Flynn said Russian sanctions would be ‘ripped up’ by Trump admin
Disgraced national security adviser Michael Flynn assured an ex-business partner that economic sanctions on Russia would be “ripped up” as soon as the Trump administration entered the White House, according to documents made public Wednesday.
Flynn made the promise to Alex Copson, a managing partner of a Russia-connected energy company, a whistleblower told Rep. Elijah Cummings this summer.
In a letter to the House Oversight Committee on Wednesday, Cummings (D-Md.) said the person, whom he did not publicly identify, had been reluctant to come forward over fears of retribution.
“I do not bring this whistleblower to your attention lightly,” Cummings wrote in the letter. “I have attempted to advance this investigation without exposing individuals to personal or professional risk. But the exceptionally troubling allegation in this case — combined with ongoing obstruction from the White House and others — have made this step necessary.”
The unnamed whistleblower’s claims pose the strongest evidence yet that the nascent Trump White House was looking to rescind sanctions against Russia and also suggests that Flynn could have had a personal financial stake in the matter.
Flynn, who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI last week, worked with Copson’s company, ACU Strategic Partners, until June 2016. Their work involved a deal with the Russian government to build nuclear power plants in the Middle East.
Copson apparently told the whistleblower on Inauguration Day in Washington that Flynn had just texted him that the power plant venture was “good to go.”
“Mike has been putting everything in place for us,” Copson told the whistleblower, according to Cummings’ letter. “I am going to celebrate today …. This is going to make a lot of very wealthy people.”
Rep. Elijah Cummings called on the House Oversight Committee to issue subpoenas for White House records pertaining to Flynn’s contacts with Copson.
(Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP)
The letter also claims Copson lambasted President Barack Obama for imposing sanctions on the Russian government over its meddling in the 2016 presidential election.
“(Obama) f—ed everything up in my nuclear deal,” Copson said.
When the whistleblower asked why the American government needed to be involved in a Middle East nuclear project, Copson said the U.S. would provide military support to “defend these installations.”
Flynn’s lawyer did not immediately return a request for comment from the Daily News.
Flynn was fired less than a month into his tenure as national security adviser after it became clear that he had lied to Vice President Pence about his contacts with a Russian diplomat. On Friday, Flynn became the first current or former Trump administration official to agree to cooperate with special prosecutor Robert Mueller’s investigators.
On Wednesday, Cummings called on the House Oversight Committee to issue subpoenas for White House records pertaining to Flynn’s contacts with Copson.