Michael Flynn said Russian Federation sanctions would be 'ripped up'
Dec 08, 2017, 01:43
Former national security adviser Michael Flynn promised a business associate before the inauguration of Mr Donald Trump that United States sanctions with Russian Federation would be "ripped up" by the incoming administration, according to a witness account described by House Democrats.
The whistleblower, who provided his account to Cummings in June, said he was with Alex Copson, managing partner of ACU Strategic Partners, a key Flynn ally on the nuclear project, on January 20, Inauguration Day.
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 did not identify the witness, whom he described as a whistleblower.
The White House fired Mr Flynn after he lied about meeting a Russian envoy.
Neither Gowdy nor Flynn's attorney, Robert Kelner, responded immediately to a request for comment.
"Your letter seems to resort to desperate and baseless jurisdictional excuses to avoid conducting oversight in an apparent attempt to protect President Trump and his Administration", Cummings said while pointing out "inaccuracies" in Gowdy' letter.
He pleaded guilty last week to lying to Federal Bureau of Investigation agents about his contacts with the Moscow diplomat.
Mr Copson had allegedly shown the Flynn text message to the source, according to the congressman.
The witness did not specify which sanctions Flynn was referring to in his texts.
Copson reportedly told the whistleblower that he "just got this text message" from Flynn, saying that the project was "good to go" and directing Copson to contact business colleagues to "let them know to put things in place". The whistleblower saw that the time stamp of the message was 12:11 pm, but did not read the text.
Copson, according to the whistleblower, said Obama's sanctions had "f**ked everything up in my nuclear deal with the sanctions".
Cummings responded to Gowdy's letter with a letter Thursday that called Gowdy's refusal to investigate the whistleblower's claims "astonishing".
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.
"Although this individual was extremely hesitant to come forward - and still fears retaliation - the whistleblower has made a decision to do so now because this individual feels duty bound as a citizen to make this disclosure", he wrote.
Mr Cummings wrote that Mr Mueller's team asked lawmakers to hold off on a public release of this information until certain investigative steps were taken.
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.
Flynn had served as an adviser to two Washington-based companies pursuing efforts to build nuclear power plants in the Middle East: Copson's company, ACU Strategic Partners, which proposed a partnership with Russian interests, and IP3/IronBridge, which later began a separate endeavor that initially proposed working with China to build the infrastructure, according to federal documents and company officials.
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