Did Avenatti leak information about the wrong Michael Cohen?

For a long time, Sundance at The Conservative Tree House, was making a big deal out of the claim that Trump lawyer Michael Cohen was in Prague to meet with Russians (as claimed by the Trump-Russia dossier). Specifically, he said that the dossier was based on information sourced from NSA data searches, and the inclusion of information about a Michael Cohen that had traveled to Prague proved it -- because it was information about wrong Michael Cohen that had simply turned up in a keyword search. Someone else with the same name had traveled to Prague, which is hard to tell in a database search.

Conservative TreehouseEvidence of this laundry process is found in a significant “search query” result that was actually a mistake. The faulty intelligence mistake was the travel history of Michael Cohen, a long-time Trump lawyer. The FISA search turned up a Michael Cohen traveling to Prague. It was the wrong Michael Cohen. However, that mistaken result was passed on to Chris Steele and it made its way into the dossier. Absent of a FISA search, there’s no other way Christopher Steele could identify a mistaken “Michael Cohen” traveling to Prague from the Russian sources he claimed to have used for that specific point.

I was skeptical of this claim. I didn't necessarily think he was wrong, but I thought the identification of an incorrect person in travel documents was thin. However, it now appears the Democratic opposition research and dirty tricks team may have made the same mistake twice.

Daily CallerMichael Avenatti, porn star Stormy Daniels’ lawyer, released a seven-page dossier on Tuesday containing a list of payments purportedly made to Michael Cohen, the lawyer for President Donald Trump.

But there is one problem with the document: two of the allegedly “fraudulent” payments were made to men named Michael Cohen who have no affiliation with Trump.

What we have here is someone using a massive search engine that includes travel information and financial information on all Americans and manually entering into that search engine the name "Michael Cohen" (along with, likely, other people associated with Trump, including Carter Page) and then compiling the results into a thinly-sourced opposition research document allegedly based on the work of Christopher Steele but in fact containing the contents of the NSA data queries on Trump and his associates.

Except they screwed up. They didn't verify they had the right people each time.

And that mistake may well be what hangs them, because it does confirm the illegal and improper sources of their dirt, and there's now an IG investigation into the leak.

This entry was published Thu May 10 09:32:16 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger and last updated 2018-05-10 09:32:16.0. [Tweet]

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