Carrie Johnson

Carrie Johnson is a Justice Correspondent for the Washington Desk.

She covers a wide variety of stories about justice issues, law enforcement and legal affairs for NPR's flagship programs Morning Edition and All Things Considered, as well as the Newscasts and NPR.org.

While in this role, Johnson has chronicled major challenges to the landmark voting rights law, a botched law enforcement operation targeting gun traffickers along the Southwest border, and the Obama administration's deadly drone program for suspected terrorists overseas.

Prior to coming to NPR in 2010, Johnson worked at the Washington Post for 10 years, where she closely observed the FBI, the Justice Department and criminal trials of the former leaders of Enron, HealthSouth and Tyco. Earlier in her career, she wrote about courts for the weekly publication Legal Times.

Outside of her role at NPR, Johnson regularly moderates or appears on legal panels for the American Bar Association, the American Constitution Society, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and others. She's talked about her work on CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, PBS, and other outlets.

Her work has been honored with awards from the Society for Professional Journalists and the Society of American Business Editors and Writers. She has been a finalist for the Loeb award for financial journalism and for the Pulitzer Prize in breaking news for team coverage of the massacre at Fort Hood, Texas.

Johnson is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Benedictine University in Illinois.

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The Justice Department has named former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special counsel overseeing its investigation into Russia's role in the U.S. election. NPR's justice correspondent Carrie Johnson is covering this. She joins me now.

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Hours after a news report that President Trump had asked the FBI director to back away from an investigation, Democrats seized on the information to accuse the White House of a serious crime.

"We are witnessing an obstruction of justice case unfolding in real time," said Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., a former state attorney general.

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As advocates for medical marijuana gather in Washington, D.C., on Friday for an annual conference, supporters of marijuana legalization are worried.

That's because new U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has been making tough comments about the drug, and there's a lot of uncertainty about how the Trump administration will enforce federal law.

Over his 20 years in the U.S. Senate, Jeff Sessions made no secret of his disdain for marijuana. In his new job as the nation's top federal law enforcement officer, his position on marijuana has not moderated.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has ordered the Justice Department to conduct a broad review of agreements that seek to overhaul troubled police departments. He's says it isn't the federal government's job to manage state and local law enforcement agencies, which is a shift from the Obama administration.

The leader of the U.S. Justice Department has ordered federal authorities to emphasize building partnerships with local law enforcement over hard-nosed investigations of them, asking a federal judge in Baltimore to delay a hearing this week on a deal to overhaul the city's troubled police force and casting a cloud over a host of other federal consent decrees that target unconstitutional law enforcement practices.

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Rod Rosenstein, if appointed as deputy attorney general, could soon become the ultimate decider on the most politically sensitive subject in Washington.

His confirmation hearing on Tuesday turned into a proxy war over the Trump administration's ties to Russia.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has recused himself from any investigation into the election and Russian officials, leaving the tough questions for his deputy.

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Big news from the Justice Department late yesterday - Attorney General Jeff Sessions called a press conference to announce that he will play no role in an investigation into Russian meddling in last year's presidential election.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions pledged to devote federal resources to combat violent crime and to shore up morale across the nation's police departments, on Monday in his first on-the-record briefing as the top U.S. law enforcement officer.

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The Senate Judiciary Committee once again debated the nomination of Sen. Jeff Sessions to be attorney general. Democrats on the Republican-controlled committee raised objections to his nomination. The committee met a day after President Trump fired the acting attorney general over her refusal to defend the immigration order banning travel from seven majority Muslim countries.

President Trump's executive order on immigration late Friday ignited nationwide protests — and a slew of legal challenges.

At least four federal judges across the country have blocked part of the order and temporarily ensured refugees and travelers who reached U.S. soil would not be deported.

Here's an explanation of what happened so far and what could come next.

A newly inaugurated Donald J. Trump delivered a fiercely populist and often dark address, promising to transfer power in Washington from political elites to the people and vowing to put "America first."

Surrounded by members of Congress and the Supreme Court, the nation's 45th president repeated themes from his historic and divisive campaign message, describing children in poverty, schools in crisis and streets pocked with crime and "carnage."

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Updated at 4 p.m. ET

The Justice Department's watchdog has launched a sweeping review of conduct by the FBI director and other department officials before the presidential election, following calls from Congress and members of the public.

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The Justice Department is issuing new guidance to federal agents on how to secure eyewitness identifications, an initiative designed to reflect decades of scientific research and bolster public confidence in the criminal justice system, NPR has learned.

Two intelligence sources say the FBI agrees with the CIA assessment that Russia interfered in the U.S. election, in part to help Donald Trump, clearing up any confusion and other reporting that the agencies weren't in sync.

The entire intelligence community, in fact, is now in alignment that the hacks were partly motivated to try and install Trump as president. The FBI and others continue to say that Russia didn't actually think that was going to happen.

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President-elect Donald Trump has chosen Donald McGahn, a longtime Washington lawyer who once led the Federal Election Commission, to be his White House counsel, his transition team announced Friday.

"Don has a brilliant legal mind, excellent character and a deep understanding of constitutional law," Trump said in a statement, referring to the lawyer who served as both his campaign and transition attorney. "He will play a critical role in our administration, and I am grateful that he is willing to serve our country at such a high-level capacity."

Updated at 11:45 a.m. ET

President-elect Donald Trump announced his selections today for three key posts: Michael Flynn for national security adviser, Sen. Jeff Sessions for attorney general and Rep. Mike Pompeo for CIA director.

Trump's selections signal that he is prioritizing loyalty as he chooses nominees for top posts — turning to people who were early and outspoken supporters of his campaign.

Advisers to President-elect Donald Trump are considering whether to retain FBI Director James Comey after the agency became an issue in one of the most divisive campaigns in modern history, three sources told NPR.

Comey has nearly seven years left to serve in his 10-year term. The FBI director's position extends beyond the term of any single president to help insulate the bureau from political forces as it pursues sensitive criminal and national security investigations.

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Donald Trump has been elected the 45th president of the United States, the capstone of a tumultuous and divisive campaign that won over white voters with the promise to "Make America Great Again."

Trump crossed the 270 electoral vote threshold at 2:31 a.m. ET with a victory in Wisconsin, according to Associated Press projections.

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