In January, when BuzzFeed News published the dossier of memos from former MI-6 agent Christopher Steele in which he tried to prove Donald Trump’s connections to Russia, one story got particular attention. It placed Michael Cohen, Trump’s personal attorney, in Prague for a meeting with Russian agents.
In time, it started to look like the Michael Cohen in question was a different person. However, Trump’s Michael Cohen didn’t help matters when he tweeted the outside of his passport as “proof,” even though it doesn’t show anything:
— Michael Cohen (@MichaelCohen212) January 11, 2017
BuzzFeed asked to see the inside, and Cohen obliged, leading to an article published Friday morning. While the passport contains no stamps from the Czech Republic, the story may not be as simple as that. Specifically, in July, Cohen went on a trip to Italy, where, in theory, he could have then entered the Czech Republic without requiring additional passport stamps.
Both Italy and the Czech Republic are part of the Schengen Area: 26 European countries where travelers can cross borders without having to get their passports stamped again. Cohen was paraphrased as saying that he understands the scrutiny this will bring but could prove he stayed in Capri by producing his credit card receipts. He didn’t provide copies of the receipts to BuzzFeed, though.
Cohen also said that he was vacationing with family and friends, including actor/musician Steven Van Zandt of “The Sopranos,” “Lilyhammer,” and the E Street Band. Van Zandt did not respond to BuzzFeed’s request for comment. On the other hand, a reporter who checked with dozens of Prague hotels could not find any record of Cohen staying there.
Additional passports are allowed under certain circumstances, such as when a stamp from a nation would prevent entry to certain countries, but whether or not someone has a second passport is not public record.
Cohen, for his part, has denied having one.