Trump's personal lawyer denies report of Prague meeting with Russians during campaign

Eloise Marshall
April 16, 2018

President Donald Trump's personal attorney Michael Cohen has been under criminal investigation for months by federal prosecutors who empaneled a grand jury to probe his business dealings beyond his law practice, according to a new court filing.

"Bad reporting, bad information and bad story by same reporter", he tweeted, addressing the story's author by name. "The President has maintained there's no collusion with Russian Federation".

In the Clifford case, Cohen and Trump on Friday filed a joint application requesting a 90-day stay of the action.

The McClatchy DC article also noted that even if there's evidence Cohen traveled to Prague, it's still unclear if Mueller has evidence that the lawyer met with any prominent Russians. This month, Kosachev was among 24 high-profile Russians whom the US sanctioned in retaliation for Russia's meddling.

Earlier this month, reported that Trump Organization lawyer Jill A. Martin was listed as counsel in an arbitration filing for the DE company that Cohen used to pay the "hush money", providing a direct link between Cohen's payment and the Trump Organization.

However, Gordon and Stone reported he wouldn't have needed a passport because both Germany and the Czech Republic are part of the Schengen Area and "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.

Peter Carr, a spokesman for Mueller's office, declined to comment.

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According to the Steele dossier, Cohen traveled to Prague to meet with Russian officials and Eastern European hackers in late August or early September. Cohen's alleged communications with the Russians were mentioned several times in Steele's reports, which he shared with the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

While Trump had the "utmost interest" in ensuring that the process of preserving attorney-client privilege was respected, so did the public - and anyone who has ever sought legal counsel, Hendon said.

Cohen, in a Twitter post, said, "I have never been to Prague in my life". And Davidson has no issue in suing Cohen if that's the case.

Pressed later whether Cohen was still acting as Trump's attorney, Sanders demurred. "Mr. Cohen is not aware of any "secret" TRUMP campaign/Kremlin relationship", Ryan said.

Essential Consultants LLC was used for the partial payment of a $250,000 fee paid to Cohen for negotiating a non-disclosure agreement with a former Playboy model who claimed she was impregnated by Elliott Broidy, a venture capitalist and former deputy finance chairman of the Republican National Committee.

The judge said prosecutors believed either a special "taint team" of government lawyers should decide what evidence can be properly viewed by criminal prosecutors.

Cohen has said he was only in NY and briefly in Los Angeles in August, when the meeting may have occurred, though the sources said it also could have been held in early September. Andrew Prokop at Vox sees it this way: "There is no reason for Cohen to try to debunk the Steele dossier by lying and saying that he didn't visit Prague at all if he actually did, unless he was trying to cover up extremely serious wrongdoing that happened during that visit".

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