Ryan Lucas

Ryan Lucas covers the Justice Department for NPR.

He focuses on the national security side of the Justice beat, including counterterrorism, counterintelligence and the investigations into possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia. Lucas also covers a host of other justice issues, including the Trump administration's "tough-on-crime" agenda and its fight against sanctuary city policies.

Before joining NPR, Lucas worked for a decade as a foreign correspondent for The Associated Press based in Poland, Egypt and Lebanon. In Poland, he covered the fallout from the revelations about secret CIA prisons in Eastern Europe. In the Middle East, he reported on the ouster of Hosni Mubarak in 2011 and the turmoil that followed. He also covered the Libyan civil war, the Syrian conflict and the rise of the Islamic State. He reported from Iraq during the U.S. occupation and later during the Islamic State takeover of Mosul in 2014.

He also covered intelligence and national security for Congressional Quarterly.

Lucas earned a bachelor's degree from The College of William and Mary, and a master's degree from Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland.

Updated at 7:59 p.m. ET

Jurors are set to begin deliberations in the trial of Donald Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort after prosecutors and defense attorneys delivered their closing arguments on Wednesday.

Prosecutors worked to paint Manafort, who faces 18 tax and bank fraud charges, as a man engulfed in a sea of financial lies.

Defense attorneys countered that the government has failed to make a case beyond a reasonable doubt that he broke the law.

Updated at 7 p.m. ET

Day 3 of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort's federal trial on bank and tax fraud charges began Thursday, in much the same way Wednesday ended: with prosecutors illustrating what Manafort spent his money on and, more important, the method he used to spend it.

FBI Director Christopher Wray said Wednesday that he stands by the U.S. intelligence agencies' assessment that Russia interfered in the 2016 election, and he warned that the Kremlin has not stopped trying to undermine American democracy.

"My view has not changed, which is that Russia attempted to interfere with the last election and that it continues to engage in malign influence operations to this day," Wray said. "It's a threat that we need to take extremely seriously and respond to with fierce determination and focus."

Updated at 3:28 p.m. ET

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein clashed with Republican lawmakers in a contentious House Judiciary Committee hearing on Thursday as he challenged allegations that the Justice Department is hiding information from Congress.

A senior FBI official who has come under fire for sending politically charged text messages while working on the Hillary Clinton email investigation and the Trump-Russia probe has been escorted out of the FBI building.

A judge in New York state trial court has ordered that depositions in a lawsuit against President Trump must be complete by early next year, setting up a potential showdown over whether Trump must answer questions under oath.

New York State Supreme Court Judge Jennifer Schecter set the timeline on Tuesday for evidence and other procedures in the case brought by Summer Zervos, a former contestant on Trump's reality TV show The Apprentice.

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Telecom giant AT&T made a "big mistake" in paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to President Trump's personal lawyer to seek his help as the company pursued a merger that the administration opposed, the company said Friday.

CEO Randall Stephenson said in a message to employees that although he believes everything about the relationship with Michael Cohen was legal and "entirely legitimate," it represented a "serious misjudgment."

"In this instance, our Washington D.C. team's vetting process clearly failed, and I take responsibility for that," he wrote.

Updated at 5:08 p.m. ET

The document released this week that described millions of dollars' worth of payments to Donald Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen is rife with inaccuracies and may have depended upon leaked or stolen information, attorneys for Cohen charge.

As a businessman, Donald Trump was not shy about jumping into the trenches for litigious battles large and small. In fact, he seemed to almost relish the fight.

The game has changed, however, since Trump won the White House, and his enthusiasm for such scraps may have waned as the legal challenges facing him have piled up.

It's all a distraction, Trump says, from the real work of his administration.

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The U.S. government has been holding an American citizen in Iraq without charge for more than seven months. Yesterday, a federal judge blocked the government from transferring the man against his will to a third country.

A federal judge has blocked the U.S. government from transferring to another country an American citizen who has been held without charge by the U.S. military in Iraq for more than seven months.

