Justice Department

Updated at 8:44 p.m. ET Thursday

Attorney General William Barr said Thursday that he doesn't believe President Trump has overstepped the boundaries between the White House and the Justice Department in a number of big recent cases.

Barr told NPR in a wide-ranging interview that he believes Trump has "supervisory authority" to oversee the effective course of justice — but Barr said that ultimately, the choices were made and carried through independently by the Justice Department.

Updated at 2:44 p.m. ET

A federal appeals court in Washington ordered a lower court judge to dismiss the case against former national security adviser Michael Flynn on Wednesday.

That ruling followed earlier arguments by Flynn's attorneys that the matter had become moot after both they and the Justice Department asked for the case to be dropped.

Updated at 7:14 p.m. ET

A current Justice Department prosecutor is planning to tell lawmakers on Wednesday that in his many years in the government, "I have never seen political influence play any role in prosecutorial decision making. With one exception: United States v. Roger Stone," according to a copy of his prepared testimony.

Updated at 3:36 p.m. ET

The Justice Department is proposing legislation to curtail online platforms' legal protections for the content they carry.

The proposal comes nearly three weeks after President Trump signed an executive order to limit protections for social media companies after Twitter began adding fact checks to some of his tweets.

U.S. Attorney General William Barr has repeatedly blamed anti-fascist activists for the violence that has erupted during demonstrations over George Floyd's death, but federal court records show no sign of so-called antifa links so far in cases brought by the Justice Department.

NPR has reviewed court documents of 51 individuals facing federal charges in connection with the unrest. As of Tuesday morning, none is alleged to have links to the antifa movement.

Activists protesting police brutality are calling on cities and states to defund their police. Funding for local law enforcement now increasingly comes from the federal government.

Federal departments ranging from the Department of Justice to the Department of Agriculture have grant programs aimed at hiring more police, equipping them and constructing new police facilities.

Some experts say that federal involvement undermines community accountability and focuses more on enforcement than minimizing harm.

Updated at 4 a.m. ET Friday

Fire ravaged the 3rd Precinct police building in Minneapolis on Thursday night as thousands of people jammed downtown streets on the third night of furious protests over the death of a black man after an encounter with police. A police spokesman said personnel at the precinct were safe.

The Trump administration failed to turn over hundreds of emails and other internal documents before going to trial over the now-blocked census citizenship question — and a federal judge says it has to pay for it.

The U.S. Supreme Court has temporarily blocked a lower court order requiring the Trump Justice Department to turn over to the House Judiciary Committee secret evidence compiled by the grand jury during the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller last year.

The withheld evidence was first requested more than a year ago, prior to the beginning of formal impeachment proceedings against President Trump and his acquittal by the Senate this past February.

A former Cleveland Clinic Foundation doctor was arrested Wednesday and appeared in court on Thursday on charges of wire fraud and making false claims to obtain millions in federal grant funding.

Updated at 6:07 p.m. ET

The Senate sought to strengthen some protections for those targeted by government surveillance on Thursday with the passage of an amended bill that now faces an uncertain outlook.

Senators voted 80-16 to reauthorize lapsed provisions of the now-notorious Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and also revise some aspects of how it can be used by the Justice Department and the FBI.

Updated at 10:30 p.m. ET

Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., is stepping aside temporarily as chairman of the Intelligence Committee amid a Justice Department investigation of his stock trades, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced Thursday.

Updated at 8:27 p.m. ET

The Justice Department is dropping its case against President Trump's first national security adviser, Michael Flynn, who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russia's then-ambassador to the United States.

The about-face by the department brings to a close the long-running case against Flynn brought by former special counsel Robert Mueller during the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Updated at 9:58 a.m. ET

Federal prisons are wrestling with the rapid spread of the coronavirus at more than two dozen facilities across the country in an outbreak that has already claimed the lives of at least seven inmates and infected almost 200 more, as well as 63 staff.

One of the hardest-hit so far is the Federal Correctional Complex in Oakdale, La., located about a three-hour drive west of New Orleans. It's home to two low-security prisons and a minimum security camp, which all told house some 2,000 inmates.

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr sold off a large amount of stocks before the coronavirus market crash, and now the Justice Department is looking into his statements around this time period, NPR can report.

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