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Jeff Sessions’ involvement in Trump campaign, Russia investigation: A timeline

Attorney General Jeff Sessions was on Capitol Hill Tuesday morning to face congressional investigators amid new evidence of Russian collusion in the 2016 presidential election.

The former Alabama senator was questioned by the House Judiciary Committee regarding just how much he knew about alleged Russian contacts’ involvement with the Trump campaign.

The appearance came after the FBI revealed a former Trump campaign aide pleaded guiltyto making false statements to the intelligence arm. And another former adviser recently testified that Sessions, 70, knew about a trip he took to Russia during the campaign.

Read on for a timeline of Sessions’ involvement with President Trump’s campaign and the Russia election.

June 16, 2015 – Donald Trump officially announces his candidacy for president at an event in Manhattan.

February 28, 2016 – Sessions endorses Trump at a rally in Alabama, becoming the first senator to do so.

March 3, 2016 – Trump picks Sessions to lead his campaign’s National Security Advisory Committee.

March 31, 2016 – Trump’s Instagram account publishes a photo of the candidate meeting with his national security team. Aside from Trump, Sessions is pictured in the image, as well as George Papadopoulos, the former campaign adviser who later pleads guilty to lying to the FBI.

TRUMP AND THE RUSSIA INVESTIGATION: WHAT TO KNOW

April 27, 2016 – Reports suggest Sessions may have had a private meeting with Russia’s then-ambassador to the U.S., Sergey Kislyak at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C.

Sessions later denies having any private meetings while at the hotel for Trump’s speech.

July 2016 – Sessions meets with Kislyak during the Republican National Convention in Ohio. This meeting, as well as a subsequent one with Kislyak, would not be disclosed during his attorney general confirmation hearing.

September, 8 2016 – Sessions again meets with Kislyak in his office. Sessions later saysthat he did not remember the details of the meeting aside from discussing a trip he took to Russia with a church group in the early 1990s.

The pair also have a heated discussion regarding Ukraine, Sessions later tells Fox News.

November 8, 2017 – Trump wins the presidential election.

January, 10 2017 – Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., asks Sessions if he knows of any communication between the Russian government and the Trump campaign during his confirmation hearing for attorney general.

“I’m not aware of any of those activities. I have been called a surrogate at a time or two in that campaign and I didn’t have – did not have communications with the Russians, and I’m unable to comment on it,” Sessions says.

TRUMP SLAMS SESSIONS, DOJ FOR NOT GOING AFTER CLINTON

January 17, 2017 – Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., submits written questions for Sessions to answer, which includes the question, “Have you been in contact with anyone connected to any part of the Russian government about the 2016 election, either before or after Election Day?”

Sessions reportedly responds with one word: “No.”

February 1, 2017 – Sessions is approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee to be the U.S. attorney general.

March 2, 2017 – Bending to pressure from lawmakers, Sessions recuses himself from the Justice Department’s investigation into possible Russian collusion in the presidential election.

June 13, 2017 – Sessions appears before the Senate Intelligence Committee and unequivocally states that he has “never met with or had conversation with any Russians or any foreign officials concerning any type of interface with any campaign or election in the United States.”

During this hearing, Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.V., asks Sessions about whether specific individuals met with Russian officials. Sessions is asked about Carter Page, a former campaign adviser.

“I don’t know,” Sessions responds.

CARTER PAGE CONTRADICTS SESSIONS ABOUT RUSSIA TRIP

July 21, 2017 – The Washington Post reports that Kislyak told his bosses he discussed Trump’s campaign with Sessions before the election.

July 23, 2017 – The Russian Embassy announces that Kislyak has concluded his assignment in the U.S.

Oct. 5, 2017 – Papadopoulos pleads guilty to lying to the FBI regarding “the timing, extent and nature of his relationships and interactions with certain foreign nationals whom he understood to have close connections with senior Russian government officials,” court documents say.

Charging documents in that case indicate that Papadopoulos told the council he sat on with Sessions “that he had connections that could help arrange a meeting between then-candidate Trump” and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

October 18, 2017 – Appearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sessions is repeatedly grilled by Democratic lawmakers about why he didn’t previously disclose his meetings with the Russian official.

Sessions also says during this hearing that it’s “possible” he discussed Trump’s campaign with Kislyak.

SENATE DEMS DEMAND SESSIONS CLARIFY TESTIMONY ON RUSSIA

November 2, 2017 – Page testifies behind closed doors to the House Intelligence Committee that Sessions was aware of a trip he took to Russia during the presidential election, contradicting Sessions’ June testimony.

Franken implies that Sessions could have committed perjury.

November 14, 2017  Jeff Sessions appeared before the House Judiciary Committee and fielded many questions about his interactions with a Russian ambassador and his secrecy about it. He was also questioned about his interactions with a former staffer who attempted to set up a meeting between Putin and Trump.

Sessions said he was “taken aback” by Franken’s initial question of any contact between Trump campaign officials and Russians during his confirmation hearing.

“I certainly didn’t mean I had never met a Russian in the history of my life,” Sessions said. “My response was according to the way I heard the question.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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