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.

    I (none / 0) (#38)
    by FlJoe on Sat Apr 21, 2018 at 09:23:42 AM EST
    think you are painting with an overly broad brush, winning and getting to the truth are not mutually exclusive.

    There is no reason that false testimony by a snitch is any more dangerous than false testimony from other witnesses. As Peter, Jeralyn and  
    others have pointed out there is a certain built in impeachability of snitches that should be easily pointed out to even to the dullest juror.

    I do believe there are many ways that an unethical/foolish/over-zealous prosecutor to fk you up, I'm just not sure that this "purchased" testimony is close to the worst of them.

    I would wager that more wrongful convictions have arisen by false testimony from less obviously impeachable sources(hello LEO) than from snitches.

    Just my 2 cents, I'm obviously way out of my league here.


    I would agree that use of unreliable informants (none / 0) (#43)
    by Peter G on Sat Apr 21, 2018 at 11:29:09 AM EST
    is not being called the worst form of prosecutorial misconduct, but I don't think anyone was trying to rank those. Up there high on the list are also concealment of favorable (exculpatory, mitigating, impeaching, etc.) information, police "testilying," racial discrimination (conscious and unconscious) in the exercise of police and prosecutorial discretion, and bogus forensic "science." Not necessarily in that order.

    I remember Mulder (none / 0) (#45)
    by jondee on Sat Apr 21, 2018 at 12:48:05 PM EST
    the lead prosecutor in the Randall Adams case, as portrayed in the documentary The Thin Blue Line, was shown to be guilty of just about every form of misconduct mentioned, and not only was he never reprimanded in any serious fashion - in a case in which a man came within a hair's breadth of being executed - but he went to have highly lucrative, celebrated career in private practice in Texas, in between golfing at St Andrews and marlin fishing in the Gulf..

    Like the line from the Dylan song..now all the criminals in their coats and their ties, are free to drink martinis and watch the sunrise..


    The (none / 0) (#47)
    by FlJoe on Sat Apr 21, 2018 at 01:00:17 PM EST
    road to police state hell is paved with "testilies" if you ask me.

    The bogus forensic science (none / 0) (#52)
    by Zorba on Sat Apr 21, 2018 at 01:46:24 PM EST
    Has always driven Mr. Zorba, who is a scientist, crazy.
    He has been known to, shall I say, raise his voice a bit and exclaim "There's no actual proof of that!  They haven't done real (double blind) experiments on it!"

    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.


    "No honor among thieves" is the (none / 0) (#37)
    by Anne on Sat Apr 21, 2018 at 08:50:16 AM EST
    phrase that comes to mind...

    I think whatever happens, we have to consider what is being described as the somewhat complicated relationship between Cohen and Trump. Reports are that Trump treated Cohen like "garbage:" does that come back to bite Trump?  That Cohen badly wanted to be on the inside of the campaign, and hoped to be invited in to the administration - but time and again, Trump gave him the cold shoulder in favor of others.

    So, two questions:

    1.  Does Trump have something to fear from Cohen?


    2.  Is freedom more important to Cohen than Trump?


    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
    No, that is not the state of the law (none / 0) (#42)
    by Peter G on Sat Apr 21, 2018 at 11:21:40 AM EST
    An informant's testimony must be "received with caution" (in most states) but need not be "unimpeachable." And there is rarely a dismissal remedy for the prosecutor being found to have used "snitch" testimony that was untrue.

    I was focused on dismissal of the (none / 0) (#49)
    by oculus on Sat Apr 21, 2018 at 01:11:49 PM EST
    case in the event prosecution failed to completely disclose details surrounding the witness.  Promises of leniency etc.

    Not naive. (none / 0) (#46)
    by Chuck0 on Sat Apr 21, 2018 at 12:48:23 PM EST
    I think you missed my point. I was simply musing that if your friends, your friends mind you, think you may be in trouble because your lawyer or business associate was searched, then you have a stink on you that you cannot wash off. Bone Spurs wreaks of stink and his friends know it. No matter what Cohen says or doesn't say.

    This is interesting (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Apr 20, 2018 at 10:05:08 AM EST
    One if by land (5.00 / 3) (#104)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Apr 23, 2018 at 02:20:28 PM EST
    Two if by sea

    NEW: Bloomberg has flight records for Trump's Miss Universe trip to Russia in 2013.

