Is the Michael Cohen ‘Prague’ Story True?
Interesting article that addresses the credibility of the McClatchy report, including a discussion of the stakes involved:
If the McClatchy story is true, it has huge implications for Donald Trump’s survival in the presidency. But that’s a major if; unlike many other scoops about the Mueller probe, no other outlet has been able to confirm McClatchy’s reporting. And the McClatchy reporters have made it clear that they have no corroborating evidence of their claims and that some of their sources are indirect at best.
Paying off porn stars, obstruction of justice, corrupt Russian real estate deals—they’re all serious, even criminal, but not in the same league as “Prague” (or another place where Prague-like meetings might have taken place). A meeting or multiple meetings of this kind would be the crown jewels of what Mueller in court filings calls the “core” of his investigation into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to interfere in the 2016 election.
On the other hand, if the McClatchy story is false, it significantly lessens the odds that Mueller can prove a conspiracy case—the only case that is likely to lead to impeaching the president and removing him from office.
I’d take issue with this — there’s always obstruction.
Stone and Gordon are experienced and well-regarded national security reporters with several important scoops between them. (Gordon broke important parts of the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal in 2005). After this story plays out, they will either be latter-day Woodward and Bernsteins—far ahead of the pack on a scandal that could bring down a president—or another Judy Miller, The New York Times reporter manipulated by sources into publishing stories about the Iraq War that didn’t hold up. Even if the story doesn’t do damage, as Miller’s did, it would, if false, give the entire news media a black eye at a time Trump is trying to discredit any critical stories as “fake news.”