WASHINGTON — FBI Director Christopher Wray has ordered an internal review of how the bureau handled its investigation of Michael Flynn, President Trump’s former national security adviser, the bureau said in a statement Friday.
The review, which will be handled by the FBI’s inspection division, will seek to ‘‘determine whether any current employees engaged in misconduct’’ and evaluate broader FBI policies and procedures to ‘‘identify any improvements that might be warranted,’’ the statement said.
The review is unusual, particularly because Attorney General William Barr already had commissioned St. Louis US Attorney Jeff Jensen earlier this year to examine the handling of Flynn’s case. The statement said the FBI’s review would ‘‘complement’’ that work, and Jensen’s examination would take priority. Jensen is one of a number of US attorneys whom Barr has commissioned to investigate matters of interest to Trump.
Trump has complained that Wray has been ‘‘skirting’’ the debate about the FBI’s 2016 investigation of possible coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign to influence the election, of which the Flynn case was a part. He has even suggested Wray’s future as director might be in doubt.
People close to the president, though, have said he does not seem inclined to fire Wray, and Barr has defended the FBI director, calling him ‘‘a great partner to me in our effort to restore the American people’s confidence in both the Department of Justice and the FBI.’’
Trump appointed Wray FBI director in 2017, and he is supposed to have a 10-year term to keep his position insulated from politics.
‘‘It’s disappointing,’’ Trump told Fox News earlier this month when asked about Wray’s role in ongoing reviews of the FBI’s handling of the Russia investigation. ‘‘Let’s see what happens with him. Look, the jury’s still out.’’
Wray’s move could partially placate Trump, as it suggests the FBI director is heeding his repeated calls to explore what the president sees as malfeasance in the Russia investigation. But the FBI statement made clear its impact would be limit