    Doesn't match up with his claim that he never stayed overnight.

    The pee tape is real! The pee tape is real!

    my prayer candles arrived last week, (5.00 / 4) (#105)
    by leap on Mon Apr 23, 2018 at 04:10:59 PM 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 (5.00 / 2) (#36)
    by Towanda on Fri Apr 20, 2018 at 11:38:19 PM EST
    in your post.

    Cleaning off my phone screen... (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by Anne on Sat Apr 21, 2018 at 10:53:37 AM EST
    Good one.

    Good (1.00 / 1) (#48)
    by linea on Sat Apr 21, 2018 at 01:01:28 PM EST
    Then we're making progress.

    If we all agree to the facts as posted than we all agree that McClatchy News has unnamed sources not `proof' as everyone was claiming in a previous thread. We can also do away with the spurious assertion that `everything' in the Steele dossier is `proven true' and has been `corroborated' which is a claim frequently posted here. Everyone will need to wait until Mueller reports his findings.  


    Saying "everyone" isn't proof (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by jondee on Sat Apr 21, 2018 at 01:11:59 PM EST
    that everyone was saying that -- except for one intrepid crusader for truth and accuracy.

    The usual suspects (none / 0) (#51)
    by linea on Sat Apr 21, 2018 at 01:32:26 PM EST
    Everyone in this case would be everyone who commented and high-5'd those who were insisting McClatchy News had `proof' rather than unnamed sources. With the exception of FlJoe who also recognized that the article `seemed thinly sourced.'

    Actually - no (1.00 / 1) (#177)
    by linea on Sun Apr 15, 2018 at 01:27:01 PM EST
    Perhaps you should consider reading the article (or take a remedial reading comprehension course).

    I have no idea if Cohen might have gone to Prague to meet Russians but the reporters for McClatchy news are not claiming that McClatchy news has proof he was in Prague. They are simply reporting what anonymous sources are claiming.

    AGAIN: The article claims that unidentified `sources' claim that Cohen went to Prague and opines that, if true, `confirmation of the trip would lend credence' to the claims in the Steele Dossier.

    Ok, that's a little clearer (5.00 / 1) (#53)
    by jondee on Sat Apr 21, 2018 at 01:49:50 PM EST
    In a world of frenetic spin and counter-spin, I'm always slightly sceptical myself when I see "unnamed sources" referenced in the media.

    Thank you! (none / 0) (#54)
    by linea on Sat Apr 21, 2018 at 02:00:48 PM EST
    To me at least, the Mueller investigation seems to be pretty tight. I'm not seeing leaks to the media from that group. Me personally, I'm good with whatever Mueller presents as his conclusions. But everyone needs to wait. That's my perspective.

    Exactly (5.00 / 2) (#56)
    by FlJoe on Sat Apr 21, 2018 at 02:36:35 PM EST
    I spend a lot of time parsing out sourcing in the information flow and I have never seen anything that seems to be coming directly from Mueller's shop. Most if not all of the info has almost certainly come from 'sources familiar with the investigation' ie. any one of the multitude of targets, subjects or witnesses(or their lawyers).

    There is actually a language that reporters use to describe sourcing with "familiar with" being the most generic and weakest and "senior official" being the most specific and strongest.

    IMO, Mueller has been exemplary with not even a "briefed in the matter" showing up. I think now that it's in the SDNY things may change, there have been some notorious loose lips in that neck of the woods.


    As our old friend Tom Petty said (none / 0) (#55)
    by jondee on Sat Apr 21, 2018 at 02:06:31 PM EST
    the waiting is the hardest part.

    Most of all when the leaked info (none / 0) (#58)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Apr 21, 2018 at 04:17:05 PM EST
    Doesn't fit your meme

    Did someone ask you? (none / 0) (#61)
    by Yman on Sat Apr 21, 2018 at 05:09:59 PM EST
    Me personally, I'm good with whatever Mueller presents as his conclusions. But everyone needs to wait. That's my perspective.

    Cause personally, I couldn't care less what you think anyone on this planet "needs to do".


    "Progress"? (5.00 / 2) (#60)
    by Yman on Sat Apr 21, 2018 at 05:07:21 PM EST
    Then we're making progress.

