U.S.

Paul Manafort’s Lawyer Heckled Outside Courthouse For Claiming Judge Found ‘No Evidence’ of Russian Collusion: ‘Liar!’

After President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort was sentenced to an additional 43 months in prison on Wednesday, his attorney Kevin Downing was heckled outside the Washington D.C. federal courthouse for claiming that the judge found “no evidence” of Russian collusion.

As the defense attorney attempted to speak to journalists, his voice was sometimes overpowered by a swarm of shouting protesters.

“It's callous, it was hostile and totally unnecessary,” Downing said about the additional sentence, amid yells of “traitor” directed toward Manafort.

When Downing criticized Judge Amy Berman Jackson for being “incredibly hostile” and claimed she “conceded there was absolutely no evidence of any Russian collusion in this case,” protestors loudly objected.

“Liar!” one person shouted. “That’s not what she said!”

Jackson strongly rebuked statements repeatedly made by Manafort's legal team that the fact he wasn't found to have colluded with Russia during the 2016 presidential campaign should be taken into account as a mitigating factor in the case. “The ‘no collusion’ refrain that runs through the entire defense memorandum is unrelated to matters at hand,” the judge said, before issuing Manafort's sentence. “The ‘no collusion’ mantra is simply a non sequitur.”

She added: “The ‘no collusion’ mantra is also not accurate, because the investigation is still ongoing.”

The Washington D.C. District Court judge’s sentence for Manafort on charges of conspiracy and witness tampering came just one week after the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia issued him a 47-month-long jail sentence for bank and tax fraud as well as hiding money in foreign bank accounts.

The former Trump campaign chairman has now been sentenced to a total of seven and a half years in prison. After taking into consideration the nine months credit he will be given for the time already served in jail, Manafort will be spending just under seven years in prison.

Both cases originated from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference and possible collusion between Trump’s campaign team and Moscow officials.

During the sentencing hearing, Manafort recited a statement to Jackson similar to the one U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis heard in Virginia last week, although taking his ownership of his actions a step further. “The last two years have been the most difficult that my family and I have ever experienced… The person that I am and have been described in public is not someone I recognize,” he said.

“I am sorry for what I’ve done. I apologize to all who have been negatively affected by my behavior,” Manafort added. "I can assure you that I feel the pain from these reflections. For these mistakes, I am remorseful."

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