07.27.2018 0

Will the liberal media finally admit Michael Cohen never went to Prague?

By Robert Romano

On June 28, the liberal media’s new darling, former personal attorney of President Donald Trump, Michael Cohen, took to Twitter once again to clear his name of anything to do with Russia interfering in U.S. elections, writing, “My family & I are owed an apology. After 2 years, 15 hours of testimony before House & Senate under oath & producing more than 1000 documents, dossier misreports 15 allegations about me. My entire statement must be quoted — I had nothing to do with Russian collusion or meddling!”

Cohen was said to be in Prague in late Aug. 2016 by the Christopher Steele dossier charging Trump too was a Russian agent published by Buzzfeed in Jan. 2017. There, he allegedly communicated with Russian agents dealing with the political fallout of the alleged ongoing conspiracy between Trump and Moscow to hack and put Democratic emails on Wikileaks.

The dossier stated, “the timing of the visit was either in the last week of August or the first week of September.”

Cohen emphatically denied the charge at the time. He was never in Prague, he said, and presented his passport as evidence.

In May 2017, he allowed Buzzfeed to examine his passport, which took pictures of it: “The stamps indicate he traveled abroad at least four times in 2016: twice to London, once to St. Maarten, and once to Italy in July. The Italian trip is the most intriguing, because it places Cohen in what’s known as the Schengen Area: a group of 26 European countries, including the Czech Republic, that allows visitors to travel freely among them without getting any additional passport stamps. Upon entering the Schengen Area, visitors get a rectangular stamp with the date, a country code, their port of entry, and a symbol showing how they entered — such as an airplane or a train. In Cohen’s passport, that mark appears on page 17, with a date of July 9. The mark is too faint to be fully legible. The exit stamp, similar but with rounded edges, is also light, but the letters ‘cino’ are legible, indicating he flew out of Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino Airport in Rome. That stamp is dated July 17.”

As for London and St. Maarten, “Regarding the three other 2016 stamps in his passport, Cohen said he visited London twice, where his daughter is studying: once in October for a birthday party and again in November for Thanksgiving. He said he vacationed in the Caribbean island of St. Maarten in January.”

As for August, Cohen has insisted all along that he was actually with his son at the University of Southern California with his son’s baseball coach during that time. The Atlantic confirmed Cohen was on campus on Aug. 29 via a University baseball source. For the month of September, Cohen says he was in New York.

To be certain, on Jan. 11, 2017, a day after the dossier was published, Jake Tapper reported on CNN, corroborating Cohen’s account: “Michael Cohen, Trump’s lawyer, has been out there because in this uncorroborated report, it talks about Michael Cohen, Trump’s official corporate lawyer, making a trip to the Czech Republic. My reporting suggests that people tried to run that down, and they concluded that it was different Michael Cohen. It was a Michael Cohen with a passport from another country, same birth year, different birth date. So for Michael Cohen to dispute that he was in the Czech Republic, completely confirms and comports with our reporting and it’s one of the reasons why the intelligence chiefs did not get specific with these allegations and that’s why I hope at the press conference today people are more general and don’t get into the specifics because a lot of that stuff just has not been proven.”

So, there’s the passport. And there’s the explanation that it was some other Michael Cohen that had traveled to Prague at the time. But in April another report surfaced from McClatchy having Cohen in Prague again — and Special Counsel Robert Mueller investigating that Cohen somehow managed to get in and out of the country without getting his passport stamped. The report states, “investigators have traced evidence that Cohen entered the Czech Republic through Germany, apparently during August or early September of 2016 as the ex-spy 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.”

So, which is it? As of June 28, Cohen is still defending his innocence, yet the conspiracy theory of his being a Russian agent persist.

If Steele was not in Prague, then he very well could not have been there talking to Russian agents about meddling in the election on behalf of Donald Trump. The conversations themselves would have had to be have been made up — either by Steele, or his sources.

It also calls into question the sources Steele used to arrive at his conclusions. Was he just taking what he thought were travel records and inserting the rest with Russia collusion garbage?

That appears to be what happened to Carter Page, who traveled to Moscow in June 2016 to deliver a commencement address at the New Economic School, only to be accused of Russian collusion on the election.

The now-released Oct. 2016 application to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court by the FBI and the Obama administration to spy on Page proves shows the government heavily relied on that very same DNC and Clinton campaign-funded dossier from Fusion GPS and British spy Christopher Steele in order to spy on the Trump campaign.

That was their probable cause. But Michael Cohen appeared to prove almost from day one that it was bogus. If there was no Trump-Russia collusion — if there couldn’t have been Trump-Russia collusion the way Steele said — why are we still here? Why does this inquisition continue?

Why hasn’t a federal judge stopped Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s case dead in its tracks? The source document that led to the appointment was apparently a fraud. It lacked probable cause. Mueller has not brought any charges that Trump campaign officials to do with the Russian hacking of the DNC and Podesta emails, and it looks like he never will.

Not only is Michael Cohen owed an apology for this farce, so is everyone else including Carter Page, Paul Manafort, Michael Flynn and President Trump himself who have been accused of being Russian agents when they couldn’t have been. The entire nation is owed an apology. We’re destroying the presidency itself over a big lie cooked up by President Trump’s political opponents. Is it worth it?

Robert Romano is the Vice President of Public Policy at Americans for Limited Government.

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