, in Washington, DC. Special Counsel Robert Mueller charged Flynn with one count of making a false statement to the FBI. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The Trump-Russia investigation has reached a historic and defining moment. Former national security advisor Michael Flynn was an early and enthusiastic Trump supporter who remained a constant presence in Trump’s inner circle from the summer of 2015 to his resignation on Feb. 13, 2017.

Flynn also generated controversy and, based on previously published reports, faced potential legal exposure far beyond the crime of making false statements, to which he has now pled guilty. Almost certainly, that means he has cut a deal with special counsel Robert Mueller. In return for admitting that he made false statements to the FBI about his discussions with then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak and avoiding potential liability for other criminal wrongdoing, Flynn will likely provide evidence that incriminates others in Trump’s orbit. Who are the targets? The list is long, but top candidates include Jared Kushner, Donald Trump Jr., Vice President Mike Pence and President Donald Trump.

For Trump’s presidency, it’s possible that the Russia story may have moved from what Winston Churchill called “the end of the beginning” to the beginning of the end.



NOTE: This timeline is no longer updated here as of April 2018. For the latest developments, go to our main Trump-Russia Timeline, which now appears at the Committee to Investigate Russia website and click on Michael Flynn’s name.





Michael Flynn is the fourth member of President Donald Trump’s campaign to be charged with felonies. Check out the threads for Paul Manafort, Rick Gates and George Papadopoulos in our main Trump-Russia timeline.

Steven Harper

Steven J. Harper launched his acclaimed Trump-Russia Timeline on and it now appears regularly on Dan Rather’s News & Guts and Just Security, where it first appeared in December 2018. Harper is a lawyer who teaches at Northwestern University Law School, and the author of several books, including The Lawyer Bubble — A Profession in Crisis and Crossing Hoffa — A Teamster’s Story (a Chicago Tribune “Best Book of the Year”). Follow him at stevenjharper1