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Judge In Cohen Case Was Almost Bill Clinton’s AG Nominee

Virginia Kruta | 9:34 PM 04/16/2018

Judge Kimba Wood, who is presiding over the case against President Donald Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen, was nearly nominated by then-President Bill Clinton to serve as attorney general in 1993. Wood was hand-picked by Hillary Clinton, who had been asked to submit a list of possible nominees for her husband’s consideration.

Wood first raised eyebrows when the Clinton White House learned that she had trained to be a Playboy bunny while still a student. She was later forced to withdraw herself from consideration when it was revealed that she had employed an illegal immigrant as a nanny.

Wood’s relationship with Clinton is now causing at least one Trump supporter to call for her recusal. Former White House adviser and frequent Fox News guest Sebastian Gorka tweeted on Monday that she should not be allowed anywhere near this case.

See article referenced at bottom of page

During Monday’s hearing, Judge Wood ordered Cohen to expose the identity of a previously unnamed client. Fox News host Sean Hannity was revealed to be the mystery client. Hannity has said that he only asked Cohen, a friend, for legal advice and he never retained or paid him for any legal services.

The article as it originally appeared.

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Judge Kimba M. Wood withdrew today from consideration for Attorney General after the White House learned she had employed an illegal immigrant as a baby sitter before it became illegal to do so.

That stunning setback left President Clinton scrambling for the third time to fill the post.

There was no evidence that Judge Wood, who sits on the Federal District Court in New York, did anything illegal, but White House officials said they told her to withdraw because they feared the kind of public outcry that struck down the Administration’s first choice for Attorney General, Zoe Baird, who had employed two illegal aliens for household work. A Blank List

White House officials said they were angry at Judge Wood because she had not told Mr. Clinton and other officials about her baby sitter, even when she had been directly asked. In her statement, however, Judge Wood said she had not misled the White House.

After the hasty search for a first nominee, then the rush to replace Ms. Baird, the Clinton Administration was forced by Judge Wood’s withdrawal to start virtually from the beginning in looking for the nation’s top law-enforcement official.

“They have nobody on their list now, period,” said a Democratic Senator who is close to the White House. “They’ve got to start from scratch.”

As late as Thursday evening, White House officials confidently said Mr. Clinton planned to announce Judge Wood’s selection as soon as background checks were completed. But what the officials viewed as a done deal disintegrated later that night as officials questioned Judge Wood and studied documents she had submitted. Trained to Be Playboy Bunny

The sudden turnabout on Judge Wood is a blow to Mr. Clinton, who two weeks ago withdrew Ms. Baird’s name after she admitted she had hired the illegal immigrants and had knowingly neglected to pay the required taxes for household employees.

Tonight the White House issued a statement on behalf of Mr. Clinton. “I understand and respect Judge Wood’s decision not to proceed further with the possibility of being nominated as Attorney General,” it said. “I was greatly impressed with her as a lawyer, a judge and a person. I respect her legal talents, judicial record and integrity. I wish her well.”

The White House officials said they had also recently discovered that Judge Wood had briefly trained as a Playboy bunny years ago when she was a student in London and that they feared that that might become the source of jokes.

In the statement issued by her lawyer’s office in New York, Judge Wood did not cite her stint as a Playboy trainee but said the issue was her hiring of an illegal immigrant from Trinidad, who worked for her for seven years. Judge Wood said 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 unlawful. The baby sitter obtained legal residency in December 1987, she said.

“On Jan. 29, I met with the President at the White House to discuss the possibility of my appointment,” she wrote. “In the course of a wide-ranging discussion of policy issues, I was asked if I had a ‘Zoe Baird’ problem. I said I did not. And I do not.”

Judge Wood went on to say: “I have fulfilled every legal requirement with respect to the employment of our babysitter. Nevertheless, and after further consultations, I have concluded that in the current political environment, proceeding further with the possibility of my nomination would be inappropriate.” Problems With Backups

Complicating the matter is that the President is not ready to name a substitute candidate. Officials had initially said that if Judge Wood did not pass the background checks they would probably turn to Charles F. C. Ruff, a Washington lawyer and former senior Justice Department official, or former Gov. Gerald L. Baliles of Virginia. But today, they said that questions had been raised about whether Mr. Ruff had employed an illegal alien and that the President was not ready to pick Mr. Baliles.

George Stephanopoulos, the White House communications director, sought in an interview tonight to play down any implication that the Administration was at fault. He said Judge Wood was asked about the issue of illegal aliens once by the President and twice by Bernard W. Nussbaum, the White House chief counsel.

“The White House search process discovered the problem,” Mr. Stephanopoulos said. “Judge Wood was asked about this matter twice before she interviewed with the President and once in her interview with the President. As the process moved forward, the White House did discover it because she delivered financial records that she had hired a baby sitter who was in the country illegally. After this information was discovered, and after consultation with the White House, Judge Wood decided to withdraw.” 

