Michael Flynn Vowed to End Russia Sanctions, According to Whistleblower

Dec 07, 2017, 01:01
Michael Flynn Vowed to End Russia Sanctions, According to Whistleblower

Cummings also said the whistleblower quoted a business associate of Flynn as saying the economic sanctions against Russian Federation imposed by former President Barack Obama would be "ripped up" as Flynn's first order of business as Trump's national security adviser.

Flynn had assured his former associate that US 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.

ACU Strategic Partners paid for Flynn to travel to Israel and Egypt in 2015 to promote the nuclear project, paying him a fee of $25,000, according to a letter Copson sent the committee.

The whistleblower told congressional investigators that Copson boasted that Flynn was "making sure that sanctions would be "ripped up" as one of his first orders of business and that this would allow money to start flowing into the project", an apparent reference to financial sanctions imposed on Russian Federation by the Obama administration, Cummings's letter states.

Within minutes of Trump's inauguration in January, Flynn informed his former associate that the plan to work with Russian Federation to build nuclear reactors in the Middle East was "good to go", because Flynn was ensuring the sanctions would be "ripped up" as one of Trump's first orders of business. "This is going to make for a lot of very wealthy people", Cummings's letter quotes him as saying.

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. According to this account, Copson blamed President Barack Obama for the sanctions, stating that he "fucked everything up in my nuclear deal with the sanctions".

That's the account a whistleblower told Rep. Elijah Cummings, the ranking Democrat on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, which has been investigating Flynn's role in the project.

Cummings said the whistleblower, whom he did not identify in the letter, "fears retaliation", but would speak with Gowdy if he agrees to protect the whistleblower's identity.

Cummings has been critical of his Republican colleague Gowdy's leadership in their investigation of Flynn.

An attorney for Flynn did not respond to a request for comment from CNBC.

The individual met with Alex Copson on Inauguration Day.

Gowdy did not immediately respond to a request for comment from CNBC.

It also raised fresh questions on what Trump knew about Flynn's business plans when he appointed the retired three- star general to serve as his national security advisor. "I have spoken to this whistleblower, and I find this person to be authentic, credible, and reliable", Cummings wrote.

The office of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III was aware of the witness's account and asked Cummings not to release the information until the special counsel had taken "certain investigative steps", which are now complete, Cummings wrote.

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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