A leading House Democrat revealed Wednesday he was approached by a whistleblower who said a businessman received a text from Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn on January 20, 2017 at 12:11 pm - as the newly sworn President Donald Trump was giving his inaugural address - indicating that a lucrative nuclear energy plan they had been developing with Russian partners was "Good to go".
The whistleblower told congressional investigators that Copson boasted that Flynn was "making sure that sanctions would be "ripped up" as one of his first orders of business and that this would allow money to start flowing into the project", an apparent reference to financial sanctions imposed on Russian Federation by the Obama administration, Cummings's letter states. 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. Elijah Cummings, the ranking Democrat on the House Oversight committee, to Chairman Trey Gowdy, a Republican, and shared with ABC News.
"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". "This is going to make a lot of very wealthy people". Trump fired Flynn in February, saying he had misled Vice President Mike Pence and others about his contacts with Russia's ambassador to the U.S. ACU was pushing a nuclear project in the Middle East that Flynn is said to have lobbied for while in the White House.
As part of his plea deal with Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating alleged collusion between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign, Flynn agreed to be a cooperative witness in exchange for avoiding prosecution on other charges that might be related to his involvement with Russian Federation during the campaign, the presidential transition and his brief stint as national security adviser.
During the conversation, Mr. Copson told the whistle-blower that "this is the best day of my life" because it was "the start of something I've been working on for years, and we are good to go".
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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".
Cummings told Gowdy in his letter that he found the witness "authentic, credible and reliable".
"I do not bring this whistleblower to your attention lightly", Cummings wrote in the letter.
Attorneys for Flynn and Copson did not immediately return email and phone requests for comment. In an earlier note to the committee, Copson said his firm had provided Flynn with a $25,000 check - left uncashed - and paid for Flynn's June 2015 trip to the Mideast as a security consultant for the project.