Whistleblower: Flynn said Russian Federation sanctions would be 'ripped up'

Marsha Scott
December 7, 2017

Michael Flynn promised a former business partner that Obama-era sanctions against Russian Federation would be "ripped up" once the Trump administration assumed power, according to a whistleblower whose account was released Wednesday by congressional Democrats.

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.

Copson, who six months earlier had paid Flynn US$25,000 (S$33,000) to help promote his scheme, told the whistleblower that Flynn told him sanctions on Russian Federation would be "ripped up" as a priority in the Trump government.

Flynn also informed the associate that his business partners could move forward with their project, which aimed to construct a network of nuclear reactors across the Mideast with support from Russian and other worldwide interests, the whistleblower said.

On Inauguration Day, according to the letter, the whistleblower met with an individual who was working with Flynn to promote a project with Russia, Alex Copson, who told the whistleblower that Flynn would ensure the sanctions would be removed, paving the way for the project to continue.

On Friday, Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation in a voluntary interview conducted only four days following his alleged text messages to Copson.

Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, the top Democrat on the House Oversight Committee, on Wednesday released his summary of the whistleblower's account detailing Flynn's conversations with colleagues as the Trump administration took power. According to this account, Copson blamed President Barack Obama for the sanctions, stating that he "fucked everything up in my nuclear deal with the sanctions".

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An attorney for Flynn did not respond to a request for comment from CNBC.

"Although this individual was extremely hesitant to come forward - and still fears retaliation - the whistleblower has made a decision to do so now because this individual feels duty bound as a citizen to make this disclosure", he wrote.

The witness told Cummings and committee investigators that Copson shared a text message he had just received from Flynn, who was on stage at the Capitol during Trump's speech.

The allegations posed new troubles for Flynn, who left the White House last February after barely three weeks and pleaded guilty last week to lying to FBI investigators in the Russian Federation election meddling probe.

Copson, according to the whistleblower, said Obama's sanctions had "f**ked everything up in my nuclear deal with the sanctions".

Gowdy did not immediately respond to a request for comment from CNBC. 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. Special Counsel Robert Mueller had reportedly asked Cummings to hold off on making the whistleblower's allegations public, until now. Flynn served as an advisor to the group between April 2015 and June 2016, according to his government disclosures, while it was advocating the nuclear reactor plan.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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