As the investigation of special counsel Robert Mueller into Russia's meddling in the 2016 presidential election has cost taxpayers over $16 million in just over a year, there continue to be more details that come to light.
But last month, there were several new developments that emerged pertaining to the Trump campaign's involvement with influential Russians and the Federal Bureau of Investigation's actions in investigating the Trump campaign in 2016.
The following pages contain five developments that emerged in May regarding the ongoing Russia investigation.
1. Under Putin's orders, the Russian government worked to help Trump win the election, Senate committee concludes
In May, the Senate Intelligence Committee completed its review of the Intelligence Community Assessment on "Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections."
In a statement, the committee's leaders indicated that their findings show that the intelligence community's conclusion that Russia had intervened in the 2016 election to help Trump and hurt Democrat candidate Hillary Clinton was correct.
The Senate committee's findings come after House Intelligence Committee concluded in April that there was no evidence of Trump-Russian collusion in the 2016 election. Although the House committee concluded that most of the intelligence community's conclusions were accurate, it objected to the conclusion that Russian President Vladimir Putin wanted to see Trump win the election.
"After a thorough review, our staff concluded that the ICA conclusions were accurate and on point. The Russian effort was extensive, sophisticated, and ordered by President Putin himself for the purpose of helping Donald Trump and hurting Hillary Clinton," the committee's vice chair Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., said in a statement. "In order to protect our democracy from future threats, we must understand what happened in 2016. And while our Committee's investigation remains ongoing, one thing is already abundantly clear – we have to do a better job in the future if we want to protect our elections from foreign interference."
The committee was chaired by Republican Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina.
"There is no doubt that Russia undertook an unprecedented effort to interfere with our 2016 elections," Burr said in a statement.
2. Trump's lawyer received $500,000 from firm tied to a Russian magnate sanctioned by U.S.
In early May, Trump's lawyer Michael Cohen, who is most known for his connection to the president's Stormy Daniels controversy, was accused of receiving approximately $500,000 from an investment firm with ties to a Russian magnate and oligarch who has subsequently been sanctioned by the U.S.
The claim comes from Daniel's lawyer, Michael Avenatti, who stated in a research document that Cohen's company, Essentials Consultants LLC, received payments between January and August 2017 from Columbus Nova, a U.S.-based equity firm with ties to Russian billionaire Viktor Vekselberg.
In a tweet, Avenatti claimed that the money Cohen received from Columbus Nova payments may have been used to reimburse Cohen for the $130,000 he allegedly paid Daniels to keep quiet about her relations with Trump.
Columbus Nova attorney Richard D. Owens explained in a statement that Vekselberg played no role in the payment to Cohen and that the firm is "solely owned and controlled by Americans."
"After the inauguration, the firm hired Michael Cohen as a business consultant regarding potential sources of capital and potential investments in real estate and other ventures," Owens' statement reads, according to the Los Angeles Times.
3. Russian magnate met with Michael Cohen days before Trump's inauguration
The New York Times and CNN both reported that just 11 days before Trump's presidential inauguration in January 2017, Cohen met with Vekselberg, who has ties to the Kremlin, at Cohen's office in Trump Tower in New York City.
According to Columbus Nova CEO Andrew Intrater, who was involved in the meeting, the two reportedly discussed how to strengthen Russian-U.S. relations under the Trump administration.
A source who spoke to CNN explained that the meeting was short and that Vekselberg was not originally scheduled to attend.
It was days after the inauguration that Columbus Nova gave Cohen a $1 million consulting contract. Intrater assured that Vekselberg had no role in the company's decision to hire Cohen.
"Obviously, if I'd known in January 2017 that I was about to hire this high-profile guy who'd wind up in this big mess, I wouldn't have introduced him to my biggest client, and wouldn't have hired him at all," Intrater was quoted as saying.
4. FBI used informant to get info on Russian influence in Trump campaign in July 2016
The FBI — during the Obama administration — used an informant during the summer of 2016 in an attempt to get information on the links between the Trump campaign and Russian influencers.
Trump and his supporters have claimed that the use of an informant to get information on the Trump campaign during the election could be considered a "Spygate" scandal. Trump had also claimed that the FBI "implanted" a spy early in his campaign and that it was done for "political purposes."
But as The Washington Post reported, there is no evidence to suggest that a "spy" was planted in the Trump campaign because the FBI informant engaged in a months-long initiative where he met with and kept contacts with Trump campaign officials.
The Justice Department briefed several members of Congress about the informant on May 24. Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., one of those briefed, told Fox News Tuesday that based upon the intelligence information the FBI had at the time, "the FBI did exactly what my fellow citizens would want them to do when they got the information they got, and that it has nothing to do with Donald Trump."
In total, the informant met with three Trump campaign officials — foreign policy adviser Carter Page, co-chairman Sam Clovis and foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos, who had previously learned that Russians had "dirt" on the Clinton campaign in the form of "thousands of emails."
Between Aug. 1, 2016 and the November election, the informant was in regular contact with Papadopoulos and Page, according to Vox.
The informant has been revealed as Stefan Halper, an American professor in Britain with ties to past Republican administrations. It is unclear what kind of information he was able to gather and it is unclear when his informant role began with the FBI.
Current regulations allow for the FBI to use informants even before an official investigation has been opened. The New York Times reports that there is nothing that suggests that Halper acted illegally when trying to get information from the Trump campaign.
5. Donald Trump Jr.'s Russia testimony transcripts released
In May, the Senate Judiciary Committee released transcripts from last September when it questioned Trump Jr. and others involved in a June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya and four other people with Russian ties.
The Trump Tower meeting has been one of the biggest focal points of the Russia investigations as it happened after Trump Jr. was told about the supposed damaging information that the Russians had on Clinton.
Trump Jr. had claimed that the meeting was held to discuss adoptions of Russian children by Americans.
"The meeting provided no meaningful information and turned out to be not about what was represented," Trump Jr. told the committee.
Trump Jr. also told the committee that Vaselnitskaya did not provide any information and simply wanted to discuss matters pertaining to legislation slapping sanctions on Russian officials for human rights violations.
In a statement from last July, Trump Jr. claimed that the woman told him after exchanging pleasantries that "she had information that individuals connected to Russia were funding the Democratic National Committee and supporting Ms. Clinton."
However, Trump Jr. asserted at the time that "her statements were vague, ambiguous and made no sense. No details or supporting information was provided or even offered. It quickly became clear that she had no meaningful information."
Prior to the meeting on June 3, 2016, Rob Goldstone, a publicist who set up the meeting, told Trump Jr. in an email that the the crown prosecutor of Russia "offered to provide the Trump campaign with some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary [Clinton] and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father."
President Trump was not a part of that June 9, 2016 meeting. Others involved were Trump's campaign chair Paul Manafort and Trump's son-in-law and current senior adviser, Jared Kushner.
The Associated Press notes that because Trump Jr. did not have a formal position in his father's campaign, he is not required to disclose foreign contacts.
At least one Democrat senator believes that Trump Jr. lied in his testimony last September but one Republican lawmaker has come to Trump Jr.'s defense.