Flynn Said Russian Sanctions Would be 'Ripped Up,' Whistle-Blower Says

Michael Flynn

Michael Flynn. Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Cummings described the account in a letter Wednesday to the panel's Republican chairman, Rep. Trey Gowdy of SC.

"Mr. Copson explained that General 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", Cummings wrote. If this is true, then we have a crystal-clear example of a high-level Trump administration official easing sanctions on Russian Federation in order to enrich himself.

On Friday, Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to Federal Bureau of Investigation agents about conversations he had in December 2016 with the Russian ambassador to the United States about the sanctions, among other topics.

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.

The information suggested that Flynn "sought to manipulate the course of global nuclear policy for the financial gain of his former business partners", Cummings wrote.

"If you have evidence of a crime, you should provide it to the special counsel immediately", Mr Gowdy wrote.

Cummings wrote that Mueller's office had asked him to hold back the information until "they completed certain investigative steps" - which apparently have now been concluded.

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. Cummings asked Gowdy to meet with the whistleblower and to subpoena White House officials and figures connected to the project, a proposal to build nuclear power plans across the Middle East. The whistle-blower, Mr. Cummings said, is willing to meet with Mr. Gowdy if he agrees to protect the person's identity.

"I do not bring this whistle-blower to your attention lightly", Cummings said. Flynn served as an advisor to the group between April 2015 and June 2016, according to his government disclosures, while it was advocating the nuclear reactor plan.

On Inauguration Day, according to the letter, the whistleblower met with an individual who was working with Flynn to promote a project with Russia, Alex Copson, who told the whistleblower that Flynn would ensure the sanctions would be removed, paving the way for the project to continue. He said the witness said Copson showed him texts on his phone that Copson said were from Flynn, but that the witness didn't read them and later took notes on their conversation.

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 had pointed out that the Gowdy, as the chair of a select committee, pursued Congress' Benghazi investigation even as the FBI was doing its own related probe in Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server.

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