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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Now that the Trump administration has pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal, it is reimposing sanctions that had been lifted under the deal starting at midnight. NPR's Michele Kelemen reports.

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Facebook says it has uncovered a disinformation campaign on its platforms and taken it down.

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Updated at 7:33 p.m. ET

On the first day of Paul Manafort's trial, prosecutors sought to paint him as a man with absurdly extravagant taste who thought he was above the law, while the former Trump campaign manager's defense lawyers tossed blame onto one of his closest associates.

Most tax and bank fraud cases are built on stacks of bland business documents and Internal Revenue Service paperwork — hardly the stuff of international intrigue.

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Less than a year into a lifetime appointment, a 45-year-old federal appeals court judge named James Ho may embody President Trump's most enduring legacy.

Ho has shaken up the staid world of appellate law by deploying aggressive rhetoric in cases involving guns, abortion rights and campaign finance regulations.

Today's government "would be unrecognizable to our Founders," he has written. He condemned what he called "the moral tragedy of abortion." And he's bemoaned that the Second Amendment appears to be considered a "second class right."

Updated at 12:10 p.m. ET

The lawyer for a woman accused of being a Russian agent dueled with government attorneys on Wednesday over evidence in the case, including the allegation that she attempted to use sex to gain access to an organization she targeted.

Attorney Robert Driscoll said he demanded evidence to back up a prosecutors' declaration in earlier court documents that Maria Butina had offered sex for a job.

"We have no idea what the government's talking about," he said. "We don't believe it's true."

Update 4:21 p.m. ET

A federal judge in Virginia agreed on Monday to postpone the trial of Donald Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort.

The initial phase of jury selection is still set to get underway this week in Alexandria, just outside Washington, D.C., but Manafort's trial itself now isn't scheduled to begin until next week, on July 31.

Federal Judge T.S. Ellis III told the parties in a hearing that he recognized the "equities and good reasons on both sides of this motion" and would agree to Manafort's lawyers' request for more time.

Updated at 3:50 p.m. ET

A federal magistrate judge ordered Wednesday that a Russian woman charged with being a Russian agent in the United States must be jailed ahead of her trial after prosecutors said she was a flight risk.

The woman, Maria Butina, has been in regular contact with Russian intelligence, the Justice Department says, and she attempted to offer sex in exchange for a position with an organization she targeted.

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Updated at 5:01 p.m. ET

Just hours after President Trump met with Russian President Vladimir Putin and held a joint news conference with his Russian counterpart that stunned many political observers in the U.S., federal prosecutors on Monday unsealed a criminal complaint alleging that a Russian graduate student living in the D.C. area conspired to act as an agent of Russia without registering, as required, under U.S. law.

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Updated at 3:33 p.m. ET

The Senate voted 51-48 on Wednesday to confirm Brian Benczkowski as an assistant attorney general at the Justice Department, ending an 18-month delay in which its Criminal Division operated without a permanent leader.

Benczkowski, a Justice Department veteran who held top posts in the George W. Bush administration, had languished for months as critics raised questions about his legal work for a Russian bank and his close ties to Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Updated at 5:34 p.m. ET

The team prosecuting President Trump's former campaign chairman has a message for Paul Manafort: no more excuses.

Lawyers working for Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller objected Wednesday to Manafort's bid to delay the trial scheduled for July 25 in Alexandria, Va. To make their case, they cited recorded jail calls and prison logs suggesting Manafort has been getting better treatment than most detainees, not worse.

Updated at 6:12 p.m.

President Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort asked a federal judge on Tuesday to keep him in a jail about 100 miles from Washington, D.C., after receiving permission earlier in the day to move closer.

Judge T.S. Ellis III had directed the U.S. Marshals Service to move Manafort from the Northern Neck Regional Jail in Warsaw, Va., and bring him closer to the courthouse in Alexandria, Va., just outside Washington.

A federal judge set out a timeline on Tuesday that could mean Donald Trump's former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, might be sentenced by late October.

Judge Emmet Sullivan called prosecutors and Flynn, a retired lieutenant general, into a hearing to meet with him about next steps in the case.

A different judge took Flynn's guilty plea for lying to the FBI last December. Sullivan said he had some "discomfort" at the thought of preparing a sentencing hearing for someone he had never met before.

Over a dozen years as a judge on the federal appeals court in Washington, D.C., Brett Kavanaugh has weighed in on controversial cases involving guns, abortion, health care and religious liberty.

But after Kavanaugh emerged on President Trump's shortlist for the Supreme Court, a suggestion the judge made in a 2009 law review article swiftly took center stage:

"Provide sitting presidents with a temporary deferral of civil suits and of criminal prosecutions and investigations," Kavanaugh proposed.

One day after Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement, a group calling itself Demand Justice staged a rally outside the court's front steps.

Updated at 1:31 p.m. ET

Scott Schools, a top aide to the deputy attorney general, is planning to leave the Justice Department at the end of the week, according to two people familiar with his decision.

The job title for Schools — associate deputy attorney general — belied his importance as a strategic counselor and repository of institutional memory and ethics at the DOJ. Schools has played a critical, if behind-the-scenes, role in some of the most important and sensitive issues in the building.

Michael Cohen, the personal lawyer and longtime fixer for the president who once said he would "do anything" to protect Donald Trump, now says his "first loyalty" rests with his family.

In an interview with ABC News, Cohen acknowledged that he soon could face criminal charges in an ongoing FBI probe of his finances and business dealings. But Cohen told ABC anchor George Stephanopoulos that he respects the prosecutors and the process.

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Updated at 7:51 p.m. ET

A Justice Department watchdog on Thursday criticized former FBI Director James Comey for violating long-standing department guidelines and mishandling the Hillary Clinton email investigation in 2016.

A lawyer for fired former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe is suing the FBI, the Justice Department and its inspector general for refusing to turn over documents related to McCabe's termination.

McCabe, who worked at the FBI in various roles for more than 20 years, was dismissed only hours before his planned retirement in March, for what the Justice Department called a "lack of candor."

Prosecutors working for special counsel Robert Mueller are asking a judge to limit the kind of information a Russian company and other defendants in an ongoing criminal prosecution are able to review.

Government attorneys Rush Atkinson, Jeannie Rhee and Ryan Dickey warned in court documents that materials in the case could be "disclosed to Russian intelligence services."

In February, a grand jury in Washington, D.C., returned indictments against 13 Russians and three companies for allegedly operating an information warfare campaign that targeted the 2016 election.

Department of Justice and FBI officials are planning another secret briefing for congressional leaders about investigators' use of confidential sources in the early stages of the Russia investigation.

Officials are expected to meet early next week with the leaders of the full House and Senate and the chambers' intelligence committees — the "Gang of Eight" — a senior Justice Department official said.

The official asked not to be identified discussing the preparations for the secret briefing.

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