Friday, 15 December, 2017

Flynn said that Russian Federation sanctions would be 'ripped up,' whistleblower says

Michael Flynn Michael Flynn. Chip Somodevilla Getty Images
Kenny Thornton | 06 December, 2017, 22:20

In a letter from Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) to Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), the chairman of the House Oversight Committee, Cummings claims the whistleblower said Flynn messaged a former business colleague, whom he worked with on a project with Russian Federation to "build nuclear power plants in the Middle East", that the plan was "good to go" because the sanctions would be "ripped up" as one of Trump's first acts in office.

Democrats revealed the whistleblower's account in a letter sent by Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) to House Oversight Chair Trey Gowdy (R-SC), which was released just as the New York Times published its own report on the claims. It was just 11 minutes into Trump's speech when Copson showed the whistleblower a text message from Flynn that discussed a joint partnership between the US and Russian Federation regarding the energy sector in the Middle East, according to the letter.

Cummings suggested that Gowdy subpoena the White House for documents the House committee requested in March, but which have not yet been provided, that might potentially corroborate the whistleblower's account.

Minutes after Trump had been sworn in, Copson told the whistleblower that he had received a text message from Flynn saying that they were "good to go" and to contact his other partners to "let them know to put things in place". He then claimed Flynn had texted him "to tell others involved in the nuclear project to continue developing their plans", which were "going to make a lot of very wealthy people" once the Russian Federation sanctions were "ripped up".

Cummings said he had found the unnamed informant to be "authentic, credible and reliable", and offered to produce the person for Gowdy. Robert Kelner, an attorney representing Flynn, declined to comment.

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"Mike has been putting everything in place for us", Copson told the informant, according to Cummings.

Flynn, who served only 24 days as Trump's national security adviser, pleaded guilty last week to lying to Federal Bureau of Investigation agents working for the special counsel Robert Mueller about his contacts with a senior Russian diplomat. "I am going to celebrate today". He added, "This is going to make a lot of very wealthy people".

Reuters last week published documents that showed Copson and other plan proponents believed they had Flynn and Trump in their corner.

Copson is the managing partner of ACU Strategic Partners. Efforts to reach Copson were unsuccessful. According to the whistleblower, Copson "described the project as involving a joint partnership between the United States and Russian Federation relating to the energy sector in the Middle East".

On December 29, the day the Obama administration imposed new sanctions and expelled 35 Russian diplomats from the USA in retaliation for Moscow's election meddling, Flynn called Kislyak and asked that Russia not escalate the situation, according to court documents. Rep. Cummings' letter concludes with a request that subpoenas be issued to Copson, Flynn and several others requiring them to "appear for depositions".

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