Whistleblower To Dems: Flynn Promised Biz Associate He'd Gut Russia Sanctions

Gen. Michael Flynn, former national security adviser to US President Donald Trump leaves Federal Court in Washington DC

As Donald Trump delivered his presidential inaugural address last January, his national security adviser Michael Flynn told a former business associate in text messages that a private plan to build nuclear reactors in the Mideast was "good to go" and that U.S. sanctions hobbling the plan would soon be "ripped up", a whistleblower told congressional investigators.

As the president spoke, Flynn reportedly texted Copson that the nuclear project was "good to go", the witness said Copson told him.

Flynn, while involved in the Trump transition, worked with companies including ACU Strategic Partners to make a deal with Russian Federation to build nuclear reactors in the Middle East.

Flynn had texted Copson with the same message - that the nuclear reaction project was "good to go" - from his place on the dais outside the Capitol 10 minutes into Trump's inaugural address, the whistleblower told Cummings.

Copson then told the whistleblower that Flynn "has been putting everything in place for us" and that the project would "make a lot of very wealthy people".

"And he apparently went on to say Flynn was making sure the sanctions would be "'ripped up' as one of his first orders of business".

But he asked Gowdy to issue a subpoena to the White House for documents related to Flynn, saying that the committee has "credible allegations" that Flynn "sought to manipulate the course of global nuclear policy for the financial gain of his former business partners".

In the letter to Rep. Trey Gowdy, the panel's GOP chairman, Cummings demanded that Gowdy subpoena documents on the nuclear power plan from the White House, Flynn, Copson, their partners and associates, Reuters reported.

"These grave allegations compel a full, credible and bipartisan congressional investigation", Cummings wrote, according to the New York Times.

Flynn, a retired Army lieutenant general and former high-ranking intelligence officer, pleaded guilty last week to lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about his discussions with the then-Russian ambassador, Sergey Kislyak, about the sanctions that day after they were imposed.

Alex Copson, the managing partner of ACU Strategic Partners, received texts from Flynn during Trump's inauguration January 20 saying the deal was "good to go", according to Cummings.

Gowdy did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

"I do not bring this whistleblower to your attention lightly", Cummings, the Baltimore lawmaker and top Democrat on the committee wrote in the letter.

Reached Wednesday, Flynn's attorney declined to comment. The whistleblower isn't named, but Cummings promised in the letter to share the person's identity with Gowdy if it remains confidential and Gowdy agrees to speak with the whistleblower.

Copson, who six months earlier had paid Flynn US$25,000 (S$33,000) to help promote his scheme, told the whistleblower that Flynn told him sanctions on Russian Federation would be "ripped up" as a priority in the Trump government.

The individual met with Alex Copson on Inauguration Day.

Cummings said he was first contacted by the whistleblower last June, but suggested that his account had remained under wraps while Robert Mueller, the special counsel investigating Russian meddling, was investigating Flynn. It was pushed by a company that Flynn had advised during the 2016 campaign and transition, seeking to promote a joint venture with Russian Federation to build nuclear power plants in the region.

In various filings in 2016 and 2017, Flynn did not initially disclose his connection to ACU and foreign contacts he made while advising the firm.

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