First charges filed in US special counsel Mueller's Russia probe: CNN

WASHINGTON, Oct 27 (Reuters) - A federal grand jury in Washington on Friday approved the first charges in the investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, CNN reported, citing sources briefed on the matter.

The charges are sealed under orders from a federal judge, and it was not clear what the charges were, CNN said, adding that anyone facing charges could be taken into custody as soon as Monday.

U.S. intelligence agencies concluded in January that Russia interfered in the election to try to help President Donald Trump defeat Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton through a campaign of hacking and releasing embarrassing emails, and disseminating propaganda via social media to discredit her campaign.

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Putting the Trump-Russia timeline into perspective
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Putting the Trump-Russia timeline into perspective
June 7: The 2016 primary season essentially concludes, with both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton as the presumptive party nominees
June 9: Donald Trump Jr. — along with Jared Kushner and former campaign chair Paul Manafort — meets with Kremlin-connected lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya.
June 9: Trump tweets about Clinton's missing 33,000 emails
July 18: Washington Post reports, on the first day of the GOP convention, that the Trump campaign changed the Republican platform to ensure that it didn't call for giving weapons to Ukraine to fight Russian and rebel forces
July 21: GOP convention concludes with Trump giving his speech accepting the Republican nomination
July 22: WikiLeaks releases stolen emails from the Democratic National Committee
July 25: Democratic convention begins
July 27: In final news conference of his 2016 campaign, Trump asks Russia: "If you're listening, I hope you're able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing"
August 4: Obama CIA Director John Brennan confronts his Russian counterpart about Russia's interference. "[I] told him if you go down this road, it's going to have serious consequences, not only for the bilateral relationship, but for our ability to work with Russia on any issue, because it is an assault on our democracy," Brennan said on "Meet the Press" yesterday.
October 4: WikiLeaks' Julian Assange says his organization will publish emails related to the 2016 campaign
October 7: WikiLeaks begins releasing Clinton Campaign Chair John Podesta's emails
October 7: Department of Homeland Security and the Director of National Intelligence release a statement directly saying that Russia is interfering in the 2016 election
October 31: "This WikiLeaks is like a treasure trove," Trump says on the campaign trail
November 4: "Boy, I love reading those WikiLeaks," Trump says from Ohio.
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Special counsel Robert Mueller is investigating whether Trump campaign officials colluded with those Russian efforts.

He is also examining other possible crimes, including obstruction of justice, money-laundering and tax evasion.

Peter Carr, a spokesman for Mueller, declined to comment to Reuters about the CNN report on Friday.

Trump, a Republican who was elected president last November, has denied allegations that his campaign colluded with Russians and condemned investigations into the matter as a witch hunt.

The Kremlin has denied the allegations.

Mueller was appointed by the Justice Department in May to lead the investigation after Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, who was leading a federal investigation into possible collusion with Russia.

In July, FBI agents raided the Virginia home of Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort, whose financial and real estate dealings and prior work for a pro-Russian political party in Ukraine are being investigated by Mueller's team.

(Reporting by Mohammad Zargham and Eric Beech; editing by Diane Craft)

 

 

 

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