Rep. Cummings: Flynn Whistleblower a 'Very Credible' Witness

Violet Powell
December 8, 2017

Michael Flynn promised a former business partner that Obama-era sanctions against Russian Federation would be "ripped up" once the Trump administration assumed power, according to a whistleblower whose account was released Wednesday by congressional Democrats.

The project in question - promoted by a group of former senior United States military officers, and often described as a "Marshall Plan" of sorts - would involve U.S. companies working with Russian companies to build and operate nuclear plants in the Middle East, and export spent fuel from those plants.

It is alleged that while sitting a few yards away from the podium where President Trump was delivering his inaugural address on 20 January, Mr Flynn sent the texts to Alex Copson, managing partner of ACU Strategic Partners, a USA nuclear power consultancy.

The New York Times was first to report the letter on Wednesday, claiming it represents "the strongest evidence to date that the Trump administration wanted to end the sanctions immediately, and suggests that Mr. Flynn had a possible economic incentive for the United States to forge a closer relationship with Russian Federation".

According to the whistleblower account, Copson said the inauguration was "the best day of my life" owing to progress on the nuclear deal, which was now 'going to make a lot of very wealthy people.

Gowdy did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

"I do not bring this whistle-blower to your attention lightly", Mr. Cummings said. 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.

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"These grave allegations compel a full, credible and bipartisan congressional investigation", Cummings wrote, according to the New York Times.

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. Gowdy and Mr. Cummings have a long history of clashing publicly over politically charged investigations. But the whistleblower says he or she could not read the actual message.

Cummings' initial letter detailed a whistleblower's account of claims allegedly made by Alex Copson, the managing partner of a company Flynn advised through 2016.

The witness told Cummings and committee investigators that Copson shared a text message he had just received from Flynn, who was on stage at the Capitol during Trump's speech.

ACU Strategic Partners paid for Flynn to travel to Israel and Egypt in 2015 to promote the nuclear project, paying him a fee of $25,000, according to a letter Copson sent the committee.

ACU Strategic Partners has declined comment or make Mr Copson available for an interview.

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