As Donald Trump delivered his presidential inaugural address last January, his national security adviser Michael Flynn told a former business associate in text messages that a private plan to build nuclear reactors in the Mideast was "good to go" and that U.S. sanctions hobbling the plan would soon be "ripped up", a whistleblower told congressional investigators.
The whistleblower told House Democrats that while Trump spoke at his inauguration, Flynn texted from his seat on the Capitol steps to Alex Copson, the managing director of ACU Strategic Partners and the nuclear project's main promoter. The administration has not lifted sanctions on Russian Federation.
Mr. Flynn had worked on a business venture to partner with Russian Federation to build nuclear power plants in the Middle East until June 2016, but remained close with the people involved afterward. The memo was intended for Trump to sign, though there's no indication the President saw it, the Journal reported.
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.
Cummings said he had found the unnamed informant to be "authentic, credible and reliable", and offered to produce the person for Gowdy.
Cummings has argued that the Flynn plea deal should alleviate that concern.
His lawyer, Robert Kelner, declined to comment for this story. "I couldn't be better. I am going to celebrate today" Copson said, according to the whistle-blower.
According to a whistleblower who contacted the lawmaker, the businessman said Flynn had told him that sanctions on Russian Federation would be "ripped up" as a priority in the new Trump government to help the nuclear scheme go ahead.
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Mr Copson had allegedly shown the Flynn text message to the source, according to the congressman.
"Mike has been putting everything in place for us", Copson said, according to the witness, adding: "This is going to make a lot of very wealthy people".
Flynn pled guilty last week to lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation regarding conversations with Russians. A document filed in Flynn's case mentioned his failure to comply with foreign lobbying disclosure laws related to his work for Turkey, but his charging document didn't mention that work.
Mr Mueller is investigating whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russian Federation during the 2016 elections. According to this account, Copson blamed President Barack Obama for the sanctions, stating that he "fucked everything up in my nuclear deal with the sanctions".
The whistleblower is not named in the five-page letter that Cummings shared with ABC News on Wednesday, and is unlikely to identify him or herself, fearing retaliation.
The Newsweek account prompted Cummings to launch an investigation of the arrangement. Cummings described the account in a letter Wednesday to the panel's Republican chairman, Rep. Trey Gowdy of SC. He and Cummings jointly exposed details that Flynn had lied on his security clearance forms earlier this year, though Chaffetz later backed off the inquiry despite the Democratic demands.
Gowdy did not immediately respond to requests for comment.