NEWS ABOUT: Department of Justice

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Thousands of Drug Offenders Get New Shot at Clemency

White House calls for 'justice, fairness, proportionality'

(Newser) - Thousands of nonviolent drug offenders now serving long sentences in federal prisons could receive clemency from President Obama under a major Department of Justice overhaul. Attorney General Eric Holder announced yesterday that "a larger field of eligible individuals" will be eligible for clemency under new guidelines and the administration... More »

Eric Holder Hospitalized for Shortness of Breath

AG resting comfortably after dizzy spell

(Newser) - The Justice Department says Attorney General Eric Holder has been taken to the hospital as a precaution after experiencing faintness and shortness of breath at work. A statement says Holder is "resting comfortably and in good condition" at a Washington hospital after feeling the symptoms during a morning meeting... More »

Lawyers to Obama: You Have 4 Options to Reform NSA

Scrapping phone-snooping program is one of them

(Newser) - President Obama asked White House lawyers last month to come up with ways to reform the National Security Administration's phone-surveillance program and they have delivered four options, insiders tell the Wall Street Journal . One option—and probably the least likely to be adopted—is scrapping the program altogether, while... More »

DOJ: Prosecutor Said 'Boys Will Be Boys' About Rape Case

Feds say it's part of a 'disturbing pattern' in Montana's Missoula County

(Newser) - The Justice Department thinks prosecutors in the Missoula County Attorney's Office in Montana take reports of sexual assaults so lightly that it "places the safety of all women in Missoula at risk," reports Mother Jones . It's not the first time DOJ has gotten involved , but the... More »

Deputy AG: NSA 'Probably' Has Congress' Call Data

Lawmakers lambaste deputy attorney general James Cole

(Newser) - Just how sweeping is the NSA's data collection? So sweeping that it likely includes members of Congress and President Obama himself, Deputy Attorney General James Cole conceded yesterday. In a contentious Judiciary Committee hearing, Darrell Issa asked Cole directly if the government collected data on numbers beginning with (202)... More »

Feds Set to Ban Profiling by Religion, Nationality

But national security loophole may stay open

(Newser) - The Justice Department is poised to ban federal agents from profiling suspects by religion, nationality, gender, and sexual orientation as well as race, reports the New York Times . Sources say Attorney General Eric Holder, who has condemned profiling in the past, revealed plans to expand the ban on racial profiling... More »

Va.'s McDonnell to Feds: Can You Indict Me Next Month?

US Attorney was ready to charge sitting governor

(Newser) - This was almost the week that, for the first time in state history, a sitting Virginia governor was indicted. US Attorney Dana Boente told Bob McDonnell last week that they were about to file charges against him and his wife related to the ongoing gifts scandal surrounding them, but McDonnell'... More »

US Forces Guilty Pleas on Drug Defendants: Group

Human Rights Watch puts spotlight on mandatory minimums

(Newser) - Defendants in federal drug cases are getting unfairly sentenced, thanks to mandatory minimums and unchecked power wielded by the Justice Department, according to a Human Rights Watch report. Prosecutors basically "force" defendants into pleading guilty with threats of lengthy sentences and stacked-up charges if the case goes to trial,... More »

JPMorgan Agrees to Record Financial Crisis Penalty

Company officially strikes $13B settlement

(Newser) - Quick, somebody #AskJPM how it feels to pay the largest civil settlement in history . JPMorgan Chase & Co. has reached a record $13 billion deal with federal and state authorities, resolving claims over the bank's sales of mortgage-backed securities that collapsed during the US housing crisis. It is the... More »

Feds to Let American, US Airways Merge

World's biggest airline will give up runway space, flights in key cities

(Newser) - The feds have agreed to allow American Airlines and US Airways to merge, a move that will create the world's biggest airline. The Justice Department agreement requires the airlines to scale back the size of the merger at Washington's Reagan National Airport and in other big cities, and... More »

Johnson & Johnson Will Pay $2.2B Over Kickbacks

It's the third-largest US settlement involving a drugmaker

(Newser) - Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiaries have agreed to pay more than $2.2 billion to resolve criminal and civil allegations of promoting three prescription drugs for off-label uses not approved by the Food and Drug Administration, the Department of Justice announced today. The allegations include paying kickbacks to physicians... More »

JPMorgan, DoJ Strike 'Tentative' $13B Deal

Doesn't exempt bank from criminal prosecution

(Newser) - JPMorgan Chase has reached a tentative $13 billion deal with the Department of Justice to settle its various civil investigations into the bank's mortgage-backed securities business, a sources tells the Wall Street Journal (and Reuters and Politico ; apparently this meeting was leakier than a rowboat made of Swiss cheese).... More »

NC Voter ID Law Runs Into Roadblock: the DOJ

Eric Holder to announce lawsuit today: source

(Newser) - North Carolina passed a controversial voter ID law in July, but if the Department of Justice has its way, the law—said to be the most sweeping of its kind in the nation—may never be enforced. The DOJ will file suit against the state today, a source tells Politico... More »

Feds: States Can Keep Their Pot Laws

Justice Department gives them official leeway

(Newser) - Despite 75 years of federal marijuana prohibition, the Justice Department said today that states can let people use the drug, license people to grow it, and even allow adults to stroll into stores and buy it. The only thing they must do is keep it away from kids, the black... More »

FBI OKed Over 5K Crimes by Informants in 1 Year

2011 report says agency approved 5,658 'otherwise illegal' activities

(Newser) - Whitey Bulger wasn't the only FBI informant whose criminal activity the agency turned a blind eye to: USA Today has its hands on the FBI's 2011 "otherwise illegal activity report," a tally it sends to the Justice Department every year reporting the number of crimes it... More »

Halliburton Admits It Destroyed BP Spill Evidence

It trashed test results related to the construction of Macondo well

(Newser) - Halliburton admits it destroyed evidence related to the construction of the notorious Macondo well that ruptured in 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico and caused the biggest oil spill in US history, reports Reuters . Eleven rig workers were killed. The company will plead guilty to the charge and pay the... More »

DoJ Fires Opening Salvo at Texas Over Voting Laws

Eric Holder wants state subjected to 'preclearance'

(Newser) - The Justice Department has made its first move since the Supreme Court struck down a key portion of the Voting Rights Act : Eric Holder said today that the department wants to require Texas to get federal permission before making any changes to voting rules . A motion asking a court to... More »

Zimmerman Not Getting His Gun Back Yet, After All

Return is on hold pending the Department of Justice's probe

(Newser) - The FBI has thrown the brakes on a plan to return George Zimmerman's gun , asking Florida authorities to hold on to all evidence until it completes its civil rights investigation . "They have an investigation they are conducting," a Sanford police official tells USA Today . "Until that... More »

Zimmerman Not Off the Hook Just Yet

He could face civil trial or a federal civil rights trial

(Newser) - When the judge in George Zimmerman's trial told him last night that he had "no further business with the court," that didn't mean he had no further business with any court. He still could face a civil trial or a federal civil rights trial in the... More »

NYT, AP Boycott Holder's Off-Record Media Powwow

Meeting 'isn't appropriate' as outlets 'aggressively covering' scandal

(Newser) - Eric Holder just wants to talk to reporters, without worrying about any pesky reporting. The attorney general has called an off-the-record meeting with the Washington bureau chiefs of several major media outlets to discuss the Justice Department's handling of leak investigations , but two of the most major—the AP... More »

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