Trump lawyer Cohen denies media report of Prague trip

Mindy Sparks
April 16, 2018

Following a week in which the Federal Bureau of Investigation seized files and recordings from his personal attorney, Michael Cohen, Trump declared "Attorney Client privilege is now a thing of the past".

Friday's motion said that because of that overlap, "Mr Cohen's Fifth Amendment rights may be adversely impacted if this case proceeds", a reference to the possibility that his testimony could be used by prosecutors to build a related criminal case against him.

On Saturday, Cohen disputed the report.

According to the McClatchy report, Mueller has evidence that Cohen traveled to Prague in the summer of 2016 and met with a prominent Russian politician named Konstantin Kosachev.

Potter explained that Cohen's "hush money" to Daniels is considered an "in kind contribution by Cohen to the Trump campaign, which is about $126,500 above what he's allowed to give". The report does not say that Mueller can show he met with any Russian figures, but simply proving that Cohen visited Prague despite his adamant denial "could be quite significant", writes Philip Bump in the Washington Post.

But investigators have traced evidence that Cohen entered the Czech Republic through Germany, apparently in August or early September 2016 as the former spy reported, said the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

In the filing with a court in NY, prosecutors blacked out a section describing what laws they believe Cohen has broken, but they said the "crimes being investigated involve acts of concealment" and suspected fraud.

Daniels is suing Cohen for defamation and claimed the nondisclosure agreement she agreed to is invalid because Trump never signed it.

After giving Trump until Monday to weigh in, Wood then decided that she would resume a part of the hearing at 2 p.m. on Friday, apparently to consider interests of other clients - "innocent parties" she said - whose files may have been vacuumed up in the Cohen raid.

Cohen did not immediately respond to a request for comment. As a result of that raid, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has reportedly obtained audio recordings of conversations between Cohen and Davidson from when the latter represented Daniels and McDougal.

Further, it alleges that Cohen, Kosachev and other attendees discussed "how deniable cash payments were to be made to hackers in Europe who had worked under Kremlin direction against the Clinton campaign".

Monday's raids included a search for communications related to efforts to suppress negative information ahead of the election, including communications that Trump had with Cohen regarding the infamous "Access Hollywood" tape that captured Trump making lewd remarks about women that surfaced a month before the election, CNN reported this week.

According to Potter, whether President Trump paid Cohen back still renders the initial payment an illegal campaign contribution.

After the election, Cohen delivered to Michael Flynn, Trump's first national security adviser, a so-called peace plan for Ukraine that was developed by pro-Russian Ukrainian lawmaker. This month, Kosachev was among 24 high-profile Russians whom the USA sanctioned in retaliation for Russia's meddling. Mueller and congressional investigators are also known to be looking into both matters.

If Cohen is claiming to have made the transaction on behalf of his friend and long-time client Trump, the situation could be seen by Mueller and those investigating the Trump campaign as a "coordinated, illegal, in kind contribution by Cohen for the objective of influencing the election", Potter said.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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