House Dems probe White House handling of Saudi nuclear plan

House Dems probe White House handling of Saudi nuclear plan

The IP3 proposal has been repeatedly promoted to White House officials by Thomas Barrack, according to the report.

The committee is investigating efforts by U.S. nuclear power companies to win Trump administration approval to build nuclear power plants in Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries. Flynn was sacked in February 2017 for lying about conversations with the Russian Ambassador to Vice President Pence and the F.B.I.

"The committee is now launching an investigation to determine whether the actions being pursued by the Trump administration are in the national security interests of the United States, or rather, serve those who stand to gain financially", the report said.

At the same time, Trump son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner is developing a Middle East peace plan that could include economic proposals for Saudi Arabia.

For roughly seven months in 2016, including during the presidential transition, Flynn served as an adviser to IP3 global, a private company seeking to build nuclear plants in Saudi Arabia.

From the beginning of the Trump administration, Flynn's top aide Derek Harvey pushed for the project, described as a Middle East Marshall Plan, according to the report.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Congressional investigators are also probing the role of Tom Barrack, a proponent of the nuclear proposal who ran Mr Trump's presidential inaugural committee.

"However, NSC staff remained concerned because the same individuals continued their work on IP3's proposal", the House Committee said.

The Atomic Energy Act requires that Congress approve any transfer of nuclear technology to a foreign country.

Former National Security Adviser Mike Flynn arrives for a status hearing related to his guilty plea on charges that he made false statements in Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation investigation, at U.S. District Court in Washington, U.S., July 10, 2018.

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The Trump administration sought to rush the transfer of American nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia in potential violation of the law, a new report from the House Oversight and Reform Committee alleges.

IP3 is led by a group of retired US military officers and national security officials, including retired Rear Adm. Michael Hewitt, retired Army Gen. Jack Keane and former Reagan National Security Adviser Bud McFarlane.

IP3 and other proponents of nuclear power in the Middle East argue that the USA needs to be involved because otherwise, it will lose out to Russia, China and others on billions of dollars in business - an argument embraced by Trump when defending weapons sales to the monarchy.

IP3 did not immediately respond to a request for comment. "They have also warned of conflicts of interest among top White House advisers that could implicate federal criminal statutes".

A key target of the Oversight Committee's inquiry is an effort by IP3 global, a consortium of nuclear power producers that began lobbying during the Trump transition in late 2016 and early 2017 to win presidential approval to develop nuclear power plants in Saudi Arabia.

Despite this, however, Energy Secretary Rick Perry and other Trump appointees continued to push the sales of nuclear power to the Saudis.

Documents appended to the report included a draft presidential memorandum appointing Barrack as a special envoy to oversee implementation of the project that McFarlane sent to Flynn and his then-deputy, K.T. McFarland, on January 28, 2017.

The report also catalogs the actions of Harvey, the Flynn confidant who was put in charge of the NSC's Middle East and North African affairs.

Lawyers at the National Security Council also warned that Flynn had a conflict of interest that might break the law, and the council's legal adviser, John Eisenberg, ordered NSC staff to stop all work on the plan, according to the report.

"I speak with Michael Flynn every night", Harvey said in early March 2017, after Flynn was sacked, according to the accounts of five whistleblowers to the committee.

He then joined the staff of Rep. Devin Nunes of California, a Trump ally and the former Republican chairman of the House intelligence committee.

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