Ryan Lucas

Ryan Lucas covers the Justice Department for NPR.

He focuses on the national security side of the Justice beat, including counterterrorism and counterintelligence. Lucas also covers a host of other justice issues, including the Trump administration's "tough-on-crime" agenda and anti-trust enforcement.

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.

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Well, Democrats already thought they had plenty to grill William Barr about today when he comes to testify before Congress.

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Updated at 11:47 a.m. ET

A Russian woman who plotted to infiltrate conservative political circles and open back channel lines of communication as part of an unofficial influence campaign was sentenced to 18 months in prison on Friday.

Maria Butina pleaded guilty in December to one count of conspiracy to act as a Russian agent in the U.S. without registering with the Justice Department. She faced up to five years in prison.

Members of Congress and the public can finally read what special counsel Robert Mueller and his team of investigators found in their 22-month probe into Russia's interference in the 2016 presidential election.

There is a catch, however: Readers cannot see every word, sentence and paragraph in the massive document.

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Updated April 3 at 9:33 a.m. ET

A woman carrying two Republic of China passports has been charged after allegedly lying to Secret Service agents to gain access to President Trump's private Mar-a-Lago club while he was there last weekend.

The woman, Yujing Zhang, has been charged with making false statements and illegally entering a restricted area.

Information about her case appeared in a criminal complaint that became public on Tuesday.

President Trump's onetime campaign chairman Paul Manafort is due back in federal court on Wednesday for sentencing in his criminal case in Washington, D.C.

The hearing in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia comes less than a week after Manafort was sentenced to just under four years in prison in a federal case in Virginia.

Seven months ago, a jury convicted President Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, in a bank and tax fraud trial that grabbed the national spotlight.

On Thursday, a federal judge is scheduled to sentence Manafort for those crimes.

Manafort was found guilty on two counts of bank fraud, five counts of tax fraud and one count of failing to declare a foreign bank account. The jury did not reach a unanimous decision on 10 other charges.

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In his books and speeches, President Trump has often promoted the power of walking away from a deal. And that is what he did in Vietnam today, ending a summit early with the leader of North Korea.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

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And that is where we will pick up with NPR justice reporter Ryan Lucas, who has been following every twist and turn of this testimony today. Hey, Ryan.

RYAN LUCAS, BYLINE: Hi there.

Michael Cohen intends to give Congress an account of what he calls President Trump's "lies, racism and cheating" — including lawbreaking since Trump took office, a person familiar with his plans said on Tuesday.

Updated at 6:34 p.m. ET

A federal judge on Thursday barred Roger Stone from talking publicly about his case after an inflammatory photo was posted on his Instagram account of the judge that included what appeared to be a crosshairs.

Judge Amy Berman Jackson rejected apologies offered by Stone, both in writing and in person at a hearing in Washington, D.C. If Stone violates the order, Jackson warned him, she would be "compelled to adjust your environment."

Updated at 1:38 p.m. ET

A former U.S. Air Force counterintelligence specialist who defected to Iran has been charged with providing classified information to the Islamic Republic, according to an indictment unsealed Wednesday by the Justice Department.

Monica Witt, who was born and raised in Texas, allegedly provided Iranian security officials with the code name and classified mission of a U.S. Defense Department special access program.

In May 2014, then-Attorney General Eric Holder announced charges against five members of the Chinese military.

They'd allegedly hacked the computer networks of American companies and stolen everything from intellectual property and trade secrets to the firms' litigation strategies.

Updated at 5:38 p.m. ET

The Justice Department unsealed criminal charges against China's most important telecommunications company on Monday, in a deepening of the ongoing geopolitical chill across the Pacific Ocean.

Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker said Huawei has been indicted on 13 criminal counts and that he is requesting that Canada extradite its chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, who was arrested in Vancouver on Dec. 1 on a U.S. warrant.

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A Russian lawyer who met with senior Trump campaign officials at Trump Tower in the summer of 2016 has been charged with obstruction of justice tied to a money laundering case in New York.

Federal prosecutors in Manhattan announced the single criminal count against the attorney, Natalia Veselnitskaya, on Tuesday. The allegation in the indictment suggests she has close ties to the Russian government — something she has previously denied in the context of the special counsel's Russia investigation.

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Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein continues to oversee special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation even though acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker has decided not to recuse himself, the Justice Department says.

President Trump tapped Whitaker, who had been serving as then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions' chief of staff, to lead the Justice Department on an interim basis after Sessions stepped down under pressure from the White House.

Updated at 2:30 p.m. ET

The Justice Department announced charges Thursday against two alleged hackers suspected of working on the orders of the Chinese government as part what the U.S. alleges is a long-running effort to steal American intellectual property.

The charges were part of a broader move by the Trump administration to push back against what U.S. officials describe as China's relentless drive to steal American business secrets.

The Trump administration is banning bump stocks, the firearm attachment that allows a semiautomatic weapon to shoot almost as fast as a machine gun.

The devices, also known as slide fires, came under intense scrutiny after they were used by the gunman who opened fire on a country music concert in Las Vegas last year, killing 58 people.

The massacre touched off a public outcry, including from some lawmakers, for the accessories to be banned.

Two new reports produced for Senate investigators say that Russian influence efforts infected every major social media platform, extensively targeted African-Americans and amounted to what researchers called a "propaganda war against American citizens."

Updated at 4:13 p.m. ET

A federal judge sentenced Donald Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen to three years in prison on Wednesday following Cohen's guilty pleas to a number of political and finance crimes.

Those three years would be followed by three years of supervised release, and Cohen also is subject to forfeiture of $500,000, restitution of $1.4 million and fines totaling $100,000.

Cohen had asked for leniency. He said in court, however, that he accepts responsibility for his actions.

Updated at 8:51 p.m. ET

Federal prosecutors have requested a "substantial term of imprisonment" for Donald Trump's former personal lawyer Michael Cohen but asked that a judge consider his cooperation with the special counsel's Russia probe and other investigations in his sentencing.

Updated at 1:33 p.m. ET

President Trump said Friday that he intends to nominate William Barr, a prominent Republican lawyer and former attorney general, to return and lead the Justice Department.

Barr, who served as George H.W. Bush's attorney general from 1991 to 1993, holds sweeping views of executive power and hard-line positions on criminal justice issues.

"He was my first choice from Day 1," Trump told reporters outside the White House. "I think he will serve with great distinction."

Friday is shaping up as a busy day in the Justice Department's Russia investigation.

Special counsel Robert Mueller faces deadlines in two federal courts in cases involving two former Trump insiders, a former FBI director treks up to Capitol Hill for a closed-door interview, and a onetime Trump campaign adviser gets out of prison.

Here's a quick breakdown of what's on tap for the day:

Mueller's office to detail Paul Manafort's alleged lies

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We'll continue our coverage of the death of President George H.W. Bush. But now some of the news of the week. Cooperation deals came together and fell apart - spectacularly so - in special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation.

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How does our understanding of the 2016 election change now that we know more of the truth?

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For many Americans, "impeachment" could become the term du jour if Democrats take control of the House in next week's midterm election. But party leaders say they want to focus on a different I-word: investigations.

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and her lieutenants say they want to embrace the significant oversight powers that Democrats would gain in the majority.

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It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Noel King in Washington, D.C.

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