The following thread is a TIMELINE featuring some of Trump's actions that directly led to the appointment of a Special Counsel.
He refuses to answer if there’s any evidence of collusion. This triggers Trump's fury and his decision to fire Comey.
The first line in this original letter mentions the Russia investigation, as the reason for his firing. The letter is never sent.
Mueller has that original draft...
It isn’t known whether Trump revealed his pre-occupation with the Russia investigation OR the original letter.
That day he tweeted:
He cites Sessions' recommendation, which used Rosenstein's memo as justification.
Rosenstein didn't recommend firing, but focuses on handling of the Clinton email investigation.
Trump also mentions Comey told him 3 times he isn't under investigation.
“I just fired the head of the FBI...I faced great pressure because of Russia. That’s taken off.”
“In fact when I decided to just do it, I said to myself, I said, ‘You know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story, it’s an excuse by the Democrats...'"
Later, we learn Trump's tweet led Comey to ask a friend to leak details, in hopes of spurring the appointment of a special counsel.
Rosenstein, the ranking authority due to Sessions’ recusal, announces the appointment of a special counsel to investigate Russian election interference and any connections to the Trump campaign or associates.
He appoints Robert Mueller.
5/9 - Trump fires Comey, mentions investigation.
5/10 - Trump admits firing lifts Russia pressure.
5/11 - Trump admits firing b/c Russia.
5/12 - Trump tweets threat.
5/16 - Trump's threat leads to leak of attempt to obstruct investigation.
5/17 - Mueller appointed.