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's account, made public on Wednesday by the ranking Democrat on the House oversight committee, raises new concerns about the extent to which Flynn may have blurred his private and public interests during his brief stint inside the White House.
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.
The whistleblower also said that within minutes of Trump's inauguration ceremony, Flynn communicated directly with business associates about plans to begin building nuclear reactors in the Middle East-a joint project with Russian Federation, according to the letter.
Neither Gowdy nor Flynn's attorney, Robert Kelner, responded immediately to a request for comment.
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".
The whistleblower also alleges that Copson said Flynn had assured him that US sanctions on Russian Federation would be "ripped up" as soon as Trump was inside the White House. Copson is the managing director of ACU Strategic Partners, a Washington-based company that Flynn said he advised from April 2015 through June 2016, according to a financial disclosure he filed this August.
Flynn pleaded guilty last week to lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about the nature of his conversations with former Russian ambassador Sergei Kislyak.
Flynn had texted Copson with the same message - that the nuclear reaction project was "good to go" - from his place on the dais outside the Capitol 10 minutes into Trump's inaugural address, the whistleblower told Cummings.
"This is the best day of my life", Copson told the whistleblower as he described the message from Flynn, Cummings said.
Copson showed the witness the text on his phone. And one of the companies involved in the project covered his travel expenses and wrote him a check for $25,000 for the trip, though it's not clear if Flynn cashed the check. He was ousted as national security advisor after only 24 days on the job.
Cummings did not name the whistleblower in the letter, but offered to have Gowdy speak with the person directly.
The congressman wrote that the whistleblower was "extremely uncomfortable" with the conversation and left shortly thereafter.
Perhaps most intriguingly of all, Cummingswrites that he told Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team about all this some time ago - and that they asked him to delay publicly revealing this information "until they completed certain investigation steps".
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.