Last week, the legal challenge surrounding the raid by the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York of the office of Donald Trump’s fixer and attorney Michael Cohen was assigned to Senior United States District Judge Kimba Wood. Though she was appointed by Republican President Ronald Reagan at the recommendation of then-U.S. Sen. Alfonse D’Amato (R-NY), the right-wing smear machine has cranked up to attack her.
The lines of attack are the fact that Bill Clinton planned to announce her as his second choice for Attorney General in 1993 (before issues with a former nanny caused her to withdraw her name from consideration), the fact that she briefly worked for the Playboy empire in the 1960s (long before Trump appeared on the magazine’s cover), and the fact that she officiated at the wedding of liberal billionaire George Soros in 2013. With these three irrelevant facts, pro-Trump conspiracy theorists and media outlets determined that Wood’s decision to require Cohen to name all of his legal clients must be a rigged “deep state” attack on Trump.
Conservative and conspiracy-minded media outlets highlighted those details, front and center. A Fox News headline read: “Who is Kimba Wood? Judge on Cohen case officiated Soros wedding, was Clinton AG pick.” The Washington Times published a story entitled “Judge in Michael Cohen’s case officiated George Soros’ wedding.” The Daily Caller wrote, “Judge In Cohen Case Was Almost Bill Clinton’s AG Nominee.” And InfoWars claimed, “No Joke: Judge who forced Cohen to ID Hannity performed Soros wedding; Leftists stripping away attorney-client privilege.”
The right-wing then went on the attack:
This is the woman presiding over the court case involving @realDonaldTrump’s lawyer.
Her name is Kimba Wood.
She forced lawyer Michael Cohen to disclose the names of his OTHER clients.
She is a Clinton confidante who was chosen by Hillary to be AG.
— Sebastian Gorka DrG (@SebGorka) April 16, 2018
The judge who ordered Sean Hannity’s name outed performed George Soros’ wedding pic.twitter.com/33evQeRCZ0
— Jack Posobiec (@JackPosobiec) April 16, 2018
On the same day that Soros-funded Media Matters announces a boycott,
– The judge who performed Soros' wedding names Sean Hannity as a Michael Cohen client.
— Mike Cernovich 🇺🇸 (@Cernovich) April 16, 2018
Cohen case is heard by Judge Kimba Wood — aka the 'Love Judge' https://t.co/FVdb3UdY0w She worked as a Playboy Bunny at a Playboy casino in 1966. She was “Love Judge” in 1995 when diary of multimillionaire Wall Street financier (her lover) passionate prose re his trysts w jurist.
— Jerome Corsi (@jerome_corsi) April 17, 2018
#KimbaWood is pure Clinton crony deep state. Of course she’s the judge in Mueller’s attack on Cohen.
— James Woods (@RealJamesWoods) April 16, 2018
Predictably, these conspiracy claims spread quickly around twitter. As of Wednesday, scores had tweeted about how Wood is part of a “deep state” cabal.
CLARIFICATION: Lawrence O’Donnell, a one-time staffer to then-Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-NY) noted on his MSNBC show The Last Word that Reagan appointed Wood at the request of both D’Amato and Moynihan, as a result of a bipartisan agreement between New York’s U.S. senators. D’Amato praised Wood for her “extraordinary background as a legal scholar” and supported her nomination, but, according to O’Donnell, “really Kimba Wood is a Moynihan judge.”