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06 December 2017, 10:20 | Erica Roy
Flynn told a business associate Russian sanctions would be 'ripped up' - report
Flynn made the promise to Alex Copson, a managing partner of an energy company with ties to Russian Federation, a whistleblower told Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings this summer.
Cummings detailed the whistleblower's allegations in a letter to House Oversight chairman Trey Gowdy, R-South Carolina, and urged Gowdy to authorize subpoenas to Flynn and his business associates to learn more about his efforts to aid the proposal.
According to a new report by the New York Times, Michael Flynn apparently told a former business associate that one of the Trump White House's first priorities was to dismantle President Obama's economic sanctions against Russian Federation.
The information suggested that Flynn "sought to manipulate the course of worldwide nuclear policy for the financial gain of his former business partners", Cummings wrote. A lawyer for Mr. Flynn declined to comment.
"These grave allegations compel a full, credible and bipartisan congressional investigation", Cummings wrote, according to the New York Times.
He said Gowdy's handling of the matter sharply contrasts with the lengthy inquiry he led into allegations about former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's role in the 2012 attack on the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya, "that were debunked years ago".
Attorneys for Flynn and Copson did not immediately return email and phone requests for comment.
On Inauguration Day, Flynn apparently texted Copson that the power plant venture was "good to go", according to the whistleblower.
According to Cummings's letter, the witness said he met Alex Copson, Flynn's former business associate, at an inaugural event. "I am going to celebrate today" Copson said, according to the whistle-blower. On Inauguration Day, Copson reportedly said "this is the best day of my life" because of "the start of something I've been working on for years, and we are good to go".
The unnamed whistleblower's claims pose the strongest evidence yet that the nascent Trump White House was looking to rescind sanctions against Russian Federation and also suggests that Flynn could have had a personal financial stake in the matter. Prosecutors "asked my office to hold on the public release of this information until they completed certain investigative steps", Cummings wrote.
On December 29, the day the Obama administration imposed new sanctions and expelled 35 Russian diplomats from the United States in retaliation for Moscow's election meddling, Flynn called Kislyak and asked that Russia not escalate the situation, according to court documents. He also lied when he said he did not recall a follow-up conversation with the ambassador, who said that "Russia had chosen to moderate its response to those sanctions as a result of Flynn's request".
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