General Michael Flynn-within minutes of Donald Trump being sworn in as president-was communicating directly with his former business colleagues about their plan to work with Russian Federation to build nuclear reactors in the Middle East.
The account from the anonymous whistleblower is detailed in a new letter from the top Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee to his Republican counterpart asking that the panel subpoena Flynn, Copson, the White House and others involved in the alleged plan. The whistleblower came to Cummings in June, he writes in the letter, but the congressman kept quiet about the claims at the request of Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
According to the whistleblower, Copson bragged to the whistleblower on Inauguration Day 2017 that Flynn had told Copson that the Russian Federation sanctions that had been an obstacle to the project pushed by the company will be "ripped up". The change would allow a business venture Flynn had worked on - nuclear power plants - to be built with the former partner.
He also said he finds the whistle-blower to be "authentic, credible and reliable", and someone who has come forward even though he fears retaliation because "he feels duty bound as a citizen to make this disclosure". A lawyer for Mr. Flynn declined to comment.
Cummings' five-page letter to Gowdy calls for a slew of new subpoeanas and castigates the committee chairman for his "refusal to investigate".
He said Gowdy's handling of the matter sharply contrasts with the lengthy inquiry he led into allegations about former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's role in the 2012 attack on the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya, "that were debunked years ago".
Mr Cummings's letter goes on to relate that during the conversation, Mr Copson told the whistle-blower that he "just got a text message" from Flynn that the project was "good to go" and to contact their business colleagues to "let them know to put things in place".
"I am going to celebrate today" Copson said, according to the whistle-blower.
"I do not bring this whistle-blower to your attention lightly", Cummings said. Given the seriousness of the charge and the person making it, if the committee isn't going to issue a subpoena, Robert Mueller nearly certainly will.
"At this event, the whistleblower met Alex Copson", Cummings wrote. Flynn originally told the Federal Bureau of Investigation that the issue of sanctions had not come up in his conversation.
Copson, according to the whistleblower, said Obama's sanctions had "f**ked everything up in my nuclear deal with the sanctions".
Attempts to reach Mr. Copson on Wednesday were unsuccessful.
On Friday, Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to Federal Bureau of Investigation agents about conversations he had in December 2016 with the Russian ambassador to the United States about the sanctions, among other topics. He also lied when he said he did not recall a follow-up conversation with the ambassador, who said that "Russia had chosen to moderate its response to those sanctions as a result of Flynn's request".
They want voters riveted on the party's almost $1.5 trillion tax bill, the paramount priority for them and Trump. The White House says the leaders were taken to the Situation Room for a briefing by Mattis on military matters.
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