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.
"T$3 he interview of Mr. Flynn was untethered to, and unjustified by, the FBI's counterintelligence investigation into Mr. Flynn-a no longer justifiably predicated investigation that the FBI had, in the Bureau's own words, prepared to close because it had yielded an 'absence of any derogatory information, '" the department wrote in its filing.
The review, which will be handled by the FBI's inspection division, will both seek to "determine whether any current employees engaged in misconduct" and evaluate broader Federal Bureau of Investigation policies and procedures to "identify any improvements that might be warranted", the statement said.
Attorney General William Barr, who earlier this year overruled the sentencing recommendation of prosecutors in the case of Trump associate Roger Stone, defended the Flynn's decision and said in a television interview that he was doing the "law's bidding".More news: Some models of 5G iPhone could be delayed due to Covid-19
Two weeks prior to the FBI announcement, the DoJ dropped its case against Flynn, who is the highest-ranking Trump administration official convicted in relation to former special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation on the alleged collusion between Russian Federation and the Trump 2016 presidential campaign.
Legal experts have expressed concerns that the DoJ, led by Attorney General Bill Barr, is being used by the U.S. president as a political tool.
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.
Earlier this month, the DOJ filed a motion with Judge Sullivan asking to drop the case.More news: U.S. secures 300 million doses of potential AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine
Mr Trump has recently been sharply critical of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and two weeks ago even suggested that Mr Wray's fate as director was in limbo, but an Federal Bureau of Investigation official said today that the review had been contemplated for some time.
The Justice Department noted that he was acting on the recommendation of US Attorney Jeff Jensen of St. Louis, who was assigned by Mr Barr to review the Flynn case.
But the move outraged former law enforcement officials involved in the case, who said the Justice Department had ignored the seriousness of the false statements that Flynn admitted making, as well as the gravity of their national security concerns about Flynn's interactions with the Russian ambassador, Sergey Kislyak. Flynn's lawyers then accused Sullivan of bias and asked the U.S. Court of Appeals to intervene.
First, after refusing the Justice Department's request, Sullivan invited outside groups to file amicus curiae, or "friend of the court", briefs. The statement said the FBI's review will "complement" that work, and Jensen's examination will take priority.More news: The Locked Vaults in Call Of Duty Warzone are Opening