Whistleblower: Flynn texts broached nuclear plan, sanctions

Whistleblower: Flynn texts broached nuclear plan, sanctions

Whistleblower: Flynn texts broached nuclear plan, sanctions

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 New York Times was first to report the letter on Wednesday, claiming it represents "the strongest evidence to date that the Trump administration wanted to end the sanctions immediately, and suggests that Mr. Flynn had a possible economic incentive for the United States to forge a closer relationship with Russian Federation".

It was pushed by a company that Flynn had advised during the 2016 campaign and transition, seeking to promote a joint venture with Russian Federation to build nuclear power plants in the region.

The whistleblower's allegations were made public in a letter Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), the committee's top Democrat, sent to Gowdy Wednesday, to which Gowdy responded with a letter Wednesday evening.

"Our Committee has credible allegations that President Trump's National Security Advisor sought to manipulate the course of worldwide nuclear policy for the financial gain of his former business partners", Cummings wrote.

A lawyer for Mr. Flynn declined to comment.

According to Mr Cummings's letter to Mr Gowdy, Mr Copson then told the whistle-blower, "Mike has been putting everything in place for us".

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"Mr. Copson explained [to the whistleblower] that General Flynn was making sure that sanctions would be 'ripped up", Cummings wrote.

"Your letter seems to resort to desperate and baseless jurisdictional excuses to avoid conducting oversight in an apparent attempt to protect President Trump and his Administration", Cummings said while pointing out "inaccuracies" in Gowdy' letter.

Flynn, a retired Army lieutenant general and former high-ranking intelligence officer, pleaded guilty last week to lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about his discussions with the then-Russian ambassador, Sergey Kislyak, about the sanctions that day after they were imposed.

Gowdy also recommended that Cummings present the claims to Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, despite Cummings' indications in his letter Wednesday that his staff had been in touch with Mueller's team and had been given the green light to move forward. Mr Copson was described by the whistle-blower as responding, "I couldn't be better", and that he was "going to celebrate today". The witness could not read the text, but he saw that the time stamp was 12:11 p.m., according Cummings's letter.

So what we have is a second-hand account of text messages allegedly sent by Michael Flynn.

The Maryland Democrat said he considered "credible" the allegations that Flynn "sought to manipulate the course of global nuclear policy for the financial gain of his former business partners". "This is going to make a lot of very wealthy people".

The witness told Cummings and committee investigators that Copson shared a text message he had just received from Flynn, who was on stage at the Capitol during Trump's speech.

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