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.

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Updated at 8:15 p.m. ET

Donald Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort is close to reaching a plea deal that would avert a trial scheduled to start later this month in Washington, D.C.

No details were immediately available about the charges to which Manafort might plead guilty or whether he might cooperate with prosecutors, according to a person familiar with the matter. The person asked not to be identified.

The tentative deal was first reported on Thursday evening by ABC News.

Updated at 6:09 p.m. ET

The Justice Department announced charges Thursday against a North Korean man in connection with a series of infamous cyberattacks, including the 2014 hack of Sony Pictures Entertainment and the WannaCry ransomware that paralyzed computers across the globe.

Park Jin Hyok was part of a hacking group that conducted some of the most destructive recent online attacks in the world, according to a criminal complaint unsealed Thursday.

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Updated at 2:04 p.m. ET

A U.S. political lobbyist with links to Paul Manafort pleaded guilty Friday to violating foreign lobbying laws for work he did on behalf of a Ukrainian political party.

W. Samuel Patten appeared in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia where he entered a guilty plea to one count of failing to register as a foreign agent. He has agreed to cooperate with prosecutors, who can request a reduced sentenced for Patten.

No sentencing date has been set.

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Lawyers, politicians, anyone reading about what has transpired in the last 24 hours is trying to figure out what it means for President Trump. The White House today through Sarah Sanders says it doesn't mean anything.

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Updated at 7:03 p.m. ET

Michael Cohen, President Trump's former personal lawyer and fixer, has pleaded guilty to eight counts in federal court in New York, federal prosecutors announced Tuesday evening.

They include five counts of tax evasion, one count of falsifying submissions to a bank and two counts involving unlawful campaign contributions.

Updated at 6:26 p.m. ET

A federal jury on Tuesday found Donald Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, guilty on eight of the 18 charges he faced in his tax and bank fraud trial.

The verdict delivered a painful fall from grace for a top political operative who has advised presidents from Gerald Ford to Donald Trump and a shot in the arm to an investigation derided by President Trump as a "witch hunt."

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.

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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.

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We are following a number of stories unfolding today here in Washington. There's the recent release of previously classified documents related to the surveillance of a former Trump campaign adviser.

As a member of Congress, Dan Coats liked to get his name in the paper. Now that he's the country's top intelligence official, Coats said he prefers to stay out of the headlines.

But the director of national intelligence, who oversees the United States' sprawling spy agencies, has been front and center in the past week as he has pushed back against President Trump over Russia's interference in American elections.

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.

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Women are underrepresented in senior leadership within federal law enforcement agencies and many say they've experienced discrimination, according to a report released Tuesday by the Justice Department's internal watchdog.

The report from Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz examines gender equity at the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the U.S. Marshals Service and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. It also looks as perceptions of discrimination based on sex.

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.

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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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Let's bring in NPR's Ryan Lucas, who covers the Justice Department and has been listening in there. Hey, Ryan.

RYAN LUCAS, BYLINE: Hello there.

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