    If we all agree to the facts as posted than we all agree that McClatchy News has unnamed sources not `proof' as everyone was claiming in a previous thread. We can also do away with the spurious assertion that `everything' in the Steele dossier is `proven true' and has been `corroborated' which is a claim frequently posted here. Everyone will need to wait until Mueller reports his findings.

    How is your refutation of your own infantile, strawman claims "progress"?  "Everyone" is NOT claiming the McClatchy article is "proof" that Cohen went to Prague.  YOU are literally the only person making this claim.  What we ARE saying is that McClatchy is a reliable news organization.  What we ARE saying is that the sources are evidence he went to Prague.  What YOU are doing is attacking the McClatchy article with nothing more than Cohen's self-serving denials and laughable innuendo from the Washington Times.  Then, you're pretending to ask "questions" to "clarify" things everyone already knows, after lying about what others are actually saying.

    There ya go.  Now we have some actual facts to discuss.


    So many Russians who were Steele (none / 0) (#76)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Apr 22, 2018 at 08:27:22 AM EST
    Informants ended up dead in an instant after the dossier was exposed.

    Maybe (none / 0) (#77)
    by linea on Sun Apr 22, 2018 at 11:16:29 AM EST
    Steele has not named his sources so this is simply speculation.

    Josh Levy, a lawyer for Fusion GPS claimed "Somebody's already been killed as a result of the publication" and thus his client "wants to be very careful to protect his sources." But there has been no corroboration of this claim.

    CBS News:

    Conspiracy theorists have long speculated that Erovinkin is the source of the claims involving Sechin. However, there is no evidence that has emerged to back up this assertion. Erovinkin is one of a number of high-profile Russians who died in the months after the 2016 election.

    Da ! (none / 0) (#78)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Apr 22, 2018 at 11:19:33 AM EST
    Conrad linea!

    I'm going with Clint Watts linea (5.00 / 1) (#84)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Apr 22, 2018 at 01:59:32 PM EST
    Before I'm going with you

    If Republicans weren't having sham House and Senate investigations perhaps the chain of custody would have allowed us all to know more by now. That has not been the case though and I'm sticking with credible expert opinion before any of your "googling". Thanks all the same.


    Damn (none / 0) (#79)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Apr 22, 2018 at 11:26:31 AM EST
    Comrad linea

    You know Russian Intel has a categorization that is "hi"

    That means useful idiot


    Jesus (3.00 / 1) (#80)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Apr 22, 2018 at 11:27:01 AM EST

    (Capt..."preview" is our friend!) -nt (none / 0) (#81)
    by leap on Sun Apr 22, 2018 at 11:42:08 AM EST

    I know (none / 0) (#82)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Apr 22, 2018 at 11:43:09 AM EST
    A thousand pardons

    I'm cooking


    I said `maybe' (none / 0) (#83)
    by linea on Sun Apr 22, 2018 at 12:37:10 PM EST
    It could be true, it's possible. Putin certainly orders the murder of a lot of people. But at this point, it's simply speculation that there is a Steele dossier connection with the death of any prominent Russian. There's more dead Russians than there are `unnamed sources' in the Steele dossier.

    CNN: Nine months, nine prominent Russians dead


    Actually,it's not "speculation" (none / 0) (#85)
    by Yman on Sun Apr 22, 2018 at 02:09:10 PM EST
    "Speculation" suggests it's merely a theory or conjecture unsupported by evidence.  Mr. Simpson of Fusion GPS (the firm which commissioned the Steele dossier) was asked about the dossier sources during his Senate interview.  Mr. Simpson knows the sources of the information in the dossier.  Through his attorney. he declined to discuss those sources, pointing out the need to protect them and that a source had already been killed as a result of the release of the dossier.  That's called "evidence".

    noun: evidence

    1.  the available body of facts or information indicating whether a belief or proposition is true or valid.

    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.  


    Russia has likely used Skripal poisoning (none / 0) (#75)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Apr 22, 2018 at 08:24:40 AM EST
    As a veiled threat to many.

    There was no need to kill an old spy, and the story about his daughter is ridiculous.


    I (none / 0) (#39)
    by FlJoe on Sat Apr 21, 2018 at 09:40:11 AM EST
    think tRump just called Roger Stone a "drunk/drugged up loser".  Link

    I have a sudden urge to pop some corn, I never thought watching rats chew each other's faces off could be so enjoyable.

