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Manafort's Lawyer Falsely Says Judges Ruled No Collusion

Credit: Newsy Studio
Published on March 20, 2019 - Duration: 02:04s

Manafort's Lawyer Falsely Says Judges Ruled No Collusion

The two judges who presided over Paul Manafort's cases did not make any rulings on Russian collusion.

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Manafort's Lawyer Falsely Says Judges Ruled No Collusion

Paul Manafort's attorneys have frequently claimed "no collusion" in their defense of President Trump's former campaign manager.

And attorney Kevin Downing reiterated that assertion after Manafort's second sentencing hearing.

"Judge Jackson conceded that there was absolutely no evidence of Russian collusion in this case.

So that makes two courts — two courts have ruled no evidence of any collusion with any Russians," Downing said.  "Liar!" someone in the crowd yelled.  That member of the crowd fact-checked Downing in real time.

[NAT POP: Liar!] And multiple media  fact-checks have shown  they were right.  We have the full transcript from Manafort's first sentencing hearing.

The words "Russia" and "collusion" were only mentioned twice, and both times the court was specifying that nothing in that case had anything to do with Russian collusion.  So what about the second sentencing hearing?

The full transcript isn't available yet, but news reports from that day say Judge Amy Berman Jackson made comments similar to her colleague's.

She noted that the case before her had nothing to do with Russian collusion and that special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation is ongoing.  Both judges mentioned collusion only to say that it was *not* related to the charges presented in their courtrooms.  So going to back to Downing's statement: "Judge Jackson conceded that there was absolutely no evidence of Russian collusion in this case." Evidence of Russian collusion wasn't presented the D.C.

Case because that's not what the charges were about.

And saying Judge Jackson "conceded" to a lack of collusion is maybe too strong a word.  "So that makes two courts, two courts have ruled no evidence of any collusion with any Russians," Downing said.

Wrong.

The two judges only commented that the facts in each case had nothing to do with collusion.

Saying the case wasn't linked to collusion and *ruling* there was no Russian collusion are not the same thing.  This story is reported in partnership with PolitiFact and is part of an in-depth analysis show called "What the Fact" that airs Sunday mornings on Newsy.

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