General Michael Flynn-within minutes of Donald Trump being sworn in as president-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 allegation - which suggests the Trump administration was eager to lift sanctions imposed by President Barack Obama and that Flynn may have blurred his public and private roles during his brief run at the White House - was outlined in a letter Cummings sent to Rep.
Flynn attempted to "manipulate the course of worldwide nuclear policy for the financial gain of his business partners", and assured a business partner the USA would relax sanctions once he worked in Trump's White House, Cummings wrote to House Oversight Chairman Trey Gowdy, R-South Carolina.
The witness provided the account to Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, 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 of SC.
Trump fired Flynn in February, saying he had misled Vice President Mike Pence and others about his contacts with Russia's ambassador to the U.S. Flynn, a retired U.S. Army lieutenant general, pleaded guilty in federal court last week to one count of making false statements to the FBI and is now a cooperating witness in special counsel Robert Mueller's probe into possible coordination between Trump's campaign and Russian intermediaries during the 2016 election. Copson added that "this is going to make a lot of very wealthy people".
"I do not bring this whistleblower to your attention lightly", Cummings, the Baltimore lawmaker and top Democrat on the committee wrote in the letter. Copson allegedly responded, "I couldn't be better". ACU was pushing a nuclear project in the Middle East that Flynn is said to have lobbied for while in the White House.
Former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn told a former business associate "within minutes" of President Donald Trump being sworn in on Inauguration Day that economic sanctions against Russian Federation would be "ripped up" once Trump gets into office, according to a whistleblower.
In Flynn's plea agreement last week, prosecutors said he lied to Federal Bureau of Investigation agents about his discussions on sanctions against Russia with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the presidential transition.
House investigators turned over the information they had gathered to the Mueller team several weeks ago.
Cummings said the whistleblower, whom he did not identify in the letter, "fears retaliation", but would speak with Gowdy if he agrees to protect the whistleblower's identity. "They have now informed us that they have done so". Cummings and committee Democrats have complained that Gowdy has stiff-armed the Flynn investigation since he took over the committee in June by consistently refusing to issue subpoenas to the White House and various administration officials, Flynn's consulting firm and his business colleagues related to the matter.
The Newsweek account prompted Cummings to launch an investigation of the arrangement.
A spokesperson for Gowdy's office did not respond to a request for comment Wednesday, nor did the lawyer who represents ACU Strategic Partners. "I have spoken to this whistleblower, and I find this person to be authentic, credible, and reliable", Cummings wrote. Flynn served as an advisor to the group between April 2015 and June 2016, according to his government disclosures, while it was advocating the nuclear reactor plan.