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Whistleblower: Flynn told ex-partner Russian Federation sanctions would be ripped up
08 December 2017, 12:50 | Darnell Patrick
Michael Flynn. Chip Somodevilla Getty Images
Trump's former national security adviser told a business associate that USA sanctions imposed on Russian Federation would be "ripped up" by the new administration, according to a whistleblower account made public Wednesday in a letter written by Rep. Elijah E. Cummings.
The witness told Cummings and committee investigators that Copson shared a text message he had just received from Flynn, who was on stage at the Capitol during Trump's speech.
In his letter, he asked Representative Trey Gowdy, chairman of the House Oversight Committee, to subpoena the White House for "all documents - including emails and text messages sent on personal devices" related to Flynn's foreign contacts.
The Trump administration did not roll back the sanctions.
Flynn had assured his former associate that US sanctions against Russian Federation would immediately be "ripped up" by the Trump administration, a move that would help facilitate the deal, the associate told the witness.
The letter tells Gowdy it is hard to discern what happened because he would not subpoena Flynn, the White House, or Copson.
Mr Copson explained that Flynn was making sure that sanctions were going to be "ripped up" as one of the first orders of business and this would allow money to start flowing to the project.
"Our committee has credible allegations that President Trumps national security adviser sought to manipulate the course of global nuclear policy for the financial gain of his former business partners", Cummings said.
"I do get that Democrats want every committee in Congress to be investigating the same fact pattern".
"You told Fox News that you wanted to hear "whatever he has" because '[t] alking to witnesses is usually a good thing, '" Cummings said. "I'll tell you what I've done".
It also raised fresh questions on what Trump knew about Flynn's business plans when he appointed the retired three-star general to serve as his national security advisor. The memo was intended for Trump to sign, though there's no indication the President saw it, the Journal reported.
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The letter says Flynn blamed Obama for having 'f***** everything up in my nuclear deal with the sanctions'.
Cummings said he had found the unnamed informant to be "authentic, credible, and reliable", and offered to produce the individual for Gowdy.
Mr Flynn was a consultant to the firm for 14 months from 2015-16, according to amended financial disclosure forms he filed in August this year. Flynn's attorney also did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The whistleblower said during a conversation, Copson described his messages with Flynn and briefly flashed one of the texts, which appeared to have been sent 10 minutes after Trump began speaking. "I couldn't be better".
The two had not known each other, Cummings said.
"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.
According to the whistleblower, Copson bragged to the whistleblower on Inauguration Day 2017 that Flynn had told Copson that the Russian Federation sanctions that had been an obstacle to the project pushed by the company will be "ripped up". One of those conversations between Flynn and Kislyak was about US sanctions that the Obama administration imposed on Russian Federation in response to Moscow's interference in the presidential election.
Flynn pleaded guilty on Friday to lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about his discussions with the Russian ambassador about sanctions during the transition.
"These grave allegations compel a full, credible, and bipartisan congressional investigation", Mr Cummings wrote in the letter to Mr Gowdy, a South Carolina Republican, which outlines the information provided by the whistle-blower.
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.
The claims are detailed in a letter by Elijah Cummings, top Democrat on the House oversight committee. He and Cummings jointly exposed details that Flynn had lied on his security clearance forms earlier this year, though Chaffetz later backed off the inquiry despite the Democratic demands.
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