In a stunning Friday night news dump — coming at the head of an already insane day — McClatchy DC reported that special counsel Robert Mueller has evidence Trump lawyer Michael Cohen made a secret trip to Prague at the height of the 2016 campaign.
That trip, alleged in the controversial Christopher Steele dossier — you know, the pee tape one — was supposedly arranged for Cohen to meet with an ally of Vladimir Putin.
Confirmation of the trip would lend credence to a retired British spy’s report that Cohen strategized there with a powerful Kremlin figure about Russian meddling in the U.S. election.
It would also be one of the most significant developments thus far in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of whether the Trump campaign and the Kremlin worked together to help Trump win the White House. Undercutting Trump’s repeated pronouncements that “there is no evidence of collusion,” it also could ratchet up the stakes if the president tries, as he has intimated he might for months, to order Mueller’s firing.
The voyage is also one that Cohen has vehemently denied he made, including in a tweet in which he took a photo of his passport. He eventually showed the inside of his passport to reporters, but as McClatchy notes, he is suspected to have entered the Czech Republic after flying into Germany, and so would not have a stamp for the country.
If the report does turn out to be true, and Mueller has evidence that Cohen made the trip to Prague, it would blow a hole in the president’s denials that there is no evidence his campaign colluded with Russia — and the consequences could be immense. Twitter responded accordingly.
This is potentially gigantic. https://t.co/tGIBq1bbqW
— Philip Bump (@pbump) April 13, 2018
So remember: FBI raid on Cohen unrelated to Mueller investigation BUT any relevant evidence to that investigation was going to be passed to Mueller. Was evidence of Cohen’s Prague trip recovered, then leaked to McClatchy?
— Michael Weiss (@michaeldweiss) April 13, 2018
They lie about everything all the time. Everything. Every single thing, big and small. All of it. Constantly.
— Chris Hayes (@chrislhayes) April 13, 2018
I hear Scott Baio is available if Trump needs a new attorney
— Juliet Lapidos (@julietlapidos) April 13, 2018
Why should you go to prison for a crime somebody else noticed? https://t.co/C2VSBPP3Eh
— Josh Barro (@jbarro) April 13, 2018
“Oh, I’ve been to Prague. Well, I haven’t ‘been to Prague’ been to Prague”https://t.co/oCVMP2SNhr
— Chris Cillizza (@CillizzaCNN) April 13, 2018
ok open it now pls https://t.co/iuQbkS6oYu
— 262 days ago Trump promised 24-hr Hezbollah answer (@MattNegrin) April 13, 2018
I’ve never been to Prague, that beautiful city on a hill, with its winding stone streets that carry you from the old world to the new, never.
— Jon Lovett (@jonlovett) April 13, 2018
HAVE YOU EVER BEEN TO PRAGUE? pic.twitter.com/f3sYTsUOWh
— Marc Channick (@Sorry_What_Now) April 13, 2018
The look of a carefree man who’s never been to Prague. pic.twitter.com/QPlULn4aY7
— Tim Hogan (@timjhogan) April 13, 2018
— Ken Dilanian (@KenDilanianNBC) April 13, 2018
Rumor has been swirling for months that Cohen flew into Germany by private jet in early September 2016 and went on to Prague by train or bus—now Mueller has evidence it may be true >> https://t.co/EvUoQB5fBG
— Natasha Bertrand (@NatashaBertrand) April 13, 2018
Fake dossier, amiright?
— Jon Favreau (@jonfavs) April 13, 2018
game set match? https://t.co/gul2NeMXop
— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) April 13, 2018
House of cards is falling down https://t.co/K7Lmc0aHDI
— Bradley P. Moss (@BradMossEsq) April 13, 2018
There were also really lame puns, from two commentators in particular who should know better:
I don’t think he went. He’s not Bohemian enough
— John Podhoretz (@jpodhoretz) April 13, 2018