Does It All Come Down to Prague?

McClatchy is reporting through unnamed sources that Mueller has evidence Michael Cohen went to Prague. Cohen famously denied the allegation at the time.

Read through the McClatchy article and see what it says the import would be for Trump and Cohen if it turns out that Cohen was untruthful when he denied he went to Prague.

Also, today, Cohen dropped his defamation lawsuit against Buzzfeed.

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    It also seems interesting (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Apr 19, 2018 at 05:33:03 PM EST
    They are pushing back so hard on this.  Including the now well known "Times" story pointing to vague denials that right wing media interpreted as Muellers office saying it was untrue which not only it does not say but we know Muellers office would never do that.

    As for what it means I would say if it true it means game over.

    I read in the story on Guiliani (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Chuck0 on Thu Apr 19, 2018 at 06:51:40 PM EST
    joining Bone Spurs' legal team, that BS's allies fear Cohen will flip. Isn't that tantamount to admitting wrongdoing? There is something to tell.

    I mean if you were to tell me my best frirnd or wife was going to "flip" on me, my reaction would be "so what." I haven't done anything wrong. If you are innocent of wrongdoing, why should you or your allies be afraid of someone flipping? Seems to me even his friends know he is a grifter and traitor.

    I have no idea (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Apr 19, 2018 at 07:09:29 PM EST
    though exactly how Giuliani is going to help Trump if Cohen flips. Maybe Giuliani just wants to be the first to find out what is going on and what is going to happen to himself.

    Maybe like this? (none / 0) (#4)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Apr 19, 2018 at 07:20:09 PM EST
    God, its like.. (none / 0) (#9)
    by desertswine on Thu Apr 19, 2018 at 10:20:38 PM EST
    Carlo Gambino is running the country, except worse.

    I'm pretty sure Gambino (none / 0) (#10)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Apr 20, 2018 at 06:42:04 AM EST
    Would do a better job.

    Trump and his tantrums always remind me of this Twilight Zone epidode

    Donald and his cabinet

    Make America real good again!

    "Thats good Donald!  That's real good! "


    Your comment is surprisingly naive, ChuckO (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by Peter G on Thu Apr 19, 2018 at 07:27:47 PM EST
    Many a "snitch" has incriminated others falsely, and even more have exaggerated others' roles or degree of involvement, to curry prosecutors' favor and win favorable treatment for themselves. Not saying this would be the case with Cohen, but your comment seemed to generalize in a way that is contrary to the experience of all defense lawyers.

    Cooperator testimony (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Apr 20, 2018 at 12:06:12 PM EST
    is purchased testimony. It is bought with promises of leniency or freedom instead of money. The incentive to lie is enormous. Freedom is a commodity far more precious than money.

    Thank you Peter for pointing that out.


    It is more than a bit frustrating (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by Peter G on Fri Apr 20, 2018 at 02:48:51 PM EST
    that when I point out that many snitches lie or exaggerate, and that sometimes prosecutors either turn a blind eye or even encourage it, I am accused of taking a position on whether Cohen would, in fact, in some totally hypothetical future circumstances lie about Tr*mp, and even more absurd, taking a position on whether he could fool Mueller if he did so (or whether Mueller would encourage it). I said nothing about any of those. I just took advantage of ChuckO's comment, suggesting that if you are innocent you have nothing to fear from a cooperating witness, to point out that experience shows this is not necessarily so.

    Hell knows no fear,,, (4.00 / 1) (#20)
    by kdog on Fri Apr 20, 2018 at 03:36:40 PM EST
    like the fear of an innocent person under investigation in our system of justice.

    That's why so many innocent people cop pleas.  


    The whole, (none / 0) (#17)
    by Zorba on Fri Apr 20, 2018 at 12:22:31 PM EST
    let's face it, bribes, offered to cooperating witnesses who would otherwise be facing many years in jail, just bothers the he!! out of me.
    It just seems to me that prosecutors are more interested in "winning" than they are about finding out the truth.
    And that's not right- this isn't the Super Bowl or the World Series, for pity's sake.  It's not a game- peoples' lives and freedom are on the line.

    So Cohen might go Trump on (none / 0) (#6)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Apr 19, 2018 at 07:32:55 PM EST

    Sounds about right, simple kind of common sense. They've been hip and hip for years. Have to have something in common to be that into each other hahahs. The obvious can be elusive for me.


    While I agree with this generally Peter (none / 0) (#11)
    by vicndabx on Fri Apr 20, 2018 at 09:31:08 AM EST
    shouldn't we use what our eyes, ears and nose are telling us here?  In which case Chuck's comment makes perfect sense?

    IANAL, but I have been a juror.  Heck, I've been an adult human even longer.


