Resource Center





The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 26,000 investigative stories — both print and broadcast.

These stories are searchable online or by contacting the Resource Center directly (573-882-3364 or where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Browse or search the tipsheet section of our library below. Stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center.




Search results for "US Department of Justice" ...

  • The Untouchables

    In the aftermath of the financial crisis, Americans demanded to know why no Wall Street banks or senior executives had faced criminal charges. Critics questioned whether, in the midst of a painful recovery, Wall Street was simply “too big to jail.” With the five-year statute of limitations approaching, FRONTLINE producer Martin Smith sought answers to these questions in the film The Untouchables: an investigation into whether the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) failed to act on evidence that Wall Street knowingly originated, packaged and sold toxic home loans that poisoned the global economy.

    Tags: Wall Street; Recession

    By Sophie Gayter



  • Hollywood Sting

    When the FBI raided the offices of California State Sen. Ronald Calderon in June 2012, the state’s news media had little idea of what was really going on. Some reporters immediately speculated that the raid was related to links Calderon had with a Southern California water district. But they were wrong. Indeed, no one knew the extraordinary story behind that FBI raid until Al Jazeera’s Investigative Unit obtained, through confidential sources, a 124-page sealed affidavit that laid out the government’s case against the embattled senator. In its series, titled “Hollywood Sting,’’ Al Jazeera’s Investigative Unit exposed the sordid tale of Sen. Calderon’s alleged bribery and corruption and brought viewers and readers inside the unfolding narrative of an elaborate FBI sting. The network devoted more than an hour of on-air coverage to the story and published its findings on Oct. 30, 2013. The story prompted a “leak’’ investigation by the U.S. Justice Department into how Al Jazeera’s Investigative Unit obtained the secret affidavit. DOJ announced the inquiry the day after we broke the story. Just last week, a special agent for DOJ’s Office of Inspector General contacted James Wedick, a former senior FBI supervisor who was interviewed for the story. The investigator sought to question Wedick about Al Jazeera correspondent Josh Bernstein’s contacts in the bureau. The investigator also contacted a lawyer representing Al Jazeera.

    Tags: Ronald Calderon; Hollywood

    By Josh Bernstein

    Al Jazeera America



    In February Michael Isikoff broke the story that a confidential white paper from the Justice Department had detailed the legality of drone strikes on American citizens. Isikoff laid out a three-part test that would make targeted killings of Americans lawful. President Obama spoke directly to the contents of the Isikoff report weeks later in a major speech to the National Defense University, defending the drone program, but promising to be more transparent. In June, NBC Chief Foreign Correspondent Richard Engel took an in-depth look into the US drone program in Pakistan. Using a set of classified documents obtained by NBC that detailed more than one hundred drone strikes in the country between 2010 and 2011, Engel was able to show NBC’s viewers that the US doesn’t often know who they are killing, how many people they are killing, and whether or not civilians are a large unintended part of their targeting. In Part II of Engel’s report, he exclusively interviewed senior airman Brandon Bryant, a drone operator, speaking out for the first time about his work over the skies of Iraq and Afghanistan. Bryant brought Engel minute-by-minute through some of the strikes he controlled from 7500 miles away in New Mexico.

    Tags: drone strikes;

    By Richard Engel; Michael Isikoff; Richard Esposito; Robert Dembo; Matthew Cole; Kevin Monahan; Carl Sears; Yael Federbush; Steve Thode; Rob Kaplan; Andy Franklin; Pat Burkey; Don Nash

    NBC News


  • Deadly Patrols

    In spring 2012, a cellphone video surfaced of a man being savagely tasered and beaten to death by a group of Border Patrol agents in San Ysidro, California, in 2010. As the video made the rounds -- through YouTube, media broadcasts and finally to members of congress -- outrage mounted. Justice for Anastasio, people demanded. A few months later, a grand jury was convened, and 14 lawmakers including two U.S. representatives from San Diego sent a letter to the Department of Justice. As Rojas’ story gained traction, we questioned: Who else is out there with a similar story? We found 14 other boys and men who have died as a result of violent altercations with Border Patrol agents. Some incidents were also caught on video. Many were not. That was the start of Deadly Patrols.

    Tags: Border control;

    By Evelyn Larrubia; Melissa Del Bosque; Joanne Faryon; Roxana Popescu; Brad Racino; Lorie Hearn

    Investigative Newsource


  • New Haven Police Brutality Investigation

    Members of New Haven’s Latino community approached NBC Connecticut with complaints about Officer Dennis O’Connell with the New Haven Police Department. Several people told us that they were being targeted by the officer, and when they encountered him, they were subjected to brutality which included beatings, verbal abuse, and in one case that we found what appeared to be repeated and potentially unnecessary use of a taser. We spoke with several of the alleged victims as a starting point for our story. From there, we embarked on a series of FOI requests that resulted in hundreds of pages of documents ranging from police reports of the alleged incidents to court settlements between the city of New Haven and alleged victims of Officer O’Connell. We spoke to an expert in criminal justice who, after reading through the police reports and reviewing Officer O’Connell’s file, determined there was a definitive and disturbing pattern. He also determined that based on the lack of disciplinary measures and retraining of the officer, NHPD was ignoring a significant problem within their ranks.

