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

Posted December 08, 2017

Former national security adviser Michael Flynn told a business associate in January that one of the Trump administration's first priorities would be to "rip up" the sanctions imposed by the Obama administration in December, according to a whistleblower who described the incident to a Democratic congressman.

These statements from Flynn to Alex Copson, managing partner of ACU Strategic Partners, reveal Flynn's attempt to "manipulate the course of global nuclear policy for the financial gain of his former business partners", Democratic representative Elijah Cummings wrote in a letter Wednesday.

Flynn had served as an adviser to two Washington-based companies pursuing efforts to build nuclear power plants in the Middle East: Copson's company, ACU Strategic Partners, which proposed a partnership with Russian interests, and IP3/IronBridge, which later began a separate endeavor that initially proposed working with China to build the infrastructure, according to federal documents and company officials.

The whistle-blower's account is detailed in a letter from Rep.

"I believe the American people want Congress to hold President Trump and his administration accountable", Cummings wrote, "and they are exhausted of Republicans in Congress putting their heads in the sand when faced with credible allegations of grave abuses".

Attorneys for Flynn and Copson did not immediately return email and phone requests for comment.

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"Mike has been putting everything in place for us", Mr Copson allegedly told the whistleblower, Mr Cummings wrote.

The White House fired Mr Flynn after he lied about meeting a Russian envoy.

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

The episode indicates that Trump officials had planned to jettison sanctions that the Obama administration had imposed on Russian Federation.

Flynn pleaded guilty on Friday to lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about his discussions with the Russian ambassador about sanctions during the transition.

It is alleged that while sitting a few yards away from the podium where President Trump was delivering his inaugural address on 20 January, Mr Flynn sent the texts to Alex Copson, managing partner of ACU Strategic Partners, a United States nuclear power consultancy.

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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. "I am going to celebrate today".

He added, "This is going to make a lot of very wealthy people". The witness could not read the text, but he saw that the time stamp was 12:11 p.m., according Cummings's letter.

The witness did not specify which sanctions Flynn was referring to in his texts.

Mr Copson couldn't be located for comment.

Mr Flynn was a consultant to the firm for 14 months from 2015-16, according to amended financial disclosure forms he filed in August this year.

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