Former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn told a former business associate “within minutes” of President Donald Trump being sworn in on Inauguration Day that economic sanctions against Russia would be “ripped up” once Trump gets into office, according to a whistleblower.
In a letter from Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) to Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), the chairman of the House Oversight Committee, Cummings claims the whistleblower said Flynn messaged a former business colleague, whom he worked with on a project with Russia to “build nuclear power plants in the Middle East,” that the plan was “good to go” because the sanctions would be “ripped up” as one of Trump's first acts in office.
The New York Times was first to report the letter on Wednesday, claiming it represents “the strongest evidence to date that the Trump administration wanted to end the sanctions immediately, and suggests that Mr. Flynn had a possible economic incentive for the United States to forge a closer relationship with Russia.”
Flynn pleaded guilty last week to lying to the FBI regarding conversations with Russians.
In June, the whistleblower first contacted Cummings and gave the congressman permission to share the account as part of the ongoing investigation into Russia's meddling in the 2016 presidential election.
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.
According to the whistleblower, Copson said, “Mike has been putting everything in place for us. I am going to celebrate today ... This is going to make a lot of very wealthy people,”
The letter from Cummings concluded with a request to issue subpoenas for “all documents and communications referring or relating” to Flynn's foreign contacts during the Trump campaign, the transition period, and his brief time as national security advisor.