President Donald Trump’s lawyer is doubling down after a new report suggesting that special counsel Robert Mueller can prove a big part of the Steele dossier.
McClatchy DC reported Friday that Mueller has evidence that Michael Cohen, a longtime personal attorney for Trump, traveled to Prague months before the 2016 election.
The outlet cited two unnamed sources familiar with the matter. If the report is indeed true, it would mark a significant development in Mueller’s investigation.
“Bad reporting, bad information and bad story,” Cohen wrote Saturday in a tweet denying the McClatchy article.
Proof of the alleged trip would lend support to the Steele dossier ― the report by former British intelligence official Christopher Steele containing allegations that the Trump campaign conspired with the Russian government to win the election. (The dossier is also how we know about the alleged “golden shower thing.”) It was funded by Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee.
According to the dossier, Cohen played a part in the alleged conspiracy. It says he used a meeting with a Russian nongovernmental organization as cover to meet with Russian officials during a trip to Prague in August or September 2016. They allegedly discussed a “coverup and damage limitation operation in an attempt to prevent the full details of Trump’s relationship with Russia being exposed,” and discussed how to make “deniable cash payments” to “Romanian hackers.”
Cohen, for his part, says he’s never been to Prague. He even shared his passport with BuzzFeed to support his claim.
In his tweet on Saturday, the attorney said he was in Los Angeles with his son at the time in question.
“Proven!” he wrote.
However, the lack of a Czech stamp in Cohen’s passport does not necessarily rule out the possibility that he traveled to the Czech Republic.
Sources told McClatchy that Cohen traveled to Prague through Germany and did not require a passport “because both countries are in the so-called Schengen Area in which 26 nations operate with open borders.” The sources did not say whether Cohen would have used a commercial or private plane to fly to Europe, or why there does not appear to be a record of such a trip.
McClatchy notes that “it’s unclear whether Mueller’s investigators also have evidence that Cohen actually met with a prominent Russian ― purportedly Konstantin Kosachev, an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin ― in the Czech capital.”
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