May 23 (UPI) — FBI Director Christopher Wray on Friday ordered a review of the investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI.
Wray directed the bureau’s Inspection Division to conduct an “after-action” review of its probe related to Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election. The review will determine whether “current employees engaged in misconduct” and if any changes should be made to the FBI’s protocols.
“Although the FBI 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 FBI said in a statement.
The announcement comes two weeks after the Justice Department moved to dismiss the criminal case against Flynn. He pleaded guilty in 2017 to making false statements to the FBI during special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian meddling. Flynn said he made the false statement regarding his interactions with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.
In January, the Justice Department changed its sentencing recommendation from probation for Flynn to six months in prison because it said he was unrepentant. A week later, Flynn asked to withdraw his guilty plea, saying prosecutors broke the plea agreement when they requested jail time.
Handwritten notes in FBI documents, which a federal judge released last month, question whether the “goal” was “to get him to lie, so we can prosecute him or get him fired.”
The release of the FBI documents amplified conservative claims that prosecutors sought to entrap him.
The government “is not persuaded that the Jan. 24, 2017 interview was conducted with a legitimate investigative basis,” the Justice Department said.
Earlier this year, President Donald Trump said he was “strongly considering” pardoning Flynn, suggesting that the FBI and Justice Department lost records related to the case.
Speaking to reporters Thursday in the Oval Office, the president described Flynn as “an innocent man,” “a great gentleman.”