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.

Prosecutors are negotiating a potential plea agreement with the Russian woman who was charged over the summer with being a clandestine foreign agent.

The U.S. attorney's office for Washington, D.C., said in a court filing that its lawyers are in talks with counsel for the woman, Maria Butina, who also was charged with alleged conspiracy.

Her lawyers have said she is simply a naive young woman who was "jabbering" about her efforts to influence U.S. politicians.

Updated at 12:00 p.m. ET

The U.S. government may be preparing criminal charges against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, according to suggestions in a document filed in an unrelated case.

Assange's name appeared at least twice in papers filed in the Eastern District Court of Virginia, both times appearing to say that Assange has already been made the subject of his own case.

Prosecutors in Virginia say the court document was an error.

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The Trump administration has already written the opening chapters of what could be its most enduring legacy: the makeup of the federal courts.

In partnership with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, the Trump White House has secured lifetime appointments for 29 appeals court judges and 53 district court judges. That's not to mention two Supreme Court nominees.

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Updated at 5:34 p.m. ET

Jeff Sessions, the president's earliest and most fervent supporter in Congress, resigned under pressure as attorney general on Wednesday after brutal criticism from the president, bringing an abrupt end to his controversial tenure as the nation's top law enforcement officer.

Sessions noted in his resignation letter to the president that he was stepping down "at your request."

Last week, one of the last remaining secrets from the Watergate scandal was finally revealed.

It's a report that prosecutors sent to Congress 44 years ago, but experts said the document could offer a precedent for how the Russia investigation moves forward now.

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Last year, police in Washington state were chasing a lead about an elder abuse case that quickly took a turn toward the criminal.

Mark Williams, a veteran detective for the Suquamish Police Department, said he'd learned the nickname of a potential suspect in a kidnapping of a man in his 90s who suffered from poor health — but he needed to find the suspect's real name and address.

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One of President Trump's legacies will be in the courts. The White House has nominated and a Republican-led Senate has confirmed conservative jurists to federal courts at all levels. NPR national justice correspondent Carrie Johnson takes a closer look.

Updated 4:08 p.m. ET

The former head of security for the Senate intelligence committee pleaded guilty to one count of lying to the FBI on Monday in federal court in Washington, D.C.

James Wolfe had been charged with three such counts, but he reached a plea agreement with the U.S. Attorney's office in exchange for leniency and to avoid a trial.

Wolfe was permitted to remain free until he's scheduled to return to court on Dec. 20 to be sentenced; he faces up to six months in prison.

One of the last secrets from the Watergate scandal could soon be revealed.

A federal judge in Washington has ordered the National Archives to review key documents that have remained under seal for 44 years and prepare for their release.

Those papers, known as the "road map," helped advance the impeachment effort aimed at then-President Richard Nixon.

They've been under wraps since then but scholars say they're newly relevant today as President Trump faces down a different investigation.

Updated at 9:20 a.m. ET

The Supreme Court welcomes its newest justice Tuesday as Brett Kavanaugh takes the bench for his first arguments since a contentious Senate voted narrowly to confirm him, cementing a decades-long campaign by conservatives to reshape the nation's highest court.

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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.

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."

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 4:09 p.m. ET

A federal judge has imposed a gag order in the case of accused Russian agent Maria Butina after concluding her defense lawyer "overstepped" the line in a series of news media interviews.

U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan also ordered that Butina, 29, continue to be detained pending trial after affirming the Russian woman presents a serious flight risk.

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."

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.

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.

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.

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