Wood and Frank Richardson in 2009.
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.
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
also ordered Cohen’s lawyers to identify a
client of his, who turned out to be Fox News host Sean Hannity.
what you need to know:
Bill Clinton Once Wanted Wood to Be His Attorney General & Hillary
Clinton Was Involved in the Process
& Hillary Clinton, February 1992.
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,
was nominated to the federal bench by Sen. Alfonse D’Amato (R-N.Y.), who
praised her as a “legal scholar.”
she also has ties to the Clintons.
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.
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.”
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.
Wood Employed an Illegal Immigrant Babysitter & Sentenced Michael
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.
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 survive
the negative publicity.
Times reported that Clinton was upset that Wood had not disclosed the
babysitter issue to him even when asked. The babysitter was from
Trinidad and worked for Wood for seven years, according to The New
York Times, which stated that Wood insisted “she did not act illegally
because her baby sitter was hired in March 1986, several months before
the enactment of a Federal law making hiring of illegal aliens
first burst into the public eye in 1990. That was the year when “she
sentenced convicted junk-bond king Michael Milken for violations of
securities laws,” reported
The Connecticut College Magazine in 1994. “Her
sentence of a 10-year prison term raised as much controversy as her
later decision to grant Milken parole after he had served only two
years in jail.”
graduated from Harvard Law School when only six percent of her class
was female,” the profile story noted. Her Federal Judicial Center
biography states that Wood graduated from Connecticut College for
Women (now Connecticut College), London School of Economics and
Political Science, and Harvard Law School. In addition to her time in
the judiciary, she worked as an attorney in the Office of Economic
Opportunity, Washington, D.C.
Wood Once Trained as a Playboy Bunny & She Was Named After an
of the more colorful details of Judge Wood’s biography? She once
trained to be a Playboy bunny. According
to Forward.com, “As a cash-strapped student she once spent five
days in a training course to be a Playboy bunny.”
Wood had briefly trained as a Playboy bunny years ago when she was a
student in London,” The New York Times reported, adding that Clinton
officials “feared that that might become the source of jokes.”
New York Daily News reported that Wood
“briefly worked at a Playboy casino in 1966.” Time
Magazine reported that the stint was a short one: “in the
mid-1960s, a then cash-strapped Wood trained five days to be a bunny
at a London Playboy Club.” However, some news sites report that Wood
quit the gig because she considered it silly.
to Connecticut College Magazine, Kimba Wood “was born on January
2, 1944, in Port Townsend, Washington. Her mother chose her unusual
first name after searching through an atlas for suggestions, settling
upon the pleasant sound of a small town in Southern Australia.”
father wrote speeches for Army generals and the family moved among
military bases, the profile noted, adding that Wood spoke French
before she did English.
Wood Was Famously Dubbed the ‘Love Judge’ After a Romantic Scandal
has a earned a colorful moniker: The “Love Judge.” This nickname
derived from a romantic scandal involving her. According
to The New York Daily News, in 1995, a “multimillionaire Wall
Street financier’s” estranged wife “found his diary, which was filled
with passionate prose about his trysts with the jurist.”
Richardson was the financier involved, and, according to the New York
Daily News, he described Wood as “absolutely wonderful, very
intelligent, a complete woman and able to give love wonderfully and
was married to a columnist from Time Magazine, Michael Kramer (with
whom she had a son, Ben) but was in the process of getting a divorce,
Daily News reported. Another passage in Richardson’s diary allegedly
read, “When I first took her head and kissed her lips . . . . How she
stiffened and gave slowly, but inexorably,” the
Daily News reported.
and Wood married
Wood Presided Over the Wedding of George Soros & Was Once Called a
some of the conservative anger at Wood: She
performed the non-denominational wedding
ceremony of liberal financier George Soros to Tamiko Bolton in 2013.
Nancy Pelosi was among the guests, Page
also married to a lawyer named Jesse Lovejoy,
making Richardson her third marriage.
a profile story on Wood, The New York Daily News, in 1995, said that
Wood’s ascendancy to the federal bench raised some eyebrows because
“Wood had no criminal experience at the time D’Amato nominated her for
the judgeship and, as a life-long Democrat, she could hardly be said
to share D’Amato’s views.”