    No - Sam Nunberg is believed to be (none / 0) (#40)
    by Anne on Sat Apr 21, 2018 at 10:52:17 AM EST
    the person so described.

    Probably doesn't matter - there still may not be enough popcorn to get us through this sh!tshow


    Roger (none / 0) (#44)
    by FlJoe on Sat Apr 21, 2018 at 12:37:07 PM EST
    Stone and Nunberg are directly quoted in the Haberman article saying basically the same thing but Haberman thinks Trump is referring to Nunberg while he ignores Stone (a source that doesn't exist?) out of fear of Roger Stone
    "Trump is referring to Sam Nunberg in his tweet," Haberman reported. "He's too aware of what Stone could do to him to be that direct."
    Weirsdmental gymnastics going on in tRumps head in any case, but we all know that anyway.

    I can't (none / 0) (#57)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Apr 21, 2018 at 04:14:48 PM EST
    imagine why Maggie would think he would be referring to Nunberg over Stone for that reason. Papadapolous had the goods and Trump was calling him a "coffee boy".

    But then it's Maggie and so you can't really rely on what she says either.


    Not (none / 0) (#59)
    by FlJoe on Sat Apr 21, 2018 at 04:47:01 PM EST
    to praise her, but is more likely to know than anyone. I agree with Digby here
    Also, it's an open secret that one of Maggie "Trump whisperer" Haberman's primary anonymous White House sources is .... Donald Trump. Maybe he calls himself John Barron.  
    despite his outright lies about not speaking with her.

    I'm much more interested in why she thinks tRump fears Stone, and what is Stone's game, basically calling tRump a bully, for no apparent reason.

    Nunberg implies that he thinks Cohen should flip but he is a loose cannon among loose cannons, I'm not sure what Stone is trying to imply and why he would be singing the same tune as Nunberg who he recently called a deluded cokehead.


    Buzzfeed link (none / 0) (#62)
    by ragebot on Sat Apr 21, 2018 at 06:00:10 PM EST
    to a lot of stuff about Cohen's passport and speculation about what the stuff means.  Maybe the most eye opening revelation to me was that Cohen claims

    Cohen was with family and friends, he said, including the musician and actor Steve Van Zandt. Van Zandt did not immediately return an email seeking comment.

    To complicate matters more here is another blurb

    Further complicating matters is the fact that there is no way to prove, just by looking at someone's passport, that the person does not also have a second passport, with a different set of stamps. The State Department allows second passports in some circumstances, such as when a stamp from one country would prevent a traveler from entering another. Those records are not public, a State Department official said.

    Van Zandt's wife (5.00 / 1) (#66)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Apr 21, 2018 at 06:31:14 PM EST
    said that Cohen was not with them.

    I don't think Mueller is relying on passport stamps. If Cohen was in Prague it's highly likely that some of our allies got photographs or tapes of him and whoever if anybody he was talking to while he was there. Mueller also could get it from phone records. The whole passport thing really was  Cohen trying to keep the deplorables on board and keep the press at bay.


    And credit card statement nets. (none / 0) (#102)
    by oculus on Mon Apr 23, 2018 at 12:11:44 PM EST
    And probably hotel documents.

    Maybe (none / 0) (#63)
    by ragebot on Sat Apr 21, 2018 at 06:03:53 PM EST
    Peter G could comment about what it would take to get 'not public' State Department records; or more to the point does Mueller have the juice to do it.

    Manafort (none / 0) (#67)
    by FlJoe on Sat Apr 21, 2018 at 06:35:29 PM EST
    had three passports and the Feds found out about it  
    A court filing on Tuesday showed that former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his associate Rick Gates were not only well-traveled and considerably wealthy, the former also had three U.S. passports to his name.

    "In a little more than the last ten years, Manafort has submitted ten United States Passport applications on ten different occasions, indicative of his travel schedule," a footnote in the court filing indicated. "He currently has three United States passports, with different numbers."

    and they were able to confiscate them post indictment
    Because of their travel records, the two men were considered to be flight risks and were asked to turn over their passports.

    The question that's soon to be placed before conservatives and the Republican Party is whether Donald Trump, Paul Manafort, Michael Cohen, et al., are really the hilltops upon which they want to entrench and defend to the death.

    Because once the truth is publicly known, as I'm confident it will be, I doubt that being affiliated politically with those who betrayed our country at a most fundamental level is going to sit very well at all with most decent Americans.



    Perhaps (none / 0) (#88)
    by FlJoe on Mon Apr 23, 2018 at 06:59:13 AM EST
    but you may be overestimating the number of decent Americans. From Digby Fifty-one percent of Missourians disapprove of embattled Gov. Eric Greitens' job performance, according to a new poll, and he maintains a 37 percent approval rating. (my bold).

    I do believe a race between Satan(R) and Jesus(D)would be a toss up in many red states.


    Did you see Doonesbury on Sunday? (5.00 / 1) (#93)
    by Anne on Mon Apr 23, 2018 at 07:45:33 AM EST
    I think it pretty much sums up where we are.

    You would think someone like Greitens would have no support, but apparently people are (1) willing to overlook the "personal" issues he's having, as long as (2) his policies are in line with their own, and (3) he's able to advance those policies.

    Should someone's personal life matter?  Should we care about cheating spouses, abusive behavior, blackmail?  Does character matter?

    For many, it does not.  And that is why we are doomed to have these close elections, not all of which Dems are going to win.


    I actually (5.00 / 2) (#95)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Apr 23, 2018 at 07:52:02 AM EST
    think getting away from personality politics and going to issues is going to help us not hurt us. The Republicans are masters of character assassination and personality politics is playing their game. Look at the issue polling. Our issues are way more popular than theirs and frankly stuff like "I wanna have a beer with George W. Bush" only attempts to deflect from those issues that matter in people's lives.

    POLITICO (none / 0) (#97)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Apr 23, 2018 at 09:10:56 AM EST
    Church of The Donald
    Never mind Fox. Trump's most reliable media mouthpiece is now Christian TV.

    IMO this is a mixed blessing.

    It's totally f'ed up but the "evangelicals" like my brother are forever exposed for the craven hypocrites they have always been.


    Trump lawter Sekulow.. (none / 0) (#101)
    by desertswine on Mon Apr 23, 2018 at 11:44:20 AM EST
    has a cable TV "religious" show.  I watched it once for about 2 minutes.  That was all I could stand.  He takes phone calls, takes donations, is rabidly anti-abortion, then takes more donations.  Apparently, this is how he makes his living.  I imagine its pretty lucrative.  He comes on just before that fraud Jim Bakker.  Now I'm going to take a shower.  Yuk.

    I don't even (none / 0) (#103)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Apr 23, 2018 at 02:11:03 PM EST
    know if I would call them exposed as being "hypocrits" so much as being exposed for what they always have been: white nationalist Christianity.

    The fact that they have been exposed for not really caring about things like "morals" is just the icing on the cake IMO.


    That's not very high (none / 0) (#89)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Apr 23, 2018 at 07:11:54 AM EST
    That's roughly the number who never listen to or believe anything any legitimate media outlet says.

    Greitens is a dead man walking


    I (none / 0) (#90)
    by FlJoe on Mon Apr 23, 2018 at 07:18:47 AM EST
    see 37% as pretty high for a soon to be convicted(hopefully)felon. That 35-40% appears to be the floor for any GOPer, no matter how vile.

    Well (none / 0) (#91)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Apr 23, 2018 at 07:22:14 AM EST
    Thats exactly my point.  It is embarrassingly high but it seems to be the floor.  

    Still not that surprising really.  Nixon had that much or more support right up to the end.  And things are even more polarized and tribal now.


    I agree with what DfH said (none / 0) (#92)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Apr 23, 2018 at 07:27:04 AM EST
    Because once the truth is publicly known, as I'm confident it will be, I doubt that being affiliated politically with those who betrayed our country at a most fundamental level is going to sit very well at all with most decent Americans.

    But that 35-37,8 is gone I think.  Just gone.  I think Trumps crazy comment about killing someone has become literally true.  

    It would have to be the "right" person, Hillary, say, but sure, they would rationalize it on Trump t.v..


    I am (none / 0) (#96)
    by FlJoe on Mon Apr 23, 2018 at 07:55:31 AM EST
    just afraid that "[not]sit very well" will translate to the equivalent of a "sternly written letter". Let's face it a large percentage of the "decent" can and probably will get distracted, deceived or deluded. The RW propaganda machine is very powerful and the rest of the MSM can be absolutely feckless at the worst possible times.

