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.

The decorated former Navy SEAL who penned a best-selling book about the operation to kill Osama bin Laden has reached a financial settlement with the U.S. Justice Department.

Matthew Bissonnette has agreed to forfeit "all of the proceeds" he received from the book, No Easy Day, which court papers peg at $6.64 million. Bissonnette offered a formal apology for failing to submit the book for review by authorities before it was published.

U.S. Justice Department officials plan to phase out their use of private prisons to house federal inmates, reasoning that the contract facilities offer few benefits for public safety or taxpayers.

In making the decision, Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates cited new findings by the Justice Department's inspector general, who concluded earlier this month that a pool of 14 privately contracted prisons reported more incidents of inmate contraband, higher rates of assaults and more uses of force than facilities run by the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

The FBI has shared secret documents from its investigation of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton with members of Congress, fulfilling at least in part a promise the bureau's director made last month.

A spokeswoman for the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee confirmed the panel had received "a number of documents" from federal investigators Tuesday afternoon.

"Committee staff is currently reviewing the information that is classified SECRET," the spokeswoman said. "There are no further details at this time."

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is expected to receive his first briefing from the intelligence community on Wednesday in New York, a source familiar with the plan tells NPR.

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The Baltimore Police Department has disproportionately targeted African-Americans for stops and arrests, a Justice Department investigation has found. After the department took a "zero tolerance" approach to policing in the early 2000s, the report finds, the police department began engaging in a pattern and practice of discriminatory policing.

The parents of two Americans killed in Benghazi, Libya, are suing Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton for wrongful death, alleging the 2012 attack "was directly and proximately caused" by the then-secretary of state's mishandling of government secrets.

The lawsuit filed this week in federal court in Washington, D.C., argued that Islamic terrorists were able to track the movements of Ambassador Chris Stevens and plot the deadly siege because of Clinton's use of a personal email server to conduct government business.

The Department of Justice has broad-ranging powers to decide who gets prosecuted with the full weight of the federal government. And some of the rhetoric used on the campaign trail this year, especially by Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, worries some department veterans about the possibility of major political interference in law enforcement by the next administration.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The man who shot Ronald Reagan in 1981 is now set to go free.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

It can be hard to distinguish among the men wearing grey suits and regulation haircuts on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington. But David Margolis always brought a splash of color.

It wasn't his lovably disheveled wardrobe, or his Elvis ring, but something else: the force of his flamboyant personality. Margolis, a graduate of Harvard Law School, didn't want to fit in with the crowd. He wanted to stand out.

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Attorney General Loretta Lynch said she "fully expects" to endorse the recommendations of career prosecutors and FBI agents investigating the security of Hillary Clinton's email server, but stopped short of recusing herself from the politically charged case.

In an interview in Aspen, Colo., Lynch said she regrets that her unscheduled meeting with former President Bill Clinton on a Phoenix airport tarmac this week has "cast a shadow" over the investigation into his wife's email practices at the State Department.

A strange thing is uniting Democrats and Republicans in Washington: the widespread disapproval of a meeting between Attorney General Loretta Lynch and former President Bill Clinton on an airport tarmac in Arizona.

An unscheduled meeting between the U.S. attorney general and former President Bill Clinton at an airport in Phoenix on Monday could present some unwanted political problems for both.

The former president, who was waiting to depart the state, boarded Loretta Lynch's government aircraft shortly after she landed in Arizona for a community policing event. Lynch later told reporters there the conversation centered on "his grandchildren."

"It was primarily social and about our travels," including golf he played, Lynch said.

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Donald J. Trump, the Republicans' presumptive nominee for the White House, attacked his primary rival Hillary Clinton on Wednesday as "a world-class liar" who allegedly used her government power to pad her bank account and reward special interests.

"Hillary Clinton may be the most corrupt person ever to seek the presidency," Trump declared in a speech from New York, as he sought to change the subject after a string of bad news about his campaign's fundraising prowess and personnel moves by pointing the finger at Clinton's long record.

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Donald Trump has promised to speak Wednesday about, in his words, "the failed policies and bad judgment of Crooked Hillary Clinton."

The woman leading the federal government's effort to block a North Carolina law that limits the rights of transgender people knows what it's like to feel like an outsider.

Vanita Gupta, 41, is the child of immigrants who left India in search of better economic opportunity. That journey took her as a small child from a McDonald's in London where her family fled racial insults and french fries thrown by bigoted skinheads all the way to the Ivy League.

Criminal penalties for possessing the highly addictive opioid substance that authorities say killed music star Prince could soon be going up, if one senator gets her way.

David Padilla spent nearly 20 years turning himself into a model inmate in federal prison. So when Padilla got called to the warden's office last December, he said, the first thought on his mind was, "Did I do anything wrong?"

Padilla's leg started shaking. Then, he got the news he was about to be freed.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Federal investigators have interviewed top aides to Hillary Clinton about her use of a private email server, the latest advance in an ongoing investigation into whether her email practices as secretary of state may have compromised classified information, according to two people familiar with the matter.

The interviews, of close aides including Huma Abedin, have been conducted by FBI agents, lawyers from the Justice Department's National Security division and prosecutors from the U.S. Attorney's Office in Alexandria, Va.

The nation's top law enforcement officer walked past a barbed-wire fence, through passages lined with rust-colored walls, to meet with a special audience. But this was not a normal meet-and-greet — a stern-looking FBI security detail tracked her every move.

Inside the visitation room in this federal correctional institution, five men in khaki uniforms and black Crocs slippers were waiting to give Attorney General Loretta Lynch a glimpse of their struggles.

A bipartisan group of senators has unveiled a new compromise plan to overhaul the way drug criminals are punished, making one last push for legislative reform before the presidential election all but forecloses action on Capitol Hill.

At a news conference Thursday, one of the plan's biggest supporters, Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., proclaimed, "This is the best chance in a generation to reform our federal drug sentencing law."

This week, an unusual coalition of corrections officers and policy experts will come together in Washington, D.C., with one common goal in mind — to limit the use of solitary confinement for juveniles.

The campaign has enlisted some powerful voices to warn about the harms of isolation for young people.

Venida Browder lost her son twice: first to the lock-up at Rikers Island in New York, and then to suicide.

"Solitary confinement is what destroyed my son," she said.

Early this year, President Obama granted clemency to seven men with ties to Iran, part of a high-profile prisoner swap that left some in federal law enforcement circles seeing red. Among the detainees who won release were men accused of breaking export-control laws by shipping sensitive materials to Iran.

But this month, the Justice Department signaled it remains determined to bring cases over export violations, even if it takes a long while for justice.

An ongoing FBI inquiry into Hillary Clinton's private email server has dogged the Democratic presidential candidate on the campaign trail.

Federal agents want to know if any U.S. secrets were compromised through Clinton's unusual setup when she worked as secretary of state. Clinton has not been named as a target of the FBI probe. But there's a long history of top officials getting scrutiny over classified information (see below).

The Justice Department's No. 3 official, Stuart Delery, is resigning to explore options in the private sector, leaving as the highest-ranking openly gay leader in the agency's history.

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