Flynn Said Russian Sanctions Would be 'Ripped Up,' Whistle-Blower Says
08 December, 2017, 01:03
Former national security adviser Michael Flynn told a business associate in January that one of the Trump administration's first priorities would be to "rip up" the sanctions imposed by the Obama administration in December, according to a whistleblower who described the incident to a Democratic congressman.
"This is a person who came to us back in June, and she came only because she felt duty bound as an American citizen to provide this information", the Maryland lawmaker and top Democrat on the House Oversight Committee told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program.
Mr Cummings said the whistle-blower detailed a business effort that was aimed at boosting investment in the Middle East.
Cummings told Gowdy in his letter that he found the witness "authentic, credible and reliable".
Mr. Cummings sent the letter to the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Committee, Trey Gowdy, Republican of SC, and asked him to investigate the whistle-blower's claims.
As Trump delivered his inaugural address, says the unnamed whistleblower, Flynn directed Alex Copson, managing director of ACU Strategic Partners, to inform their business partners "to put things in place". He didn't divulge the relationship until the third version of his financial disclosure report, required of White House employees, which he filed in August. "In other words, they have not been helpful at all".
Flynn had worked as a consultant for ACU Strategic Partners, the group pushing the proposed nuclear deal, in 2015 and 2016.
Flynn, a retired Army lieutenant general and former high-ranking intelligence officer, pleaded guilty last week to lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about his discussions with the then-Russian ambassador, Sergey Kislyak, about the sanctions that day after they were imposed.
According to the whistleblower, Copson said, "Mike has been putting everything in place for us". "This is going to make a lot of very wealthy people".
"I do not bring this whistle-blower to your attention lightly", Cummings said.
"General Michael Flynn - within minutes of Donald Trump being sworn in as president - was communicating directly with his former business colleagues about their plans to work with Russian Federation to build nuclear reactors in the Middle East", the letter says.
"When the whistle-blower asked why the United States needed to be involved in a Middle East nuclear project, Mr Copson explained that the U.S. would provide military support to "defend these installations", the letter said.
Cummings responded to Gowdy's letter with a letter Thursday that called Gowdy's refusal to investigate the whistleblower's claims "astonishing". The plea made clear that Flynn was cooperating with special counsel Robert Mueller's probe into the Trump campaign's contacts with Russian officials during the presidential election. Flynn originally told the Federal Bureau of Investigation that the issue of sanctions had not come up in his conversation. 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".
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