Asked about the disclosure that she had trained to be a Playboy bunny, Mr. Stephanopoulos said, “I just don’t know anything about it.”

Officials close to the White House said the trouble developed in part because President Clinton, pressed by his wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton, insisted on finding a woman for Attorney General, which limited the field of Democratic contenders with a law-enforcement background. The problem with Judge Wood, they said, was that although she is a respected jurist, she lacked the law-enforcement and managerial credentials for the post. So when the disclosures arose, there was no great desire by Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr., the Delaware Democrat who is chairman of the Judiciary Commitee, or other influential players to press her case. A Lark in London

Judge Wood is 49 years old and was appointed to the court by President Ronald Reagan in 1988. She had no experience with criminal cases before her appointment and had never conducted a trial before a jury. But she has earned the respect of other judges and lawyers who have come before her, and the President and Mrs. Clinton are said to have been favorably impressed when each interviewed her last week.

People close to the situation said Mr. Nussbaum contacted Judge Wood on Thursday to tell her that he had heard a rumor that she had put herself through the London School of Economics as a Playboy bunny.

According to people familiar with the conversation, Judge Wood told Mr. Nussbaum that in 1966 she was a student in London and that on a lark she had signed up for the bunny trainee program for the Playboy Club there. She told him she quit after five days, before actually being employed by the club or drawing a paycheck.

Mr. Nussbaum is said to have told Judge Wood that the episode would not disqualify her.

Even after the disclosures were made, officials said, Judge Wood wanted the White House to press ahead, as did some Administration officials. But the White House backed down, they said, after learning that Mr. Biden and others had serious reservations about the nomination.

As early as Thursday night, the White House struggled to contain the political fallout. Hours after some Administration officials told reporters an announcement on Judge Wood would be forthcoming as long as background checks did not turn up anything serious, officials called reporters at home after midnight to urge them to back off the story. At the time, they did not say there were developments that had diminished Judge Wood’s prospects. ‘They Want Squeaky Clean’

By this morning, White House officials said Judge Wood’s selection was in grave doubt, and as the day wore on and rumors flew through the capital it looked increasingly likely that her candidacy might not last the day.

Administration officials said Judge Wood and her husband, Michael Kramer, a political columnist for Time magazine, spent much of the day closeted with Administration officials in the hope of salvaging the nomination.

Officials involved in the background checks said the White House was being far more cautious than in the checks of Ms. Baird. They said officials were not only concerned about finding instances of illegality but anything that could raise any appearance of impropriety. “They want squeaky clean,” said one official involved in the process. “They’re worried about how all this will play in Peoria.”

Another official who was deeply involved in examining Judge Wood’s background expressed sympathy for the judge and said: “Under any other circumstances, this would have been totally ignored. But we can’t afford the battle right now. It’s a perception problem.”

Fellow judges who serve with Judge Wood in the Federal Courthouse in lower Manhattan also expressed sympathy for her.

“I’m very, deeply disappointed for her sake,” said Judge Thomas P. Griesa. “I think she would have made an outstanding Attorney General. “I’m really disappointed.”

More Politically INCOORECT Cartoons and Memes

Utah ‘Monument’ Was a Reward to a Clinton Donor

Reported By Daniel John Sobieski | December 7, 2017

The shrinking in size of two national monuments in Utah by President Trump through executive order was a long overdue rebuke to federal land grabs that have enabled federal control of vast swaths of American land, particularly in the West. As the New York Times noted in 2016:

The United States government owns 47 percent of all land in the West. In some states, including Oregon, Utah and Nevada, the majority of land is owned by the federal government. Of course, it used to own nearly all of it….

East of the Mississippi… the federal government owns only 4 percent of land.

Part of that discrepancy is due to the vagaries of the Western expansion into the sparely populated frontier. Part of it is due to the desires of environmentalists to turn America into a save-the-earth postcard — take pictures and don’t touch. President Trump, who has unlocked much of America’s resources that were formerly held hostage by greenies and others, has decided to return to the people of Utah control of and decision-making power over the land of Utah, so you no longer need permission from a Beltway bureaucrat to pick up a rock and move it one foot to the left:

President Trump signed two proclamations Monday that shrink federally protected lands in Utah by about 2 million acres — the largest rollback of national monument designations in history.

The Bears Ears National Monument will shrink 85% to 201,876 acres, and the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument will be cut by 39% to 1 million acres…

Trump said previous presidents overstepped their authority in declaring vast tracts of western lands off-limits, abusing the “purpose, spirit and intent” of a 1906 law known as the Antiquities Act. That law requires presidents to limit the monument designation to “the smallest area compatible with proper care and management of the objects to be protected.”

“These abuses of the Antiquities Act give enormous power to faraway bureaucrats at the expense of the people who actually live here, work here, and make this place their home,” Trump said in Salt Lake City Monday.

One of those presidents was one William Jefferson Clinton. Although the Trump orders only refer to lifting restrictions on motorized vehicles and grazing rights, much of the land involved is energy-rich and was put off limits by President Clinton to deprive Americans access to those resources and to reward a political donor.

A large part of America’s energy dependence on foreign sources can be traced back to September 18, 1996, when Hillary’s co-president hubby Bill Clinton stood on the edge of the Grand Canyon on the Arizona side and signed an executive proclamation making 1.7 million acres of Utah a new national monument, the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument:

President Clinton officially set aside 1.7 million acres of Utah canyon lands Wednesday as a national monument, with some concessions to Utah authorities who complained the move would stunt the local economy and block a job-generating coal mine.

Standing against the sweeping backdrop of the Grand Canyon, Clinton declared that in creating the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument “we are keeping faith with the future… On this remarkable site, God’s handiwork is everywhere.”

But officials trod carefully around the issue of the planned coal mine, which was to be

dug by Andalex Resources, a Dutch company, on a leased site on the Kaiparowits Plateau, considered one of the new monument’s most remote and valuable sites. Under current plans, 50% of the coal mined from the plateau would be exported from the Port of Los Angeles.

In his remarks, Clinton implied that he intended to block the mine, which some have said could produce high quality coal with a value of $1 trillion.

So why would he dedicate a Utah monument while standing in Arizona? Well, this federal land grab was done without any consultation with the governor of Utah or any member of the Utah congressional delegation or any elected official in the state. The state already had six national monuments, two national recreation areas, and all or part of five national forests. Three-quarters of Utah was in already in federal hands.

It was sold as a move to protect the environment. At the time the Clintons were worried that Ralph Nader’s presence on the ballot in a few Western states would draw green votes from Clinton in a race that promised to be close after the GOP retook Congress two years earlier.

Bill Clinton’s unilateral land grab in Utah declaring 1.7 million acres a national monument and placing off-limits to an energy starved United States up to 62 billion tons of environmentally safe low sulfur coal worth $1.2 trillion that could have been mined with minimal surface impact was in fact a political payoff to the family of James Riady.

James Riady was the son of Lippo Group owner Mochtar Riady. Young James was found guilty of and paid a multi-million dollar fine for funneling more than $1 million in illegal political contributions through Lippo Bank into various American political campaigns, including Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential run. Connect the dots. Riady’s relationship between the Clintons, would be long and corrupt, even extending to donations to the Clinton Foundation.

Clinton took off the world market the largest known deposit of clean-burning coal. Who owned and controlled the second-largest deposit in the world? The Indonesian Lippo Group of James Riady. It is found and strip-mined on the Indonesian island of Kalamantan.

The Utah reserve contains the kind of low-sulfur, low-ash, and therefore low-polluting coal the likes of which can be found in only a couple of places in the world. It burns so cleanly that it meets the requirements of the Clean Air Act without additional technology.

“The mother of all land grabs,” Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said at the time. Hatch has called what was designated as the Grande Staircase of the Escalante National Monument the “Saudi Arabia of coal.”

When Clinton signed the proclamation, he promised to exchange other federal lands for the land that was taken. Hatch said a fair exchange was impossible, since no other land in Utah had a trillion dollars worth of clean coal.

Rep. James Hansen (R-UT) pointed out that a large portion of the coal-rich Kaiparowits plateau within the monument belonged to the schoolchildren of Utah. When Utah became a state in 1896, about 220,000 acres were set aside to benefit the schools of Utah. Upon the state’s founding, a trust fund was created to collect and hold directly for the benefit of the state schools all the revenues generated from developing this land.

Margaret Bird, trust officer for the fund, said that because the land will not be developed, the schoolchildren of Utah stood to lose as much as $1 billion over the next 50 years. Phyllis Sorensen, head of the Utah chapter of the National Education Association, called Clinton’s action “felonious assault,” charging that “they are stealing from the schoolchildren of Utah.” Stealing from children to reward Indonesian billionaire donors is a move typical of the Clintons.

Before there was the pay-for-play Clinton Foundation, and the putting up of American national security for sale in the Uranium One deal with Russia, there was Bill Clinton creating the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, a monument to Bill and Hillary’s monumental corruption.         

Daniel John Sobieski is a freelance writer whose pieces have appeared in Investor’s Business Daily, Human Events, Reason Magazine and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications.          

Today’s Politically INCORRECT Cartoon by A,F, Branco

No Pain, No Gain

More Politically INCORRECT Cartoons for Wednesday October 11, 2017

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