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ABBE LOWELL Lowell, a partner at Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, served as chief investigative counsel to the Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee during the Clinton impeachment hearings. Charles Ruff was, as Lowell says, “my first boss” — Ruff was principal associate deputy attorney general when Lowell joined the Department of Justice in 1978. He was a very important figure in my formative years at the Justice Department. He had a high level of technical excellence, combined with superb judgment, combined with a manner that is not intimidating, that is consensus-building, with a dash of humor thrown in. I’ve met really bright lawyers. I’ve met really strategic lawyers, consensus-building lawyers. But Chuck was all of those things. There was a meeting in Henry Hyde’s office shortly after the [impeachment] referral — that famous meeting when Hyde took out cigars and passed them around the room. And Hyde and [Clinton attorney David] Kendall started smoking them in Hyde’s office! Chuck leaned over to me and said, “In the midst of these weighty constitutional issues, why do cigars seem to be the motif?” He had great personal charm, style, and wit. He didn’t clobber you over the head with [his view]. He allowed you to absorb it at your own pace. This is a town with a lot of very smart, talented people. But even among that selective population, he was a standout. We’re all the worse off for [his death]. REP. JOHN CONYERS JR. Conyers, D-Mich., was ranking minority member of the House Judiciary Committee during the impeachment. I think he made the right impressions in the impeachment process, besides being a skillful lawyer. He brought his own persona to it, which I thought was pretty interesting. He was a person who brought a lot of understanding to the issues. I remember he was very determined to appear in the Senate on behalf of the president. Kendall had wanted to make the case for the president, but Ruff was very insistent. We didn’t have to worry about him bearing in too hard on the senators, or exceeding the limits of propriety. There were some who were very much afraid that Kendall might be considered an outsider, and that that might make it hard for him to be considered in the same spirit that Ruff was accorded. Having worked for the government in Washington, he had been up to the Hill a number of times. He wasn’t a stranger to the Senate or the House. He was at home there. Kendall, on the other hand, might have been regarded as someone imported in to defend the president, discussing matters of government that he might not have been as familiar with as Ruff. [Ruff] handled it in such a way that it didn’t turn into a shouting match. He just very emphatically made his case. REP. HENRY HYDE Hyde, R-Ill.. was chairman of the House Judiciary Committee during the impeachment. He was a gentleman and an excellent lawyer. He was a Democratic partisan in the best sense of the word: He prosecuted Republicans and defended Democrats with great enthusiasm. Our conversations were not prolix. When we met, I was impressed… . He was someone whose word was good. ROBERT BENNETT Bennett, a Washington, D.C. partner at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, represented President Clinton in the Paula Jones case. He was a lawyer’s lawyer and a fine, decent, and honorable man. One of the remarkable things with Chuck was that he never let his disability in any way limit him. He had tremendous inner strength. It was only after years and years of knowing him that he would let me come to his office for a meeting rather than him coming to me. He was very calm. He was unflappable. ‘Unruffable’ — he was unruffable. He had a wonderful sense of balance. More than that, … his name stood for quality and integrity. In a world where lawyers are thought of so critically, he was a jewel. He was one of our jewels. DAVID SCHIPPERS Schippers, a partner at Schippers & Bailey in Chicago, served as chief investigative counsel to the Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee during the impeachment. We were very strong adversaries. We fought like tigers in the Senate — and before the Senate. But we fought like lawyers. He was in a very difficult position. He had to take on the whole Congress of the United States and represent his client. Everyone knew he was a Clinton appointee, so some said, “Well, what do you expect?” But I think he really believed what he was saying. Sometimes things would get a little rancorous, but he would make a joke and the sarcasm and yelling would die down. He was always the one to bring dignity to [the meetings]. He had the ability to just pass over the emotion and go right to the heart of the matter. I think his handling of the trial in the Senate was superb lawyering. He didn’t talk that much, but I am of the opinion and certainly thought he was orchestrating that process. DAVID KENDALL Kendall, a partner at Williams & Connolly, represented Clinton during the impeachment. Chuck was a wonderful lawyer, a decent man, and a good friend. He never lost his sense of humor no matter how bad things got. He had a gallantry and grace that I particularly enjoyed. He was absolutely loyal: He was the kind of person you want at your elbow in a legal fight. But his sense of humor — his saturnine sense of humor — always gave you perspective. KENNETH STARR Starr, a Washington, D.C. partner at Kirkland & Ellis, was the independent counsel whose investigation led to Clinton’s impeachment. Charles Ruff was a dedicated and remarkable public servant. He will be remembered for many contributions, but he should certainly be fondly and gratefully remembered for his unheralded, distinguished service to the District of Columbia as corporation counsel. So from issues great and small, he was an extraordinarily talented and able lawyer. REP. ASA HUTCHINSON Hutchinson, R-Ark., was one of the House managers who brought the case against Clinton in the Senate. He was a great lawyer, and that’s about the highest compliment you can give. He was a passionate advocate for his client in the impeachment trial, and he was a gentleman. He had an underlying respect for the law. I remember in the congressional oversight hearings we had in the Judiciary Committee, he was testifying regarding the missing e-mail. I was asking him, “How would you feel if you were representing the president and you tried to get material that was important to your defense?” He conceded the point. He said, “You’re right, I don’t blame you for being upset. I don’t blame you for pursuing it.” Anyone could have slipped away from [the question], but he gave an honest answer. What distinguished him was his passion for the cause. He really believed what he was arguing for, and that was very persuasive. When he came back and talked about his dad serving in World War II, in response to Henry Hyde talking about fallen warriors — that was very moving. You could see he was passionate about his cause. LANNY BREUER Breuer, a Washington, D.C. partner at Covington & Burling, served as impeachment counsel to Clinton. One of the things that really stood out [about Ruff] was the fact that he was open to hearing the thoughts of other people and very open to hearing different approaches to an issue, but at the end of the day, he was able to analyze the issue and come up with his own conclusion about it, and pursue that. He had an innate confidence to do what was right and right for his client and withstand remarkable pressure. He honored the sense that a lawyer should keep confidences. At times, I think that frustrated people at the White House. In morning meetings, he would routinely be asked by political staff, “What aren’t you going to tell us today that will be on CNN in two hours?” There was tremendous pressure to share more information, to fight more of a publicity war. And I think he just wasn’t going to be a part of it. At the impeachment trial, Chuck’s opening and his closing really weren’t things that he shared with other people. It was Chuck, really working his product on the computer in his office, that became the message that the nation heard. He was masterful in his ability to use understatement as the most effective advocate’s tool. I don’t think it was contrived. It was Chuck. In a world of exaggeration, hyperbole, and gloss, Chuck’s understatement stood out. BETH NOLAN Nolan was assistant attorney general in the Office of Legal Counsel during the impeachment, and then succeeded Ruff as White House counsel. One of the things that I think made him such an effective lawyer, and ultimately an effective advocate, was the way he answered to his own counsel. You always had a sense that if Chuck was asking you to do it, Chuck believed it was the right thing to do. He seemed very self-possessed and calm through it all. He was so well-respected and loved by the people here, particularly because he was such a rock. A lot of people feel the foundations shaking a little without him.

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