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Michael Flynn Promised Ex-Partner That Russia Sanctions Would Be 'Ripped Up'
08 December 2017, 12:51 | Terri Saunders
Michael Flynn. Chip Somodevilla Getty Images
The whistleblower also says that Flynn assured Copson that US sanctions on Russian Federation that could block the nuclear project would be "ripped up" once Trump was inside the White House.
"I do get that Democrats want every committee in Congress to be investigating the same fact pattern". Copson allegedly responded, "I couldn't be better". He suggested the House Intelligence Committee, which is investigating Russia's role in the 2016 USA election, take up the matter.
"You told Fox News that you wanted to hear "whatever he has" because '[t] alking to witnesses is usually a good thing, '" Cummings said.
Congressional Democrats have already sought information from Flynn's attorneys about whether he failed to disclose the full nature and extent of his travels to the Middle East during that time, and whether his business interests at that time may have influenced his conduct during what was ultimately a brief tenure as national security adviser. The memo was intended for Trump to sign, though there's no indication the President saw it, the Journal reported.
These statements from Flynn to Alex Copson, managing partner of ACU Strategic Partners, reveal Flynn's attempt to "manipulate the course of global nuclear policy for the financial gain of his former business partners", Democratic representative Elijah Cummings wrote in a letter Wednesday. He said Flynn did not cash the check, however.
He also said he finds the whistle-blower to be "authentic, credible and reliable", and someone who has come forward even though he fears retaliation because "he feels duty bound as a citizen to make this disclosure".
Media captionAfter Flynn's guilty plea, what next for the Russian Federation investigation?
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 USA military officials to build nuclear power plants in the Middle East in a partnership with a Russian state-owned energy contractor.
Neither Copson nor an attorney for ACU responded to a request for comment.
Mr Cummings said the whistle-blower detailed a business effort that was aimed at boosting investment in the Middle East. "This is the start of something I have been working on for years, and we are good to go".
According to Cummings, on Jan 20, 2017, the whistleblower had a conversation with Copson as they attended Trump's inauguration.
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Flynn had worked as a consultant for ACU Strategic Partners, the group pushing the proposed nuclear deal, in 2015 and 2016.
On Friday, Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to Federal Bureau of Investigation agents about conversations he had in December 2016 with the Russian ambassador to the United States about the sanctions, among other topics.
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.
Copson showed the witness the text on his phone.
President Obama first imposed economic sanctions on Russian Federation in 2014, after Russia's military incursions in Crimea and Ukraine, and again last December to punish Russian Federation for its attempts to disrupt the United States presidential election.
He also requested subpoenas for Copson, Barrack and other officials linked to the nuclear scheme.
Cummings has been critical of his Republican colleague Gowdy's leadership in their investigation of Flynn.
The letter was written to the new Oversight Committee chair, Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy of SC.
Staffers for the special counsel asked Mr. Cummings not to make the whistle-blower's account public until "they completed certain investigative steps", he wrote.
Cummings said his office could not verify the whistleblower's story, and whether Copson was telling the whistleblower the truth, without subpoenaed documents. 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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