It’s not a stretch to say that Michael Cohen’s life has been shattered into little pieces this week. The FBI raided his office and residence, seizing his records, his communications, his electronic devices, and whatever was in his security deposit box. The focus is on payments made on Donald Trump’s behalf for the purpose of keeping negative stories about him from coming out during the election, which was in apparent violation of federal election law. So why is Cohen focused on the Pee Pee Tape instead?
After the raid, Michael Cohen went completely silent on Twitter for the week. That’s understandable. It’s a time to go into court and mount a legal defense, not a time to go online and wage war in the court of public opinion. Yet when McClatchy reported yesterday that Robert Mueller has evidence that Cohen really did go to Prague during the election, Cohen quickly tweeted that he’s never been to Prague. While he’s fighting for his future and freedom in court, why stop and refute this particular oddly specific claim?
Make no mistake: Prague is all about the Pee Pee Tape. The Trump-Russia dossier has long alleged that Cohen went to Prague during the election to smooth things over with the Russians. This is the same dossier that alleges the Russians are blackmailing Donald Trump with a video of him and Russian prostitutes. Trump is obsessed with shooting down this claim, as we were reminded yet again by James Comey’s new book. Cohen is surely pleasing Trump by making a point of publicly denying the Prague meeting, which by proxy is a denial of the Pee Pee Tape.
The U.S. Attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York has confirmed that Michael Cohen is under criminal investigation for the payouts to the likes of Stormy Daniels. He only has three ways out of this. The first is to fight the charges at trial. The second is to cut a plea deal against Donald Trump. The third is to convince Trump to pardon him. Thus far Trump hasn’t been willing to stick his neck out to pardon anyone who’s faced criminal charges in the Trump-Russia scandal. But if there is one alleged co-conspirator outside of his own family who he might be willing to pardon, it’s Cohen. So is Cohen publicly refuting the Prague meeting in the hope of convincing Trump to pardon him? Stay tuned.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report