During Trump inaugural, Flynn greenlighted nuclear project with Russian Federation

07 December, 2017, 02:30 | Author: Katrina Soto
  • Reuters

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, 2016 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".

Democrats revealed the whistleblower's account in a letter sent by Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) to House Oversight Chair Trey Gowdy (R-SC), which was released just as the New York Times published its own report on the claims.

The project in question - promoted by a group of former senior United States military officers, and often described as a "Marshall Plan" of sorts - would involve U.S. companies working with Russian companies to build and operate nuclear plants in the Middle East, and export spent fuel from those plants.

"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".

The Trump administration did not roll back the sanctions.

"Mr. Copson explained that Gen. Flynn was making sure the sanctions would be ripped up as one of his first orders of business and this would allow money to start flowing into the project", Cummings said, quoting the witness.

The whistleblower said Copson showed him his phone with Flynn's text message; it was sent at 12:11 p.m., about 10 minutes into Trump's inaugural speech. The Wall Street Journal reported in September that despite records showing Flynn's work on the project ended in December 2016, Flynn continued promoting the plan to colleagues inside the White House.

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In their letter, the Democrats accused Flynn, who was forced to resign in February over his contacts with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak, of violating federal law by failing to disclose a trip he took to the Middle East in June 2015 on behalf of the lead company in the nuclear energy project, as well as his contacts with foreign officials.

The company did not respond to a request for comment Wednesday. Copson added that "this is going to make a lot of very wealthy people".

"Mike has been putting everything in place for us", Copson said, according to the whistleblower. "They have now informed us that they have done so". He was ousted as national security advisor after only 24 days on the job.

Cummings has argued that the Flynn plea deal should alleviate that concern.

Neither Gowdy nor Flynn's attorney, Robert Kelner, responded immediately to a request for comment.

Cummings did not identify the whistleblower.

Flynn was involved in the Middle Eastern nuclear project from spring 2015 to the end of 2016, according to recent financial disclosure filings, a period that overlapped with his role as a prominent adviser to Trump's campaign and transition. The whistleblower isn't named, but Cummings promised in the letter to share the person's identity with Gowdy if it remains confidential and Gowdy agrees to speak with the whistleblower.

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