Protesters on Wednesday shouted down Paul Manafort’s attorney, Kevin Downing, outside a federal courthouse in Washington, D.C., after he falsely claimed that “two courts have ruled no evidence of any collusion with any Russians.”
A federal judge on Wednesday added 43 months to Manafort’s prison term, bringing his total prison sentence to 7 1/2 years behind bars. The former Trump campaign chairman was sentenced for the two criminal charges of conspiracy he pleaded guilty to as part of a deal with prosecutors in September.
Downing attempted to spin the ruling in favor of the president by falsely claiming the sentence vindicated Trump and proved no Russian collusion.
“What I’m about to say is not a surprise. Judge Jackson conceded that there was absolutely no evidence of any Russian collusion in this case. So that makes — two courts have ruled no evidence of any collusion,” said Manafort’s attorney.
“Liar! Liar!” shouted a protester. “That’s not what she said!”
“Very sad day. Such –“ Downing attempted to say as he was shouted down.
“Liar!” protesters shouted.
“That is totally unnecessary,” Downing said.
“You guys are liars, man! You’re not lawyers! You’re liars!” one bystander chanted.
Wow — Manafort’s attorney, Kevin Downing, is shouted down outside the courthouse after he falsely claims “2 courts have ruled no evidence of any collusion with any Russians.”
“Liar! That’s not what she said!” someone yells. pic.twitter.com/gGqdrP2ihJ
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 13, 2019
Just minutes earlier, Judge Amy Berman Jackson made several strong statements before sentencing Manafort rejecting his legal team’s “no collusion” mantra.
The Washington Post notes: “Manafort’s legal team had suggested repeatedly in its sentencing memo that the fact that he hadn’t been found to have colluded with Russia should be a mitigating factor when it came to how much time he would serve in prison. But Jackson not only rejected that argument in sentencing him to 43 additional months in prison, she also rejected the entire argument behind it.”
“The ‘no collusion’ refrain that runs through the entire defense memorandum is unrelated to matters at hand,” she said. “The ‘no collusion’ mantra is simply a non sequitur.”
Then she added: “The ‘no collusion’ mantra is also not accurate, because the investigation is still ongoing.”