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.

Updated September 16, 2021 at 10:27 PM ET

A Washington attorney who specializes in cybersecurity issues has been indicted for allegedly lying to the FBI ahead of the 2016 election in a conversation about possible ties between Donald Trump and Russia.

Michael Sussmann, a former federal prosecutor who had worked at a law firm with longstanding links to the Democratic Party, is the second individual to be charged in special counsel John Durham's investigation into the origins of the FBI's Trump-Russia probe.

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In the fall of 2001, Aaron Zebley was a 31-year-old FBI agent in New York. He had just transferred to a criminal squad after working counterterrorism cases for years.

His first day in the new job was Sept. 11.

"I was literally cleaning the desk, I was like wiping the desk when Flight 11 hit the north tower, and it shook our building," he said. "And I was like, what the heck was that? And later that day, I was transferred back to counterterrorism."

Updated September 9, 2021 at 2:04 PM ET

President Biden has pulled David Chipman's nomination to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in the face of opposition from gun rights groups, Republican senators and a few Democrats.

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Updated July 30, 2021 at 3:32 PM ET

In a telephone call in late December, then-President Donald Trump pressured senior Justice Department officials to declare the 2020 election "corrupt" in an effort to help him and his Republican allies in Congress try to overturn the outcome, according to documents provided to a House committee.

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Updated July 19, 2021 at 5:17 PM ET

A Florida crane operator who walked onto the Senate floor during the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol has been sentenced to eight months in federal prison and two years of supervised release.

Paul Hodgkins' sentencing is the first in a felony case stemming from the deadly assault on the U.S. Capitol by a mob of Trump supporters. It is viewed as a potential bellwether for how other Capitol defendants charged with similar offenses are likely to be treated.

Updated July 16, 2021 at 12:37 PM ET

Two California men who were angry about former President Donald Trump's 2020 election loss have been indicted on charges they plotted to firebomb the Democratic Party's headquarters in Sacramento.

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An alleged member of the Oath Keepers has pleaded guilty to charges connected to the Jan. 6 breach of the U.S. Capitol and agreed to cooperate with the government in its conspiracy case against the extremist group.

Mark Grods entered a plea of guilty to one count of conspiracy and one count of obstruction of an official proceeding. According to the statement of offense, the conspiracy's aim was to stop Congress' certification of the Electoral College count.

Updated June 24, 2021 at 3:16 PM ET

A New York state court has suspended Rudy Giuliani from practicing law after concluding that he made false statements alleging rampant fraud to try to overturn former President Donald Trump's loss in the 2020 election.

Updated June 23, 2021 at 6:56 PM ET

Federal prosecutors secured their first guilty plea Wednesday in the Justice Department's sprawling conspiracy case involving the Oath Keepers extremist group in connection with the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

The Justice Department secretly subpoenaed Apple in February 2018 for account information of then-White House Counsel Don McGahn, as well as his wife, and secured a gag order barring the company from telling them about it, according to a person familiar with the matter.

It is unclear what the Justice Department was investigating or whether prosecutors actually obtained any of McGahn's account information, the individual said on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the matter.

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Attorney General Merrick Garland delivered an impassioned defense of voting rights today, and he vowed to staff up the Justice Department's legal muscle to protect access to the ballot.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

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The Biden Justice Department is forging ahead with a controversial legal effort started under former President Donald Trump to intervene on Trump's behalf in a defamation lawsuit brought against him by a writer who says Trump sexually assaulted her in the 1990s.

E. Jean Carroll leveled the accusations against Trump in her memoir published in 2019. Trump denied the allegations and accused Carroll of lying to sell books.

Don McGahn, who served as former President Donald Trump's first White House counsel and was a key witness for investigators during the Russia probe, is set to testify Friday before the House Judiciary Committee.

McGahn will sit down for a transcribed interview behind closed doors more than two years after the Democratic-led panel subpoenaed him for testimony about the Russia investigation and Trump's possible obstruction of justice.

A Florida man who stormed the U.S. Capitol and stood on the Senate floor during the Jan. 6 insurrection has become the second person to plead guilty in the federal investigation into the deadly riot.

Paul Hodgkins entered his plea during a virtual hearing Wednesday in federal court in Washington. The 38-year-old was originally facing five charges, but under a deal negotiated with prosecutors, he pleaded guilty to one count of obstructing an official proceeding.

Even in rough-and-tumble 21st-century Washington politics, the confirmation process for director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives can be brutal.

One former ATF agent once likened it to walking into a buzz saw.

Now, that same former agent, David Chipman, is President Biden's nominee to lead the ATF.

Federal agents have seized 68 lions, tigers and other big cats from the Oklahoma couple who took over an animal park featured in the Netflix documentary series Tiger King.

The Justice Department said Thursday that a jaguar and lion-tiger hybrids were also among the animals that authorities recovered from the Tiger King Park in Thackerville, Okla., over three days this month.

A former Florida politician who is a key figure in the investigation into Rep. Matt Gaetz will plead guilty to sex trafficking of a minor and other offenses and has agreed to cooperate with federal investigators.

According to a copy of a plea agreement filed in federal court Friday, Joel Greenberg will plead guilty to six charges: producing a false identification document, identity theft, wire fraud, stalking, conspiracy and sex trafficking of a minor.

An active-duty officer in the U.S. Marine Corps has been arrested and charged for allegedly assaulting police during the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol by a mob of Trump supporters.

Maj. Christopher Warnagiris was arrested Thursday in Virginia and charged with five counts, including assaulting or impeding an officer, obstruction and unlawful entry. Officials say he is believed to be the first active-duty military service member to be charged in connection with the Capitol insurrection.

A federal judge has ordered two men who are charged with conspiracy for allegedly assaulting police officers during the Capitol riot to be detained pending trial.

Updated April 29, 2021 at 12:01 AM ET

Federal investigators in Manhattan executed a search warrant Wednesday at Rudy Giuliani's apartment as part of a probe into the former New York City mayor's activities involving Ukraine, his attorney told NPR.

A federal judge on Monday ordered two alleged leaders of the far-right extremist group the Proud Boys detained pending trial on conspiracy and other charges tied to the deadly Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly found that the evidence presented so far in the case weighs in favor of jailing Ethan Nordean and Joseph Biggs ahead of their trial. Both men had been released, but the government renewed its request to have them returned to custody after they were indicted.

Updated April 16, 2021 at 1:50 PM ET

A heavy metal musician and founding member of the Oath Keepers extremist group pleaded guilty Friday to charges connected to the storming of the U.S. Capitol and agreed to cooperate with investigators — a first in the massive probe into the deadly Jan. 6 assault.

In April of 2009, a bespectacled former Army paratrooper and Yale Law School graduate took the microphone at a small rally just outside of Boston to introduce his new self-styled militia.

"I'm Stewart Rhodes," he said. "And I'm the founder of Oath Keepers."

That event on Lexington Green served as a coming-out party for Rhodes and Oath Keepers, a group that touts itself as a defender of the rights of Americans from what it views as a tyrannical government.

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Authorities investigating the attack on democracy January 6 are interested in the founder of the Oath Keepers. Stewart Rhodes started the far-right militia group. So who is he really? Here's NPR justice correspondent Ryan Lucas.

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