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07 December 2017, 01:58 | Katrina Lee
Witness: Flynn texted associate that nuclear plant deal 'good to go' because Russia sanctions would be 'ripped up'
As Donald Trump delivered his presidential inaugural address last January, his national security adviser Michael Flynn told a former business associate in text messages that a private plan to build nuclear reactors in the Mideast was "good to go" and that United States sanctions hobbling the plan would soon be "ripped up", a whistleblower told congressional investigators.
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 Maryland Democrat said he considered "credible" the allegations that Flynn "sought to manipulate the course of global nuclear policy for the financial gain of his former business partners".
On Wednesday Cummings sent the whistleblower's account to committee chairman Trey Gowdy with a request that he issue subpoenas to White House officials, including chief of staff John Kelly, as well as Flynn, Copson and their other business associates for material that would corroborate the whistleblower's statements.
"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".
Gowdy has not responded to requests from ABC News for comment. 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.
He has been under investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller - who is investigating Russia's attempts to disrupt last year's election - for calls he made last December to then Russian Ambassador Sergey I. Kislyak.
The ACU plan involved some two dozen nuclear power plants around the Middle East, to be developed jointly by the United States and Russian Federation.
The message said the project was 'good to go.' It continued that Copson should contact colleagues to 'let them know to put things in place.' The whistleblower could not read the text of the message, but said the timestamp said 12:11 pm, meaning just minutes after Donald Trump assumed the presidency.
Copson showed the witness the text on his phone.
The Wall Street Journal's previous reporting said Flynn had facilitated a draft memo with the National Security Council staff that would support the project. He said Flynn did not cash the check, however.
Flynn pleaded guilty to a charge in the criminal investigation into Russian collusion last week.
Mr Cummings said the source was "authentic, credible, and reliable", and offered to introduce the individual to Mr Gowdy. Cummings said his office could not verify the whistleblower's story, and whether Copson was telling the whistleblower the truth, without subpoenaed documents.
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.
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