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

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 public may soon get its first glimpse at the former National Security Agency contractor who allegedly embarked on a 20-year campaign to take home national security secrets, an effort the Justice Department calls "breathtaking in its longevity and scale."

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit


Hillary Clinton said she decided to employ a private email server "for the purpose of convenience" in early 2009 and doesn't remember "specific consultations" about using that account to conduct State Department business, the Democratic presidential nominee told lawyers in material related to a Freedom of Information Act case released Thursday.

Forgive yourself if you've never heard the name Rod Rosenstein.

The U.S. attorney in Baltimore came into public view this week for prosecuting a contractor accused of stealing National Security Agency secrets. But for most of his 11 years in office, Rosenstein has been the opposite of flashy — even as he outlasted all of his counterparts from the George W. Bush years and most of them from the Obama administration, too.

U.S. intelligence officials have identified four major cyber adversaries targeting American businesses and infrastructure, from China and North Korea to Iran. Only one — Russia — has yet to be publicly blamed by the Obama administration in a strategy that national security experts have dubbed "naming and shaming."

But after senior Democrats in Congress pointed the finger at Russia for hacking into the Democratic National Committee and trying to infiltrate the voter registration systems in nearly two dozen states, that may be about to change.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

Newly released FBI data show the number of murders in the U.S. rose nearly 11 percent last year and violent crime increased by nearly 4 percent, but crime researchers said homicides and other violence still remain at low rates compared with a crime wave from 20 years ago.

Law and order have been a major theme this year on the campaign trail. But that means very different things to the two major party presidential candidates.

With just under two months to go before the November election, we're taking a closer look at where Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump stand on issues of crime and policing.

Violent crime is likely to rise slightly this year in the nation's 30 largest cities, and murders will increase too, mostly because of problems in one place--Chicago — according to a new, preliminary analysis by the Brennan Center for Justice.

The center, a nonpartisan group that monitors developments in law and justice, said only Chicago has endured a year-over-year rise in both violent crime and homicides in 2015 and 2016. Overall, analysts said, violent crime remains near record lows.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit


Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has been calling for a criminal investigation of his political opponent Hillary Clinton on the campaign trail this year. Trump is angry the FBI probe of Clinton's email server ended with no charges.

Now, he says, an independent outsider needs to look at the Clinton Foundation.

"The Justice Department is required to appoint an independent special prosecutor because it has proven itself to be really, sadly, a political arm of the White House," Trump said in Akron, Ohio, last week.

President Obama shortened the prison sentences of 111 inmates Tuesday, including 35 people who had expected to spend the rest of their lives in federal custody, authorities told NPR.

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.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

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


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


John Hinckley Jr., 35-years after he tried to kill a president, has won his freedom.

A federal judge in Washington, D.C., has granted a request for Hinckley to leave the mental hospital where he's resided for decades, to go live full-time with his elderly mother in Williamsburg, Va.

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.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

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.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit