Earlier Thursday, McClatchy DC got the news cycle buzzing when it published a report citing multiple anonymous claiming special counsel Robert Mueller has cell phone data to corroborate the Steele Dossier claim that ex-Trump attorney/convicted felon Michael Cohen was near Prague in the summer of 2016.
If true, as Law&Crime’s Ronn Blitzer explained, this would be a significant development, since the unverified dossier compiled by Christopher Steele would at least have some corroborating evidence:
The cell phone data is significant because it lends at least a degree of credence to the Steele Dossier, which Trump supporters claim was improperly used to acquire a warrant for surveillance of former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page as part of the FBI’s investigation of Russian election interference. The FBI has never publicly verified the contents of the dossier, and therefore critics of the ongoing Russia probe point to it as evidence that the investigation was compromised early on.
Michael Cohen has responded to the McClatchy DC report as part of a denial spree on Twitter. First he said, “I hear #Prague #CzechRepublic is beautiful in the summertime. I wouldn’t know as I have never been,” adding “#Mueller knows everything!”
Then Cohen took it upon himself to reply to a couple of questions.
The first question(s): “Cut the shit, Michael. You think it’s cute to say you’ve never been to Prague when it could be a suburb of Prague or on the outskirts. Answer this question, smart guy: Have you ever been in the Czech Republic ever? For any reason? At any time? Ever?”
Cohen’s response: “NO.”
The second question: “Quick follow up if I may. Have you ever been to any location within the Czech Republic? Asking for several hundred million friends.”
Cohen’s response: “NO.”
As reported before, the McClatchy claim placed former Cohen at a meeting with Russian officials in Prague in the summer of 2016, purportedly discussing issues related to President Donald Trump‘s campaign. Cohen had already denied ever going to Prague more than a year ago.
A lot has changed since then, including a guilty plea in the Southern District of New York, a guilty plea in the Mueller Probe for lying to confessional investigators, and a 3-year prison sentence. Cohen’s response on Prague, however, remains the same. Lanny Davis, who served as Cohen’s attorney, said this week that Cohen was never in the Czech Republic. “[Cohen] has said one million times he was never in Prague.” Davis said. “He’s never been to Prague. … He’s never been to the Czech Republic.”
The McClatchy report cited four sources who learned from “foreign intelligence connections” that records placed a cell phone linked to Cohen in the Prague area. Two sources stated that around the same time that the phone was in that area, Eastern European intelligence officials intercepted a Russian communication that referenced Cohen being in Prague. It was claimed that special counsel Robert Mueller has this info in his possession. McClatchy reported back in April that Mueller already had evidence that Cohen had been there.
Ronn Blitzer contributed to this report.
[Image via Yana Paskova/Getty Images]
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