Carrie Johnson

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Right now, a report from justice correspondent Carrie Johnson. She has been looking into why conspiracy theories continue to flourish about the murder of Martin Luther King.

Updated at 1:53 p.m. EDT

A federal judge has sentenced a Dutch lawyer to 30 days in prison and a $20,000 fine for lying to the special counsel investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Alex van der Zwann, 33, is the first person to be sentenced in the ongoing probe by special counsel Robert Mueller. His lawyer argued van der Zwann deserved leniency for eventually coming clean about the wrongdoing — but U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson was unmoved.

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A conservative group funded by billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch is turning its attention to a new front: promoting federal judges at the grass-roots level. Americans for Prosperity is willing to spend nearly $1 million to confirm judges this year. Those lifetime appointments could reshape the courts for a generation.

"The fact of the matter is that so much of what affects us in our daily lives plays out in the courtroom," said Sarah Field, the group's new vice president for judicial strategy.

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Forty years of institutional memory walked out of the Justice Department last month.

Lawyer Douglas Letter joined the DOJ in 1978. For decades, he defended controversial policies advanced by Democrats and Republicans in the executive branch.

Now, he may be suing over them.

Letter, 64, reflected on his long government service on a sunny morning last week at the Georgetown Law Center, where he will be working and teaching national security law.

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort pleaded not guilty to conspiracy, tax and bank fraud charges in an Alexandria, Va., federal courtroom Thursday afternoon.

Judge T.S. Ellis set a trial date for July 10.

Manafort faces a separate federal trial on Sept. 17 on other charges also brought by special counsel Robert Mueller's office in a Washington, D.C., case.

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