World News

Whistleblower: Flynn said Russian Federation sanctions would be 'ripped up'

Whistleblower: Flynn said Russian Federation sanctions would be 'ripped up'

According to The New York Times, House Oversight Committee ranking Democrat Elijah Cummings wrote to committee chair Trey Gowdy that "within minutes of Donald Trump being sworn in as President", Flynn was "communicating directly with his former business colleagues about their plan to work with Russian Federation to build nuclear reactors in the Middle East".

The whistleblower alleged that the businessman boasted about the contents of the text from Flynn, calling it "the best day of my life", according to a detailed account of the alleged incident laid out in a letter from Rep. Elijah Cummings, the ranking Democrat on the House Oversight committee, to Chairman Trey Gowdy, a Republican, and shared with ABC News.

In June, Newsweek revealed that while he was an adviser to Trump, Flynn had done work for a consortium led by Copson and former senior US military officials to build nuclear power plants in the Middle East in a partnership with a Russian state-owned energy contractor.

According to Cummings's letter, the witness said he met Alex Copson, Flynn's former business associate, at an inaugural event.

"These grave allegations compel a full, credible and bipartisan congressional investigation", Cummings wrote, according to the New York Times.

But in his interview with the Federal Bureau of Investigation last January, 24, according to the Justice Department documents, Flynn lied when he said he did not ask Kislyak "to refrain from escalating the situation in response to sanctions that the United States had imposed against Russian Federation".

Copson then flashed his phone at the whistleblower and said, "I just got this text message" from Flynn, who said the nuclear project was "good to go".

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.




Flynn had worked as a consultant for ACU Strategic Partners, the group pushing the proposed nuclear deal, in 2015 and 2016.

"Mike has been putting everything in place for us", the whistleblower claims Copson said.

Cummings added: "They have now informed us that they have done so".

Neither Gowdy nor Flynn's attorney, Robert Kelner, responded immediately to a request for comment.

Two days after the election, Obama warned Trump not to hire Flynn, CNN reported. The whistleblower isn't named, but Cummings promised in the letter to share the person's identity with Gowdy if it remains confidential and Gowdy agrees to speak with the whistleblower. He also lied when he said he did not recall a follow-up conversation with the ambassador, who said that "Russia had chosen to moderate its response to those sanctions as a result of Flynn's request".

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.

Cummings did not identify the witness, whom he described as a whistleblower.

Media captionAfter Flynn's guilty plea, what next for the Russian Federation investigation?