FBI director orders internal review of Flynn investigation

D.C. Circuit Orders Judge Sullivan to Respond to Michael Flynn Petition

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ordered D.C. District Court Judge Emmet G. Sullivan on Thursday to respond by June 1 to former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn's writ of mandamus petition.

The FBI said that in addition to its own internal review, it has cooperated with other inquiries assigned by Attorney General William Barr, including investigations into the Flynn case and the origins of the Russian Federation investigation.

The bureau said in a statement Friday that the after-action review also will evaluate whether any changes need to be made to internal FBI procedures or policies.

Atty. Gen. William Barr, who earlier this year overruled the sentencing recommendation of prosecutors in the case of Trump associate Roger Stone, defended the Flynn decision and said in a television interview that he was doing the "law's bidding" and correcting what he thought was an injustice.

The bureau's announcement comes weeks after the Justice Department (DOJ) filed a motion to drop a criminal case against Flynn after internal documents were released that revealed ulterior motives behind the questioning of the former national security adviser in the White House in January 2017.

Flynn, charged as part of former Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation that documented Russian interference in the 2016 US election to boost Trump's candidacy, later sought to withdraw his plea and accused the FBI of tricking him.

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Legal experts have expressed concerns that the DoJ, led by Attorney General Bill Barr, is being used by the United States president as a political tool. It says any incorrect statements he may have made during the interview were not material to the underlying investigation into ties between Russian Federation and Trump's campaign.

The unusual review will be led by the bureau's Inspection Division, which conducts internal investigations into potential employee misconduct.

The Justice Department noted that he was acting on the recommendation of U.S. Atty. "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".

"This case is ultimately about judicial independence and the integrity of the Judicial Branch and therefore about the rule of law in our constitutional democracy", the brief stated.

More than a dozen former Watergate prosecutors on Friday urged a federal appeals court to deny an emergency request by Michael Flynn to dismiss his criminal case.

The department's request to dismiss the case is now pending before a federal judge, who has not indicated whether he will grant it. "However, Mr. Jensen's work will continue to take priority, and the Director has further ordered the Inspection Division to coordinate closely with Mr. Jensen and ensure that the review does not interfere with or impede his efforts".

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