Influential DC Lawyer who Defended Clinton in Monica Lewinsky Scandal and Hillary Assistant Ira Magaziner, Dies of Apparent Heart Attack

Charles Ruff, 61, an influential lawyer in Washington, D.C., who defended Clinton during his Monica Lewinsky scandal and impeachment trial, reportedly died “after an accident at his Washington home.” One report said he was found unconscious outside his shower. Other reports indicated he had a heart attack.

The London Guardian reported:

Ruff’s initial involvement with the Clinton White House came from defending one of Hillary Clinton’s principal assistants, Ira Magaziner, who helped to prepare her ill-fated healthcare plan. Magaziner was accused of perjury, but in a complex presentation to the US attorney’s office in Washington, Ruff managed to shift the blame to some unspecified White House officials and Magaziner was never charged.

It was against this background that Ruff became President Clinton’s fifth White House counsel within four years. As the ripples of the Whitewater affair widened and allegations about the president’s sexual behaviour proliferated, insiders joked that Clinton needed a lawyer smart enough to do the job and dumb enough to take it. Ruff defended his recruitment with the comment: “When the president of the United States asks you to do something, you don’t say, ‘Let me think about it.’ You say, ‘How can I help you, Mr President?’”

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