One of President Donald Trump's former aides texted an associate that USA sanctions against Russian Federation would be "ripped up", a lawmaker says.
The witness's account, made public Wednesday by the ranking Democrat on the House oversight committee, raises new concerns about the extent to which Flynn may have blurred his private and public interests during his brief stint inside the White House.
The letter went on to say that "Mr. Copson explained that General Flynn was making sure that sanctions would be "ripped up" as one of his first orders of business and that this would allow money to start flowing into the project".
Gowdy did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Based on the witness's account, Mr Cummings requested that Mr Gowdy issue subpoenas to White House Chief of Staff John Kelly - as a custodian of White House records - Flynn, Michael Flynn Jr, the Flynn Intel Group, Mr Copson, and others, for e-mails, text messages and other documents related to Flynn's foreign contacts and payments.
Mr Cummings said the source was "authentic, credible, and reliable", and offered to introduce the individual to Mr Gowdy.
The Maryland Democrat said he considered "credible" the allegations that Flynn "sought to manipulate the course of worldwide nuclear policy for the financial gain of his former business partners". Mr. Copson told the whistle-blower that Mr. Flynn had sent him a text message during Mr. Trump's inaugural address, directing him to tell others involved in the nuclear project to continue developing their plans.
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. Mr Copson was described by the whistle-blower as responding, "I couldn't be better", and that he was "going to celebrate today".
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. Copson added that "this is going to make a lot of very wealthy people".
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. Copson told the whistleblower, according to the Cummings letter, that Flynn would ensure the sanctions were withdrawn.
The episode indicates that Trump officials had planned to jettison sanctions that the Obama administration had imposed on Russian Federation.
As part of his plea deal with Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating alleged collusion between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign, Flynn agreed to be a cooperative witness in exchange for avoiding prosecution on other charges that might be related to his involvement with Russian Federation during the campaign, the presidential transition and his brief stint as national security adviser.
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