The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) is the executive branch of the United States federal government in charge of law enforcement. It conducts investigations and brings charges in accordance with federal antitrust, civil rights, criminal, tax, and environmental laws. It is led by the U.S. attorney general. Among many other organizations, it is in charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Federal Bureau of Prisons, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Office of Justice Programs, the United States Marshals Service, and the United States National Central Bureau of Interpol.
The values Of The DOJ are the following;
- Independent and unbiased: The Justice Department strives every day to gain the confidence of the people by acting impartially and in accordance with the law at all times.
- Respect: Employees of the Justice Department encourage diversity in thought and opinion and treat everyone with justice, respect, and compassion.
- Honesty and sincerity: The Justice Department's personnel uphold the highest ethical standards because they are aware that it is our responsibility as public servants to win the confidence and trust of the people they represent.
- Excellence: The Justice Department works tirelessly to give the American people the best possible service while being a good steward of taxpayer money.
History of DOJ
The Judiciary Act of 1789, which created the office of attorney general and gave birth to the U.S. Marshals Service and U.S. Attorneys, two significant law enforcement organizations, laid the foundation for today's Department of Justice. Initially a part-time office, the attorney general is responsible for advising the president on legal issues and defending the United States in court. The attorney general is chosen by the president and confirmed by the Senate. As the job's duties increased, it was clear that more infrastructure was required. Congress established the Department of Justice in 1870, with the attorney general as its chief.
Since then, the Justice Department has expanded to include a number of different law enforcement agencies, has more than 100,000 workers, and has a budget in the tens of billions of dollars. The attorney general is the president's top legal counsel as well as the highest-ranked law enforcement official in the United States.
Primary Agencies in the Department Of Justice
U.S. Marshals Service (USMS)
The aforementioned U.S. Marshals Service and U.S. Attorneys are the Department of Justice's two oldest divisions. The U.S. Marshals Service transports inmates held by the federal government, guards witnesses who testify in court, captures wanted fugitives, and provides security for federal court personnel. The U.S. Attorneys are in charge of pursuing criminal cases brought by the US government and standing in for the US in court.
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
The Federal Bureau of Investigations, or FBI, is the Justice Department's most important law enforcement agency. The FBI was founded in 1908 as the Bureau of Investigations before changing its name to the FBI in 1935. The FBI's main responsibilities are to protect the United States from terrorist threats and to uphold the law.
Other key components within the Department include; The Bureau of Prisons (BOP), established in 1930, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), established in 1973; and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), transferred to the DOJ in 2003 are some of the notable organizations that fall under the jurisdiction of the Justice Department.
Throughout its existence, the Justice Department has been crucial in the implementation of antitrust laws, which forbid businesses from growing too big and dominating a particular industry
The Sherman Antitrust Act and the Clayton Act, two laws intended to safeguard consumers from unfair, monopolistic business practices, were passed in 1890 and 1914, respectively. The DOJ's Antitrust Division was established in 1933, but the DOJ has been actively pursuing antitrust violations ever since. There are numerous other branches of the DOJ with various specialties and roles, in addition to the few that have already been listed.
Responsibilities of The Department of Justice
The DOJ has outlined its goals in recent years: “To enforce the law and defend the interests of the United States according to the law; to ensure public safety against threats foreign and domestic; to provide federal leadership in preventing and controlling crime; to seek just punishment for those guilty of unlawful behavior; and to ensure fair and impartial administration of justice for all Americans.”
- The DOJ plays a variety of responsibilities to achieve this mission. It performs the role of a prosecutor, gathering evidence and presenting criminal and civil cases to fairly and justly uphold the law and advance public safety. DOJ trial attorneys and assistant U.S. attorneys conduct investigations and bring cases against a variety of criminal offenses, including terrorism, securities fraud, and civil rights violations, at Main Justice, the DOJ's headquarters in Washington, D.C., as well as in each of the 94 U.S. attorneys' offices. In accordance with legislation like the False Claims Act and the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act, these lawyers also conduct investigations and file civil actions. And they do this in collaboration with law enforcement officials from the DOJ and other parts of the federal government, whose mission it is to protect the safety of the American people.
- In the nation's courts, DOJ represents and defends the interests of the United States as a litigant. The DOJ represents the federal government when third parties file lawsuits to contest a law passed by Congress, a regulation passed by a federal agency, or a decision made by the federal government. From federal district courts to the U.S. Supreme Court, attorneys from the Department of Justice's Office of the Solicitor General appear on behalf of the government.
- The DOJ serves as a counselor, giving legal assistance to the executive branch organizations, the president, and other government officials. For instance, the Office of Legal Counsel at the DOJ examines each presidential executive order to make sure it complies with the law and offers legal counsel to resolve conflicts between various departments of the federal government. Additionally, the attorney general offers legal counsel on a variety of issues that the president and the National Security Council examine.
- The DOJ serves as a policymaker and administrator, advancing justice and safeguarding the public through the priorities it establishes for enforcement, the numerous federal grants worth billions of dollars it manages, and the rules and directives it provides.
AML Efforts of the DOJ
The Department's enforcement actions against money laundering and asset forfeiture are overseen by the Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section (MLARS). Assisting Departmental and interagency policymakers by creating and evaluating legislative, regulatory, and policy initiatives, MLARS provides leadership by:
- Prosecuting and coordinating sensitive, multi-district, and international money laundering and asset forfeiture investigations and cases;
- Offering legal and policy assistance and training to federal, state, and local prosecutors and law enforcement personnel, as well as to foreign governments;
- Assisting Departmental and interagency policymakers by creating and evaluating legislative, regulatory, and policy initiatives; and
- Managing the Department's Asset Forfeiture Program, which includes allocating forfeited money and assets to the proper domestic and international law enforcement organizations as well as to community groups in the United States and deciding on petitions for remission or mitigation of forfeited assets.
To further the objectives of American anti-corruption legislation, prosecutors will continue to rely on AML statutes. By including the criminal AML statutes as well as other laws that target corruption, such as the Travel Act, RICO, and bank or wire fraud, existing compliance plans and training materials can be strengthened.
- Travel Act: The DOJ could use the Travel Act as a legal tool to pursue cases of bribery and corruption in domestic and international trade. In certain instances, it also has the ability to reach commercial bribery in addition to official bribery. The Travel Act also gives the DOJ additional possible chargeable activity than the FCPA by allowing them to pursue the use of communications and travel infrastructure to carry out bribery, such as foreign or interstate travel, phone conversations, or wire transfers.