US lawmakers warn Trump may rush nuclear transfer to Saudis

20 Février, 2019, 07:26 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
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United States lawmakers said Tuesday they were probing whether President Donald Trump is rushing to sell sensitive nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia to please corporate supporters who stand to profit handsomely.

These national officials called for a halt to such sales in 2017 and cited "potential conflicts of interest, national security risks and legal hurdles".

During the presidential campaign and transition, Flynn was listed as an adviser to a subsidiary of IP3 global, the company behind the power plant proposal. "Brookfield Asset Management took a 99-year lease on the family's deeply indebted New York City property at 666 Fifth Avenue". Mr. Harvey reportedly ignored these warnings and insisted that the decision to transfer nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia had already been made.

The investigation comes as lawmakers from both parties have raised concerns that Saudi Arabia could develop nuclear weapons if the US technology is transferred without proper safeguards.

Career staff warned that any transfer of nuclear technology must comply with the Atomic Energy Act, that the United States and Saudi Arabia would need to reach a 123 Agreement, and that these legal requirements could not be circumvented. While serving as an adviser to the Trump campaign and transition team, Michael Flynn also worked as a consultant to a subsidiary of IP3, the company organizing the sale of nuclear equipment to the Saudis.

Relying on the whistleblower accounts, email communications, and other documents, the committee's report details how NSC and ethics officials repeatedly warned that the actions of Flynn and a senior aide could run afoul of federal conflicts of interest law and statutes governing the transfer of nuclear technology to foreign powers. Flynn was sacked in February 2017 for lying about conversations with the Russian Ambassador to Vice President Pence and the F.B.I.

Still, according to the report, Flynn served as a conduit for IP3 inside the White House.

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According to the report, H R McMaster, who replaced Flynn as national security adviser, directed that work stop on the proposal because of concerns about its legality, but it continued.

Kushner plans a tour of the Middle East next week, with a stop in the Saudi capital of Riyadh, to discuss economic aspects of the administration's Middle East peace plan.

Meanwhile, a US Senate proposal offered by Jeff Merkley, an Oregon Democrat - with support from Senator Rand Paul, a Kentucky Republican - seeks to block Saudi Arabia from developing bomb material by prohibiting it from enriching uranium or re-using plutonium from any future power plants.

The White House, Flynn and IP3 had no immediate response to the report.

"Based on this [report's] snapshot of events, 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 as a result of this potential change in U.S. foreign policy", the report said.

Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, the chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, announced the investigation Tuesday.

Also included with the committee's report was a document authored by Barrack titled "The Trump Middle East Marshall Plan" that promoted the plan and was sent to NSC staff on March 28, 2017, by IP3 board member Frances Fragos Townsend, who served as homeland security adviser to President George W. Bush.

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