U.S. District Judge Tanya S. Chutkan issued the preliminary injunction Thursday evening, minutes before an 8 p.m. deadline to stop the transfer. The government had provided 72-hour notice, as required by the court, earlier this week that it planned to send the man, whose name has not been made public, to a third country.

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The FBI raids on Monday targeting President Trump's longtime personal attorney, Michael Cohen, sent a jolt through Washington and darkened the legal cloud hanging over the administration.

Trump lashed out at the Justice Department and special counsel Robert Mueller, telling reporters that "it's a disgraceful situation" and "an attack on our country."

On Tuesday, Trump zeroed in on a particular angle of the raid: the seizure of privileged communications between Cohen and his legal clients, the most prominent of whom, of course, is the president.

As a federal prosecutor in New York and Virginia, Mary Daly worked narcotics cases involving gangs and international drug traffickers. Now, she's the Justice Department's point person on the biggest drug case of all—the opioid crisis that is killing an average of 115 Americans every day.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions appointed Daly, 40, to the newly created post of opioid coordinator in February, making her the hub for the Justice Department's efforts to try to get a grip on the epidemic.

Updated at 10:09 p.m. ET

Attorney General Jeff Sessions says he is not appointing — for now — a second special counsel to investigate allegations of wrongdoing by the FBI and Justice Department, telling Republican lawmakers that he has already asked a veteran prosecutor to look into the matter.

Republicans on Capitol Hill, including the chairmen of the Senate and House judiciary committees, have ramped up their push in recent weeks for a second special counsel to investigate what they say was misconduct by the FBI and Justice Department in 2016 and 2017.

The Justice Department's internal watchdog says it will launch a review in response to allegations by Republican lawmakers that the department and the FBI abused their surveillance authorities to target a former Trump campaign adviser in the early days of the DOJ's Russia investigation.

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Updated at 12:12 p.m. ET

The Trump administration imposed new sanctions against Russia on Thursday, slapping punitive measures on 19 people and five entities over their alleged role in Moscow's interference in the 2016 election and other "destructive" cyberattacks.

Updated at 3:30 p.m. ET

As students staged a national walkout Wednesday morning over gun violence, senior federal officials sat down for a grilling from Congress over law enforcement's failure to act on tips about the suspect in last month's school shooting in Parkland, Fla.

Updated Saturday 11:10 a.m. ET

President Trump has pardoned a former Navy sailor who pleaded guilty to illegally retaining photographs he had taken of classified areas inside a nuclear submarine.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced the pardon for Kristian Saucier on Friday.

Updated at 3:05 p.m. ET

The House intelligence committee should speak with two individuals who attended a secret meeting in the Seychelles with a Russian official in January 2017, the panel's top Democrat said Thursday amid new reports about what transpired during the secret tête-à-tête.

Updated at 8:32 p.m. ET

A federal grand jury unveiled new charges on Thursday against Donald Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his business associate Rick Gates, accusing them of a broader range of financial crimes.

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Updated at 5:43 p.m. ET

After days of buildup amid a political firestorm, House Republicans released a controversial memo on Friday that alleges the FBI abused its surveillance authority to target a former foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign.

The memo also has shed more light on the broader Russia case and confirmed or advanced other aspects of the story beyond the GOP's campaign against the FBI and Department of Justice.

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Joining us now with the latest on that classified memo is NPR justice reporter Ryan Lucas. Hi, Ryan.

RYAN LUCAS, BYLINE: Hello there.

Updated at 3:34 p.m. ET

President Trump could notify Congress as soon as Friday that he endorses releasing the controversial memo that alleges the FBI and Justice Department abused their surveillance powers.

That would set the stage for it to become public, perhaps that afternoon, although the procedure is unclear.

Democrats went on the attack Thursday trying to stop the process and even to get rid of the man who has driven it, Trump ally Devin Nunes, the Republican chairman of the House intelligence committee.

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