    But aren't our senses also telling us... (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by kdog on Fri Apr 20, 2018 at 09:44:26 AM EST
    that Cohen is a first-class sleaze with no moral compass, and would probably tell the law anything to keep his sorry arse outta the can?  Any snitching to keep one's arse outta the can is inherently suspect, Peter is 100% right.

    Of course we all want Trump to get his just desserts and this national nightmare to end...but the means matter just as much as that end. We should all hope the Mueller team and the SDNY team don't cross the line to get their collars, as investigators and prosecutors are too often prone to do.  The line is more important than convicting any particular criminal suspect...even Trump.


    That's (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by FlJoe on Fri Apr 20, 2018 at 10:32:07 AM EST
    assuming that Mueller is a fool, who will believe anything he is told, I seriously doubt that. In any case if a snitch tells you where the body is buried and you are able to dig it up, you hardly need the snitch anymore.

    Also, in my understanding, the prosecutor can use the severity of the sentence in any plea deal as leverage to insure truthfulness.

    What about Felix Sater? What has he already told Mueller? Him and Cohen seemed close and I am pretty sure he has been telling Mueller a whole lot.


    No. Mine don't. (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by vicndabx on Fri Apr 20, 2018 at 10:51:36 AM EST
    ....and would probably tell the law anything to keep his sorry arse outta the can

    Until he actually does that, I stay grounded in the reality of what we know. Not some "what if" that might occur or has occurred in other instances with other people.  This is the essence of not judging a book by it's cover - just in reverse. The book cover here says "Shady Lawyer".

    We know Cohen is the type of person that sets up BS "legal entities" to hide his boss' embarrassing potentially criminal activities.  We know Michael "who sez" Cohen is the type of man who will spin BS to prevent others from being aware of certain truths.  To Chuck's point, no embarrassing criminal activities, there's nothing to fear.  That he may lie to protect his own @ss means what exactly? That I should ignore all the shady sh!t the guy he lied on does?

    Real talk, I think Cohen is simply one wealthy white man looking out for other wealthy white men. It's very simple.

    As an FYI, I don't expect the national nightmare to end until we have new elections in 2020. I'm not vested in personal retribution against Trump. SDNY, Mueller, 2018, these are all stop gap, hold the line efforts IMO (unless we totally blow out the house and senate.) I'm not counting on any prosecution because as we've seen time and time again, certain people get off all the time in spite of overwhelming evidence.  

    That's why I keep chewing on your @ss re: lefty indifference to anything that is not lefty.  The time has been long overdue for all us of a similar mindset to choose a side.  Principles are great, but thinking about principle above actual people's lives does a great disservice to those principles and renders the principle meaningless.


    Can we agree to choose... (none / 0) (#18)
    by kdog on Fri Apr 20, 2018 at 02:06:45 PM EST
    Ms. Nixon's side in the upcoming Democratic primary for Governor my friend? ;)

    Only if you first promise ... (none / 0) (#28)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Apr 20, 2018 at 07:28:01 PM EST
    ... to actually register to vote as a Democrat this year and show up at the polls on Election Day. Otherwise, your professed support for Cynthia Nixon is completely meaningless, and you might just as well go to Citi Field and instead cheer on your New York Mets, for all the electoral good it would do her.

    Re "just desserts": (none / 0) (#34)
    by oculus on Fri Apr 20, 2018 at 11:09:13 PM EST
    From The Grammatist:

    The expression meaning that which is deserved was originally just deserts. The phrase is the last refuge of an obsolete meaning of desert--namely, something that is deserved or merited. But because most modern English speakers are unfamiliar with that old sense of desert, the phrase is often understandably written just desserts.

    Using just desserts is not a serious error, and it is much more common than just deserts in 21st-century texts. Some people still consider it wrong, however. Whether to pay this any heed is for each of us to decide for ourselves.


    That may be so. (none / 0) (#25)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Apr 20, 2018 at 07:14:04 PM EST
    But as you clearly inferred by your reference to Cohen, that doesn't necessarily render every snitch untruthful by default.

    From my personal perspective, and speaking for myself only, I believe that at trial, both judge and jury ought to be made fully aware of the totality of circumstances and conditions under which such testimony and assistance was obtained by the prosecution.

    And further, any failure of prosecutors to provide such full and complete disclosure should be immediate grounds not only for the disqualification of said witness, but also the subsequent dismissal of any indictment(s) gained in all or in part from the cooperation of said witness, and the corresponding suppression of any evidence obtained as a direct result of the above.

    A snitch's testimony should be well-corroborated and unimpeachable in its claims, and unassailable in its veracity. Otherwise, as far as I'm concerned, such a witness for the prosecution is really no more trustworthy and dependable than a Republican who's speaking for the congressional record in favor of tax cuts.

    Trust cautiously, and verify absolutely.


