As Donald Trump delivered his presidential inaugural address last January, his national security adviser Michael Flynn told a former business associate in text messages that a private plan to build nuclear reactors in the Mideast was "good to go" and that USA sanctions hobbling the plan would soon be "ripped up", a whistleblower told congressional investigators.
The project in question - promoted by a group of former senior United States military officers, and often described as a "Marshall Plan" of sorts - would involve U.S. companies working with Russian companies to build and operate nuclear plants in the Middle East, and export spent fuel from those plants. Flynn also texted Copson to tell his business colleagues to "let them know to put things in place", Cummings wrote.
Flynn, a retired Army lieutenant general and former high-ranking intelligence officer, pleaded guilty last week to lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about his discussions with the then-Russian ambassador, Sergey Kislyak, about the sanctions that day after they were imposed.
"This is the best day of my life", Copson told the whistleblower as he described the message from Flynn, Cummings said. It gave Flynn a potential monetary incentive to get sanctions imposed on Russian Federation during the Obama administration lifted immediately. "I have spoken to this whistleblower, and I find this person to be authentic, credible, and reliable", Cummings wrote.
As the whistleblower chatted with Flynn's associate during an Inauguration Day celebration on January 20, Flynn sent texts saying the associate's nuclear proposal was "good to go", the whistleblower said.
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.
"This is going to make a lot of very wealthy people", the associate, Alex Copson, told the whistleblower on inauguration day, according to the whistleblower's account to the Democrats.
The whistleblower also heard from Copson that Flynn would try to reduce sanctions against Russian Federation as "one of his first orders of business and that this would allow money to start flowing into the project", Cummings wrote. A document filed in Flynn's case mentioned his failure to comply with foreign lobbying disclosure laws related to his work for Turkey, but his charging document didn't mention that work.
The office of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III was aware of the witness's account and asked Cummings not to release the information until the special counsel had taken "certain investigative steps", which are now complete, Cummings wrote.
The Newsweek account prompted Cummings to launch an investigation of the arrangement.
The letter was written to the new Oversight Committee chair, Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy of SC.
Cummings added: "They have now informed us that they have done so".
A spokesperson for Gowdy's office did not respond to a request for comment Wednesday, nor did the lawyer who represents ACU Strategic Partners.