Ex-Trump lawyer Michael Cohen on Thursday afternoon shot down a report claiming there was evidence he visited Prague in 2016 as part of an election collusion scheme with the Russians, as outlined in the infamous “pee dossier.”
“I hear #Prague #CzechRepublic is beautiful in the summertime. I wouldn’t know as I have never been. #Mueller knows everything!” he tweeted, hours after the report, by McClatchy, published.
— Michael Cohen (@MichaelCohen212) December 27, 2018
The story, written by McClatchy reporters Peter Stone and Greg Gordon, claims that a cell phone traced to Cohen briefly sent signals ricocheting off cell towers in the Prague area in late summer 2016 — which would support claims made in the dossier that Cohen met there secretly with Russian officials to discuss ways to hide a close “liaison” between the Trump campaign and Russia.
McClatchy’s story is sourced to four people “with knowledge of the matter.” According to the report, an Eastern European intelligence agency picked up a conversation among Russians, one of whom said Cohen was in Prague, according to two of the sources.
The McClatchy report said foreign electronic intelligence intercepts were shared with Special Counsel Robert Mueller, the people familiar with the matter told the outlet.
The report rekindled speculation over whether Cohen, then a close Trump associate, had actually gone to Prague. If Cohen had visited Prague during the campaign, it would lend credence to the dossier, which first claimed that such a meeting took place as part of a conspiracy by the Trump campaign to collude with Russia.
However, it is not the first time McClatchy has claimed that Cohen went to Prague. In April 2018, it claimed that Mueller had “obtained evidence” that Cohen had traveled from Germany to Prague in late August 2016 or early September. The report, also authored by Stone and Gordon, was not corroborated by other reporting.
Both Cohen and Konstantin Kosachev, a longtime member of the Russian Senate and chairman of the Federation Council’s Foreign Affairs Committee, have denied visiting Prague during that time.
McClatchy’s report acknowledges that the “foreign intelligence about Cohen does not confirm a meeting even occurred,” but said it “provides evidence that he traveled to the Czech Republic, where the sources said his phone was momentarily activated to download emails or other data.”
The report does not provide any evidence of this activity, only relying on anonymous sources.
It is not clear why Cohen would deny it if it were true. He has been cooperating with the special counsel after pleading guilty on August 21 to charges of bank fraud and tax and campaign finance law violations. He also later pleaded to one count of lying.