By Jonathan Landay
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Democratic lawmakers are investigating whether retired U.S. General Michael Flynn secretly promoted a U.S.-Russian project to build dozens of nuclear reactors in the Middle East after becoming President Donald Trump’s first national security adviser.
Representatives Elijah Cummings and Eliot Engel made the disclosure in a letter they sent on Tuesday to Flynn’s lawyer and executives of the private firms that developed the project. Flynn’s now-defunct company worked as a consultant on it.
Robert Kelner, Flynn’s lawyer, declined to comment.
Separately on Wednesday, NBC News reported that Flynn’s son, Michael Flynn Jr., is being investigated by Special Counsel Robert Mueller as part of his inquiry into U.S. allegations that Russia meddled in the 2016 presidential election. Flynn worked for his father’s consulting firm.
A lawyer for Flynn Jr. declined to comment to NBC.
“The American people deserve to know whether General Flynn was secretly promoting the private interests of these businesses while he was a (Trump) campaign adviser, transition official, or President Trump’s national security adviser,” Cummings and Engel said in the letter made public on Wednesday.
They asked Flynn’s lawyer and executives of the companies involved to provide “all communications” they had with Flynn or other administration officials during Flynn’s association with Trump.
The project proposes to build 40 nuclear reactors across the Middle East that would feed a regional electric grid. The reactors would be “proliferation proof,” meaning they could not be used to produce fuel for nuclear weapons.
A promotional slide of the project said security would be provided by Rosoboron, a Russian state-owned arms exporter that is under U.S. sanctions. The sanctions imposed during the administration of former President Barack Obama soured relations between Moscow and Washington and Trump said in his election campaign that he wanted to improve those ties.