Charles Alan Wright, 72, an authority on constitutional law and the federal courts who represented President Richard Nixon at a crucial moment in the Watergate scandal, died Friday at the North Austin Medical Center in Texas. The cause was complications after recent lung surgery, his family said.
As a special legal consultant to Nixon in summer 1973, he argued unsuccessfully that the constitutional separation of powers between the executive and judicial branches protected the president from turning over White House tape recordings to the special prosecutor, Archibald Cox. Eventually, the tapes helped prove the extent of the conspiracy to obstruct justice and led to the president's resignation.
Ruth Werner, 93, a lifelong communist who channeled atomic bomb secrets to the Soviets during World War II and worked with some of Moscow's most notorious spies, died Friday in her native Berlin.
Her death was announced by the former East German Communist Party, which she served as an adviser on a council of prominent personalities. No cause of death was given.
As a Soviet spy in Britain in the 1940s, she was a contact for Klaus Fuchs, the German-born British physicist who passed secrets of the first atomic bomb to Stalin from Britain and later from the U.S. laboratory at Los Alamos, N.M.