Mueller Has Evidence Michael Cohen Traveled To Prague According To Report; Cohen Hits Back

Special counsel Robert Mueller has evidence that Donald Trump's personal lawyer and confidant, Michael Cohen, made a secret late-summer trip to Prague as the 2016 presidential campaign was in its final stretch, reports McClatchy.

[I]nvestigators have traced evidence that Cohen entered the Czech Republic through Germany, apparently during August or early September of 2016 as the ex-spy [Steele] reported, said the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation is confidential. He wouldn’t have needed a passport for such a trip, because both countries are in the so-called Schengen Area in which 26 nations operate with open borders. The disclosure still left a puzzle: The sources did not say whether Cohen took a commercial flight or private jet to Europe, and gave no explanation as to why no record of such a trip has surfaced. -McClatchy

If true, it would confirm a portion of the infamous "Steele Dossier" used to obtain a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant to spy on a Trump campaign associate. The dossier was created by former MI6 agent Christopher Steele, and relies heavily on Kremlin officials and other Russian sources. 

Of note, the FBI would not pay Steele $50,000 when he couldn't verify the claims in his dossier. 

Mr. Steele met his F.B.I. contact in Rome in early October, bringing a stack of new intelligence reports. One, dated Sept. 14, said that Mr. Putin was facing “fallout” over his apparent involvement in the D.N.C. hack and was receiving “conflicting advice” on what to do.

The agent said that if Mr. Steele could get solid corroboration of his reports, the F.B.I. would pay him $50,000 for his efforts, according to two people familiar with the offer. Ultimately, he was not paid. -New York Times

The dossier claims that during Cohen's secret trip to Prague, he met with a prominent ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, purported to be Konstantin Kosachev.

In response to McClatchy's claims, Cohen hit back on Saturday. 

“Bad reporting, bad information and bad story,” Cohen tweeted, calling out the reporter behind the story, Peter Stone, by name. “No matter how many times or ways they write it, I have never been to Prague. I was in LA with my son. Proven!

Following the release of the Steele dossier, Cohen tweeted a picture of his passport, along with the hashtag #fakenews. 

Cohen has had a rough week. On Monday, his home, office and hotel room were raided by the DOJ, who seized documents, bank records, and other evidence potentially related to porn star Stormy Daniels, a taxi medallion business Cohen ran, and other activities.

Then on Friday, the DOJ announced that Cohen has been "under criminal investigation" for months in New York over various business dealings.

Later Friday, the Wall Street Journal reported that Cohen arranged a $1.6 million payoff to a former Playboy model in late 2017 who says she was impregnated by a top Republican fundraiser, "according to people familiar with the matter" (96 hours after the raid). 

Michael Cohen, whose office, home and hotel room were raided by federal agents this week, arranged the payments to the woman on behalf of Elliott Broidy, a deputy finance chairman of the Republican National Committee with ties to Mr. Trump, the people familiar with the matter said. Mr. Broidy, a Los Angeles-based venture capitalist, works on the Republican committee with Mr. Cohen, who is also a national deputy finance chairman.

The deal, which hasn’t previously been reported, prohibits the Los Angeles woman from disclosing her alleged relationship with Mr. Broidy in exchange for $1.6 million to be paid to her over two years in quarterly installments, these people said. The first payment was due Dec. 1, according to one of the people.-WSJ

The Broidy agreement resembles a $130,000 deal in which Cohen agreed to pay former porn star Stephanie Clifford - prohibiting her from discussing an alleged sexual affair with President Trump from 2006. The Broidy agreement "uses the same pseudonyms for Mr. Broidy and the woman with whom he was allegedly involved - David Dennison and Peggy Peterson," according to the WSJ.

Bring in the Taint Team

As the DOJ sets about grundling around in Cohen's records, federal prosecutors have reportedly set up a "taint team," also called a "privilege team," which is tasked with reviewing materials obtained in the raid prior to them being handed over to the prosecutorial team. 

"The taint team lawyers review the documents and remove anything that is covered by the attorney client privilege," CNN chief legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin wrote in an email. "They pass the non-attorney client material to the investigators, who are not 'tainted' by contact with the privileged material."

