When the Steele Dossier was made public in January 2017, perhaps the most eye-popping allegation (outside the pee tape) centered on then-Trump lawyer Michael Cohen traveling to Prague in summer of 2016 to visit with Russian officials to coordinate plans around hacking Hillary Clinton’s campaign. A new bombshell report by McClatchy contends that signals from Cohen’s cell phone place him near Prague during the time the purported meeting took place.
According to the piece, which cited four separate sources with knowledge of the matter, a phone traced to Cohen sent signals that bounced off cell phone towers in Prague during August or September 2016. Two sources told McClatchy that a European intelligence agency picked up conversations around that time from Russians who mentioned that Cohen was currently in Prague.
McClatchy also described its sources in this way:
Four people spoke with McClatchy on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of information shared by their foreign intelligence connections. Each obtained their information independently from foreign intelligence connections.
Obviously, if true, this story would be absolutely earth-shattering, as it not only confirms a major part of the dossier — which Trump world has been desperate to invalidate in an effort to discredit the Mueller probe — but would also potentially prove that collusion took place between the Trump campaign and Russia to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.
One thing bringing pause about this report, however, is the fact that McClatchy was also behind another blockbuster story surrounding Cohen and Prague. Back in April, the outlet reported that Special Counsel Robert Mueller had evidence that Cohen was in Prague during the time of the alleged meeting. Even though that was obviously a huge revelation, no other outlet matched or confirmed McClatchy’s reporting after publication.
On top of that, Cohen has been cooperating with the Mueller investigation over the past few months since he pleaded guilty in August to several counts of bank fraud and campaign finance violations. He later pleaded guilty to lying to Congress and has since been sentenced to three years in prison.
Yet, even though he has spent dozens of hours speaking with prosecutors, he hasn’t changed his tune on Prague, reiterating that he has never been there. In an interview, Cohen spokesperson Lanny Davis — who previously served as Cohen’s lawyer — told McClatchy that Cohen “has said one million times he was never in Prague.”