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U.S. Department of Justice

The announcement that the federal government will review the Columbus police department and provide technical assistance in areas such as training and recruitment is a far cry from the last time the Justice Department examined the agency and signals the city’s willingness to cooperate, analysts say.

The list of candidates in the running for Columbus' next police chief has narrowed to four, and the public will get their first chance to meet them at a virtual community town hall this week.

President Biden has asked the director of national intelligence to draw up a comprehensive threat assessment on domestic violent extremism in the country as the new administration seeks to tackle what it calls a "serious and growing national security threat."

The move is one of several the White House press secretary announced Friday to address mounting concerns about domestic extremism, particularly in the wake of the violent insurrection more than two weeks ago by Trump supporters at the U.S. Capitol.

When Ashwani Sheoran showed up for early morning shifts at pharmacies in rural Michigan wearing his white Walmart smock, he often found customers waiting, desperate for bottles of pain pills.

"I see my patients, 15 to 20, already lined up to get prescriptions filled for morphine sulfate, oxycodone and other straight narcotics," he said.

This was in 2012 when the prescription opioid epidemic was exploding, killing tens of thousands of Americans every year.

The U.S. Department of Justice will not charge any of the officers involved in the fatal shooting of Tamir Rice, a Black 12-year-old boy who was killed by police in Cleveland in 2014. The department has closed its investigation.

The Justice Department announced it found insufficient evidence to "support federal criminal charges against Cleveland Division of Police (CDP) Officers Timothy Loehmann and Frank Garmback."

Updated at 3:40 p.m. ET

The Justice Department filed a lawsuit against Walmart on Tuesday, alleging that the retail giant unlawfully dispensed controlled substances from pharmacies it operated nationwide.

marionstar.com

Federal authorities have broken up a drug trafficking operation in Marion. 

Updated at 12:17 p.m. ET

The U.S. Justice Department on Tuesday moved to assume responsibility for defending President Trump in a defamation lawsuit brought by a woman who says Trump raped her in the 1990s.

E. Jean Carroll filed suit in New York state court last year after Trump, answering reporters' questions, denied knowing her and accused her of lying. Carroll, a columnist for Elle magazine, wrote in a memoir that Trump had raped her in the dressing room of a Manhattan department store in 1995 or 1996.

The Justice Department's Office of the Inspector General has opened an investigation into allegations that DOJ personnel have improperly used force this month in Portland, Ore., as well as an inquiry into their role in responding to mass protests in Washington, D.C., since late May.

President Trump on Wednesday said his administration would "surge" federal law enforcement officials to help fight crime in Chicago and Albuquerque, N.M., as part of the Justice Department's controversial Operation Legend.

Trump accused local politicians in the cities of not doing enough to address what he says are waves of crime as the public and some politicians call for the reduction of police department budgets.

The Justice Department announced charges Tuesday against two suspected Chinese hackers who allegedly targeted U.S. companies conducting COVID-19 research, part of what the government called long-running efforts to steal American trade secrets and intellectual property.

The 11-count indictment accuses the defendants, Li Xiaoyu and Dong Jiazhi, of conducting a hacking campaign that has targeted companies, nongovernmental organizations as well as Chinese dissidents and clergy in the United States and around the world.

Updated at 11:36 a.m. ET

The Justice Department has put to death Daniel Lee, 47, marking the first federal execution since 2003, after a chaotic overnight series of court rulings.

Lee had been convicted of killing three people, including a child, as part of a broader racketeering scheme to fund a white supremacist cause. He had waited more than 20 years on federal death row in Terre Haute, Ind.

Updated at 12:30 pm ET

A federal judge in Washington has blocked federal executions scheduled for this week, citing concerns that the lethal injection protocol involved is "very likely to cause extreme pain and needless suffering."

Judge Tanya Chutkan said the last-minute ruling only hours before executions were set to resume for the first time in 17 years was "unfortunate," but she blamed the Justice Department for racing ahead before legal challenges had been fully aired.

Capital punishment is on the decline in the United States, with only 13 new death sentences and seven executions so far this year.

But the U.S. Justice Department is moving in the other direction. Authorities are preparing the death chamber in Terre Haute, Ind., for the first federal executions in 17 years, starting Monday.

Death row inmates, their spiritual advisers and even one set of victims' relatives are moving to the courts to try to stop or delay the process. They're using a novel argument: the coronavirus pandemic.

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.

After nearly two decades, the federal government will once again begin executing criminals, the Justice Department announced Monday. Four inmates convicted of murdering children are set to be put to death by lethal injection.

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.

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.

Starting in April, immigration authorities will start taking cheek swabs to collect DNA from hundreds of thousands of immigration detainees in federal custody each year.

The Trump Administration says the policy change will help law enforcement apprehend criminal suspects. The data collected will be transferred to an FBI database, so that in the future, law enforcement officials could check if these samples matched any DNA recovered from a crime scene.

More than 1,100 former Department of Justice officials are calling on Attorney General William Barr to resign after his department lowered the prison sentence recommendation for Roger Stone, a longtime ally of President Trump, in a move that's led to accusations of political interference.

Updated at 6:14 p.m. ET

Attorney General William Barr asked President Trump to stop his social media commentary on Thursday after the flap over the case involving Trump's adviser Roger Stone.

Barr told ABC News in an interview scheduled to air on Thursday evening that he wants Trump to "stop tweeting" and that the president's comments make it "impossible" to do his job as the head of federal law enforcement.

Updated at 6:56 p.m. ET

Four federal prosecutors withdrew from the Roger Stone case on Tuesday, hours after the Justice Department took the unusual step of intervening in the case to seek a shorter sentence for the longtime ally of the president.

The four prosecutors who filed their papers with the court to withdraw are Aaron Zelinsky, Jonathan Kravis, Adam Jed and Michael Marando.

Updated at 11:45 a.m. ET

A judge has blocked the U.S. government's plan to begin executing federal prisoners for the first time in nearly 20 years. U.S. District Judge Tanya S. Chutkan issued a preliminary injunction Wednesday halting four executions set to begin next month over concerns about the government's lethal injection method.

The Trump administration is making changes to the agency that operates the nation's immigration court system, a move immediately denounced by the immigration judges' union as a power grab.

Updated on July 9 at 10:08 p.m. ET

A federal judge in New York has denied a request by the Trump administration to replace its legal team in a lawsuit challenging the addition of a citizenship question to the 2020 census.

U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman called "patently deficient" the Department of Justice's effort to change out the lawyers, who have been working on the case for more than a year.

Furman is allowing two lawyers to withdraw from the lawsuit. One has left the department and the other has left the civil division.

Updated at 5:42 p.m. ET

An official says the Justice Department has been instructed to keep looking for a way to ask 2020 census responders whether they are citizens of the United States.

The Supreme Court has left in place a lower court's order to block the question for now.

After the Supreme Court declined to allow the question, tweets by President Trump had sowed confusion about whether he planned to continue the legal fight.

The Justice Department has filed a lawsuit against an Ohio developer, alleging the company ignored requirements of the the Americans With Disabilities Act and the Fair Housing Act.  

cleveland.com

Ohio's two U.S. Senators want the public to see the Robert Mueller report before drawing any conclusions. 

Federal Bureau of Investigation

Federal authorities say they've charged two people in Ohio involved in planning separate attacks, including one who wanted to carry out a shooting at a synagogue.   

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