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Meet the U.S. Attorney

Joe Harrington Official Photo

Joseph H. Harrington

Acting U.S. Attorney

Pursuant to Vacancy Reform Act, Joseph H. Harrington is the Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington.  Harrington previously led the U.S. Attorney’s Office from March 2017 through July 2019 as the Acting, then Court-Appointed United States Attorney.

Harrington has served in the U.S. Attorney’s Office since 1990 and before that worked for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in Washington, D.C.  During his tenure in the U.S. Attorney’s Office, he has handled all aspects of both civil and criminal trial as well as appellate litigation.  He has held the positions of United States Attorney, First Assistant United States Attorney, Criminal Chief, Deputy Criminal Chief, Anti-Terrorism Coordinator, and Health Care Fraud Coordinator. His civil litigation experience has been varied, involving lawsuits involving the defense of medical malpractice, employment discrimination, wrongful death, and contract disputes.  His criminal litigation experience covers the full spectrum of serious criminal offenses.  Of particular note, he prosecuted Kevin Harpham, an avowed white supremacist who placed an improvised explosive device along the path of Spokane’s annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Unity March.  He also prosecuted members of the anti-government Phineas Priest domestic terrorism group who bombed a Planned Parenthood clinic and a Spokane newspaper facility and executed armed take-over robberies (and a bombing) of a bank in Spokane, Washington.  Harrington also served as co-counsel, primarily supervising the trial team in the civil rights prosecution of then-Spokane police officer Karl F. Thompson, a case involving the untimely death of Mr. Otto Zehm.

Harrington received his J.D. from Gonzaga University in 1986, where he was a Thomas Moore Scholar (full academic scholarship) and served as the Editor-in-Chief of the Gonzaga Law Review.  He holds a B.A. in Mathematics and a B.S. in Engineering.  He is married and has three children.

Dates of Service: 
2021 - Present
Updated March 1, 2021