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Trump aide Flynn planned to 'rip up' Russian Federation sanctions: whistleblower

Trump aide Flynn planned to 'rip up' Russian Federation sanctions: whistleblower

Michael Flynn, President Donald Trump's former national security adviser, promised to swiftly end U.S. sanctions against Russian Federation as one of the "first orders of business" for the incoming Trump administration, according to a whistleblower's account detailed in a new letter from Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), the top Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

Cummings's letter goes on to relate that during the conversation, Copson told the whistle-blower that he "just got a text message" from Flynn that the project was "good to go" and to contact their business colleagues to "let them know to put things in place".

Flynn had assured his former associate that USA 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.

Mr. Flynn had worked on a business venture to partner with Russian Federation to build nuclear power plants in the Middle East until June 2016, but remained close with the people involved afterward.

The whistleblower also said that within minutes of Trump's inauguration ceremony, Flynn communicated directly with business associates about plans to begin building nuclear reactors in the Middle East-a joint project with Russian Federation, according to the letter.

After getting the texts, Copson said, "Mike has been putting everything in place for us", and, "This is going to make a lot of very wealthy people", Cummings said, quoting the witness.

"And he apparently went on to say Flynn was making sure the sanctions would be "'ripped up' as one of his first orders of business".

Cummings said he had spoken to the witness and called the account a "credible" allegation that Flynn "sought to manipulate the course of global nuclear policy for the financial gain of his former business partners".

"When the whistle-blower asked why the United States needed to be involved in a Middle East nuclear project, Mr. Copson explained the USA would provide military support to 'defend these installations, ' " the letter said.

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The criminal case against Flynn in federal court barely touched on his work in private business, though it did describe his attempts during the presidential transition to mediate Russia's response to sanctions from the Obama administration and to influence foreign nations' votes on a UN Security Council measure related to Israeli settlements.

Cummings said the individual contacted his office and authorized him to make his account, but not his name, public.

The witness provided the account to Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (Md.), the ranking Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, who detailed the allegations in a letter Wednesday to the panel's chairman, Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.).

"At this event, the whistleblower met Alex Copson", Cummings wrote.

Attorneys for Flynn and Copson did not immediately return email and phone requests for comment.

Alex Copson, the managing partner of ACU Strategic Partners, received texts from Flynn during Trump's inauguration January 20 saying the deal was "good to go", according to Cummings.

The company did not respond to a request for comment Wednesday.

Cummings told Gowdy in his letter that he found the witness "authentic, credible and reliable".

Flynn though told Copson that sanctions would be dropped, and he reportedly began circulating the plan to top White House officials within days of the inauguration.


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