Another piece of the Russian collusion puzzle fell into place today. According to McClatchy, a cell phone connected to Trump’s former-lawyer-turned-enemy Michael Cohen registered on cell towers in Prague in the Czech Republic in 2016. Four different sources spoke to McClatchy on the topic, and all of them received their information through foreign intelligence agencies.
The recorded pings coincide with claims that Cohen covertly met with representatives of the Russian government while visiting the European city. Cohen himself previously denied ever visiting Prague in his life.
— Michael Cohen (@MichaelCohen212) January 11, 2017
The cellular data lines up with reports that a European intelligence agency intercepted a conversation between Russians in which they allegedly discussed the fact that Cohen was visiting Prague. Perhaps more tellingly, this new information supports the claims in the infamous Steele dossier which claimed that Cohen met with surrogates of Vladimir Putin to devise a way to hide the collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian Federation.
Jan Neumann, the pseudonym of a Russian intelligence officer who defected to America, explained phone tracking to McClatchy.
“You can monitor and control cell phones in Europe same as you do it here in US. As long as the battery is physically located in the phone, even when it’s turned off, the mobile phone’s approximate location can be detected and tracked. Any attempt to use an app, to get mail, send texts, connect to a Wifi network, your phone and your location will be detected,” said Neumann.
“It would not be very professional to take your phone to a secret meeting. It would be more logical to leave it turned on and connected to a WIFI network in a hotel in Germany,” he added.
Special Counsel Robert Mueller reportedly already has this newly revealed electronic data. Since the full details of Cohen’s cooperation with Mueller’s investigation have yet to be revealed, it’s still unclear if the attorney spoke to him about a Prague trip.
When McClatchy reached out to Cohen’s spokesman Lanny Davis, he simply repeated his client’s previous insistence that he has never been to Prague and declined to comment on the new cell phone revelations. He also admitted that he hasn’t been fully filled in on what Cohen has told Mueller.
“[Michael Cohen] has said one million times he was never in Prague. One million and one times. He’s never been to Prague. … He’s never been to the Czech Republic,” Davis said.
Suffice it to say, this new report is terrible news for the embattled Trump administration. The more time passes, the more the Steele Dossier is verified piece by piece. One can’t rule out the possibility that by the end of this sordid saga even the infamous tape allegedly depicting Trump engaged in urine-based sexual activities with Russian prostitutes could prove real. One thing is clear: things only get worse for Trump from here out.