Federal Bureau of Investigation director orders internal review of Michael Flynn case

Christopher Wray is seated prior to testifying before a Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing on his nomination to be the next FBI director on Capitol Hill in Washington U.S

FBI Director Christopher Wray has ordered an internal review into possible misconduct in the investigation of former Trump administration national security adviser Michael Flynn, the bureau said today.

The bureau said the "after-action review" will have a two-fold objective: evaluating the FBI's role in the case and determining whether any "current employees engaged in misconduct", as well as identifying whether any "improvements" might be warranted to FBI procedures. "It's unusual to ask a higher court to direct a lower court to do something before the lower court has had a chance to make up its own mind in the first instance - and that includes whether to dismiss a case".

The Justice Department, which is seeking to drop the lying charge to which Flynn pleaded guilty, is also allowed to chime in, the appeals court said.

It says any imperfect statements he may have made during the interview were not material to the underlying investigation into ties between Russian Federation and Mr Trump's presidential campaign.

About two weeks ago, Sullivan pushed off Barr's request and paused Flynn's case to invite outside groups and a retired federal judge to argue against the Justice Department's proposal.

Trump, who has called the Federal Bureau of Investigation "badly broken", appointed Wray after firing James Comey as Federal Bureau of Investigation director in 2017.

The FBI announced Friday that its Inspection Division will lead an internal review to determine whether punishment and/or policy adjustments need to be made within the agency, following the Department of Justice's recent change of mind regarding Flynn's prosecution.

"Everything about this case is unusual", said Stanford law Prof.

The department, in a major reversal, on May 7 asked Sullivan to drop the charges, drawing accusations from Democrats and retired career prosecutors that Attorney General William Barr was politicizing the US criminal justice system to go light on Trump's friends and associates.

Flynn admitted in his guilty plea that he lied about having asked Kislyak to refrain from escalating the situation in response to sanctions imposed against Russian Federation by the Obama administration for election interference. Judge Sullivan so far has refused, a rare act of defiance by a judge in response to a Justice Department request.

Rather than dismissing the case, Sullivan controversially appointed retired federal judge John Gleeson as amicus curiae to present arguments as to why Flynn shouldn't be held in criminal contempt. Sullivan has also given non-court-appointed amici curiae (such as Conway, Tribe, et al. and Watergate prosecutors) an opportunity to weigh in.

The FBI said that in addition to its own internal review, it has cooperated and been transparent with multiple inquiries assigned by Barr, including lending its own agents to the Jensen probe.



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