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Matt Ford

Matt Ford writes for and produces The Atlantic's Global channel.
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Federal Court Blocks Trump's Crackdown on Sanctuary Cities

September 17, 2017 A federal judge in Illinois blocked the Justice Department from denying grant money to sanctuary cities on Friday, handing the Trump administration another defeat in its efforts to crack down on jurisdictions that oppose federal immigration policy. Judge Harry D. Leinenweber issued a preliminary injunction to block the policy change...

The Bruising Experience of Testifying Before a Grand Jury

September 13, 2017 For most Americans, the grand jury is a mystery. Television series like Law & Order and films like Twelve Angry Men have branded regular jury trials onto the national cultural psyche: Many Americans could easily describe what the courtroom setup looks like, and the role each participant typically plays. Not...

The Senate Overwhelmingly Confirms Christopher Wray as FBI Director

August 2, 2017 President Trump’s sudden ouster of FBI Director James Comey in May set off a legal and political conflagration that eventually led to the appointment of a special counsel. The confirmation process for Christopher Wray, Trump’s chosen replacement for Comey, could not have been less controversial by comparison. The Senate voted...

Trump Trains His Sights on Mueller's Investigation

July 21, 2017 President Trump is exploring steps to curtail Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s criminal investigation into the president’s campaign and business dealings, inching the country closer to uncharted constitutional waters. The New York Times reported Thursday that Trump’s private legal team is scouring the backgrounds of Mueller and his prosecutors for potential...

Why Trump Probably Hasn't Spooked the Justice Department

July 21, 2017 President Trump’s extraordinary broadside this week against Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Special Counsel Robert Mueller raised eyebrows across the nation’s capital. But it’s unclear whether it will affect how either man performs his day-to-day job. The president expressed frustration with both men, as well as with other top federal...

Trump Criticizes Sessions Over Russia Recusal

July 20, 2017 President Trump strongly criticized Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the upper ranks of the Justice Department on Wednesday, telling The New York Times he would never have chosen Jeff Sessions as attorney general if he knew Sessions was going to recuse himself from the Russia investigation. The president delivered the...

The Bipartisan Opposition to Sessions's New Civil-Forfeiture Rules

July 20, 2017 Attorney General Jeff Sessions rolled back a series of Obama-era curbs on civil-asset forfeiture on Wednesday, strengthening the federal government’s power to seize cash and property from Americans without first bringing criminal charges against them. In a statement announcing the Justice Department’s new policy directive, Sessions described civil forfeiture as...

Did Donald Trump Jr. Break the Law?

July 12, 2017 With the disclosure of a June 2016 email in which he welcomed direct assistance from the Russian government to help his father’s campaign, Donald Trump Jr. leapt Tuesday from the frying pan of political danger into the fire of potential legal peril. The president’s eldest son became a central figure...

Was Donald Trump Jr. Told the Kremlin Was Behind the Leak?

July 11, 2017 Last week, Donald Trump Jr. wasn’t considered part of the sprawling Russia investigation that has consumed his father’s early presidency. Now he is firmly at its center. The New York Times reported over the weekend that the president’s eldest son met with a Russian lawyer who promised damaging information about...

A Mental-Health Crisis in Alabama’s Prisons

July 2, 2017 Ten days after he testified on the state of mental-health care in Alabama’s prisons last year, Jamie Wallace killed himself. He was 24 years old. Wallace took the stand in December 2016 in Braggs v. Dunn, a class-action lawsuit challenging the Alabama Department of Corrections’ mental-health-care system. Over the course...