FBI Director Orders Internal Review of Investigation Into Ex-Trump Adviser Flynn

Clay Curtis
May 24, 2020

"Although the Federal Bureau of Investigation does not have the prosecutorial authority to bring a criminal case, the Inspection Division can and will evaluate whether any current onboard employees engaged in actions that might warrant disciplinary measures", the Federal Bureau of Investigation said in a statement. Several prominent officials have since left the bureau, including former Director James B. Comey, former Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and former agent Peter Strzok, who interviewed Flynn.

On Tuesday, Flynn's lawyer, Sidney Powell, filed a petition for the writ of mandamus, asking the appellate court to grant the Department of Justice (DOJ) motion to dismiss the charges against Flynn.

But the Justice Department now says the FBI had insufficient basis to interview him in the first place and that the statements he made during questioning were not material to the underlying investigation into ties between Russian Federation and the 2016 Trump campaign.

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.

The motion to dismiss alleges that agents had insufficient basis to interview Flynn in the first place, especially since the FBI had been prepared earlier in the month to close out its investigation into Flynn after finding no crime.

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"Under Director Wray's leadership, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has been fully transparent and cooperative with Mr. Jensen, and the FBI's help has included providing special agents to assist Mr. Jensen in the fact-finding process", the statement said.

"Everything about this case is unusual", said Stanford law Prof. She also asked the court to take Judge Sullivan off the case, and to vacate his order inviting outside arguments against dismissing the prosecution.

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. She argued that the judge was legally required to drop a case if that was what the Justice Department made a decision to do.

The review is also aimed to "evaluate any FBI policies, procedures, or controls implicated by the Flynn investigation and identify any improvements that might be warranted", said the statement.

Flynn's lawyers have brought their issues with Sullivan's approach to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, which on Thursday ordered Sullivan to respond to Flynn's request that the appeals court get involved. "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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