President Trump's first national security advisor, Michael T. Flynn, texted a former business associate on Inauguration Day that Obama-era sanctions against Russia would be "ripped up" and that a lucrative proposal to build nuclear reactors with Russian partners in the Middle East was "good to go", a witness has told Congress.
The allegation - which suggests the Trump administration was eager to lift sanctions imposed by President Barack Obama and that Flynn may have blurred his public and private roles during his brief run at the White House - was outlined in a letter Cummings sent to Rep.
The nuclear project that Flynn and his business associate had worked on together was stymied by US financial sanctions on Russian Federation.
Cummings detailed the whistleblower's allegations in a letter to committee chairman Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., and urged Gowdy to authorize subpoenas to Flynn and his business associates to learn more about his efforts.
"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 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.
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The whistleblower came forward this summer and spoke to the committee about attending an inauguration party and meeting Alex Copson, managing partner of ACU Strategic Partners.
Cummings did not name the whistleblower in the letter, but offered to have Gowdy speak with the person directly. And one of the companies involved in the project covered his travel expenses and wrote him a check for $25,000 for the trip, though it's not clear if Flynn cashed the check.
"This is going to make a lot of very wealthy people", Mr. Copson said.
Flynn's lawyer did not respond to a request for comment on the latest claims.
Flynn pled guilty last week to lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation regarding conversations with Russians.
Gowdy did not immediately respond to a request for comment from CNBC.
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Mr. Gowdy and Mr. Cummings have a long history of clashing publicly over politically charged investigations.
"Mike has been putting everything in place for us", the whistleblower claims Copson said.
"I do not bring this whistle-blower to your attention lightly", Mr. Cummings said. The whistleblower saw that the time stamp of the message was 12:11 pm, but did not read the text. Now Cummings wants to look into the matter.
The whistleblower told Democrats that the associate had been informed by Flynn that the project was "good to go" and that the sanctions would be "ripped up". ACU was pushing a nuclear project in the Middle East that Flynn is said to have lobbied for while in the White House.
As part of his plea deal with Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating alleged collusion between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign, Flynn agreed to be a cooperative witness in exchange for avoiding prosecution on other charges that might be related to his involvement with Russian Federation during the campaign, the presidential transition and his brief stint as national security adviser.
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