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Judge in Cohen’s Case Officiated George Soros’ Wedding

April 20, 2018

Associated Press

4/19/2018

Source …..

The judge deciding what happens to evidence seized by the FBI from Donald Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen issued a rare public statement Thursday distancing herself from George Soros, the billionaire liberal mega-donor.

Judge Kimba Wood was revealed to have conducted the 2012 marriage of Soros – the 87-year-old financier who has called Trump’s administration ‘a danger to the world’ – and his third wife Tamiko Bolton, who is 41 years his junior.

The 2012 ceremony took place in his Caramoor estate in Bedford, upstate New York, and other guests included Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic house minority leader and Gavin Newsom, then the Democratic lieutenant governor of California who is now running for governor.

Wood conducted the ceremony, which was attended only by members of Soros’s family, including his five children from his previous marriages, and Bolton’s family.

Her husband, financier Frank Richardson, once served on an investment advisory committee for a company owned by Soros.

Critics had noted that Wood, a Democrat appointed to the bench by Republican President Ronald Reagan, had officiated at the wedding of a major Democratic donor.

Edward Friedland, the district court’s top executive, said in a statement that Wood’s relationship with Soros was limited.

‘From time to time, but rarely, Judge Wood and her husband came across George Soros at large social gatherings that had nothing to do with politics,’ he said.

‘When he asked Judge Wood to perform his wedding, she did so. Judge Wood has performed over 40 marriage ceremonies during her time as a judge,’ Friedland wrote.

The Soros link only adds to the drama, with a colorful judge like no other to handle a colorful case like no other.

Kimba Wood got her unique first name from an atlas after her mother spotted a small South Australian town. She trained for a few days to be a Playboy bunny while studying at the London School of Economics.

Years later she was briefly the favorite to become the nation’s first female attorney general.

Now, at age 74, Wood is refereeing a legal fight over records seized by the FBI from President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen.

Wood got the case by happenstance – she happened to be the judge on duty when Cohen’s attorneys went to court to try to limit investigators’ access to his seized files.

But colleagues say she’s a great pick for a legal dispute that threatens to intrude upon Trump’s love life and legal affairs and could lead to a criminal fraud case against Cohen.

‘This case is on steroids. This is a very difficult case, probably more difficult than any case I could ever recall,’ said U.S. District Judge Richard Berman, one of Woods’ colleagues at Manhattan federal court.

‘Of everybody, I think she’s not only able, but best able to handle that Cohen case,’ he said. ‘She’s very smart. She’s extremely gracious.

‘She’s collaborative. She’s unflappable and she’s always prepared. And the net result of that, in my opinion, is that it’s guaranteed she’ll come up with a fair and reasonable resolution.’

Known as a patient listener and stickler for fairness, Wood’s role is deciding how to handle multitudes of documents and electronic files seized from Cohen as part of an ongoing criminal investigation into his personal business affairs.

Lawyers for Cohen and Trump have argued that many of the records are protected by attorney-client privilege and should be off limits to investigators.

Prosecutors haven’t said publicly what crime they suspect Cohen committed, but people familiar with the probe said the search sought bank records, records on Cohen’s dealings in the taxi industry, his communications with the Trump campaign and any information on payments made in 2016 to two women who say they had affairs with Trump: former Playboy model Karen McDougal and a porn actress known as Stormy Daniels.

If Cohen winds up facing criminal charges, the case is almost certain to be assigned to a different judge, chosen randomly. But her decisions now over what materials prosecutors get their hands on may make a big difference if arrests follow.

Conservative commentators criticized Wood after she required Cohen to disclose the name of a client who had requested anonymity.

The revelation that it was Fox News personality Sean Hannity drew gasps and laughter in the courtroom.

A federal judge since 1988, Woods is used to the media glare.

Early in her career as a jurist, she presided over the Michael Milken securities fraud case. She sentenced him to a decade in prison, later reducing it to a two-year term after he cooperated with prosecutors.

In 1993 she was under consideration by President Bill Clinton to be the first female attorney general but withdrew her name, acknowledging she had once hired an immigrant with an expired visa.

While no laws were broken, she said that it was ‘inappropriate’ to proceed further ‘in the current political environment.’

Wood endured sensational headlines two years later when tabloids labeled her ‘The Love Judge’ after she was described in a Wall Street investment banker’s gushy diary submitted in a divorce case. She later married the banker, Richardson.

In 1966, Wood underwent five days of Playboy bunny training at a London club, but didn’t stick with the gig, opting for law school at Harvard instead.

Later, she served as chief judge of the nation’s busiest federal court for several years and handled numerous notable cases.

In 2010 she ordered the deportation of 10 Russian spies who had disguised themselves as ordinary Americans.

In 2003 she cleared the way for the release of rapper Ricky ‘Slick Rick’ Walters from jail after U.S. officials tried to deport the British-born star.

And she accepted the 2001 guilty plea by Steve Madden, the shoe designer, who admitted securities fraud and money laundering.

All those cases made headlines, but Judge Berman said the Cohen matter is on another level.

‘I’m not sure the federal courts have seen something like this before,’ Berman said. ‘It’s sort of showbiz and politics. And it’s a porn star. And very strong personalities. And the president weighs in. So that makes it quite unusual.’

‘It does take a special personality to be able to deal with it and I do think she’s got it.’

 

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One Comment leave one →
  1. April 21, 2018 1:26 am

    A conspiracy theory?! Ooohh, soo original…

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