Author: Carrie Johnson

After Months Of Withering Criticism, Trump Prepares To Visit FBI

NPR Enlarge this image President Trump is visiting the FBI on Friday for a graduation ceremony. Yuri Gripas/AFP/Getty Images hide caption toggle caption Yuri Gripas/AFP/Getty Images President Trump is traveling to Quantico, Va., on Friday to speak with an unlikely audience: the latest graduating class at the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It’s not unusual for a president to shower love on his FBI agents and intelligence analysts. President Obama famously visited bureau headquarters a few months after he took office in 2009, donning an FBI baseball cap and sharing “the thanks of a grateful nation.” A year earlier, then-President...

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White House: Nomination of Alabama Lawyer Brett Talley 'Will Not Be Moving Forward'

NPR Enlarge this image Brett Talley stands in Holy Rood Cemetery in Washington, D.C., in 2014. Talley had been rated “unanimously unqualified” for a lifetime judicial appointment and his nomination “will not be moving forward,” according to a Trump administration official. Matt McClain/The Washington Post via Getty Images hide caption toggle caption Matt McClain/The Washington Post via Getty Images The nomination of Brett Talley, the Justice Department official in line for a lifetime judicial appointment, “will not be moving forward,” a Trump administration official told NPR on Wednesday. Talley had been rated “unanimously unqualified” for the post by the...

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Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein Supervises Mueller Probe But He’s Also A Witness

NPR Enlarge this image Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein speaks at a news conference in October at the Justice Department. Alex Wong/Getty Images hide caption toggle caption Alex Wong/Getty Images To the many mysteries swirling around the investigation of Russian election interference and the dismissal of FBI Director James Comey, add this one: why Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein continues to supervise the investigation. Rosenstein is the Justice Department official who pulled the trigger and named special counsel Robert Mueller to lead the probe in May, only days after President Trump fired his FBI director under questionable circumstances. But...

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After A Day Of Legal Shock And Awe, What’s Next For The Mueller Investigation?

NPR Enlarge this image Special counsel Robert Mueller, left, arrives at the U.S. Capitol for closed meeting with members of the Senate Judiciary Committee on June 21, 2017, in Washington, DC. Alex Wong/Getty Images hide caption toggle caption Alex Wong/Getty Images Five months into his mandate, Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller III unleashed a legal version of “shock and awe” on Monday with criminal charges against Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman and a guilty plea by a foreign policy aide. Mueller made no public comment about the charges or the next steps in an investigation that’s irritating the...

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Breaching The ‘Wall’: Is The White House Encroaching On DOJ Independence?

NPR Enlarge this image Jeff Sessions is sworn is as attorney general on Feb. 9. There are questions now about the Justice Department’s independence. Win McNamee/Getty Images hide caption toggle caption Win McNamee/Getty Images The deputy attorney general strode onto the stage last week in a seventh-floor conference room at the Justice Department to announce criminal charges against two Chinese men who used the Internet to sell deadly synthetic drugs. “These cases reflect a new and disturbing facet of the opioid crisis in America,” Rod Rosenstein, the second-in-command at Justice, told reporters who gathered for what was billed as...

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Democrats To Attorney General Sessions: Don’t Duck Our Questions

NPR Enlarge this image Attorney General Jeff Sessions speaks about immigration in Falls Church, Va., last week. Sait Serkan Gurbuz/AP hide caption toggle caption Sait Serkan Gurbuz/AP Attorney General Jeff Sessions will appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee for an oversight hearing Wednesday. There’s a lot to discuss. In eight months as the nation’s top federal law enforcement official, Sessions has presided over a series of Justice Department reversals — from police oversight and voting rights litigation to protections for the LGBT community. And then there’s the matter of his contacts with Russians during last year’s presidential campaign, where...

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Mueller Turns Up The Heat With Unusual Search Warrant In Russia Probe

NPR Special counsel Robert Mueller (left) arrives at the U.S. Capitol for a closed meeting with members of the Senate Judiciary Committee on June 21. Alex Wong/Getty Images Federal prosecutors have lots of ways to intensify pressure on the people they’re investigating, from early morning FBI raids to leaning on relatives of those under government scrutiny. But even by those measures, the special counsel investigating Russian interference in last year’s presidential election is moving with unusual speed and assertiveness, according to half a dozen legal experts following the probe. Consider disclosures that FBI agents executed a search warrant last...

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Who Is Neil Gorsuch, Trump’s First Pick For The Supreme Court?

Judge Neil Gorsuch of the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals makes a point while delivering prepared remarks before a group of attorneys last Friday at a luncheon in a legal firm in lower downtown Denver. David Zalubowski/AP President Trump has selected federal appeals court Judge Neil Gorsuch to fill a Supreme Court seat that has sat vacant for nearly a year, setting up a blockbuster confirmation hearing that could put the new White House’s domestic political agenda on trial in the U.S. Senate. The selection fulfills an early campaign promise by Trump to nominate a solidly conservative judge with a record of strictly interpreting the U.S. Constitution. Gorsuch, 49, sailed through an earlier confirmation process for a spot on the federal appeals court in Denver. Only weeks after his nomination in 2006, the Senate confirmed him by voice vote. The American Bar Association rated him as “unanimously well qualified” at the time. Gorsuch has a sterling legal pedigree. He clerked for two Supreme Court justices, Byron White and Anthony Kennedy. He also served as a clerk on the second most important appeals court in the country, in Washington D.C., for conservative Judge David Sentelle. Like Justice Antonin Scalia, whom he is in line to replace, Gorsuch has cultivated a reputation as a memorable and clear author of legal opinions. He also considers himself to be an originalist. Lawyers...

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