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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.

Testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee, FBI Director Christopher Wray called the Jan. 6 insurrection "domestic terrorism" and defended the FBI's handling of intelligence prior to the attack.

Updated at 2:47 p.m. ET

FBI Director Christopher Wray, testifying before a Senate panel about the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, said Tuesday that "quite a number" of those arrested so far had militia or white supremacist connections and that "we have not to date seen any evidence of anarchist violence or people subscribing to antifa" involved in the assault.

Wray also told the Senate Judiciary Committee "we have not seen evidence" that fake Trump supporters were involved, as some on the right have alleged.

Updated on Feb. 27 at 9:15 a.m. ET

The FBI has singled out an individual seen on a video of the Jan. 6 insurrection spraying law enforcement officers, including a Capitol Police officer who died from injuries sustained while defending the building, according to a law enforcement official.

Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick was injured while fending off the mob of Trump supporters who attacked the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. He died the following evening from his injuries.

The Justice Department opened a federal murder investigation into his death.

Merrick Garland, President Biden's nominee for attorney general, answered questions from senators Monday. If confirmed, he would inherit a department damaged by accusations of political interference.

Updated at 2:01 p.m. ET

The U.S. Supreme Court, in a one-sentence unsigned order, declined former President Donald Trump's request to further delay the enforcement of a subpoena from the Manhattan district attorney for Trump's financial records. Monday's order paves the way for a New York grand jury to obtain the records and review them.

Updated at 11:05 a.m. ET

President Biden's pick for attorney general, Merrick Garland, vowed Monday that protecting civil rights and combating domestic terrorism would be priorities for the Justice Department under his watch.

Garland, a widely respected judge who has served for more than 20 years on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, is testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Watch the hearing live.

Updated at 2:57 p.m. ET

The Justice Department announced charges Wednesday against three North Korean hackers for allegedly conducting a series of destructive cyberattacks, computer-enabled bank thefts and cryptocurrency heists around the world.

Updated at 2 p.m. ET

Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson is suing former President Donald Trump, Rudy Giuliani and two far-right groups — the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers — for allegedly conspiring to incite the deadly violence on Jan. 6 at the U.S. Capitol.

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House impeachment managers showed chilling new footage to senators during Day 2 of Donald Trump's Senate impeachment trial, highlighting just how close the violent mob got to then-Vice President Mike Pence and congressional lawmakers on Jan. 6.

Video from the U.S. Capitol's security cameras shows members of Congress evacuating their chambers, including one clip in which Sen. Mitt Romney is warned of a nearby mob and darts the other way. In another video, a rioter is heard looking for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as the rioter paces down a hallway.

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The opening day of the Senate impeachment trial was like living through January 6 all over again. And that was the point. The Democrats, leading the push for a conviction, played a graphic video, scenes of the mob storming the U.S. Capitol building.

The Biden administration will start the transition process for Senate-confirmed U.S. attorneys as early as Tuesday, but expects to keep in place two prosecutors leading high-profile, politically sensitive investigations, a senior Justice Department official tells NPR.

The two exceptions are the U.S. attorney for Delaware, David Weiss, and the U.S. attorney for Connecticut, John Durham. The news was first reported by CNN.

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Updated at 1 p.m. ET

Lawyers for Donald Trump are rejecting the House managers' case for convicting the former president, calling it unconstitutional "political theater" and urging the Senate to dismiss the case.

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Federal prosecutors have charged more than 170 people so far in connection with the Capitol riot. The insurrection has increased pressure on the Biden administration to tackle domestic violent extremism. NPR justice correspondent Ryan Lucas reports.

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Updated at 5:57 p.m. ET

The House impeachment managers accuse Donald Trump of summoning a mob to Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6, whipping the crowd "into a frenzy" and then aiming them "like a loaded cannon" at the U.S. Capitol, pinning the blame for the deadly violence that ensued directly on the former president.

The allegations are contained in a memo delivered to the Senate that presents an outline of the case against Trump that House impeachment managers plan to present on Feb. 9 when the trial begins.

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A federal judge has handed down a one-year sentence of probation to a former FBI lawyer who pleaded guilty to doctoring an email used to get surveillance on a former Trump campaign adviser during the Russia investigation.

Kevin Clinesmith, who was also ordered to perform 400 hours of community service, told the court Friday at his sentencing hearing that he is "fully aware of the significance" of his actions and that he takes full responsibility.

"I am truly ashamed about the harms I have brought the FBI and the Justice Department through my actions," he said.

The Department of Justice has charged more than 150 people and identified hundreds more as suspects in the violent assault on the U.S. Capitol by supporters of former President Donald Trump.

"We are committed to seeing this through no matter how many people it takes, how many days it takes us or the resources we ... need to get it done," said Steven D'Antuono, the assistant director in charge of the FBI's Washington Field Office.

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President Biden has asked the director of national intelligence to draw up a comprehensive threat assessment on domestic violent extremism in the country as the new administration seeks to tackle what it calls a "serious and growing national security threat."

The move is one of several the White House press secretary announced Friday to address mounting concerns about domestic extremism, particularly in the wake of the violent insurrection more than two weeks ago by Trump supporters at the U.S. Capitol.

Christopher Wray is staying at the helm of the FBI.

Less than 24 hours after President Biden's press secretary, Jen Psaki, generated speculation about Wray's future after giving a noncommittal response when asked whether Biden had confidence in the FBI director, Psaki made clear that Wray will remain at his post.

"I caused an unintentional ripple yesterday so [I] wanted to state very clearly President Biden intends to keep FBI Director Wray on in his role and he has confidence in the job he is doing," Psaki wrote on Twitter on Thursday.

Updated at 2:30 a.m. ET

President Trump pardoned Steve Bannon, his former chief strategist who was indicted over allegedly defrauding hundreds of thousands of people in an online campaign to raise funds for a southern border wall — one of dozens of acts of clemency in the final hours of his administration.

The lengthy list of 73 pardons and 70 commutations landed after midnight. Trump left the White House for the last time Wednesday morning, skipping the inaugural ceremonies of his successor, President-elect Joe Biden.

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Law enforcement agencies across the country are trying to track down those who attacked the Capitol. NPR justice correspondent Ryan Lucas, of course, has been following this. Ryan, thanks for being with us.

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President-elect Biden formally introduced today his nominee to lead the Department of Justice.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORING)

JOE BIDEN: For attorney general of the United States, I nominate a man of impeccable integrity, Judge Merrick Garland.

Federal and state authorities scrambled to send forces to help secure the U.S. Capitol after it was overrun by pro-Trump extremists who stormed the building on Wednesday.

The FBI deployed agents from its Washington Field Office in response to a request for assistance from the U.S. Capitol Police, which is responsible for securing the Capitol complex. The FBI also said it responded to reports of "suspicious devices" and that it continues to investigate.

When John Demers came in to lead the Justice Department's national security division, the United States was grappling with the fallout from Russia's cyberattack on the 2016 election.

Now, as he and the Trump administration prepare to leave office, the U.S. is dealing with another massive hack that American officials have again pinned on Moscow.

"Well, there is a certain symmetry to all of this," Demers said in an interview with NPR as his time at the Justice Department draws to a close.

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