ReutersWASHINGTON (Reuters) — As U.S. President Donald Trump delivered his inaugural address on Capitol Hill in January, his incoming national security adviser Michael Flynn, sitting a few yards away, texted a former business partner that a nuclear power project that would require lifting sanctions on Russia was “good to go,” a senior House Democrat said in a letter released on Wednesday.
Quoting a confidential informant, Representative Elijah Cummings, the top Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, wrote that Alex Copson, the managing partner of ACU Strategic Partners, told the informant that Flynn would see that the sanctions on Moscow were “ripped up.”
In the letter to Representative Trey Gowdy, the panel’s Republican chairman, Cummings demanded that Gowdy subpoena documents on the nuclear power plan from the White House, Flynn, Copson, their partners and associates.
Cummings said he had found the unnamed informant to be “authentic, credible, and reliable,” and offered to produce the individual for Gowdy.
Reuters was unable to identify the informant or independently confirm the information in Cummings’ letter.
Gowdy told reporters later on Wednesday that he was not going to have the Oversight Committee look into the issues raised in Cummings letter, because it falls outside the scope of the committee’s responsibilities. He suggested the House Intelligence Committee, which is investigating Russia’s role in the 2016 U.S. election, take up the matter.
Copson and ACU did not immediately respond to detailed requests for comment, while an attorney for Flynn declined to comment.
The White House referred inquiries to Trump’s personal White House attorney, Ty Cobb, who declined to comment.
If true, the informant’s story adds new evidence that the project’s promoters believed that Flynn and Trump backed the plan for a consortium of U.S., Russian and French firms to build and operate 45 nuclear power plants in Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries.
Reuters previously published documents showing Copson and other plan proponents believed they had Flynn and Trump in their corner. The documents revealed previously unreported aspects of the ACU proposal, including the involvement of a Russian nuclear equipment manufacturer currently under U.S. sanctions.Speech