Trump aid Michael Flynn planned to 'rip up' Russian Federation sanctions, says whistleblower

Gen. Michael Flynn, former national security adviser to US President Donald Trump leaves Federal Court in Washington DC

Within minutes of Trump's inauguration in January, Flynn informed his former associate that the plan to work with Russian Federation to build nuclear reactors in the Middle East was "good to go", because Flynn was ensuring the sanctions would be "ripped up" as one of Trump's first orders of business.

The witness provided the account to Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (Md.), the ranking Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, who detailed the allegations in a letter Wednesday to the panel's chairman, Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.).

Mr Cummings wrote that Mr Flynn, a retired Army lieutenant general, had attempted to "manipulate the course of global nuclear policy for the financial gain of his business partners".

On Inauguration Day, according to the letter, the whistleblower met with an individual who was working with Flynn to promote a project with Russia, Alex Copson, who told the whistleblower that Flynn would ensure the sanctions would be removed, paving the way for the project to continue.

"These grave allegations compel a full, credible and bipartisan congressional investigation", Cummings wrote, according to the New York Times.

Flynn's attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment. "I am going to celebrate today", and added, according to the whistleblower: "This is going to make a lot of very wealthy people".

Flynn, who pleaded guilty Friday to lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, did consulting work with the form as part of a deal to build nuclear reactors across the middle east.

The White House aide was said to have been referring to plans by a consortium of US, Russian and French companies to build and operate 45 nuclear power plants in Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries.

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The business colleague who texted with Flynn later recounted that he also suggested sanctions against Russian Federation would be "ripped up" as one of the administration's first acts, according to the whistleblower.

According to the whistleblower, Copson said, "Mike has been putting everything in place for us".

Minutes into Trump's inauguration speech, Flynn also texted the ex-partner, who wanted to work with Russian Federation to build nuclear reactors across the Middle East, that the plan, threatened by Obama's sanctions, was "good to go".

Cummings has argued that the Flynn plea deal should alleviate that concern. And one of the companies involved in the project covered his travel expenses and wrote him a check for $25,000 for the trip, though it's not clear if Flynn cashed the check.

Cummings said he had found the unnamed informant to be "authentic, credible and reliable", and offered to produce the person for Gowdy.

The congressman wrote that the whistleblower was "extremely uncomfortable" with the conversation and left shortly thereafter.

The office of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III was aware of the witness's account and asked Cummings not to release the information until the special counsel had taken "certain investigative steps", which are now complete, Cummings wrote.

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.

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