Flynn texted during inauguration to suggest Russian Federation sanctions would end, Democrat says

Flynn Said Russian Sanctions Would be 'Ripped Up,' Whistle-Blower Says

Flynn told a business associate Russian sanctions would be 'ripped up' - report

President Donald Trump's former national security advisor Michael Flynn told a business associate that he would make sure economic sanctions against Russian Federation would be "ripped up" as one of his first orders of business in the White House, a whistleblower told congressional investigators.

The whistleblower also said that within minutes of Trump's inauguration ceremony, Flynn communicated directly with business associates about plans to begin building nuclear reactors in the Middle East-a joint project with Russian Federation, according to the letter. The change would allow a business venture Flynn had worked on - nuclear power plants - to be built with the former partner. Elijah Cummings, the ranking Democrat on the House Oversight committee, to Chairman Trey Gowdy, a Republican, and shared with ABC News.

"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".

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.

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The whistleblower is not named in the five-page letter that Cummings shared with ABC News on Wednesday, and is unlikely to identify him or herself, fearing retaliation.

Flynn, who pleaded guilty to lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation last week, worked together with Copson's company, ACU Strategic Partners, until June 2016.

The White House referred inquiries to Trump's personal White House attorney, Ty Cobb, who declined to comment.

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. Mr. Cummings said that Mr. Gowdy should subpoena Mr. Flynn, Mr. Copson and four others to testify before the panel.

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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".

The whistleblower told Cummings he met with Alex Copson, managing partner of ACU Strategic Partners and a business partner of Flynn's, on the day of Trump's inauguration.

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.

Neither Copson nor an attorney for ACU responded to a request for comment. 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. The whistle-blower, Mr. Cummings said, is willing to meet with Mr. Gowdy if he agrees to protect the person's identity.

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