Michael Flynn Promised Ex-Partner That Russia Sanctions Would Be 'Ripped Up'

Dana Milbank The White House's latest fallback Who cares if Trump colluded with Russia

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 USA sanctions hobbling the plan would soon be "ripped up", a whistleblower told congressional investigators.

According to a whistleblower who contacted the lawmaker, the businessman said Flynn had told him that sanctions on Russian Federation would be "ripped up" as a priority in the new Trump government to help the nuclear scheme go ahead.

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. The account provides the strongest claim yet that the administration was focused on unraveling the sanctions that President Barack Obama had just put in place and that Flynn had a personal motivation for doing so.

Mr. Copson is the managing partner of ACU Strategic Partners and was working with General Flynn to promote a joint project with Russian Federation to build nuclear reactors in the Arab world.

The whistle-blower's account is detailed in a letter from Rep.

The Wall Street Journal's previous reporting said Flynn had facilitated a draft memo with the National Security Council staff that would support the project.

Cummings did not identify the whistleblower.

Cummings told Gowdy in his letter that he found the witness "authentic, credible and reliable".

In Flynn's plea agreement last week, prosecutors said he lied to Federal Bureau of Investigation agents about his discussions on sanctions against Russia with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the presidential transition.

His lawyer, Robert Kelner, declined to comment for this story.

This whistleblower has reportedly claimed that during an inauguration day conversation with Alex Copson (the aforementioned associate), Copson said this was "the start of something I've been working on for years, and we are good to go". "I couldn't be better".

The whistleblower also says that Flynn assured Copson that USA sanctions on Russian Federation that could block the nuclear project would be "ripped up" once Trump was inside the White House.

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".

Flynn also informed the associate that his business partners could move forward with their project, which aimed to construct a network of nuclear reactors across the Mideast with support from Russian and other global interests, the whistleblower said.

Earlier this year, various plans to lift the Russian Federation sanctions circulated through the Trump administration, but Mr. Trump ultimately decided not to repeal the measures. A document filed in Flynn's case mentioned his failure to comply with foreign lobbying disclosure laws related to his work for Turkey, but his charging document didn't mention that work.

In the letter, Mr. Cummings appeared to try to anticipate an argument that Mr. Gowdy might make - that he can not investigate the whistle-blower's claims as long as Mr. Flynn was still under investigation by Mr. Mueller's team. But it's not. Cummings provided hard evidence that he wants to form the basis of a subpoena created to uproot what really happened.

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