Michael Flynn, former national security adviser to President Donald Trump, was texting a former business partner during President Donald Trump's inauguration to advance a nuclear energy business deal with Russia, according to an anonymous whistleblower.
What was the deal?
The whistleblower alleges Flynn texted Alex Copson, managing director of ACU Strategic Partners, telling him to “put things in place” for a deal with Russia to build nuclear reactors in the Middle East, and that Flynn assured Copson that Trump would end Obama-ordered sanctions against Russia once he took office.
Flynn was an adviser for ACU from April 2015 to June 2016, which could mean Flynn may have violated federal conflict of interest guidelines by participating in the deal.
What’s the source of the claim?
The whistleblower, who wishes to remain anonymous to avoid retaliation, spoke with Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), who is the ranking minority member on the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.
The whistleblower first approached the Oversight Committee in June.
Cummings sent a letter to Rep. Trey Gowdy, (R-S.C.), who is the chairman of the Oversight Committee. In the letter, Cummings vouches for the whistleblower’s credibility.
“I have spoken to this whistleblower, and I find this person to be authentic, credible, and reliable,” Cummings wrote.
Why is this coming out now?
Cummings said special counsel Robert Mueller asked him to wait to act on the information until “certain investigative steps” had been completed.
Apparently, Flynn’s plea agreement with Mueller’s team ended that condition, allowing Cummings to bring forward the information.
What happens now?
Cummings is aware that Copson could be lying about what he told the whistleblower. That’s why he wants Gowdy to agree to subpoena Copson and others to find out the real story.
Gowdy’s approval is required for the Oversight Committee to issue a subpoena. He has, in the past, expressed reluctance to do anything to potentially interfere with Mueller's investigation.