After Paul Manafort’s sentencing yesterday Manaforts lawyer, Kevin Downing, addressed the waiting TV cameras outside the courthouse, pirouetting for an intended audience of one saying Judge Jackson had found “no evidence of collusion” which was not strictly true or even close to the truth.
The assembled crowd responded indignantly with shouts of “liar liar”.
Manafort lawyer Kevin Downing's stunning and completely false statement after sentencing: "Judge Jackson conceded that there was absolutely no evidence of any Russian collusion in this case–"
— Polly Sigh (@dcpoll) March 13, 2019
The Washington Post explains further:
The defense’s “repeated” claim that Manafort wouldn’t have been charged but for the special counsel, she said, “falls flat” and “is not supported by the record.” In an apparent reference to Trump, the judge speculated that the claim “was being repeated for some other audience.”
Jackson tore into the Manafort defense’s claim that Mueller’s team took a technical violation and “transmogrified it” into a major case. “To the extent that’s the correct word, it was the defendant who was the transmogrifier,” she said.
As for the other claim frequently offered by Manafort’s defense, “the ‘no collusion’ mantra is simply a non sequitur,” she said, adding that it is “not clear if it is accurate” and that her ruling doesn’t vindicate or incriminate anyone in Mueller’s broader investigation.
That was another apparent reference to Trump, who falsely claimed that last week’s sentencing of Manafort in a separate trial vindicated his “no collusion” claim. An Obama appointee, Jackson offered a mantra of her own: “If people don’t have the facts, democracy can’t work,” she said. “Court is one of those places where facts still matter.”
Validating the judge’s suspicions about “some other audience,” Downing falsely declared to TV cameras immediately after the sentencing that “Judge Jackson conceded that there was absolutely no evidence of any Russian collusion in this case.”
Despite the judge’s unequivocal statement on the subject, Downing went before the cameras and blatantly lied, clearly auditioning for a Presidential pardon for Manafort.
Thanks to the crowd who called him on it.