Good god in heaven, will we never rid ourselves of Michael Cohen?
Despite having pled guilty to a ton of crimes, being sentenced to hard time in a federal prison, and generally establishing himself as the sad sack of 2018, the excruciating saga of President Donald Trump’s former attorney and longtime fixer just absolutely refuses to die. And thanks to a new report from McClatchy, which claims that investigators possess evidence that Michael Cohen did, contrary to his claims, visit Prague in 2016 (a key element in the so-called “Steele dossier,” it doesn’t look like we’ll be hearing the end of this whole thing anytime soon.
Citing “four people with knowledge of the matter,” McClatchy claims a signal from Cohen’s mobile phone was picked up on a cell tower near Prague in the summer of 2016, which lends credence to one of the infamous dossier’s most significant claims: That Cohen himself had visited the Czech Republic that summer to help coordinate efforts between the Trump presidential campaign and Russian officials. It’s a claim Cohen has repeatedly, vehemently, and hilariously denied.
According to McClatchy, each of the four people cited in the report “obtained their information independently from foreign intelligence connections,” and the information has since been shared with Special Counsel Robert Mueller. McClatchy had previously reported this past April that Mueller’s office had unspecified evidence to suggest Cohen had indeed been to Prague.
There are plenty of reasons to take this new report’s claim with a grain of salt. For starters, Cohen has repeatedly denied it. In a statement to McClatchy, Cohen’s former attorney and current spokesman Lanny Davis reiterated that his client has said “one million and one times” that he’s never been to Prague, and it wouldn’t make much sense for Cohen not to cop to it now that he’s cooperating with the Mueller probe. And to date, no other major news outlets have corroborated McClatchy’s reporting on Cohen’s alleged trip—something you’d expect from a potentially explosive story like this.
But perhaps most telling is the fact that Cohen’s criminal sentencing is already complete, and there’s been zero mention of this particular claim. In fact, while Mueller did bust Cohen for lying to Congress about the extent of Trump Tower Moscow plans between then-candidate Trump and Russian officials, Mueller’s office has said absolutely nothing about whether Cohen lied about the Prague trip—which he’d also gone out of his way to deny to Congress. Of course, it is possible that proof of Cohen’s trip to Prague—arguably the silver bullet in any collusion case to be made against the Trumps—is simply being held extremely close to the chest by Mueller’s office until some later, unspecified date.
The truth is, we may never know. All we can do is hope, wait, and pray to god the piss tape drops next.
Update, 4:23 p.m.: In response to McClatchy’s report, Cohen has once again denied having been to Prague. This time, however, he did not include a picture of his passport cover.