Published: Thu, December 07, 2017
World Media | By June Phelps

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

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

Trump's former national security adviser told a business associate that US sanctions imposed on Russian Federation would be "ripped up" by the new administration, according to a whistleblower account made public Wednesday in a letter written by Rep. Elijah E. Cummings.

Democrats revealed the whistleblower's account in a letter sent by Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) to House Oversight Chair Trey Gowdy (R-SC), which was released just as the New York Times published its own report on the claims.

Flynn also informed the associate that his business partners could move forward with their project, which aimed to construct a network of nuclear reactors across the Mideast with support from Russian and other worldwide interests, the whistleblower said.

The whistleblower told congressional investigators that Copson boasted that Flynn was "making sure that sanctions would be "ripped up" as one of his first orders of business and that this would allow money to start flowing into the project", an apparent reference to financial sanctions imposed on Russian Federation by the Obama administration, Cummings's letter states. These grave allegations compel a full, credible, and bipartisan congressional investigation, ' Cummings wrote.

Gowdy has not responded to requests from ABC News for comment.

The whistleblower, who provided his account to Cummings in June, said he was with Alex Copson, managing partner of ACU Strategic Partners, a key Flynn ally on the nuclear project, on January 20, Inauguration Day. ACU was pushing a nuclear project in the Middle East that Flynn is said to have lobbied for while in the White House.

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The whistleblower said Copson showed him his phone with Flynn's text message; it was sent at 12:11 p.m., about 10 minutes into Trump's inaugural speech.

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 US about sanctions.

Cummings also said the whistleblower quoted a business associate of Flynn as saying the economic sanctions against Russian Federation imposed by former President Barack Obama would be "ripped up" as Flynn's first order of business as Trump's national security adviser.

Reached Wednesday, Flynn's attorney declined to comment.

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

The Wall Street Journal's previous reporting said Flynn had facilitated a draft memo with the National Security Council staff that would support the project.

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Cummings has argued that the Flynn plea deal should alleviate that concern.

Cummings did not identify the whistleblower. "I have spoken to this whistleblower, and I find this person to be authentic, credible, and reliable", Cummings wrote.

The congressman wrote that the whistleblower was "extremely uncomfortable" with the conversation and left shortly thereafter.

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

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.

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