The “pee tape,” the supposed videotape in possession of the Russian government for the purposes of blackmailing President Trump, has been one of the great mythical objects of the Trump era. Buzzfeed first reported the existence of Christopher Steele’s dossier in January of 2017, a few days before the president’s inauguration.
The dossier alleged that Donald Trump had enlisted some sex workers on a visit to Russia to engage in a certain sex act, one which was then videotaped in order to be used by the president of that country, Vladimir Putin, in order to blackmail the future American president. It’s always been questionable whether such a tape actually exists, with no specific evidence ever emerging to support its existence.
On Wednesday, when Michael Cohen testified before the House Oversight Committee, he was asked, euphemistically, about the “pee tape.” Cohen replied, saying that he doesn’t believe that it exists.
When Representative Jamie Raskin, the Democratic Congressman from Maryland, got his turn to ask Cohen questions, he asked Cohen, per Mediaite, “Are you aware of any videotapes that may be the subject of any extortion or blackmail”?
Cohen replied that he knew the tape to which Raskin was referring, and that “I’ve heard about these tapes for a long time. I’ve had many people contact me over the years. I have no reason to believe that that tape exists.”
Raskin also asked if there were any hush money payments to other women besides those already disclosed. Cohen said that there were not. Raskin also had questions about the alleged Trump Tower Moscow negotiations, and Cohen’s personal role in them.
According to the Steele Dossier, the “pee tape” would have been recorded during the Miss Universe pageant, which Trump hosted in Moscow in November of 2013. Michael Cohen did not go on that trip to Moscow, so there’s a chance that the events in the Steele Dossier happened, but that Cohen was never made aware of them.
However, Cohen at one point sued Buzzfeed in relation to another aspect of the Steele Dossier — one which stated that Cohen had visited Prague during the 2016 campaign in order to meet with Russian officials. Cohen, throughout the entire Trump presidency, has repeatedly denied that he has ever been to Prague. However, he did drop the lawsuit against Buzzfeed around the time he began cooperating with the government, per Politico.
Cohen had not been asked about the Prague question through the first three-plus hours of the hearing, but was eventually asked about it. Cohen reaffirmed that he had never been to Prague, or anywhere else in the Czech Republic.