"Attorney-client privilege is dead!" tweeted President Trump on Tuesday morning - referring to the legal privilege protecting the majority of communications between a client and their attorney. 

"Not so", said former New Jersey governor Chris Christie and onetime head of Trump's transition team. 

"Attorney-client privilege is not dead, because of the way the Justice Department is going to approach this," Christie said. "There's going to be a taint team. They call it a taint team because you don't want to taint the prosecutors who are actually investigating it by seeing potentially privileged information that they have no right to see."

Christie added that the team would "separate it into stuff that's privileged and stuff that isn't. And then of the stuff that's privileged, is there any evidence of a crime or fraud?"

We're sure the taint team will be of the same ethical caliber as the rest of the DOJ, so Cohen and Trump have nothing to worry about. It would be unlikely that the water-tight, leak-proof Justice Department would find compromising - yet privileged evidence against Trump, and then use it as leverage over he or his associates in a leak similar to, we assume, the Broidy agreement

Comments

DillyDilly Adolph.H. Sat, 04/14/2018 - 15:25 Permalink

@Adolph

 

Wanna know how bad it is? OK ~ so there's ZERO to my comment here (except to noodle on it as a metaphor), but here goes...

 

Let's say you WERE, actually, Hillary Clinton:

 

- 1 week ago you'd be passed out, drunk, slobbering, stinking, crapping in your depends, hoping somebody would buy your book, hoping even more NOT to get arrested

 

- Now? You're calling up the Podestas asking them if they think you'd stand a chance in 2020 & can they help.

In reply to by Adolph.H.

DillyDilly IntercoursetheEU Sat, 04/14/2018 - 16:06 Permalink

You'll start seeing Mueller more in the headlines...

 

After Trump's colossal bonehead move here in Syria... He's probably gonna finally have to do a hail mary and finally fire Mueller & Rosenstein...

 

mosley will think it's 16-D chess... It won't be... It'll be purely defensive... Trump had the ball  for awhile ~ but he fumbled in the RED ZONE...

In reply to by IntercoursetheEU

BigCumulusClouds overbet Sat, 04/14/2018 - 17:02 Permalink

Mueller can find out if some scrawny lawyer went to Prague, or so he claims, but he couldn’t figure out that the WTC buildings were blown up on 911, despite having the whole FBI at his fingertips. Heck I know 6 graders who figured the controlled demolition of the WTC buildings during his tenure as FBI director.

So the guy is either a complete fucking moron or he’s corrupt as hell. Well I suppose he could be both too. 

In reply to by overbet

Gusher JoseyWalesTheOutlaw Sat, 04/14/2018 - 15:50 Permalink

2016: Trump colluded with Russia.

2017: Trump colluded with Russia, the evidence is just around the corner.

2018: Trump, Cohen, Manafort, Gates, Flynn, Flynn's son, Sessions, That Dutch Attorney guy, Don Jr, Stormy Daniels mother, Don King, Herschel Walker and possibly Mike Tyson and definitely Zuckerberg colluded with Russia to steal the election from that smart likable popular honest Hillary Clinton. The evidence is overwhelming and will be released soon. 

2019: Trump colluded with Russia, everybody knows that but Trump is such a snake we haven't been able to prove it yet, it's coming! TRUST ME!!!

2020: Trump re-elected.

In reply to by JoseyWalesTheOutlaw

Deep Snorkeler junction Sat, 04/14/2018 - 15:25 Permalink

Trump looked out the window

to see he is surrounded by Snow Goons, creeping ever closer:

  • ethics, morality, mores and conventions are unknown to him
  • Stormy is blonde as hell and wearing a lot of black
  • his last name is Quirk, President Quirk
  • Rastafarians pray for him
  • obese Americans are confused

In reply to by junction

Buckaroo Banzai SloMoe Sat, 04/14/2018 - 15:58 Permalink

Meh. I'd wager there are only a relative handful of "go-to" lawyers who specialize in fixing shit like this at the highest (i.e. seven-figure) levels. Obviously, Cohen and Davidson are two of them. Suggesting that because two of them are on opposite sides of several related cases means that they must be colluding is kind of a stretch.

In reply to by SloMoe

Oldwood Disgruntled Goat Sat, 04/14/2018 - 17:19 Permalink

Won't work...but nobody cares. If facts and proof mattered, this would have been over before it started.

