Kimba Wood, the federal judge presiding over the Michael Cohen legal battle, was Bill and Hillary Clinton’s choice for Attorney General, and she has a colorful past. Once dubbed the “love judge” by the New York press, she had a short stint training as a Playboy bunny.
Wood’s tie to the Clintons, in particular, has generated controversy as she presides over the battles surrounding attorney-client privilege claims in the investigation of Cohen, President Donald Trump’s personal attorney. Wood, a Ronald Reagan appointee to the federal bench, ruled that Cohen’s lawyer can review a trove of documents seized from his office; Wood also ordered Cohen’s lawyers to identify a client of his, who turned out to be Fox News host Sean Hannity.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Bill Clinton Once Wanted Wood to Be His Attorney General & Hillary Clinton Was Involved in the Process
Bill & Hillary Clinton, February 1992.
According to her Federal Judicial Center biography, Kimba Maureen Wood was nominated to the federal bench in the southern district of New York by Ronald Reagan in 1987. She was confirmed by the Senate on April 19, 1988, served as chief judge, and “assumed senior status on June 1, 2009.”
She was nominated to the federal bench by Sen. Alfonse D’Amato (R-N.Y.), who praised her as a “legal scholar.”
However, she also has ties to the Clintons.
Some may remember the series of “nanny-gate” problems that did in some of Bill Clinton’s nominees to be his Attorney General. One of those nominees was Zoe Baird. Another was Kimba Wood. According to a Washington Post story from 1993, Hillary Clinton was integrally involved in the choice.
“The First Lady interviewed Wood for 90 minutes, twice as much time as the president spent with his prospective chief legal officer,” The Post reported at the time. The Post added that Wood, at the time, was “unfamiliar with criminal law and lacked any courtroom lawyer experience before being named to the bench in 1988.”
The article noted, “her friendship with Susan Thomases, a Hillary Clinton confidante who works hard to keep Bill Clinton on the left.” Hillary Clinton had pressed her husband to select a woman for the court, reported The New York Times.
2. Wood Employed an Illegal Immigrant Babysitter & Sentenced Michael Milken
Kimba Wood, the federal judge handling Michael Cohen’s case, was once nominated by Bill Clinton to be Attorney General. Then came nannygate. https://t.co/n9y7vbzgcv p pic.twitter.com/AZ5NR4743j
— Jim Roberts (@nycjim) April 16, 2018
Kimba Wood’s nomination was derailed when it was revealed she had employed an illegal immigrant babysitter. When the revelation came to light, she withdrew her nomination to become Bill Clinton’s Attorney General.
The New York Times reported at the time that there was no evidence of illegality on Wood’s part. However, Clinton’s first choice for the post – Baird – had stepped aside after a similar controversy, so it was feared that Wood’s nomination would not …read more