A leading House Democrat revealed Wednesday he was approached by a whistleblower who said a businessman received a text from Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn on January 20, 2016 at 12:11 pm - as the newly sworn President Donald Trump was giving his inaugural address - indicating that a lucrative nuclear energy plan they had been developing with Russian partners was "Good to go".
The witness provided the account to Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (Md.), the ranking Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, who detailed the allegations in a letter Wednesday to the panel's chairman, Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.).
The whistleblower said he noted the time stamp, but did not read the text.
Flynn also informed the associate that his business partners could move forward with their project, which aimed to construct a network of nuclear reactors across the Mideast with support from Russian and other global interests, the whistleblower said. These grave allegations compel a full, credible, and bipartisan congressional investigation, ' Cummings wrote.
The allegation posed new troubles for Flynn, who left the White House after barely three weeks and pleaded guilty last week to lying to FBI investigators in the Russian Federation election meddling probe.
The ACU plan involved some two dozen nuclear power plants around the Middle East, to be developed jointly by the United States and Russian Federation.
Neither Copson nor an attorney for ACU responded to a request for comment. The account was first reported by The New York Times. Flynn had been a paid consultant for the business venture before he joined the Trump campaign past year.
One of them, a proposed venture to help Middle Eastern nations build nuclear power plants with assistance from Russian Federation and the USA, garnered significant press attention. Flynn reportedly began circulating the plan to top White House officials within days of the inauguration, but it never went anywhere. Copson allegedly responded, "I couldn't be better".
Copson then told the whistleblower that Flynn "has been putting everything in place for us" and that the project would "make a lot of very wealthy people".
According to Cummings's letter, the witness said he met Alex Copson, Flynn's former business associate, at an inaugural event.
Copson showed the witness the text on his phone.
House investigators turned over the information they had gathered to the Mueller team several weeks ago. He and Cummings jointly exposed details that Flynn had lied on his security clearance forms earlier this year, though Chaffetz later backed off the inquiry despite the Democratic demands.
Cummings wrote the letter Wednesday to Gowdy to seek support for a subpoena to the White House for records.
But reports over the last few months have suggested that Flynn continued to promote the project after the election, and even after he had been sworn in as national security adviser.
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.
Flynn pleaded guilty to a charge in the criminal investigation into Russian collusion last week.