During Trump inaugural, Flynn greenlighted nuclear project with Russian Federation

07 December, 2017, 01:32 | Author: Ora Austin
  • Reuters

In a letter from Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) to Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), the chairman of the House Oversight Committee, Cummings claims the whistleblower said Flynn messaged a former business colleague, whom he worked with on a project with Russian Federation to "build nuclear power plants in the Middle East", that the plan was "good to go" because the sanctions would be "ripped up" as one of Trump's first acts in office. Copson is the managing director of ACU Strategic Partners, a Washington-based company that Flynn said he advised from April 2015 through June 2016, according to a financial disclosure he filed this August.

Flynn, who pleaded guilty last week to lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, was communicating with former business associates "within minutes" of Trump's inauguration, according to the letter - reassuring them Russian investments would soon be available as the Trump administration lifted sanctions. "This is going to make for a lot of very wealthy people", Cummings's letter quotes him as saying.

"And he apparently went on to say Flynn was making sure the sanctions would be "'ripped up' as one of his first orders of business".

"Our Committee has credible allegations that President Trump's National Security Advisor sought to manipulate the course of worldwide nuclear policy for the financial gain of his former business partners", Cummings wrote.

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 said his office could not verify the whistleblower's story, and whether Copson was telling the whistleblower the truth, without subpoenaed documents.

Cummings, in a letter to Trey Gowdy, the Republican chairman of the Oversight Committee, detailed the whistleblower's allegations and called on the committee to subpoena Flynn to testify.

Copson then flashed his phone at the whistleblower and said, "I just got this text message" from Flynn, who said the nuclear project was "good to go".

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Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to federal investigators about calls he had with the Russian ambassador about sanctions and the United Nations vote at the request of Trump campaign officials.

Neither Copson nor an attorney for ACU responded to a request for comment.

The business colleague who texted with Flynn later recounted that he also suggested sanctions against Russian Federation would be "ripped up" as one of the administration's first acts, according to the whistleblower.

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

The witness told congressional investigators that he was "extremely uncomfortable" with the conversation, Cummings wrote, and took brief notes about the discussion during the inaugural event.

Flynn's lawyer did not respond to a request for comment on the latest claims. It was pushed by a company that Flynn had advised during the 2016 campaign and transition, seeking to promote a joint venture with Russian Federation to build nuclear power plants in the region.

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.

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