Fact Check: Delta Force Did NOT Arrest D.C. District Attorney For Treason -- It's A Made-Up Scenario

Fact Check

  • by: Sarah Thompson
Fact Check: Delta Force Did NOT Arrest D.C. District Attorney For Treason -- It's A Made-Up Scenario Did Not Happen

Did Delta Force arrest Matthew Graves, the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, for treason on January 18, 2024, in Breckenridge, Colorado? No, that's not true: The website reporting this false claim of Graves' arrest is notorious for publishing fabricated stories and features a disclaimer that states it publishes "humor, parody, and satire" content. No verifiable documentation is supplied in support of the yarn and no credible, accountable public reporting of the claim could be found to corroborate it.

The claim originated in an article published by Real Raw News on January 20, 2024, titled "Delta Force Arrests D.C. District Attorney for TREASON" (archived here). It began:

United States Delta Force on Thursday brazenly arrested the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia in Breckenridge, Colorado, charging the odious Deep Stater with treason for unlawfully prosecuting J6ers and sentencing them to periods of incarceration, a source in General Eric M. Smith's office told Real Raw News. ...
According to a case file shown to RRN, White Hats had designs on grabbing Graves almost immediately after he brought charges against 13 protesters in late January 2021.

This is how the article appeared at the time of writing:

(Source: realrawnews.com screenshot taken on Tue Jan 23 16:45:25 2024 UTC)

Matthew Graves is the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia; he serves as both a local and federal prosecutor for the district. He was not arrested by a Delta Force detachment in Breckenridge on January 18, 2024. There is no news reporting (archived here) about anything of the like occurring in the first month of 2024.

In advance of the third anniversary of the January 6 attack on the Capitol, Graves gave a one-hour presentation (C-SPAN video here) on January 4, 2024, on the progress of the investigation. Near the closing of the presentation, at the 54:05 mark, Graves stated that nearly 900 cases had resulted in convictions, with 149 of these convictions including the assaulting, resisting or impeding officers or employees, and 41 included the use of deadly or dangerous weapons. Graves said more than 80 unidentified people are still wanted for acts of violence at the Capitol.

Lead Stories reached out by email to the U.S. Attorney's Office for comment regarding this Real Raw News claim and will update this article if we receive a reply.

The article mentioned the term "White Hats" 10 times and developed a narrative that the White Hats have been plotting to arrest Graves for the past three years.

The term White Hat, originating from early Western movie headwear tropes, is lingo commonly used to describe a hacker who uses their skills for good, in a legal and productive way. The referenced White Hats in this article are something else entirely. In a glossary of terms, the Anti Defamation League describes white hats as "government and military officials who support former President Donald Trump and Q. They are opposed by the 'black hats,' who support the Deep State." The scenario sketched out was that White Hats worked in unison with the US Army Cyber Command to surveil Graves and his online activity.

Real Raw News

Real Raw News has a long history of publishing false claims in mock news stories, many of them about convictions and executions of various public figures at Naval Station Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. For example, the site reported former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was hanged (she wasn't); former White House Chief of Staff John Podesta was executed (he wasn't); and "the military" convicted former Attorney General William Barr on charges of treason (it didn't).

The website for Real Raw News includes a disclaimer that declares the site does not stand by the contents of the stories, calling them entertainment. Specifically, it says:

Information on this website is for informational and educational and entertainment purposes. ... We have included this disclaimer for our protection, on the advice on legal counsel.

Real Raw snip.jpg

(Source: RealRawNews.com screenshot taken Tue Aug 3 16:39:48 UTC 2021)

Lead Stories has covered claims published by Real Raw News in the past. Previous Lead Stories debunks of Real Raw News items are collected here.

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  Sarah Thompson

Sarah Thompson lives with her family and pets on a small farm in Indiana. She founded a Facebook page and a blog called “Exploiting the Niche” in 2017 to help others learn about manipulative tactics and avoid scams on social media. Since then she has collaborated with journalists in the USA, Canada and Australia and since December 2019 she works as a Social Media Authenticity Analyst at Lead Stories.


Read more about or contact Sarah Thompson

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