Matthew Graves was confirmed by the United States Senate on October 28, 2021, and sworn in on November 5, 2021, as the United States Attorney for the District of Columbia. Mr. Graves first joined the United States Attorney’s Office in 2007 as a line Assistant United States Attorney, serving with distinction in both the Superior Court and Criminal Divisions of the Office, investigating and prosecuting a wide range of criminal matters, including violent crime, drug trafficking, illegal firearms possession, and fraud cases. In 2010, he was named a senior Assistant United States Attorney within the Fraud and Public Corruption Section.
While serving in the Fraud and Public Corruption Section of the Criminal Division of the Office, Mr. Graves prosecuted financial crimes and serious breaches of the public trust, handling some of the Section’s most significant cases. In 2015, Mr. Graves assumed a leadership role in the Office, taking the helm of the Fraud and Public Corruption Section as an Acting Deputy Chief and ultimately as an Acting Chief.
Mr. Graves began his legal career serving, in 2001, as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Richard W. Roberts, then United States District Court Judge for the District of Columbia. Thereafter, he joined the Washington, D.C., office of Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering (now Wilmer Hale) where he conducted internal investigations of Fortune 500 companies; represented clients before the SEC and other regulators; and handled a variety of litigation matters, including lawsuits involving allegations of securities fraud. Prior to his nomination and commission as United States Attorney, Mr. Graves was a litigation and compliance partner in the Washington, D.C., office of DLA Piper, representing corporations and individuals in government investigations; criminal and regulatory proceedings; and civil litigation.
Mr. Graves was awarded the Bachelor of Arts degree, cum laude, from Washington & Lee University in 1998, and the Juris Doctor degree from Yale Law School in 2001.
US Attorney Office
The United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia is unique among U.S. Attorney’s Offices in the size and scope of its work. It serves as both the local and the federal prosecutor for the nation’s capital. On the local side, these prosecutions extend from misdemeanor drug possession cases to murders. On the federal side, these prosecutions extend from child pornography to gangs to financial fraud to terrorism. In both roles, the Office is committed to being responsive and accountable to the citizens of the District of Columbia. The Office also enforces the law and defends the interests of the United States in civil suits brought in the district. Its location in the seat of the federal government gives it responsibility for many cases of national importance, including far-reaching challenges to federal policies and employment practices. In all things, the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia is committed to ensuring the fair and impartial administration of justice for all Americans.
The Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Columbia is unique among the 94 United States Attorney Offices across the nation by virtue of its size and its varied responsibilities. It is the largest United States Attorney’s Office with over 330 Assistant United States Attorneys and over 330 support personnel. The size of this Office is the result of the breadth of our responsibility for criminal law enforcement and our location in the nation’s capital. We are responsible not only for the prosecution of all federal crimes, but also for the prosecution of all serious local crime committed by adults in the District of Columbia. In addition, we represent the United States and its departments and agencies in civil proceedings filed in federal court in the District of Columbia. As the principal prosecutor for all criminal offenses in this jurisdiction, and as the principal litigator for the United States in the nation’s capital, this Office offers extensive litigation experience before over 100 judges in the federal and local courts and unique opportunities for important public service. This significant responsibility of the public prosecutor was aptly described by Justice Sutherland in Berger v. United States, 295 U.S. 78, 88 (1935):
The United States Attorney is the representative not of an ordinary party to a controversy, but of a sovereignty whose obligation to govern impartially is as compelling as its obligation to govern at all; and whose interest, therefore, in a criminal prosecution is not that it shall win a case, but that justice shall be done. As such, he is in a peculiar and very definite sense the servant of the law, the twofold aim of which is that guilt shall not escape or innocence suffer. He may prosecute with earnestness and vigor — indeed, he should do so. But, while he may strike hard blows, he is not at liberty to strike foul ones. It is as much his duty to refrain from improper methods calculated to produce a wrongful conviction as it is to use every legitimate means to bring about a just one.