Philip Ewing

Philip Ewing is an election security editor with NPR's Washington Desk. He helps oversee coverage of election security, voting, disinformation, active measures and other issues. Ewing joined the Washington Desk from his previous role as NPR's national security editor, in which he helped direct coverage of the military, intelligence community, counterterrorism, veterans and more. He came to NPR in 2015 from Politico, where he was a Pentagon correspondent and defense editor. Previously, he served as managing editor of Military.com, and before that he covered the U.S. Navy for the Military Times newspapers.

Updated at 12:15 a.m. ET

The Senate shouldn't take up the vacancy on the Supreme Court opened by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg until after voters have expressed their choice in the election, former Vice President Joe Biden said Friday.

The Democratic presidential hopeful kept in lockstep with his colleagues now in the Senate minority, who wasted little time after the announcement of Ginsburg's death in stating their belief that Washington must wait.

Republicans do not agree.

President Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., already had remade the federal judiciary before the hinge of fate swung again on Friday night.

The Republican-controlled Senate has confirmed no fewer than 200 federal judges, many of them young, and each to a lifelong term, as NPR's Carrie Johnson has reported.

President Trump has revealed the names of people he'd consider nominating to the Supreme Court in the event of a vacancy like the one opened by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Former Vice President Joe Biden, Trump's Democratic challenger, hasn't.

The greatest peril posed to American elections is that the cloud of fear and uncertainty about them will cause citizens to stop believing they matter, FBI Director Christopher Wray warned Congress on Thursday.

Wray was asked in a House Homeland Security Committee hearing about his No. 1 concern as the FBI and other agencies work to quash the manifold foreign threats posed to this and future elections. He said the worst danger isn't something within the power of a foreign government.

The chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security condemned acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf's failure to appear in response to a subpoena on Thursday.

The empty chair at the House Homeland Security Committee on Thursday can't answer members' questions about the recent goings-on within the Department of Homeland Security.

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf rejected a subpoena to appear, but DHS says acting Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli was prepped in his place.

Peter Strzok omits a few important things from his new memoir, Compromised: Counterintelligence and the Threat of Donald J. Trump.

Strzok, one of the most notorious FBI officials in history, wants to rehabilitate himself. But he leaves out parts of the story about which most readers probably are most curious — including his relationship with former FBI lawyer Lisa Page.

Strzok and Page carried on an extramarital affair even as they worked at the core of some of the FBI's biggest cases.

Two secret wars are underway simultaneously over attack and defense of the 2020 presidential election. This week, each one broke into the open again.

The first war is an intelligence and national security operation aimed at protecting American election infrastructure, political campaigns and the U.S. information environment from foreign interference. The second one is a political struggle over how much Americans learn about the first.

Updated at 3:07 p.m. ET

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy backed off planned changes to the Postal Service on Tuesday that critics had worried might threaten voting by mail this year, but Democrats say they aren't satisfied and want more answers.

Michigan's Gary Peters, the ranking Democrat on the Senate committee that had scheduled a hearing with DeJoy on Friday to discuss the planned Postal Service changes, said he wants the session to go ahead and he wants to press DeJoy about what led to this flap.

Americans have the most detailed accounting they've ever received in real time about foreign efforts to interfere in a U.S. election — but, for the public at least, there are still as many questions as answers.

The U.S. intelligence community has made good on earlier promises to release some findings and assessments on foreign interference, including with a historic report last week from the nation's top boss of counterintelligence.

President Trump's allies in the Senate are set to resume a public investigation on Wednesday that aims to tie former Vice President Joe Biden with what Republicans call abuses of power.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., wants to question former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates about her actions and those of the Justice Department and FBI as President Barack Obama's era closed and Trump's began.

Updated at 7:20 p.m. ET

President Trump on Thursday mused about delaying this year's election based on unsupported conspiracy theorizing about the integrity of voting during the coronavirus disaster.

Trump used a Twitter post to repeat what has become a pet theme about what he calls the prospect of inaccuracies or fraud with mail-in voting.

Updated at 4:06 p.m. ET

Attorney General William Barr puts the founding principles of the Justice Department "more at risk than at any time in modern history," the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee charged on Tuesday.

Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., excoriated Barr because he said the attorney general sought conflict with Americans at an unprecedented scale, including via federal law enforcement crackdowns, and has created what Nadler called a special reserve of justice for the well-connected.

Updated at 9:40 a.m. ET

Four years after Russian election interference rattled and embarrassed national Democrats, the party has gone on offense over what it fears are more schemes targeting this year's presidential race.

The brazen security compromise at Twitter this week underscored the broad and lingering vulnerabilities of U.S. elections to sophisticated cyberattacks.

A number of accounts of political, technology and business figures were captured apparently from within Twitter's own systems — as opposed to via individual attacks against the end users — and the social network's response included silencing nearly all of its highest-profile users for a time.

Defense Secretary Mark Esper never received a briefing about alleged Russian practices against U.S. troops in Afghanistan that included the term "bounty," he told Congress on Thursday.

Esper said so in an answer to a carefully worded question from Rep. Mike Turner, R-Ohio, who appeared to be aware about how to cue Esper, potentially from the lawmaker's own awareness of the still-secret underlying intelligence about the Russian allegations.

"To the best of my recollection, I have not received a briefing that included the word 'bounty,' " Esper said.

Updated at 9:51 p.m. ET

Members of Congress in both parties demanded answers on Monday about reported bounties paid by Russian operatives to Afghan insurgents for targeting American troops.

The stories appeared to have taken even the most senior lawmakers off guard, and they said they wanted briefings soon from the Defense Department and the intelligence community.

Updated at 4:29 p.m. ET

Justice Department witnesses told House lawmakers on Wednesday they've observed political interference in big cases, including those involving a friend of President Trump's.

Two currently serving lawyers appeared before the House Judiciary Committee to detail their concerns, which were revealed Tuesday in written testimony they prepared ahead of time.

Updated at 2:44 p.m. ET

A federal appeals court in Washington ordered a lower court judge to dismiss the case against former national security adviser Michael Flynn on Wednesday.

That ruling followed earlier arguments by Flynn's attorneys that the matter had become moot after both they and the Justice Department asked for the case to be dropped.

Updated at 1:45 a.m. ET Friday

The picnic that is political life in Washington seldom encounters a skunk of the magnitude of John Bolton.

He was a centerpiece of the establishment, and now President Trump and Republicans have rejected him as a turncoat.

Democrats, never fond of his worldview, now despise him as never before.

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