Donald Trump’s former personal attorney/fixer Michael Cohen has denied a report that he took a trip to Prague in the summer 2016 to meet with Russian officials. The alleged trip by Cohen was outlined in the infamous Steele Dossier and has been offered as proof that Cohen was helping to facilitate an illegal conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia.
Cohen of course has been cooperating with special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian 2016 election interference since August. He has always denied that ever went to Prague, and he repeated this denial on Thursday when he tweeted:
— Michael Cohen (@MichaelCohen212) December 27, 2018
Cohen posted his tweet after the McClatchy DC News Bureau reported on Thursday that foreign intelligence agencies identified a mobile phone linked to Cohen pinging cell towers around Prague sometime between August and September 2016.
McClatchy also reported that a European intelligence service had intercepted a conversation between Russians during which one noted that Cohen was in Prague.
These two new pieces of circumstantial evidence from McClatchy added credibility to the Steele Dossier claim that Cohen secretly met with Kremlin representatives in Prague in August 2016. At that time Donald Trump had been selected as the Republican nominee for president and Michael Cohen was working on Trump’s behalf.
Cohen has been deeply implicated in the alleged conspiracy and collusion between Trump’s presidential campaign and Russia. His situation worsened after the FBI raided his Manhattan office and hotel room in April.
In August Cohen pleaded guilty to several federal charges in August at which time he started cooperating with the Mueller probe. Subsequently he admitted to lying to Congress about the work he did for Donald Trump who was trying to build a Trump Tower in Moscow. He then struck a plea deal with the special counsel to cooperate in the Russia probe. Cohen has since been sentenced to three years in prison for the crimes to which he pleaded guilty.
The Steele Dossier, published shortly before Trump’s inauguration in January of 2017, is extremely unflattering to the president, and contains information implicating him in possible crimes. It includes allegations about Russian interference in U.S. elections and Trump’s many connections with the Russian government. Most of the allegations have not been proven, but a few have been confirmed.
Cohen’s alleged trip to Prague is one of the most important allegations in the dossier. If the trip is proven to have occurred, it will prove that Donald Trump’s personal attorney and most trusted adviser secretly met with Russian government officials just three months before the 2016 elections. And if that happened, it will be very easy for Bob Mueller to prove that there was illegal “collusion” and conspiracy between Russia and the Donald Trump campaign.
It is appearing increasingly likely that Michael Cohen will have a major role to play in bringing down the presidency of Donald Trump.