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Flynn said that Russian Federation sanctions would be 'ripped up,' whistleblower says

07 December 2017, 12:17 | Taylor George

Michael Flynn. Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Michael Flynn

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.

Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, the top Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, made a letter public Wednesday that described the unidentified person's account.

"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", said Cummings.

Mr. Cummings sent the letter to the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Committee, Trey Gowdy, Republican of SC, and asked him to investigate the whistle-blower's claims.

"I believe the American people want Congress to hold President Trump and his administration accountable", Cummings wrote, "and they are exhausted of Republicans in Congress putting their heads in the sand when faced with credible allegations of grave abuses".

The whistle-blower told Mr Cummings that he saw a text from Flynn that was sent on Jan 20 "approximately ten minutes" into Mr Trump's speech when Flynn was sitting in the audience.

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"Mike has been putting everything in place for us", the businessman, Alex Copson, managing director of nuclear power promoter ACU Strategic Partners, allegedly told the whistleblower.

The chairman said he shared Mr Cummings's letter with the Republican leading the Intelligence Committee's Trump-Russia probe, as well as that panel's top Democrat, "so they may determine whether to add witnesses" to that panel's witness list.

Now, Mr Cummings wrote, he and his colleagues have been authorised to to go public with the information.

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". Given the seriousness of the charge and the person making it, if the committee isn't going to issue a subpoena, Robert Mueller nearly certainly will.

The Wall Street Journal reported in September that while in the White House Flynn promoted a project that would involve building dozens of nuclear plants around the Middle East. The whistleblower also said that Copson intimated that USA financial sanctions hobbling the nuclear project were going to be "ripped up".

The letter from Cummings concluded with a request to issue subpoenas for "all documents and communications referring or relating" to Flynn's foreign contacts during the Trump campaign, the transition period and his brief time as national security adviser. Cummings and committee Democrats have complained that Gowdy has stiff-armed the Flynn investigation since he took over the committee in June by consistently refusing to issue subpoenas to the White House and various administration officials, Flynn's consulting firm and his business colleagues related to the matter.



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