• February 22, 2024

Top Biden DOJ prosecutor represented Qatar and foreign banks accused of financing terrorism

 Top Biden DOJ prosecutor represented Qatar and foreign banks accused of financing terrorism

ByGabe Kaminsky

Source

The top-ranking Justice Department prosecutor in Washington, D.C., worked on behalf of Qatar and numerous foreign banks that have been accused of bankrolling terrorism, documents show.

As the U.S. attorney in the nation’s capital, Matthew Graves has come under the spotlight for supervising a sprawling investigation into the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot and faced the wrath of GOP lawmakers for allegedly refusing to partner with federal prosecutor David Weiss on charging Hunter Biden, the son of President Joe Biden, in Washington with tax crimes. But before this, Graves was a partner at the global law firm DLA Piper, where he represented controversial Qatari-based entities, including its Hamas-linked government.

These prior foreign clients are listed in financial disclosures filed by Graves with the Office of Government Ethics, along with other then-DLA Piper clients, such as the Coca-Cola Company, Nike, General Electric, and even ex-Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson. And though the disclosures were filed in 2021, the overseas clients are on the radar of GOP congressional investigators and pro-Israel lawyers, who hold that law enforcement in Washington is not doing enough to thwart violence, including in connection to recent pro-Palestinian protests after the Hamas-led Oct. 7 terrorist attack on Israel.

“Matthew Graves’s ties to the terrorist harboring state of Qatar are disqualifying,” Mike Davis, a conservative lawyer being floated in the inner circle of former President Donald Trump as a potential pick for attorney general, told the Washington Examiner. “This revelation might explain why there have yet to be any charges against the Hamas supporters who terrorized the White House.”

Meanwhile, to Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, “It is extremely concerning that a Biden DOJ official is closely connected with entities that have funded terrorism.”

“We need a full accounting of his foreign dealings, including any work he has done that has supported the barbaric Hamas terrorists,” Blackburn told the Washington Examiner. “This administration is full of Hamas sympathizers, and they must be rooted out of the federal government.”

‘Red Flags’

Graves was a partner at DLA Piper between 2016 and 2021 and spent nine years prior as an assistant U.S. attorney in Washington in the fraud and corruption section. A Pennsylvania native and Yale Law School graduate, Graves also worked from 2002 to 2007 as an associate at WilmerHale, another global law firm, and as a yearlong law clerk for ex-Washington District Judge Richard Roberts, who resigned in 2016 for purported health reasons after being accused of sexual assault.

Graves also previously disclosed in documents on file with the Senate Judiciary Committee that he was “a member of the domestic policy committee for the Biden campaign from May 2020,” an unpaid role, and also “a member of the advance team for the Clinton-Gore 1996 reelection campaign.”

It hasn’t been smooth sailing as U.S. attorney for Graves, who was the target of impeachment articles in May 2023 for “undermining the justice system of the United States by facilitating the explosion of violent crime in the Nation’s capital,” House Republicans said. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), who introduced the articles, accused Graves of “maliciously prosecuting at least 1,000 people from Jan. 6,” asserting, “The time for weaponizing justice needs to come to an end.”

Like other nominees, Graves filed a public financial disclosure report, also known as a form 278e, with the federal government in 2021. It listed his position at DLA Piper, assets and income, employment agreements, compensation, and other financial information; for instance, Graves reported that his wife, Fatima Goss Graves, pulled a salary through her CEO role at the liberal National Women’s Law Center and held more than $800,000 combined in bank and retirement accounts. Graves himself listed holding up to $5 million in an S&P 500 mutual fund through Fidelity, among other assets.

A geographic trend, however, was apparent for the clients that Graves often listed as taking $5,000 or more from in 2021: the Middle East.

The then-nominee reported as a prior client the State of Qatar, a gas-rich country that has reportedly long wired millions of dollars each month to the Hamas-run Gaza Strip, harbored top Hamas leaders, and, particularly after Oct. 7, amplified pro-Hamas messaging on the Qatari-owned Al Jazeera Media Network.

Graves also listed the Doha-based Al Jazeera Media Network as a client on the financial disclosure documents.

Republican lawmakers have recently called for Al Jazeera to have its press credentials revoked in Washington due to Hamas using it “daily to promote blood libels against Israel — and even calling for ‘Jihad’ against the United States and the West,” a letter shows. Members of Congress have also pressed the Department of Justice for answers in recent years over why AJ+, a subsidiary of Al Jazeera, has not registered as a foreign agent despite the DOJ in 2020 ordering the media network to do so, the New York Times reported.

“We’ve seen no action taken by the federal government,” Jonathan Schanzer, senior vice president at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies think tank and an ex-Treasury Department terrorism financing analyst, told the Washington Examiner. “It’s a Department of Justice responsibility.”

Qatar Foundation International LLC and the Doha-based Qatar Charity, a group partnered with the United Nations, were also listed as clients of DLA Piper on the financial disclosures filed by Graves.

Qatar Charity, which used to be named the Qatar Charitable Society, allegedly provided financial support to al Qaida and other terrorist groups, according to congressional testimony by Jamal Ahmed al Fadl, a former associate of Osama bin Laden.

Graves also disclosed that clients of DLA Piper were Bank of Palestine, the Jordan-based Arab Bank PLC, the Lebanon-based Bank of Beirut, and Byblos Bank SAL, which is also in Lebanon.

Bank of Palestine was sued by 20 families of victims of Hamas-led terrorist attacks in 2019 for allegedly transferring money to terrorists and allowing Hamas leaders to maintain bank accounts. Arab Bank PLC was found liable in 2014 for aiding Hamas, though a U.S. appeals court in 2018 threw out the Brooklyn court ruling, triggering a settlement agreement with plaintiffs.

Bank of Beirut has been accused in court of funneling cash to Hezbollah, which has allegedly used Byblos Bank SAL to make deposits, according to a report by the Washington Institute foreign policy think tank.

Viewed together, the various prior clients tell a story about the types of entities Graves has been willing to represent, according to Marc Greendorfer, president of Zachor Legal Institute, a pro-Israel think tank that investigates terrorism financing.

“It wasn’t just one or two entities that are connected to terror,” Greendorfer told the Washington Examiner. “That doesn’t happen because of random events. This guy seems to have had a speciality in representing terror-connected entities.”

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER

“That raises red flags that he should answer for,” the attorney said.

The Justice Department and DLA Piper did not return requests for comment.

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