KTEP - El Paso, Texas

Carrie Johnson

Attorney General Merrick Garland on Friday said the federal government wants to create a "comprehensive" response to the scourge of gun crime that involves working more with cities and states.

"At the Justice Department, we stand shoulder to shoulder with you in the fight against violent crime and we will use every tool at our disposal to protect our communities," Garland said in remarks to the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Washington on Friday.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

State and local police are on the front lines when it comes to violent crime. But Attorney General Merrick Garland told the nation's mayors today that the federal government stands ready to help.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

The Justice Department unsealed seditious conspiracy charges against the leader of the far-right Oath Keepers group and 10 other people on Thursday, alleging they plotted to disrupt the electoral process at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 and endangered former Vice President Mike Pence.

Federal authorities arrested Oath Keepers leader Stewart Rhodes in Texas on Thursday morning and also took Edward Vallejo into custody in Arizona. The other nine people had already been accused of some crimes related to the siege on the Capitol last year.

Updated January 5, 2022 at 3:39 PM ET

Attorney General Merrick Garland pledged the Justice Department would hold to account people who broke the law in connection with the siege on the U.S. Capitol last Jan. 6, no matter their level or "whether they were present that day or were otherwise criminally responsible for the assault on democracy."

President Biden has gotten a group of 40 federal judges confirmed in the Senate this year, the most for a new president since the Reagan era — and he's prioritizing diversity among his nominees for these life-tenured posts.

Updated December 22, 2021 at 7:24 PM ET

Matthew Greene, a self-proclaimed member of the far-right group known as the Proud Boys, has pleaded guilty in federal court in Washington, D.C., to two criminal charges: conspiracy and obstruction of an official proceeding, related to the Capitol siege on Jan. 6, 2021.

Updated December 21, 2021 at 4:44 PM ET

The Justice Department has reversed course in a legal analysis, which could allow thousands of people released from prison at the start of the pandemic to remain free once the coronavirus emergency ends.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

People working to overhaul the criminal justice system say they're frustrated with the Biden administration after they've waited nearly a year for the White House to take major steps on clemency and sentencing reform.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Updated November 12, 2021 at 5:46 PM ET

Steve Bannon has been charged with contempt of Congress for defying a subpoena from the legislative committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol siege.

Bannon, who was a political adviser to then-President Donald Trump, is charged with one count for failing to appear for a deposition and another for refusing to hand over documents.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

The U.S. government is cracking down on international ransomware schemes. Today, Attorney General Merrick Garland unsealed criminal charges against two foreign-born hackers.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Federal watchdogs on the hunt for waste and fraud saved taxpayers $53 billion last year. Now they're asking Congress for more power to investigate wrongdoing within the government. NPR's Carrie Johnson reports.

Out of prison after 21 years and navigating two jobs, visits from his parole officer and a battery of drug tests, Robert Davis seemed to be doing everything right.

Davis, who works to help people leaving jail and prison reenter society, said he had looked forward to his own release from supervision last year.

Updated October 22, 2021 at 5:24 PM ET

A coalition of nearly 100 civil rights and criminal justice reform groups is protesting a Biden administration proposal that would potentially stiffen prison sentences for certain synthetic opioids, warning that it will exacerbate racial disparities already in the system.

Updated October 21, 2021 at 2:03 PM ET

Attorney General Merrick Garland deflected questions about whether the Justice Department is investigating legal violations by former President Donald Trump and about the reach of the ongoing probe into the U.S. Capitol riots on Jan. 6 at his first congressional oversight hearing since he arrived to run the Justice Department seven months ago.

Updated October 14, 2021 at 6:40 PM ET

The Justice Department has agreed to restore full law enforcement benefits and provide some attorney fees for former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, who was fired by the Trump administration only hours before his retirement three years ago.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The Justice Department is directing prosecutors to coordinate with state and local authorities in cases where federal charges won't be brought, part of a broad new push to support crime victims.

A federal judge is weighing arguments on the Justice Department's emergency request to block Texas' controversial new abortion law.

Department attorneys and lawyers for the state of Texas made their cases on Friday at a virtual hearing before Judge Robert Pitman of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas. At stake is the ability of women in the country's second-largest state to get an abortion after about six weeks of pregnancy, a time before which many people don't realize they're pregnant.

Updated September 30, 2021 at 5:55 PM ET

The Justice Department is combating a surge in counterfeit pills that can cause deadly drug overdoses, an effort that in the past two months has led to the arrest of more than 800 people, 60 search warrants and 1.8 million recovered counterfeit pills laced with enough fentanyl to kill 700,000 Americans.

"We are here to let the American people know that one pill can kill," Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco said at a news conference Thursday in Washington, D.C.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

LEILA FADEL, HOST:

The man who shot President Ronald Reagan in 1981 is on his way to full freedom.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

A federal judge has approved the unconditional release next year of John Hinckley Jr., who wounded President Ronald Reagan and three others outside a Washington, D.C., hotel in a failed assassination attempt in 1981.

Hinckley is now 66 years old and has been living outside a mental health facility for the past several years, a result of a gradual lightening of supervision. His lawyer said the "momentous event" of Hinckley's full release in June is both appropriate and required by the law.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Pages