National security expert reveals how much of the infamous Cohen-in-Prague scenario holds water
President Donald Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen arrives for sentencing. (AFP / COREY SIPKIN)

A national security expert on Friday outlined which parts of Michael Cohen's alleged trip to Prague to help swing Donald Trump's election hold water -- and which parts are more likely to be fiction.


John R. Schindler noted in the Observer that the infamous Steele dossier alleged that Cohen went to Prague in the summer of 2016 to meet with Russian hackers in what would be "unambiguous collusion between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin."

"But did it happen?" Schindler wrote. "Cohen has always denied it did, while Team Trump have gone out of their way to attack the story, and Steele generally."

The former National Security Agency officer pointed out that British ex-spy Christopher Steele, the writer of the dossier alleging collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, "never claimed that everything in his dossier was corroborated."

"It’s raw human intelligence, taken from sources Steele couldn’t always talk to directly, and it undoubtedly includes some Russian disinformation," Schindler mused. "In particular, the Kremlin has spread lies about the Prague meeting, which indicates there may be something they’re trying to hide there."

The espionage expert went on to explain that although McClatchy's recent reporting -- that a phone linked to Cohen "briefly sent signals ricocheting off cell towers in the Prague area" around the time of the alleged trip -- may come off as a "bombshell," it may not be much of anything.

"Cell phones do create such records that can be traced, but McClatchy’s bombshell doesn’t really add much to what we already know here," he wrote. "Plus it cannot be ruled out that somebody else had one of Cohen’s many phones (in their spring 2018 raid on Cohen’s home and office, the FBI seized 16 phones). When you add into the mix the fact that sophisticated intelligence services can spoof phones, creating false data, the headlines here don’t add up to all that much."

The story does, however, indicate that "friendly spies had information about the reputed Prague trip."

"This may all come down to what Mueller knows versus what Cohen has told him about the reputed Prague meeting," Schindler concluded. "Mueller really does know everything here, as Cohen tweeted yesterday, and it would be very unwise of Cohen to lie to the Special Counsel investigation about his travels and activities on behalf of his former client—particularly anything involving Kremlin representatives."

Read the entire analysis via Observer.