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Mike Flynn, Trump and Mar-a-Lago: A timeline on path to guilty plea

The actions that led to former National Security Advisor Mike Flynn’s guilty plea Friday occurred during President Donald Trump’s Christmas holiday at Mar-a-Lago last December.

COMPLETE COVERAGE: President Donald Trump in Palm Beach

At the time, Trump was president-elect and was spending the week between Christmas and New Year’s at his Palm Beach club. Among other duties, he was hiring people for his administration and writing his inaugural address.

But, according to federal prosecutors, there was more going on — specifically contact in regards to Russia.

Flynn, who had already been tapped to serve as Trump’s top White House national security official, had a critical Dec. 29 conversation with a key Russian official, which later led to his ouster from the administration and the guilty plea.

» PHOTOS: Look at our gallery of Trump’s Thanksgiving visit

Here is a timeline explaining how Flynn’s guilty plea on Friday morning came to be:

  • On Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2016, Trump is at Mar-a-Lago. He is asked to comment on impending action by the U.S. government against Russia for its interference in the 2016 presidential election. Trump said: “I think we ought to get on with our lives. I think that computers have complicated lives very greatly. The whole age of computer has made it where nobody knows exactly what is going on. We have speed, we have a lot of other things, but I’m not sure we have the kind, the security we need.”
  • On Thursday, Dec. 29, the Obama administration punishes Russia by imposing sanctions. The measures include kicking 35 Russian intelligence operatives out of the United States and sanctioning Russia’s two leading intelligence services. President Barack Obama, in a statement, said he acted after “repeated private and public warnings that we have issued to the Russian government” and called the moves “a necessary and appropriate response to efforts to harm U.S. interests in violation of established international norms of behavior.”
  • That same day, federal officials charge, Flynn calls Russia’s ambassador to ask him to “refrain from escalating the situation in response to sanctions that have been imposed against Russia.”
  • On Dec. 30, Trump, still at Mar-a-Lago, lauds Russian President Vladimir Putin for not retaliating following the imposition of the sanctions. Trump tweets: “Great move on delay (by V. Putin) — I always knew he was very smart!”
  • On Jan. 20, Trump is sworn in as the nation’s 45th president. Flynn’s short tenure as national security adviser begins.
  • On Jan. 24, the FBI interviews Flynn at the White House. It is during that interview that Flynn reportedly denies the Dec. 29 conversation.
  • On Jan. 26, Acting Attorney General Sally Yates, an Obama appointee, goes to the White House to warn White House Counsel Donald McGahn that Flynn is compromised.
  • On Jan. 28, Trump and Putin hold their first phone conversation since the inauguration. Flynn joins Trump in the Oval Office for the call along with White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, Pence, White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon, and Press Secretary Sean Spicer.
  • On Feb. 10, Flynn arrives back at Mar-a-Lago with Trump, who is accompanied by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The next day, during dinner, he advises Trump after the North Koreans launch a missile.
  • On Feb. 13, 2017, Flynn quits. In his resignation letter to Trump, Flynn admits to “inadvertently” briefing Vice President Mike Pence, during the transition time, and others “with incomplete information regarding my phone calls with the Russian ambassador.”
  • Dec. 1, 2017, Flynn pleads guilty to one count of lying to the FBI.

Source: Palm Beach Post, wire stories

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