Trump aide Flynn planned to 'rip up' Russian Federation sanctions: Whistleblower

Ting Shen  ZUMA

As President Trump delivered his inaugural address on the steps of the U.S. Capitol, his new national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn, sent a text to a former business associate telling him that a plan to build nuclear power plants in the Middle East in partnership with Russian interests was "good to go", according to a witness who spoke with congressional investigators.

Mr Gowdy, in a written response later on Wednesday to Mr Cummings, panned the idea of the Oversight Committee doing its own investigation into what the whistle-blower has to say.

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.

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 letter asks that the committee issue subpoenas for Flynn-related documents the committee requested on a bipartisan basis in March. He added, "This is going to make a lot of people very wealthy".

The letter said that if this witness account is accurate, Mr Trump's national security adviser "was trying to manipulate the course of global nuclear policy for the financial gain of his former business partners".

The whistleblower's account is included in a letter from Cummings to Republican chairman Trey Gowdy.

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That's the explosive, but unverified, allegation of a whistleblower cooperating with House Democrats probing the myriad scandals surrounding Flynn, who pleaded guilty earlier this month to lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about his contacts with a senior Russian diplomat.

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.

"I am going to celebrate today" Copson said, according to the whistle-blower. The whistle-blower, Mr. Cummings said, is willing to meet with Mr. Gowdy if he agrees to protect the person's identity. The witness could not read the text, but he saw that the time stamp was 12:11 p.m., according Cummings's letter.

"Mr. Copson explained [to the whistleblower] that General Flynn was making sure that sanctions would be 'ripped up", Cummings wrote. Mr. Copson confirmed in a letter to me on June 27, 2017, that his company paid the expenses for a trip General Flynn made to the Middle East in June 2015 to promote his project and provided a $25,000 check to compensate him for the "loss of income and business opportunities resulting from this trip".

As part of his plea deal with Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating alleged collusion between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign, Flynn agreed to be a cooperative witness in exchange for avoiding prosecution on other charges that might be related to his involvement with Russian Federation during the campaign, the presidential transition and his brief stint as national security adviser. Mr. Cummings said that Mr. Gowdy should subpoena Mr. Flynn, Mr. Copson and four others to testify before the panel.

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