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Whistleblower: Flynn told ex-partner Russian Federation sanctions would be ripped up
08 December 2017, 01:43 | Marta Robbins
Michael Flynn appears to look at his phone during President Trump's inauguration ceremony. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee
The congressman, Rep. Elijah Cummings, outlined the whistleblower's allegations in a letter to House Oversight Committee Chair Rep. Trey Gowdy earlier this week.
The change would allow a business venture Flynn had worked on - nuclear power plants - to be built with the former partner.
Incoming national security adviser Michael T. Flynn arrives at the U.S. Capitol for President Trump's inauguration.
The whistle-blower told Mr Cummings that he saw a text from Flynn that was sent on Jan 20 "approximately ten minutes" into Mr Trump's speech when Flynn was sitting in the audience.
Cummings did not name the whistleblower in the letter, but offered to have Gowdy speak with the person directly.
Trump Jr. spoke to the committee behind closed doors Wednesday.
"If you have evidence of a crime, you should provide it to the special counsel immediately", Mr Gowdy wrote.
Earlier this year, various plans to lift the Russian Federation sanctions circulated through the Trump administration, but Mr. Trump ultimately decided not to repeal the measures.
Mr Michael Conaway, who is leading the House Intelligence probe, declined to comment on Wednesday, saying he didn't yet know enough about the matter.
House Oversight Democrats have already consulted with Mr Mueller about the whistle-blower.
Cummings wrote that Mueller's office had asked him to hold back the information until "they completed certain investigative steps" - which apparently have now been concluded.
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Now, Mr Cummings wrote, he and his colleagues have been authorised to to go public with the information.
Cummings said that he practiced law for a long time and has interviewed hundreds of witnesses, and he does believe the whistleblower is "very credible".
Flynn had assured his former associate that US sanctions against Russian Federation would immediately be "ripped up" by the Trump administration, a move that would help facilitate the deal, the associate told the witness.
Mr. Copson quickly showed the whistleblower his phone with the text message. "I am going to celebrate today". "This is going to make a lot of wealthy people".
Alex Copson, the managing partner of ACU Strategic Partners, received texts from Flynn during Trump's inauguration January 20 saying the deal was "good to go", according to Cummings.
The whistle-blower recalled the time stamp because it was during Mr Trump's address.
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".
ACU Strategic Partners paid for Flynn to travel to Israel and Egypt in 2015 to promote the nuclear project, paying him a fee of $25,000, according to a letter Copson sent the committee.
Flynn didn't reveal his relationship with ACU Strategic Partners until August after leaving it off previous government forms.
Mr Copson couldn't be located for comment. "But the exceptionally troubling allegations in this case - combined with ongoing obstruction from the White House and others - have made this step necessary".
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