Michael Cohen’s attorney Lanny Davis admitted on Wednesday that the Steele dossier is a pack of lies — at least as far as it concerns his client.
In an interview with Bloomberg, Clinton’s slavish longtime consigliere said that Cohen has never been to Prague, as the infamous Steele dossier alleges.
In case Lanny Davis's interview on Bloomberg was unclear, here he is with @chucktodd disputing the dossier: "Never, never in Prague. Did I make that clear?" https://t.co/3VfwcksVKV @dailycaller pic.twitter.com/MSbwQIUsEO
— Chuck Ross (@ChuckRossDC) August 23, 2018
“Thirteen references to Mr. Cohen are false in the dossier, but he has never been to Prague in his life,” Davis said.
Cohen has denied the allegations in the Steele dossier ever since BuzzFeed published the unverified document in January 2017.
More recently Cohen tweeted in June, “I had nothing to do with Russian collusion or meddling!”
My family & I are owed an apology. After 2 years, 15 hours of testimony before House & Senate under oath & producing more than 1000 documents, dossier misreports 15 allegations about me. My entire statement must be quoted- I had nothing to do with Russian collusion or meddling!
— Michael Cohen (@MichaelCohen212) June 28, 2018
The 35-page dossier characterized Cohen as a central figure in a “clandestine” conspiracy of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government. The Daily Caller:
According to Steele, Cohen and three associates visited Prague in order to meet with Kremlin officials as part of a conspiracy to pay hackers to obtain dirt on former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
“The agenda comprised questions on how deniable cash payments were to be made to hackers who had worked in Europe under Kremlin direction against the CLINTON campaign and various contingencies for covering up these operations and Moscow’s secret liaison with the TRUMP team more generally,” claimed Steele, who was paid by the Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee to investigate Trump.
Clinton’s obsequious fixer has been all over the media in recent days hinting that Trump’s former attorney has bombshell information about the Russia investigation that Mueller would be “interested in.”
But all he would tell CNN’s Wolf Blitzer Wednesday was that Cohen’s testimony before the House and Senate intelligence committees regarding the infamous Trump Tower meeting “was accurate.”
Last fall, Cohen told lawmakers that he had no advance knowledge of the meeting between Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort, and a Russian lawyer that was set up to discuss “dirt” on Hillary Clinton.
In a bombshell exclusive in July, however, CNN reported that Cohen was prepared to tell Mueller that he was present when Trump Jr. informed his father of the offer to meet with the Russians.
Davis told Blitzer Wednesday that Cohen was merely in the room “during a discussion with junior and dad.” If his Senate testimony is accurate though, the Trump Tower meeting wasn’t brought up during the meeting. If Cohen now wants to claim that he heard about the meeting during that discussion, it means he lied to Congress.
What evidence does Michael Cohen have that the President knew in advance of the controversial 2016 Trump Tower meeting?
“At this juncture, I can only say that [Cohen] was present during a discussion with [Donald Trump Jr.] and [Trump],” Lanny Davis says pic.twitter.com/l6v501rujQ
— The Situation Room (@CNNSitRoom) August 22, 2018
According to The Daily Caller, Davis characterized the discrepancy as a “complication” that Cohen’s legal team was “never able to correct” and said the messaging on the topic was “garbled.”
On Tuesday, Cohen pleaded guilty to tax evasion, bank fraud, and campaign finance violations, claiming that he acted at the direction of the president when he paid off two women who claimed they had affairs with Trump.
In recent interviews, Davis has suggested that Cohen has information about election-related hacks.
“Michael Cohen has information that would be of interest to Mr. Mueller in his probe of a conspiracy to corrupt American democracy, very similar to the indictment of the 12 Russians,” Davis said, referring to the Russian intelligence officers indicted in July for hacking into the DNC’s computer systems.
“I believe that Mr. Cohen would be able to provide information useful to the special counsel,” he said. “I won’t call it a smoking gun information, someone else will have to judge that. I believe that he does relevant information.”
Who knows, maybe Cohen’s not-quite-smoking gun is a tape of Trump joking about the Russians hacking Clinton. But it’s probably garbled.