    Tags: Police;

    By Jeff Stoecker

    NBC (Connecticut)


  • Need to Know: Crossing the Line at the Border Parts 1 & 2

    Few, if any, pieces published or broadcast in 2012 had as much impact as “Crossing the Line at the Border,” a joint project of the weekly PBS newsmagazine, “Need to Know,” and the Nation Institute that was in the best tradition of American investigative journalism. Within days of its broadcast, 16 members of Congress demanded that the U.S. Justice Department investigate the killing of Anastasio Hernandez Rojas, a 42-year-old Mexican whose death at the hands of U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents was detailed in our report. A few months later, a U.S. attorney in convened a federal grand jury. It is currently considering criminal charges in the case. And months after that, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security said the incident had prompted it to launch a full-scale review of its use of force. Hernandez Rojas had a fatal heart attack shortly after being subdued by agents, beaten, and shot with a Taser gun at the San Ysidro border crossing on May 28th, 2010. His death was largely ignored until the "Need to Know” team, in partnership with the Investigative Fund of the Nation Institute, unearthed never-before-seen eyewitness video of the incident.

    Tags: U.S. Justice Department; border; killing; U.S. Customs and Border Protection; U.S. Department of Homeland Security; Taser

    By John Larson; Brian Epstein; John Carlos Frey; Judith Starr Wolff; Alexandra Nikolchev; Esther Kaplan; Irene Francis; Brenda Breslauer; Scott Davis; Stephen Segaller; Neal Shapiro

    WNET-TV (New York)


  • Locked up

    A USA TODAY investigation found that the U.S. Justice Department was using its legal authority to decide who gets locked up for how long in ways that reward the guilty and punish the innocent. Our examination found that government lawyers were trying to keep dozens of men who they conceded were “legally innocent” imprisoned anyway. We found that the Justice Department had kept accused sexual predators locked up for years past the end of their prison sentences on the basis of faulty psychological assessments. And exposed a brazen pay-to-snitch enterprise that illustrated how the government rewards its informants — often hardened criminals — with shorter prison sentences.

    Tags: U.S. Justice Department; lawyers; sexual predators; criminals; prison sentences

    By Brad Heath

    USA Today


  • RGJ: ATF/US Attorney Rift

    A months-long Reno Gazette-Journal investigation found that after Reno’s chief U.S. Attorney told local ATF agents that her office would not prosecute their cases until certain unnamed “issues” were resolved, most of the agents transferred to new jobs outside Nevada, leaving Reno vulnerable to gun violence. The investigation found that the federal prosecutors dismissed or refused more than a dozen cases involving violent criminals. The RGJ probe also revealed that dozens of people who bought guns and later failed background checks were allowed to keep the guns because the rift emptied the Reno ATF office of the very agents who are tasked with retrieving those guns. The RGJ series led to an investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice and an independent review of the dropped cases. It also sparked Congressional action.

    Tags: Department of Justice; guns; gun violence

    By Martha Bellisle; Reno Gazette

    Reno Gazette-Journal


  • Justice in the Shadows

    Although immigration is one of America’s most divisive, visceral, and hotly debated issues, the public rarely gets a close look at the vast law enforcement network that every year detains more than 400,000 suspected illegal immigrants. Courts often operate inside prisons, far from view. Immigration officials play by rules that would not be permitted for the police or the FBI. Here is a system heavily shielded from public scrutiny. Reporting even routine activities is a challenge. Boston Globe reporters Maria Sacchetti and Milton J. Valencia, however, penetrated the wall of secrecy. Their three-part series, “Justice in the Shadows,” revealed a dysfunctional and largely unaccountable system that locks up people who pose little threat while releasing dangerous criminals back to US streets because their home countries won’t take them back. The results, Sacchetti and Valencia showed, at times can be deadly for Americans and foreigners alike. The reporting was anything but quick or easy. Sacchetti and Valencia filed more than 20 Freedom of Information Act requests to federal agencies that comprise the immigration system. Nearly all of them were partially or wholly denied, purportedly to protect the privacy of the immigrants. With the federal government blocking the way, Sacchetti and Valencia found other avenues to document what was happening inside this Byzantine system, investing a year to do so. The effort to shed light on the immigration system continues: The Globe has filed a federal lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security to force the agency to reveal the names of more than 8,000 criminal foreigners released in the US because they couldn’t be deported.

    Tags: security; Department of Homeland Security; illegal immigrants; FBI

    By Reporter, Maria Sacchetti; Milton J. Valencia; Editor, Scott Allen

    Boston Globe


  • "A Crack in the Swiss Vault"

    This investigative story takes an in-depth look into offshore banking, specifically in Switzerland. Bradley Birkenfeld is an American citizen serving extensive prison time for revealing to the U.S. Government that "he and his colleagues" had been secretly helping their "American customers evade hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes" through private banking divisions in Geneva.

    Tags: taxes; tax evasion; Geneva; Switzerland; UBS; banking; investments; IRS; Department of Justice

    By Steve Kroft; Andy Court; Keith Sharman; Terry Manning

    CBS News 60 Minutes