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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12:01am

Tue June 28, 2011
Law

Human Rights Defender Now Fights For U.S. Policy

Harold Koh (left), the top lawyer at the U.S. State Department, stands with Assistant Secretary of State Michael Posner during a news conference after the United States' first review before the U.N. Human Rights Council last November.
Fabrice Coffrini AFP/Getty Images

As a young teacher fighting all the way to the Supreme Court for Haitian refugees, and later, as the dean of Yale Law School, Harold Koh became one of the country's most prominent defenders of human rights.

But as the top lawyer at the Obama State Department, Koh has been defending a lot of things that surprise his friends, including U.S. involvement in Libya without the approval of Congress.

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10:02am

Fri June 24, 2011
National Security

Lawmakers Criticize 'Fast and Furious' Operation

The scandal is widening over a U.S. law enforcement operation that lost track of guns later discovered at crime scenes on the Southwest border. The Justice Department and Republicans in Congress are trading accusations over who approved the operation. But what's getting lost in all the politics may be the larger effort to take down violent drug and gun traffickers.

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3:58am

Thu June 23, 2011
National Security

Debate: Did Obama Overstep His Authority In Libya?

The White House says it is confident President Obama has followed the law when it comes to U.S. involvement in Libya. But members of Congress and legal scholars aren't so sure. They're debating whether the president exceeded his authority by not getting approval from Congress.

Nearly 38 years ago, lawmakers passed the War Powers Resolution. Congress directed the White House to get permission within two months of starting hostilities.

But when it came to moving against Libya in April, Obama took an unusual approach. Like a lot of clever lawyers, he found an artful dodge.

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6:36pm

Wed June 22, 2011
Around the Nation

Man Linked To 2010 D.C.-Area Shootings

Federal sources say ballistics evidence ties a man arrested at Arlington National Cemetery last week to a series of mysterious shootings in the Washington, D.C., area.

Yonathan Melaku, 22, a member of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves, has been in custody since police found him wandering last week after the cemetery had closed. He was carrying a backpack he said was full of explosives. The FBI later determined the material in the backpack was inert.

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12:01am

Tue June 21, 2011
Law

'Times' Reporter To Challenge Subpoena In Leak Case

Jim Risen, a reporter for The New York Times, will ask a court Tuesday to throw out a Justice Department subpoena. Risen says he doesn't want to testify against a CIA agent accused of leaking classified information.

Risen has a history of digging for government secrets and finding pay dirt. He helped expose the government's warrantless wiretapping program. And he ventured into the shadows again to write a history of the CIA during President George W. Bush's years.

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