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.

Updated at 4:30 p.m. ET

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein remained in his job on Monday afternoon after a visit to the White House that sparked a flurry of reports suggesting he might resign or be fired.

A person close to Rosenstein said he was expecting to be fired after the New York Times story on Friday about his early tenure in office. The deputy attorney general oversees the special counsel's Russia investigation, which has made Rosenstein's job security part of the long-running political battle over the probe.

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Updated at 8:47 p.m. ET

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein denied an explosive report on Friday that said he discussed secretly recording President Trump at the White House and that he might seek to recruit members of the Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Trump.

Rosenstein called the story "inaccurate and factually incorrect."

President Trump wrote on Tuesday that he ordered the release of classified materials about the ongoing probe into Russian election interference because "really bad things were happening."

The White House said Trump is taking this action out of a desire for "transparency," but former law enforcement and intelligence officials warned the directive threatens to expose sensitive sources and methods.

Updated at 2:49 p.m. ET

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort pleaded guilty on Friday and agreed to cooperate with special counsel Robert Mueller in his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Manafort entered his guilty plea to two felony counts during an hourlong hearing in federal court in Washington, D.C. The plea took place three days before he was to face trial on charges related to his lobbying work for Ukraine and alleged witness tampering.

Updated at 8:15 p.m. ET

Donald Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort is close to reaching a plea deal that would avert a trial scheduled to start later this month in Washington, D.C.

No details were immediately available about the charges to which Manafort might plead guilty or whether he might cooperate with prosecutors, according to a person familiar with the matter. The person asked not to be identified.

The tentative deal was first reported on Thursday evening by ABC News.

Updated at 6:30 p.m. ET

The man whose case helped launch the sprawling investigation of Russian election interference that has engulfed the White House was sentenced to 14 days in prison on Friday.

George Papadopoulos, 31, pleaded guilty last year to lying to the FBI to conceal his contacts with Russians and Russian intermediaries during the presidential campaign.

A federal judge also sentenced Papadopoulos to one year of supervised release and imposed a fine of $9,500.

President Trump was asked Friday whether he thinks Attorney General Jeff Sessions should investigate The New York Times column attributed to an administration official who wrote that Trump is unfit for office.

Yes, Trump said.

"I think so," he told reporters. "It's national security. I would say Jeff should be investigating who the author of that piece was because I really believe it's national security."

Seven Senate Democrats want the Justice Department to review whether Rudy Giuliani is complying with the law mandating that American advocates must register when they're working on behalf of foreign clients.

Go right ahead, Giuliani said.

"Let them knock themselves out," the former New York mayor told NPR.

Prosecutors in Washington, D.C., have impaneled a grand jury to look into the case of former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, who was fired from the bureau after investigators found he "lacked candor."

The Justice Department's internal watchdog referred McCabe to the U.S. attorney's office to determine whether he should face criminal charges in addition to having lost his job.

Prosecutors and grand jurors are reaching that determination now.

The U.S. attorney's office said on Thursday it would not confirm or deny any investigations.

Updated at 5:37 p.m. ET

Attorney General Jeff Sessions answered needling by President Trump on Thursday with a vow that as long as he runs the Justice Department, it won't be swayed by politics.

Sessions' statement was a rare broadside in response to TV and Twitter criticism by Trump of the department, which he and supporters accuse of perpetuating a "witch hunt" in the Russia investigation and going soft on Democrats.

Updated at 2:13 p.m. ET

Court documents unsealed on Thursday reveal that a single holdout on the jury prevented Donald Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort from being convicted of all 18 charges facing him this week.

Jurors concluded that Manafort was guilty of eight counts in the case. The newly revealed jury verdict form has handwritten notes of "no consensus 11 to 1" on the other 10.

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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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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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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