Bobby Allyn

Bobby Allyn is a general assignment reporter for NPR.

He came to Washington from Philadelphia, where he covered criminal justice and breaking news for more than four years at member station WHYY. In that role, he focused on major corruption trials, law enforcement, and local criminal justice policy. He helped lead NPR's reporting of Bill Cosby's two criminal trials. He was a guest on Fresh Air after breaking a major story about the nation's first supervised injection site plan in Philadelphia. In between daily stories, he has worked on several investigative projects, including a story that exposed how the federal government was quietly hiring debt collection law firms to target the homes of student borrowers who had defaulted on their loans. Allyn also strayed from his beat to cover Philly parking disputes that divided in the city, the last meal at one of the city's last all-night diners, and a remembrance of the man who wrote the Mister Softee jingle on a xylophone in the basement of his Northeast Philly home.

At other points in life, Allyn has been a staff reporter at Nashville Public Radio and daily newspapers including The Oregonian in Portland and The Tennessean in Nashville. His work has also appeared in BuzzFeed News, The Washington Post, and The New York Times.

A native of Wilkes-Barre, a former mining town in Northeastern Pennsylvania, Allyn is the son of a machinist and a church organist. He's a dedicated bike commuter and long-distance runner. He is a graduate of American University in Washington.

Updated at 12:06 p.m. ET

President Trump's defense team is expecting to use only two to three hours on the Senate floor on Tuesday to finish laying out their case against impeachment, a source familiar with the legal team's thinking told NPR's Tamara Keith.

Trump's lawyers, which began their arguments Saturday, had 24 hours over three days to make their case — the same time given to the Democratic House impeachment managers who presented their arguments against the president last week.

Updated at 9:15 p.m. ET

As President Trump's legal team pressed the case for acquittal on Monday, they repeatedly made two points: the charges against Trump do not meet the constitution's criteria for impeachment. And if the president is removed from office for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, it will set a "dangerous" precedent.

"You cannot turn conduct that is not impeachable into impeachable conduct simply by using words like quid pro quo," said one of Trump's lawyers, Alan Dershowitz, calling the charges "vague, indefinable."

Updated at 9:00 p.m. ET

House Democrats on Friday finished their third and final day of arguments that President Trump, impeached by the House, now should be convicted and removed from office by the Senate.

The president's lawyers will get their turn to lay out the case for acquittal starting this weekend.

"A toxic mess"

Updated at 10:40 p.m. ET

House Democrats finished their second day of oral arguments on Thursday, contending that that President Trump's attempt to pressure Ukraine into investigations was not only an attempt to cheat in the 2020 election, but Democrats said it was also the kind of behavior the nation's founding fathers hoped to guard against.

Updated 3:30 p.m. Sunday

A quiet New England community west of Hartford, Conn., has found itself roped into the impeachment saga with the emergence of an improbable character in the ongoing Ukraine scandal: Robert Hyde.

Hyde is a 40-year-old congressional candidate and former landscaper in Simsbury, Conn., who is known for being brash, foul-mouthed and for hitching his candidacy on his fervent support for President Trump.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Updated at 6:15 p.m. ET

A federal judge in Maryland has blocked the Trump administration's executive order allowing state and local governments to turn away refugees from resettling in their communities.

Defense Secretary Mark Esper says the U.S. has the constitutional authority to strike Iranian proxies in Iraq and Iran on the Islamic Republic's home soil in retaliation for attacks on American forces.

Updated 8:38 p.m. Sunday ET

The Trump administration is planning to announce on Monday that more than 20 Saudi students receiving military training in the United States will be sent back to their home country, according to two U.S. officials familiar with the matter.

The expulsions come in the wake of a Pentagon review of the Saudi officer who opened fire last month at a naval base in Pensacola, Fla., leaving three young sailors dead and wounding eight others.

Updated at 11:50 p.m. ET Sunday

As thousands of mourners flooded the streets of Iran on Sunday to mourn the death of Gen. Qassem Soleimani, a series of dizzying developments convulsed the Middle East, generating new uncertainty around everything from the future of U.S. forces in Iraq to the battle against ISIS and the effort to quell Tehran's nuclear ambitions.

Amid the fallout of the U.S. drone strike on Friday that killed Soleimani, Sunday saw the following whiplash-inducing developments unfold almost simultaneously:

Updated at 4:27 a.m. ET Friday

U.S. forces assassinated Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani in an airstrike early Friday near the Baghdad International Airport, an escalation of tensions between Washington and Tehran that is prompting concerns of further violence in the region.

Updated 4:35 a.m. ET Monday

A man accused of stabbing and wounding five people at a rabbi's home in an Orthodox Jewish community in Rockland County, New York, just as they were lighting candles for Hanukkah, pleaded not guilty on Sunday to five counts of attempted murder.

Police have identified the alleged attacker as Grafton E. Thomas, 37, of Greenwood Lake, N.Y. He is currently in custody on attempted murder charges and one count of burglary.

President Trump has been criticized after retweeting a post to his 68 million followers on Twitter that included a name linked to the alleged whistleblower whose complaint about the president's dealings with Ukraine prompted the impeachment inquiry.

