Former national security adviser Michael Flynn promised a business associate before the inauguration of Donald Trump that us sanctions with Russian Federation would be "ripped up" by the incoming administration, according to a witness account described by House Democrats.
Mr. Flynn had worked on a business venture to partner with Russian Federation to build nuclear power plants in the Middle East until June 2016, but remained close with the people involved afterward.
Minutes into Trump's inauguration speech, Flynn also texted the ex-partner, who wanted to work with Russian Federation to build nuclear reactors across the Middle East, that the plan, threatened by Obama's sanctions, was "good to go".
"Mike has been putting everything in place for us", Copson said, according to the witness, adding: "This is going to make a lot of very wealthy people".
"And he apparently went on to say Flynn was making sure the sanctions would be "'ripped up' as one of his first orders of business".
The Maryland Democrat said he considered "credible" the allegations that Flynn "sought to manipulate the course of global nuclear policy for the financial gain of his former business partners".
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.
Copson, according to the whistleblower, said Obama's sanctions had "f**ked everything up in my nuclear deal with the sanctions".
Neither Gowdy nor Flynn's attorney, Robert Kelner, responded immediately to a request for comment. Cummings described the account in a letter Wednesday to the panel's Republican chairman, Rep. Trey Gowdy of SC.
Copson then flashed his phone at the whistleblower and said, "I just got this text message" from Flynn, who said the nuclear project was "good to go".
The whistleblower told congressional investigators that Copson boasted that Flynn was "making sure that sanctions would be "ripped up" as one of his first orders of business and that this would allow money to start flowing into the project", an apparent reference to financial sanctions imposed on Russian Federation by the Obama administration, Cummings's letter states.
The whistleblower's story to Cummings starts January 20, Inauguration Day, at an event in D.C. The whistleblower encountered a business partner of Flynn's, Alex Copson of ACU Strategic Partners, which was working on building the reactors.
"Although this individual was extremely hesitant to come forward - and still fears retaliation - the whistleblower has chose to do so now because this individual feels duty bound as a citizen to make this disclosure", he wrote.
The company did not respond to a request for comment Wednesday. 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".
It also raised fresh questions on what Trump knew about Flynn's business plans when he appointed the retired three-star general to serve as his national security advisor.
In various filings in 2016 and 2017, Flynn did not initially disclose his connection to ACU and foreign contacts he made while advising the firm.