This is about lying to the public long enough that even if we don't all believe it, we will believe everyone else does and not make a big fuss when they haul Trump out of the Whitehouse bound and gagged in the middle of the night.

Mark my words. They will NEVER have proof of any crimes and yet regale us with their litany as they "convict" him....just as they did with Assad's gas attacks. No proof needed when we already KNOW how bad he is....because they have been telling us for years.

This is a vocal democracy, no need to count votes when you can simply let the loudest voices prevail. Truth is in the eyes and ears of the deciders. Resist at your own risk.

In reply to by Disgruntled Goat

JoseyWalesTheOutlaw Sat, 04/14/2018 - 15:18 Permalink

Why the LongFace Bob?

 

You were the sunshine, baby, whenever you smiled
But I call you Stormy today
All of a sudden that ole rain's fallin' down
And my world is cloudy and gray
You've gone away
Oh Stormy, oh Stormy
Bring back that sunny day

 

Robert Trip Sat, 04/14/2018 - 15:22 Permalink

Cohen is a sleazebag just like his lying backstabbing boss who brought us to the brink of war for no fucking reason.

Bolton has been brought on board to take the fall.

The military runs this country and Congress might as well fold up it's tent and fuck off.

$80 billion this year alone for a military that's been a foul-up since 1945?

This is what we get for $80Billion?

Those General Staff talking to the media can shove their yellow-belly medals up their ass.

indygo55 Robert Trip Sat, 04/14/2018 - 15:31 Permalink

Trump pulled the trigger because he knew there would NOT be a wider war. That's why the Syrians and Russians and Iranians all pulled their shit out of the area well before the attack. That's why there was no intrusion into the Russian security zone. That's why no human being was killed. He knew. They all knew. This was pablum for the masses. Theater. Saving a blusterous face. He's a fucking politician now. He's learned the game. 

In reply to by Robert Trip

scraping_by indygo55 Sat, 04/14/2018 - 17:01 Permalink

By the masses, don't think you're referring to us deplorables out here in flyover country. Except for the boys with toys, rally round the flag types, who are a little sheepish these days, the American Empire has faded is no longer inspirational. Even the War on Terror's past its sell by date for the older crew, and is a proven false flag to the Millenials.

No, the fan base for killing Syrians is the Neoliberal Cabal: the alleged experts, Israel lobbyists, Deep State operators, and the corporate  sector who thrive on chaos.  Part of the Swamp. The Pentagon's New Map is a talking point for chicken hawks who know where the money comes from.

Even war movies and war reporting (same point of view, same goals) don't work so well to enchant the idea of killing men, women and children because someone points and says 'Go.' The unwashed masses are drifting back to pre-WWII days when over 90% of the population opposed going to war.

No, the people the press loves to point at are all right there in Washngton.

In reply to by indygo55

valerie24 scraping_by Sat, 04/14/2018 - 17:30 Permalink

Excellent post!

I'm a deplorable too. So disappointed that the deep state has taken over the Presidency. I hope that he can overcome the neoliberal/neocon crowd but it doesn't look like it right now.

Hard to imagine the swamp and the Israeli masters going away. Trump could throw us a morsel and pull the troops out of Syria, really hard to do with Neocon Bolton now in charge.

In reply to by scraping_by

Mr Hankey scraping_by Sat, 04/14/2018 - 21:10 Permalink

Cool story, bro.

Where I am,the majority  are flagwanking retarded yahoos with those 6 by 10 foot foot flags subtracting another 5 mpg off their 55k factory monster trucks that never pull anything except that flag ,or any passengers. 

Must be some cadillac gibs they're getting in this military / police  state. 

& This aint the only one.

3 hots and a cot my ass.

In reply to by scraping_by

VideoEng_NC indygo55 Sat, 04/14/2018 - 17:11 Permalink

Finally...  These have been my thoughts as well, he blew up some buildings.  "You want me to bomb Syria, fine!...I bombed Syria..."  Am sure he's getting the reports about the alleged FF, since when did he and May become buds...it all appears to suggest he's done "something" but the reality is exactly your point.  He still has to know the British are not his friends at the moment.

In reply to by indygo55