Trump aide Flynn planned to 'rip up' Russian Federation sanctions
01:54, Dec 7, 2017
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On President Donald Trump's Inauguration Day, a former business parter of incoming National Security Adviser Michael Flynn allegedly bragged that Flynn told him Trump would quickly lift United States sanctions on Russia - a move that would pave the way for a controversial plan to build nuclear plants across the Middle East, with Russian help.
Quoting a confidential informant, Rep. Elijah Cummings, the top Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, wrote that Alex Copson, managing partner of ACU Strategic Partners, told the informant that Flynn would see that the sanctions on Moscow were "ripped up".
"Our Committee has credible allegations that President Trump's National Security Advisor sought to manipulate the course of global nuclear policy for the financial gain of his former business partners", Cummings wrote.
On Wednesday Cummings sent the whistleblower's account to committee chairman Trey Gowdy with a request that he issue subpoenas to White House officials, including chief of staff John Kelly, as well as Flynn, Copson and their other business associates for material that would corroborate the whistleblower's statements.
Former national security adviser Michael Flynn right is accused of texting a business associated about nuclear deals. Associated Press Susan Walsh
Flynn's lawyer did not respond to a request for comment on the latest claims.
Copson then told the whistleblower that Flynn "has been putting everything in place for us" and that the project would "make a lot of very wealthy people".
ACU Strategic Partners paid for Flynn to travel to Israel and Egypt in 2015 to promote the nuclear project, paying him a fee of $25,000, according to a letter Copson sent the committee.
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.
Flynn pleaded guilty Friday to lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation during its probe of Russian interference in the presidential election, including about conversations with Russia's ambassador to the USA about sanctions.
According to the whistleblower account, Copson said Flynn was making sure sanctions would be 'ripped up, ' which would allow money to start flowing to the project.
Copson did not respond to phone and email messages from ABC News left at his home and with his attorney.
The ACU plan involved some two dozen nuclear power plants around the Middle East, to be developed jointly by the United States and Russian Federation.
Two days after the election, Obama warned Trump not to hire Flynn, CNN reported.
Cummings told Gowdy in his letter that he found the witness "authentic, credible and reliable".
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.
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.
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Trump's former advisers, while also coming under criticism for putting many donors to Democratic candidates on his team. A Justice Department spokeswoman said " We are aware of the allegations and are taking any and all appropriate steps".
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