United States Attorney for the District of Columbia

United States Attorney for the District of Columbia
Matthew M. Graves
since November 5, 2021
United States Department of Justice
Reports toThe Attorney General
AppointerThe President
with Senate advice and consent

The United States attorney for the District of Columbia (USADC) is responsible for representing the federal government in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. The U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia has two divisions, the Civil Division and the Criminal Division. The Civil Division is responsible for representing federal agencies in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia and in appeals before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

Unlike the states, District of Columbia is under the exclusive jurisdiction of the U.S. Congress. By statute, the U.S. attorney is responsible for prosecuting both federal crimes and all serious crimes committed by adults in the District of Columbia. Therefore, the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia serves as both the federal prosecutor (as in the other 92 U.S. attorneys' offices) and as the local district attorney. The attorney general of the District of Columbia, who is elected by the people of the district, handles local civil litigation and minor infractions, comparable with a city attorney.

Because its jurisdiction covers the precincts of the United States Congress and the headquarters of several U.S. government agencies, the USADC is considered one of the most influential U.S. attorneys in the United States, along with the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York. Appointment to the role is considered a significant career achievement for prosecutors.

List of U.S. attorneys for the District of Columbia[edit]


  1. ^ "District of Columbia Superior Court bio of Ramsey Johnson" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2017-02-28. Retrieved 2017-06-16.
  2. ^ Female Assistant Is Named Interim Prosecutor for D.C., The Washington Post, July 19, 1997
  3. ^ Wilma A. Lewis ’81 nominated to be assistant secretary for Land and Mineral Management, Harvard Law Today, May 12, 2009
  4. ^ United States Attorney Taylor announces resignation
  5. ^ Taylor Withdraws US Attorney Confirmation Bid after Losing Norton Support
  6. ^ Acting United States Attorney Vincent H. Cohen, Jr. to Step Down