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.

Ask any veteran lawyer about her worst fear, and you'll hear this: the client who digs a hole for himself — and then keeps on digging.

The challenge of defending a difficult client is once again in the news this week as the Justice Department has struggled to convince federal judges that President Trump's executive order, imposing limits on travelers from six majority Muslim countries, is not, in fact, a ban on Muslims.

The FBI director has no plans to leave the post before the end of his 10-year term.

"You're stuck with me for about 6 1/2 years," James Comey said at a cyber conference in Boston on Wednesday, urging conference organizers to invite him to speak again.

In recent days, NPR and other news outlets have reported Comey pressed the Justice Department without success to issue a public denial of President Trump's tweet that the FBI and President Barack Obama wiretapped his phones at Trump Tower.

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Big news from the Justice Department late yesterday - Attorney General Jeff Sessions called a press conference to announce that he will play no role in an investigation into Russian meddling in last year's presidential election.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions pledged to devote federal resources to combat violent crime and to shore up morale across the nation's police departments, on Monday in his first on-the-record briefing as the top U.S. law enforcement officer.

Lawyers for a 17-year-old transgender student and the Gloucester, Va., school board that wants to limit which bathroom he can use don't agree on much.

But both sides have concluded the Trump administration's decision this week to revoke guidance that protects transgender students' ability to use bathrooms and locker rooms that correspond with their gender identity only heightens the need for a hearing before the nation's highest court.

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The Senate Judiciary Committee once again debated the nomination of Sen. Jeff Sessions to be attorney general. Democrats on the Republican-controlled committee raised objections to his nomination. The committee met a day after President Trump fired the acting attorney general over her refusal to defend the immigration order banning travel from seven majority Muslim countries.

The U.S. Justice Department said it has "no comment" on whether its Office of Legal Counsel has reviewed any of President Trump's executive orders, which have met with criticism this week because of vague language and possible conflicts with legal precedents.

The department's own website says:

"All executive orders and proclamations proposed to be issued by the President are reviewed by the Office of Legal Counsel for form and legality, as are various other matters that require the President's formal approval."

A newly inaugurated Donald J. Trump delivered a fiercely populist and often dark address, promising to transfer power in Washington from political elites to the people and vowing to put "America first."

Surrounded by members of Congress and the Supreme Court, the nation's 45th president repeated themes from his historic and divisive campaign message, describing children in poverty, schools in crisis and streets pocked with crime and "carnage."

Jeff Sessions donned a "Make America Great Again" cap and joined the campaign trail as one of Donald Trump's earliest supporters on Capitol Hill. But the proximity of the Alabama Republican to the president-elect has got some Democrats worried about how he'd preside at the Justice Department.

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Updated at 4 p.m. ET

The Justice Department's watchdog has launched a sweeping review of conduct by the FBI director and other department officials before the presidential election, following calls from Congress and members of the public.

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Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions is the first of President-elect Donald Trump's Cabinet nominees to get a hearing on Capitol Hill.

The Justice Department is issuing new guidance to federal agents on how to secure eyewitness identifications, an initiative designed to reflect decades of scientific research and bolster public confidence in the criminal justice system, NPR has learned.

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Two intelligence sources say the FBI agrees with the CIA assessment that Russia interfered in the U.S. election, in part to help Donald Trump, clearing up any confusion and other reporting that the agencies weren't in sync.

The entire intelligence community, in fact, is now in alignment that the hacks were partly motivated to try and install Trump as president. The FBI and others continue to say that Russia didn't actually think that was going to happen.

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His Republican colleagues on Capitol Hill are hoping to advance Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions' nomination to serve as U.S. attorney general at warp speed. Leaders at the Senate Judiciary Committee have already announced that confirmation hearings for the nation's next top law enforcement officer will begin Jan. 10, well before Donald Trump's inauguration.

But Democrats and civil rights advocates are signaling that the path for Sessions may not be as rapid, or as smooth, as Republicans would like.

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