During Trump inaugural, Flynn greenlighted nuclear project with Russian Federation
During Trump inaugural, Flynn greenlighted nuclear project with Russian Federation
Michael Flynn appears to look at his phone during President Trump's inauguration ceremony. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee
08 December, 2017, 01:44
Michael Flynn promised a former business partner that Obama-era sanctions against Russian Federation would be "ripped up" once the Trump administration assumed power, according to a whistleblower whose account was released Wednesday by congressional Democrats.
The congressman, Rep. Elijah Cummings, outlined the whistleblower's allegations in a letter to House Oversight Committee Chair Rep. Trey Gowdy earlier this week.
As Trump delivered his inaugural address, says the unnamed whistleblower, Flynn directed Alex Copson, managing director of ACU Strategic Partners, to inform their business partners "to put things in place".
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.
Gowdy did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
"Mike has been putting everything in place for us", Copson said, according to the whistleblower.
The letter tells Gowdy it is hard to discern what happened because he would not subpoena Flynn, the White House, or Copson.
Cumming also noted the congressional probe into Hillary Clinton's role in an Obama-era Uranium One deal that Gowdy is spearheading- a probe that was recently announced after Republicans said they had found a new informant.
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Flynn had assured his former associate that USA sanctions against Russian Federation would immediately be "ripped up" by the Trump administration, a move that would help facilitate the deal, the associate told the witness.
Trump initially considered lifting the Russian sanctions - which were a response to Moscow's military intervention in Eastern Ukraine in 2014 - but ultimately decided against it.
Flynn pleaded guilty Friday to lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation during its probe of Russian interference in the presidential election, including about conversations with Russia's ambassador to the US about sanctions.
Gowdy also recommended that Cummings present the claims to Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, despite Cummings' indications in his letter Wednesday that his staff had been in touch with Mueller's team and had been given the green light to move forward.
"This is going to make a lot of very wealthy people", Mr. Copson said.
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. The whistleblower saw that the time stamp of the message was 12:11 pm, but did not read the text.
Mr Copson explained that Flynn was making sure that sanctions were going to be "ripped up" as one of the first orders of business and this would allow money to start flowing to the project. Copson was working at the time with Flynn on a project to build nuclear reactors in the Middle East, and Flynn reported in August that he served as an "advisor" to Copson's company between 2015-2016.
ACU Strategic Partners has declined comment or make Mr Copson available for an interview.
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