At the time of the complaint, the individual was an intelligence community official who sounded the alarm about Trump's pressure campaign with Ukraine that House Democrats cited in impeaching the president for alleged abuse of power.

The Trump campaign on Christmas Eve launched a website full of talking points intended to help supporters of the president win arguments with "that liberal snowflake relative."

Featuring videos on topics from the economy to immigration and attacks on the media, snowflakevictory.com seeks to provide pro-Trump tidbits that can be brought to the holiday dinner table.

A Roman Catholic church in rural Louisiana hoping to maximize its blessings has come up with a way to do it: filling up a crop-duster plane with holy water and letting the sanctified liquid mist an entire community.

"We can bless more area in a shorter amount of time," Rev. Matthew Barzare of St. Anne Church in Cow Island, La., told NPR.

Following this past Saturday's mass, parishioners from the church in southwestern Louisiana headed to an airstrip about five minutes away from the church.

Updated at 10:14 p.m. ET

As the U.S. House of Representatives moved closer to impeaching President Trump on Wednesday, the wide gulf between Democrats and Republicans on the allegations at the heart of the inquiry was on full display.

Sen. Susan Collins, the Maine Republican who is one of the few members of her party willing to buck President Trump, announced Wednesday she would seek reelection. Her announcement comes the same day the U.S. House of Representatives began debate on impeaching the president.

Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Fla., is among the 19 federal officials in American history who have been impeached by the House of Representatives.

Now, he wants to cast a vote to impeach No. 20: President Trump.

Anna Karina, the French New Wave actress who in the 1960s established herself as a fixture in films directed by Jean-Luc Godard, died on Saturday in Paris. She was 79.

France's culture minister confirmed the news, saying on Sunday that "her look was the look of New Wave. It will remain so forever."

Is Trump profiting off the presidency?

It's a question that has dogged President Trump since he first took office, and it is gathering momentum again, even as the impeachment saga and Trump's dealings with Ukraine dominate the headlines.

A trio of lawsuits claiming that Trump's business dealings are violating the Constitution have been ping-ponging in federal courts for months, but all three cases are now advancing to critical stages.

A panel of federal appeals judges on Monday appeared skeptical that an anti-corruption lawsuit brought by Democratic lawmakers against President Trump over his business dealings abroad would survive judicial review.

Joe Biden is dismissing calls from President Trump and his allies that Biden testify during an impeachment trial in the Senate, saying any effort to compel his testimony should be viewed as part of a strategy to distract from the president's conduct.

"No, I'm not going to let you take the eye off the ball here. Everybody knows what this is about," the former vice president told NPR when asked whether he would cooperate with a subpoena. "This is a Trump gambit he plays. Whenever he's in trouble he tries to find someone else to divert attention to."

Presidential candidate Joe Biden squared off with a voter in Iowa on Thursday, calling the man a "damn liar" after he accused Biden of helping to get his son on the board of a Ukrainian gas company in an attempt to win access with Ukraine's president.

In the testy exchange at a town hall packed with Biden supporters, the former vice president took umbrage with another accusation from the voter: that Biden is too old to run for president.

The story of the House Democrats' impeachment report has quickly become all about the phone records.

The majority Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday released a 300-page report detailing the evidence it has accumulated in its impeachment inquiry into President Trump.

Updated at 6:47 p.m. ET

A federal appeals court has ruled that two banks must comply with a request from Congress for extensive information about President Trump's finances, a win for House Democrats who have been fighting in the courts for months to obtain the president's banking records.

Trump's lawyer Jay Sekulow said in a statement that the president's legal team does not believe the subpoenas are valid.

The Justice Department says releasing secret grand jury documents from then-special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia probe to House lawmakers engaged in the impeachment inquiry could discourage future witnesses to presidential abuse from cooperating with grand juries.

Updated at 8:01 p.m. ET

As the House impeachment inquiry moves this week from the fact-gathering stage in the Intelligence Committee to considerations of law in the Judiciary Committee, the White House says President Trump does not intend to participate in a Wednesday hearing.

Updated at 12:24 a.m. ET

The U.S. Supreme Court announced Monday that it will not consider an appeal filed by convicted killer Adnan Syed, the main subject of the first season of the podcast Serial, leaving in place a state appeals court decision keeping him in prison for life.

The high court did not provide an explanation for why justices declined to hear Syed's appeal.

Syed is serving a life sentence after a jury convicted him in 2000 of strangling his former girlfriend, Hae Min Lee, whose body was found in Baltimore.

After two weeks of public hearings, the House impeachment inquiry into President Trump is approaching its next stage: lawmakers are now writing a report that could lead to articles of impeachment.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., made the rounds on Sunday television programs outlining the case for impeachment without outright saying whether Trump will be the third president in United States history to be impeached.

Updated Monday at 9:35 a.m. ET

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued a stern warning for President Trump on Sunday: Do not try to retaliate against the intelligence community official whose anonymous complaint helped spur the impeachment inquiry.

Pages