Flynn Said Russian Sanctions Would be 'Ripped Up,' Whistle-Blower Says

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Michael Flynn promised a former business partner that Obama-era sanctions against Russian Federation would be "ripped up" once the Trump administration assumed power, according to a whistleblower whose account was released Wednesday by congressional Democrats.

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.

The change would allow a business venture Flynn had worked on - nuclear power plants - to be built with the former partner.

In the letter to Rep. Trey Gowdy, the panel's GOP chairman, Cummings demanded that Gowdy subpoena documents on the nuclear power plan from the White House, Flynn, Copson, their partners and associates, Reuters reported.

"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.

"Although this individual was extremely hesitant to come forward - and still fears retaliation - the whistleblower has made a decision to do so now because this individual feels duty bound as a citizen to make this disclosure", he wrote.

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

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Copson is the managing director of ACU Strategic Partners, a Washington-based company that Flynn said he advised from April 2015 through June 2016, according to a financial disclosure he filed this August. 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.

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

Mr. Gowdy and Mr. Cummings have a long history of clashing publicly over politically charged investigations. Mr Copson was described by the whistle-blower as responding, "I couldn't be better", and that he was "going to celebrate today". Copson added that "this is going to make a lot of very wealthy people".

The whistle-blower recalled the time stamp because it was during Mr Trump's address.

The whistleblower told Democrats that the associate had been informed by Flynn that the project was "good to go" and that the sanctions would be "ripped up". 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.

Attempts to reach Mr. Copson on Wednesday were unsuccessful.

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