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Trump aide Flynn planned to 'rip up' Russian Federation sanctions

07 December 2017
Trump aide Flynn planned to 'rip up' Russian Federation sanctions

Michael Flynn sent a text to a business partner as President Donald Trump was delivering his inaugural address last January that a joint plan between Russian Federation and Flynn's business allies to build nuclear power plants in the Middle East was "good to go".

The allegation has been made public by Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), the top Democrat on the House Oversight Committee - who is demanding that his Republican counterpart on the committee investigate Flynn and others involved in the matter more aggressively.

"Our committee has credible evidence 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.

According to Cummings's letter, the witness said he met Alex Copson, Flynn's former business associate, at an inaugural event.

"I believe the American people want Congress to hold President Trump and his administration accountable", Cummings wrote, "and they are exhausted of Republicans in Congress putting their heads in the sand when faced with credible allegations of grave abuses".

In their letter, the Democrats accused Flynn, who was forced to resign in February over his contacts with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak, of violating federal law by failing to disclose a trip he took to the Middle East in June 2015 on behalf of the lead company in the nuclear energy project, as well as his contacts with foreign officials.

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.

The company did not respond to a request for comment Wednesday.

"Mike has been putting everything in place for us", Mr Copson allegedly told the whistleblower, Mr Cummings wrote.

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.

Copson did not respond to phone and email messages from ABC News left at his home and with his attorney.

The letter says Flynn blamed Obama for having 'f***** everything up in my nuclear deal with the sanctions'.

The Wall Street Journal's previous reporting said Flynn had facilitated a draft memo with the National Security Council staff that would support the project.

Media captionAfter Flynn's guilty plea, what next for the Russian Federation investigation?

Cummings said he had found the unnamed informant to be "authentic, credible and reliable", and offered to produce the person for Gowdy. Cummings said his office could not verify the whistleblower's story, and whether Copson was telling the whistleblower the truth, without subpoenaed documents.

It also raised fresh questions on what Trump knew about Flynn's business plans when he appointed the retired three- star general to serve as his national security advisor.