    I think this is the state of the law. (none / 0) (#35)
    by oculus on Fri Apr 20, 2018 at 11:10:06 PM EST
    This is interesting (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Apr 20, 2018 at 10:05:08 AM EST
    The Comey memos (none / 0) (#7)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Apr 19, 2018 at 08:14:10 PM EST
    Have been turned over to the peanut gallery.

    Comey is on Rachel now discussing that and other things.

    Sorry (none / 0) (#8)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Apr 19, 2018 at 08:14:47 PM EST
    Aimed for the open thread and missed

    How I understand this (none / 0) (#21)
    by linea on Fri Apr 20, 2018 at 06:23:22 PM EST
    This is my understanding of the facts. If I'm mistaken, feel free to correct any errors.

    [1] Steele claims in his dossier that an unnamed `Kremlin insider' provided him with information that in August 2016 there was a meeting between Michael Cohen and two Russians: Konstantin Kosachev (a prominent ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin) and Oleg Solodukhin, the deputy chief of Rossotrudnichestvo's operation in the Czech Republic. Steele's dossier claims that the meeting was held at the Prague office of Rossotrudnichestvo (a Russian government-backed social and cultural organization) and that several Eastern European hackers were also present, some of whom are Romanian. The dossier alleges that Cohen, Kosachev, Solodukhin, and the hackers discussed `how deniable cash payments were to be made to hackers in Europe who had worked under Kremlin direction against the Clinton campaign.'

    [2] Michael Cohen denies ever having been to Prague and claims that he was in LA with son.

    [3] Two reporters for McClatchy citing unnamed sources claim that Mueller has proof Michael Cohen was in Prague in August or September 2016 (and that he crossed into Czechia from Germany) but notes that it is `unclear whether Mueller's investigators also have evidence that Cohen actually met with a prominent Russian.'

    [4] Michael Cohen repeats his denial of ever having been to Prague and again asserts that he was in LA with son.

    Is there point? (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Apr 20, 2018 at 06:26:59 PM EST
    Other than stating the obvious?

    I'm already sorry I ask


    Stop, Capt (none / 0) (#30)
    by Zorba on Fri Apr 20, 2018 at 07:40:12 PM EST
    You're wasting your time and you know it.  😉
    Go have a beer, a glass of wine, or a toke.

    I'm way ahead of you (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Apr 20, 2018 at 07:41:46 PM EST
    There is nothing wrong with my post (none / 0) (#32)
    by linea on Fri Apr 20, 2018 at 08:31:11 PM EST
    It's a question not a point. There can't be a discussion if people disagree on the facts.

    There is no question (none / 0) (#36)
    by Towanda on Fri Apr 20, 2018 at 11:38:19 PM EST
    in your post.

    I thought this was interesting (none / 0) (#23)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Apr 20, 2018 at 06:33:33 PM EST

    Michael Cohen's attorney argued in a Los Angeles court Friday that a lawsuit against Donald Trump's personal lawyer filed by porn actress Stormy Daniels should be delayed because Cohen could soon be indicted.

    Cohen and the president were seeking a 90-day delay to a lawsuit filed by Daniels arguing that a nondisclosure agreement she signed before the 2016 election was invalid because Trump never signed it. On Friday, U.S. District Court Judge S. James Otero postponed ruling on the matter, giving Cohen until Wednesday to file a declaration that he will refuse to answer questions by invoking the Fifth Amendment's protection against self-incrimination.

    So we will produce badly know soon enough if he was in Prague or not.

    Ohhhh spell correct (none / 0) (#24)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Apr 20, 2018 at 06:36:35 PM EST
    You make me laugh and grind my teeth

    So we will PROBABLY know soon enough if he was in Prague or not.


    Hopefully (none / 0) (#26)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Apr 20, 2018 at 07:19:39 PM EST
    sooner rather than later. The continual chaos is weighing on my last nerve.

    They are squeezing him (none / 0) (#27)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Apr 20, 2018 at 07:26:19 PM EST
    Like an orange

    The pundit class says if anyone can flip him it's the SDNY.  But like Manafort he may have mafia problems that are worse than any amount of jail time.  

    People say he will flip because of his family.  I think he might not flip because of his family.  But if he does ........


    ... for dealing with real or suspected dissidents, I would advise Michael Cohen and Paul Manafort to avoid standing near any highrise apartment windows or balconies while strangers are present in the same room.

    Does it matter? (none / 0) (#33)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Apr 20, 2018 at 08:51:38 PM EST
    there is a post at C&L that thinks it does not

    doesn't matter.

    Whatever evidence that exists in all the material impounded by the Cohen office-hotel-apartment search warrant, well, exists. To put it bluntly, if it documents a crime or crimes, Mueller & Co. don't need to flip Cohen, it's already in evidence. Why offer him a deal when they have him (and presumably his three clients) dead to rights?

    I don't think I agree.  It seems to me no matter how much they got Cohen could almost surely tell them more.

    I think it matters.