Karin Immergut

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Karin Immergut
Karin Immergut.jpg
United States Attorney for the District of Oregon
In office
October 3, 2003 – July 2009
Nominated by George W. Bush
Preceded by Michael W. Mosman
Succeeded by Amanda Marshall
Judge for the Multnomah County Circuit Court
Assumed office
Constituency Multnomah County, Oregon
Personal details
Born December 22, 1960
Brooklyn, New York
Spouse(s) James T. McDermott
Alma mater Amherst College
Boalt Hall School of Law

Karin Johanna Immergut (born December 22, 1960[1]) is a judge in the state of Oregon. A native of New York, she was the United States Attorney for the District of Oregon from 2003 until her resignation in July 2009 when she was appointed as circuit court judge for Multnomah County, Oregon, by Governor Ted Kulongoski.[2] Before serving as a U.S. Attorney, Immergut worked as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in both Oregon and California, was a deputy district attorney in Portland, and work for Ken Starr during his investigation of President Bill Clinton.

Early life[edit]

Karin Immergut was born in Brooklyn, New York, on December 22, 1960.[3][4] Her father was an Austrian chemist and her mother a Swedish mathematician.[4] Her parents married in Sweden and then immigrated to the United States where Karin was born.[4] She graduated from Amherst College in 1982 and received her law degree in 1987 from Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California, Berkeley. After law school she worked as a litigation associate at the law firm of Covington & Burling in Washington, D.C. for one year.

Legal career[edit]

Following private practice, Immergut served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Central District of California in Los Angeles for six years. During her tenure in the Central District of California, Immergut prosecuted several large-scale complex narcotics and money laundering cases and served as a Deputy Chief of the Narcotics Section and Chief of the Training Section.[3] She spent six years there and then moved to Burlington, Vermont, to work for the firm Gravel & Shea for two years.[4] In 1996, Immergut then moved to Portland, Oregon, where she married James T. McDermott and was hired by Multnomah County.[4]

Immergut served for five years as a Deputy District Attorney in Portland, where she primarily prosecuted white collar crimes. In 1998, Immergut was a Multnomah County deputy district attorney and a longtime Democrat when she went to work for Ken Starr, who was investigating then-President Bill Clinton.[4] She re-registered as an independent upon taking that position. Immergut personally questioned Monica Lewinsky in an August 6, 1998, deposition.[5] In 2001, she joined the U.S. Attorney's office in Portland as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the District of Oregon. Serving two years in the position, she prosecuted cases involving white collar crime and worked on Project Safe Neighborhoods, a national gun violence reduction initiative.

U.S. Attorney[edit]

Immergut was sworn in as interim United States Attorney on October 3, 2003, and the United States Senate confirmed her nomination on that same date. She was appointed by President George W. Bush to the position.[3] Bush signed her commission to serve as the United States Attorney for the District of Oregon on October 4, 2003, and she was sworn in as the United States Attorney on October 8, 2003.[3] She succeeded Michael W. Mosman in that role.

As U.S. Attorney, Immergut serves as the district's top federal law enforcement official. She manages a staff of approximately 107 people, including 51 Assistant U.S. Attorneys, who handle civil litigation on behalf of the United States and criminal investigations and prosecutions involving violations of federal law such as white collar crime, narcotics trafficking, violent crime, money laundering and cybercrime.[3] In addition, Immergut served on the Attorney General's Advisory Committee.[6]

In January 2008, Immergut applied to succeed Judge Garr King on the Oregon District Court. She was initially considered the leading candidate for the post, as the preferred choice of U.S. Senator Gordon Smith.[5] But after news reports highlighting her role in the investigation of president Bill Clinton's sex scandal, she was not one of the final candidates for the position.[7] She re-registered as a Republican at the beginning of Bush's first term as president, in the same month that she went to work for Mosman.[5] Attorney Brandon Mayfield blamed Immergut more than anyone else at a local level for her role in his being falsely accused of terrorist activity in 2004.[5] She resigned from the office in July 2009 in order to be appointed as a circuit court judge for Multnomah County.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Lattman, Peter (January 25, 2006). "Karin Immergut & Patrick Fitzgerald: As Tight as the DOJ & SEC". The Wall Street Journal. 
  2. ^ a b Pitkin, James (May 8, 2009). "U.S. Attorney Karin Immergut Lands on Plan B: Circuit Court Judge". Willamette Week. Retrieved 5 February 2010. 
  3. ^ a b c d e United States Attorney Karen J. Immergut, from usdoj.gov. Retrieved on December 7, 2008.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Collins, Cliff (February–March 2004). "Profiles in the Law". Oregon State Bar Bulletin. 
  5. ^ a b c d Pitkin, James (January 16, 2008). "Judgment Call". Willamette Week. 
  6. ^ http://www.usdoj.gov/opa/pr/2004/January/04_usao_003.htm
  7. ^ Pitkin, James (January 25, 2008). "Immergut's Out: The Final Three Who Are In For A Federal Judge Appointment". Willamette Week.