    You really should (none / 0) (#98)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Apr 23, 2018 at 09:17:30 AM EST
    Abandon CNN and watch more MSNBC

    And (none / 0) (#99)
    by FlJoe on Mon Apr 23, 2018 at 09:21:35 AM EST
    give up my area of specialization?

    Fair point (none / 0) (#100)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Apr 23, 2018 at 09:26:04 AM EST
    I have to say (none / 0) (#94)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Apr 23, 2018 at 07:48:29 AM EST
    I have been shocked that the GOP has been picking these hills to die on. I am shocked at the lack of self preservation Republicans seem to have. The only conclusion I can come up with is the fact that most of the GOP colluded with Russia.

    It's been reported (none / 0) (#64)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Apr 21, 2018 at 06:11:56 PM EST
    He could have traveled to Prague and it would not be necessarily show on his passport

    Sorta like what (none / 0) (#68)
    by ragebot on Sat Apr 21, 2018 at 06:36:25 PM EST
    I posted in the second quotation.  Which is why I asked about how much juice it would take to get the State Department records.  In any case Cohen claims he was at USC (when the dossier claimed he was in Prague) with his kid who is a pitcher for the USC baseball team and has witness to back up the claim.

    The allegation from the sources ... (5.00 / 1) (#74)
    by Yman on Sat Apr 21, 2018 at 07:14:38 PM EST
    ... isn't that  Cohen used another passport to travel to Prague, but that he entered through Germany which would not require him to use any passport.

    As far as his baseball alibi at USC, the USC baseball source confirmed that Cohen and his son had visited USC on August 29th.  The problem for Cohen is that the Prague trip is alleged to have occurred in August or early September, leaving him without an alibi for the rest of that time period.


    Not accurate (none / 0) (#106)
    by linea on Mon Apr 23, 2018 at 08:06:15 PM EST
    The Steele dossier (which I expect was assembled by an employee of Orbis not Steele himself) states that one or more meetings occurred in Prague in August 2016. It repeatedly states August.

    Entirely accurate (5.00 / 1) (#107)
    by Yman on Mon Apr 23, 2018 at 10:41:27 PM EST
    The Steele dossier says the meeting occurred in August, a month in which Cohen's USC "alibi" exists for one night.  The sources cited by McClatchy indicate the trip occurred in late summer, either August or early September.

    But do tell us more of this tinfoil theory about how you "suspect" it was "assembled by an employee of Orbis and not Steele" based on absolutely zero evidence, while ignoring actual evidence and lecturing others about the need to wait for Mueller's results before drawing any conclusions.



    It's my opinion of course (none / 0) (#110)
    by linea on Mon Apr 23, 2018 at 11:52:00 PM EST
    But I have no idea why people think Steele personally writes these sorts of oppo-research reports himself. He's one of the owners and directors of Orbis which boasts  `an in-house team of experienced investigators and professional intelligence analysts.' Besides, I was just reading the dossier and thought it odd that it keeps referring to Russian sources as `compatriots' which means `a person who was born in, or is a citizen of, the same country as somebody else' (synonym: countryman). Seems to me that it would be rather nonsensical for a Brit to refer to Russians as compatriots. Seems more reasonable one or several Russian employees of Orbis assembled the dossier. It's speculative but a reasonable assumption.  

    The (5.00 / 1) (#112)
    by FlJoe on Tue Apr 24, 2018 at 05:50:39 AM EST
    Dossier was not a report, but a series of memos providing raw intelligence, there is no reason to believe that Steele did not write them, at a certain level foreign intelligence gathering can be a very personal endeavor and Steele has spent a lifetime cultivating high level sources.

    Like much raw intelligence this appears to be second or even third hand knowledge, Steele maps this out by describing his sources telling him about speaking with a compatriot, no Russian employees involved.


    It's baseless speculation ... (5.00 / 2) (#114)
    by Yman on Tue Apr 24, 2018 at 08:16:44 AM EST
    ... directly contradicted by Glenn Simpson's testimony in front of the Senate Intel Committee, who reportedly acknowledged that Steele created 16 memos before the election and 1 afterward.  Who also acknowledged they hired Steele due to his expertise on Russia and his reputation for accuracy.

