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 US sanctions hobbling the plan would soon be "ripped up", a whistleblower told congressional investigators.
President Trump's former national security adviser Michael Flynn told a former business associate that sanctions against Russian Federation would be "ripped up" early in the new presidency, according to a whistle-blower's account made public on Wednesday.
He said the witness reported meeting Copson, a former business associate of Flynn's and managing director of ACU Strategic Partners, and that Copson shared a text message he had just received from Flynn, who was on stage at the Capitol during Trump's Inauguration speech.
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.
A lawyer for Mr. Flynn declined to comment.
According to this whistleblower, General Flynn reportedly sent a key communication on Inauguration Day indicating that the project was now "good to go" and directing his business colleagues to move forward.
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Cummings said he had found the unnamed informant to be "authentic, credible and reliable", and offered to produce the person for Gowdy.
Trump initially considered lifting the Russian sanctions - which were a response to Moscow's military intervention in Eastern Ukraine in 2014 - but ultimately decided against it.
In Flynn's agreement last week to plead guilty to one count of making false statements, prosecutors said that Flynn lied to Federal Bureau of Investigation agents about his discussions on sanctions against Russia with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the presidential transition. According to the whistleblower, Copson bragged to the whistleblower on Inauguration Day 2017 that Flynn had told Copson that the Russian Federation sanctions that had been an obstacle to the project pushed by the company will be "ripped up".
Now, Mr Cummings wrote, he and his colleagues have been authorised to to go public with the information. But the whistleblower says he or she could not read the actual message.
He added, "This is going to make a lot of very wealthy people".
Alex Copson, the managing partner of ACU Strategic Partners, received texts from Flynn during Trump's inauguration January 20 saying the deal was "good to go", according to Cummings.
Mr Copson explained that Flynn was making sure that sanctions were going to be "ripped up" as one of the first orders of business and this would allow money to start flowing to the project. Mr. Copson confirmed in a letter to me on June 27, 2017, that his company paid the expenses for a trip General Flynn made to the Middle East in June 2015 to promote his project and provided a $25,000 check to compensate him for the "loss of income and business opportunities resulting from this trip".