Carrie Johnson

Carrie Johnson covers the Justice Department for NPR.

She has spent the last decade and a half chronicling legal affairs in the nation's capital and beyond. Johnson worked at the Washington Post from 2000 to 2010, when 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.

Johnson's work has won 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. She lives in Washington but always is planning her next exotic trip.

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9:55am

Fri March 30, 2012
The Two-Way

FBI's Outgoing Cyber Cop Says Americans Don't See Size Of Threat

Originally published on Fri March 30, 2012 11:17 am

Outgoing FBI Executive Assistant Director Shawn Henry.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

The FBI's top cyber cop retires today after nearly a quarter century in federal law enforcement.

Shawn Henry started looking into computer issues in the run up to Y2K (the arrival of the year 2000). He says that experience left him hungry to learn more about the way electronics were changing the way we live — and the way criminals operate.The movement of so much sensitive information online poses an "existential threat," according to Henry.

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3:10pm

Wed March 28, 2012
It's All Politics

Supreme Court Limits Damage Payments To Whistle-Blowers

Originally published on Fri March 30, 2012 12:14 pm

Under Wednesday's Supreme Court ruling, whistle-blowers like Linda Tripp (seen here in 1998) have few options in suing the government for damages.
Mark Wilson Reuters/Landov

The Supreme Court has dealt privacy advocates a huge setback. By a 5-3 majority, the court ruled that people who sue the government for invading their privacy can only recover out-of-pocket damages. And whistle-blower lawyers say that leaves victims who suffer emotional trouble and smeared reputations with few if any options.

Justice Samuel Alito and all four of his conservative colleagues turned back a challenge from a pilot named Stan Cooper. (Justice Elena Kagan did not participate in the case.)

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2:15pm

Wed March 28, 2012
The Two-Way

Prosecutor Says A Desire To Win Led To Misconduct In Sen. Stevens' Case

Originally published on Wed March 28, 2012 2:26 pm

Special federal prosecutor Henry F. Schuelke testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington on Wednesday.
Haraz N. Ghanbari AP

A special prosecutor who spent two years exploring Justice Department misconduct in the botched case against late Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) said "contest living" — the desire to win a big case — explained the failure to follow the rules in one of the biggest political corruption prosecutions in decades.

"[Lawyers] do not want to have to undermine our case if it can possibly be avoided," investigator Hank Schuelke told the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday. "That motive to win the case was the principal operative motive."

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7:50am

Tue March 27, 2012
The Two-Way

Justice Department's Handling Of Sen. Stevens Case To Be Aired On Capitol Hill

Originally published on Tue March 27, 2012 7:54 am

Former Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, in 2008.
Alex Wong Getty Images

The Justice Department's 'systematic concealment" of evidence that might have helped the late Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, defend himself in a corruption case will get a fresh airing Wednesday, when special prosecutor Henry Schuelke offers Senate testimony about his blistering 500-page report.

He's due to be before the Senate Judiciary Committee at 10 a.m. ET.

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7:47am

Wed March 21, 2012
U.S.

Was Trayvon Martin's Killing A Federal Hate Crime?

A memorial to 17-year-old Trayvon Martin outside the community in Sanford, Fla., where the teen was shot.
Roberto Gonzalez Getty Images

Civil rights groups cheered the news that the Justice Department would look into the case of Trayvon Martin, the unarmed black teen shot by a man on neighborhood watch in Sanford, Fla.

But the bar for the Justice Department to make a federal case is high. Ultimately, it has few options at its disposal when it comes to investigating the teen's death.

Former prosecutors say one key tool passed early in the Obama administration might apply in this case: the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act.

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