President Trump's first national security advisor, Michael T. Flynn, texted a former business associate on Inauguration Day that Obama-era sanctions against Russia would be "ripped up" and that a lucrative proposal to build nuclear reactors with Russian partners in the Middle East was "good to go", a witness has told Congress.
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.
One businessman involved in the project - Alex Copson of ACU Strategic Partners - even dubbed it the "Trump/Putin M.E".
In the letter to Rep. Trey Gowdy, the panel's GOP chairman, Cummings demanded that Gowdy subpoena documents on the nuclear power plan from the White House, Flynn, Copson, their partners and associates, Reuters reported.
The witness told congressional investigators that he was "extremely uncomfortable" with the conversation, Cummings wrote, and took brief notes about the discussion during the inaugural event.
Cummings said he had found the unnamed informant to be "authentic, credible and reliable", and offered to produce the person for Gowdy.
The whistleblower said that Copson quickly displayed what he claimed to be a text message from Flynn that appeared to have been sent during Trump's inauguration speech. Given the seriousness of the charge and the person making it, if the committee isn't going to issue a subpoena, Robert Mueller nearly certainly will.
Attorneys for Flynn and Copson did not immediately return email and phone requests for comment.
The Maryland Democrat said he considered "credible" the allegations that Flynn "sought to manipulate the course of global nuclear policy for the financial gain of his former business partners".
Today, I am writing to inform you about a whistleblower who has come forward with evidence that Lt.
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.
'Our committee has credible allegations that President Trump's National Security Advisor sought to manipulate the course of global nuclear policy for the financial gain of his former business partners, ' wrote Cummings, Politico reported in a story on the letter.
"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.
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.
Mr Copson couldn't be located for comment. Flynn originally told the Federal Bureau of Investigation that the issue of sanctions had not come up in his conversation.
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