Though Michael Cohen has spent months denying that he ever has been in Prague, much less colluded with Russia during Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, the special counsel reportedly has evidence Cohen secretly made a trip to Prague in late summer 2016 — during the election.
The allegation that Trump’s personal lawyer and confidant made such a trip initially emerged from the so-called Steele dossier. It is alleged that the purpose of Cohen’s trip was one in which he strategized with a “powerful Kremlin figure.”
If this turns out to be true, it will be one of the most significant developments thus far in Robert Mueller’s Trump-Russia investigation. We already know that Michael Cohen is the one who brokered the hush settlement with adult film actress Stormy Daniels. Cohen maintains that he did so with his own personal money and was never reimbursed by Trump personally or by the Trump campaign. As we now know, Cohen had been under investigation by the Department of Justice for several months.
In court filings, the Justice Department indicated that the searches, which covered Cohen’s home, hotel room, office, safety deposit boxes, as well as two cell phones. Additionally, we know that previously executed search warrants allowed New York federal prosecutors to search multiple email accounts, per the same filing.
Each search warrant specifically describes how records seized that may fall into attorney-client privilege will be filtered out by a team that’s walled off from the federal agents who have conducted the investigation, the prosecutors wrote.
Once they’ve reviewed the records, the filter team can give to the investigators communications “between Cohen and persons with whom Cohen undisputedly does not have an attorney-client relationship,” likely meaning the records wouldn’t be between Cohen and Trump, prosecutors said. The filter team is working from a list of individuals and companies they’ve compiled regarding people who aren’t Cohen’s legal clients.
Here’s video of the president lying to the country about whether his attorney traveled to Prague in mid-2016, which he very well knew that he had, and indeed which, we will find, he did at Trump’s direction. Per McClatchy, Mueller has evidence of the trip. https://t.co/DHPoumhqOk
— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) April 14, 2018
As always, Trump is making a bad situation much worse for those around him. As soon as the public was aware of the raid on Cohen’s properties, his threats to fire Mueller or Rod Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general who’s overseeing the special counsel, grew downright belligerent. Of course that doesn’t make Cohen appear innocent.