Monday, 11 December, 2017

Flynn eyed gains if sanctions fell

Ting Shen  ZUMA Ting Shen ZUMA
Melinda Barton | 07 December, 2017, 12:21

According to The New York Times, House Oversight Committee ranking Democrat Elijah Cummings wrote to committee chair Trey Gowdy that "within minutes of Donald Trump being sworn in as President", Flynn was "communicating directly with his former business colleagues about their plan to work with Russian Federation to build nuclear reactors in the Middle East".

Before joining the Trump campaign, "Flynn had worked on a business venture to partner with Russian Federation to build nuclear power plants in the Middle East until June 2016, but remained close with the people involved afterward", The New York Times.

Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings, the ranking Democrat on the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, said Wednesday the whistleblower's allegations raise concerns that Flynn improperly aided the nuclear project after joining the White House as one of Trump's top national-security officials.

In the letter, Mr. Cummings appeared to try to anticipate an argument that Mr. Gowdy might make - that he can not investigate the whistle-blower's claims as long as Mr. Flynn was still under investigation by Mr. Mueller's team. The whistleblower said during a conversation, Copson described his messages with Flynn and briefly flashed one of the texts, which appeared to have been sent 10 minutes after Trump began speaking.

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

Cummings said he had found the unnamed informant to be "authentic, credible and reliable", and offered to produce the person for Gowdy. The letter asks that the committee issue subpoenas for Flynn-related documents the committee requested on a bipartisan basis in March.

Mr. Gowdy and Mr. Cummings have a long history of clashing publicly over politically charged investigations.

As the president spoke, Flynn reportedly texted Copson that the nuclear project was "good to go", the witness said Copson told him.

"I do not bring this whistleblower to your attention lightly", Cummings, the Baltimore lawmaker and top Democrat on the committee wrote in the letter. Copson was working at the time with Flynn on a project to build nuclear reactors in the Middle East, and Flynn reported in August that he served as an "advisor" to Copson's company between 2015-2016.

According to the whistleblower account, Copson said the inauguration was "the best day of my life" owing to progress on the nuclear deal, which was now 'going to make a lot of very wealthy people. The whistleblower saw that the time stamp of the message was 12:11 pm, but did not read the text. Copson told the whistleblower, according to the Cummings letter, that Flynn would ensure the sanctions were withdrawn. Now Cummings wants to look into the matter.

Mr Cumming added, "If you agree to protect the individual's identity, this whistle-blower will speak with you directly so you can verify the information in this letter".