President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort was sentenced to even more time in prison on Wednesday in a Washington, D.C. courtroom, and when his lawyers tried to defend him outside the courthouse, they were shouted down by hecklers.
Manafort’s attorney Kevin Downing, who has represented him in cases in Washington, D.C. and Virginia, tried to spin the ruling, saying, “Judge Jackson conceded that there was absolutely no evidence of any Russian collusion in this case — that makes two courts, two courts have ruled no evidence of any collusion with any Russians.”
But the hecklers weren’t going to let Downing get away with his spin, one man shouted, “Liar! That’s not what she said! That’s not what she said!”
Downing called Manafort’s sentence “totally unnecessary.”
Watch the video below:
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
The attorney’s decision to go outside the courthouse and try to explain the ruling as proof that there was no collusion with the Russians seems to be an attempt to defend President Trump, who could pardon Manafort. Trump has repeatedly insisted that almost every single development in the Manafort case proves that he didn’t collude with the Russians.
Unfortunately for Manafort, he was indicted on Wednesday in New York, where he would be out of the pardon capabilities of the president. When asked on Wednesday whether he would pardon Manafort, Trump told the press, “I have not even given it a thought as of this moment. It’s not something that’s right now on my mind.”
The district attorney in Manhattan charged Manafort with a whopping 16 counts that include mortgage fraud and conspiracy.
Even worse, CNN reported that Downing didn’t know about the charges in New York when he left the courthouse on Wednesday. Since the charges look a little different from the federal charges that will send Manafort to prison for seven and a half years, Downing will probably have to start over to defend his client.