Whistleblower: Flynn texted former business partner during inauguration, claimed Russia sanctions would be ripped up
A whistleblower claims that Michael Flynn texted a former business partner during Trump’s inauguration to say that a plan to work with Russia on new nuclear power plants in the Middle East was “good to go.” Flynn also reportedly promised that sanctions on Russia would be “ripped up,” allowing the deal to move forward. From the NY Times:
Mr. Flynn had worked on a business venture to partner with Russia to build nuclear power plants in the Middle East until June 2016, but remained close with the people involved afterward. On Inauguration Day, according to the whistle-blower, Mr. Flynn texted the former business associate to say that the project was “good to go.”
The account is detailed in a letter written by Representative Elijah Cummings of Maryland, the top Democrat on the House Oversight Committee. In the letter, Mr. Cummings said that the whistle-blower contacted his office in June and has authorized him to go public with the details. He did not name the whistle-blower…
According to the account detailed in the letter, the whistle-blower had a conversation on Inauguration Day with Alex Copson of ACU Strategic Partners, a company that hired Mr. Flynn in 2015 as an adviser to develop a plan to work with Russia to build nuclear power plants throughout the Middle East. Mr. Flynn served as an adviser until June 2016.
Copson allegedly showed the whistleblower the text he received from Flynn on his phone. The whistleblower noted the time of the message, 12:11 pm—during Trump’s inaugural speech, but didn’t read the content. Copson told the whistleblower, “Mike has been putting everything in place for us.” He added, “This is going to make a lot of very wealthy people.”
It’s worth noting (and the NY Times does point this out) that while there was some discussion earlier this year of lifting sanctions against Russia imposed by the outgoing Obama administration, Trump ultimately decided not to remove them. So the sanctions were never ripped up. Perhaps this was something Flynn believed he could make happen in short order? But it turned out he would serve less than a month before resigning his position.
In his letter, Rep. Elijah Cummings says “Our Committee has credible allegations that President Trump’s National Security Advisor sought to manipulate the course of international nuclear policy for the financial gain of his former business partners.” Rep. Cummings’ letter concludes with a request that subpoenas be issued to Copson, Flynn and several others requiring them to “appear for depositions.” He also offers to have the whistleblower talk with Republicans on the committee if they agree to protect his identity.