Charles Ruff

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Charles F. C. Ruff
27th White House Counsel
In office
1998–1999
President Bill Clinton
Preceded by Jack Quinn
Succeeded by Beth Nolan
Personal details
Born (1939-08-01)August 1, 1939
Cleveland, Ohio
Died November 19, 2000(2000-11-19) (aged 61)
Nationality United States
Alma mater Swarthmore College
Columbia Law School
Occupation Lawyer

Charles Frederick Carson "Chuck" Ruff (August 1, 1939 – November 19, 2000) was a prominent American lawyer based in Washington, D.C., and was best known as the White House Counsel who defended President Bill Clinton during his impeachment trial in 1999 over the Lewinsky scandal and Paula Jones case .

Ruff was born in Cleveland, Ohio to the prominent American publicist Margaret Carson, and grew up in New York City. He graduated from Phillips Academy (1956), Swarthmore College (1960), and Columbia Law School (1963). After graduating from Columbia Law School, he went with his wife, Susan, to teach law in Liberia. While there, Ruff came down with a mysterious flu-like illness that paralysed his legs. He used a wheelchair for the rest of his life.[1] He began his career in Washington in the Organized Crime and Labor Management Section of the United States Department of Justice, and during the Watergate scandal, he joined the Watergate Special Prosecution Force. He served as the fourth and final Watergate Special Prosecutor and closed the Special Prosecutor's office in 1977. During the Watergate years, he also taught at Georgetown University Law Center.

He was the United States Attorney for the District of Columbia from 1979-1981, and then entered private practice as a partner in the law firm of Covington & Burling. While at Covington and Burling, he represented United States Senator John Glenn in the Keating Five scandal and defended United States Senator Chuck Robb against charges of surreptitiously and unlawfully recording, and disseminating, some private conversations of a political rival, Governor of Virginia Douglas Wilder.

Ruff left private practice in 1995 to become Corporation Counsel for the District of Columbia. In 1997, he became White House Counsel to President Clinton.

When Ruff died from a heart attack at 61, he was again a partner at Covington & Burling.

On January 8, 2001, he was presented, posthumously, with the Presidential Citizens Medal by President Clinton.

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Legal offices
Preceded by
Jack Quinn
White House Counsel
1998-1999
Succeeded by
Beth Nolan