    But please continue to ignore evidence you don't like and pretend you're just pushing back against "speculation" (i.e. legitimate news reports supported by evidence) while offering your own baseless, evidence-free "opinions".

    It's seriously funny to watch.


    I wonder why Cohen dropped (none / 0) (#108)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Apr 23, 2018 at 10:46:14 PM EST
    His libel suits if the dossier is all flunky collected rumors and bull$h*t? Why would he walk away from slamdunks?

    he's afraid of discovery? (5.00 / 1) (#109)
    by leap on Mon Apr 23, 2018 at 11:08:03 PM EST

    I expect he dropped (none / 0) (#111)
    by linea on Tue Apr 24, 2018 at 12:16:47 AM EST
    I expect because he's facing possible criminal charges for whatever reason his office was raided and documents seized and doesn't have the time or resources for a civil suit. Also, it's difficult for public persons to win defamation claims in the US.

    Personally, as a legal strategy I think it would have been better had he waited until after the US and UK defamation cases against Buzzfeed, Fusion GPS, Glenn Simpson, and Steele had played out.


    "As a legal strategy, I think ..." (5.00 / 2) (#115)
    by Yman on Tue Apr 24, 2018 at 08:27:26 AM EST
    Thanks for that. Hearty laughing can increase the heart rate and calories burned by 20%.

    And it certainly isn't (none / 0) (#116)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Apr 24, 2018 at 10:05:29 AM EST
    Stormy's attorney's legal strategy.

    I guess he isn't low energy legal representation.


    It amazes and confounds me how (5.00 / 2) (#117)
    by Anne on Tue Apr 24, 2018 at 10:43:04 AM EST
    you so regularly and assertively offer opinions that are strikingly ignorant of the complicated and complex concepts and rules in this civil/criminal mix, but given that you have no benefit of any legal education, training or experience, maybe it's to be expected.  

    Strategy is a wonderful thing, but when the civil and criminal worlds collide, they can do so in ways that can make a mockery of whatever brilliant strategy has been designed.

    Michael Cohen probably has no good choices available to him, which may be one reason he has removed the civil cases from the equation - I expect even he knows his involvement in them is more likely to hurt him than help him.



    Ahhhhh (none / 0) (#113)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Apr 24, 2018 at 06:35:01 AM EST
    I see

    They now don't have the time and resources to win slamdunks. Okay linea, got it ;)


    Why would there be State Depsrtment records (5.00 / 1) (#86)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Apr 22, 2018 at 06:18:11 PM EST
    On Cohen visiting Prague?

    I spent Christmas in Prague the same year, there was no border check. I stayed several nights in a townhouse on King Wenceslas square. There is no stamp in my passport for it.

    I also traveled from the Czech Republic to Poland a few days later to look at and purchase pottery. There was no border check, no stamp in my passport for that either.

    They are both EU countries. There are no regular passport checks traveling from one EU country to another. Why would there be State Department records?


    However much it takes (none / 0) (#69)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Apr 21, 2018 at 06:38:37 PM EST
    I'm sure Mueller has it

    The (none / 0) (#70)
    by FlJoe on Sat Apr 21, 2018 at 07:01:12 PM EST
    USC alibi is pretty weak, unless he was there the entire month of August, which is the window reported in the Dossier.

    He supposedly was (5.00 / 1) (#72)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Apr 21, 2018 at 07:04:52 PM EST
    at USC for 6 days August 23rd through August 29th. So that leaves 24 days to be accounted for in August.

    According to this (none / 0) (#73)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Apr 21, 2018 at 07:11:42 PM EST
    Actually (none / 0) (#71)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Apr 21, 2018 at 07:01:57 PM EST
    if you read the links in the article Cohen does not have proof that he was not in Prague and the dossier says August/September not a specific date and the only dates that Cohen can verify is August 23rd through 29th. Those specific dates are not listed in the dossier. If he was in Italy in July he could have gone to Prague from there. Like I said I'm sure that Mueller is not relying on such a vague time frame and if he has the goods he will have phone records, foreign intelligence and probably other things.

    Your link did not work for me (none / 0) (#65)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Apr 21, 2018 at 06:23:59 PM EST

    That one does