Manafort was earlier sentenced to 47 months in prison in the US state of Virginia over bank and tax fraud related to his work in Ukraine. However, Manafort’s lawyer, Kevin Downing, told reporters that the trial of the ex-Trump aide has found no evidence of any collusion with Russia.
US President Donald Trump highlighted in a tweet that no collusion with Russia occurred, adding that this was stated loudly by the judge and the lawyer who dealt with the Paul Manafort case.
Both the Judge and the lawyer in the Paul Manafort case stated loudly and for the world to hear that there was NO COLLUSION with Russia. But the Witch Hunt Hoax continues as you now add these statements to House & Senate Intelligence & Senator Burr. So bad for our Country!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 8, 2019
The US president’s remark comes after Manafort’s lawyer Kevin Downing told reporters that the trial of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort found no evidence of any collusion with Russia.
Manafort faced up to 25 years in prison for tax and bank fraud, and additional time for conspiracy counts including those related to work he did for the Ukraine government. Judge T.S. Ellis during the hearing on Thursday said the government’s sentencing request of 19 to 24 years was “excessive” and sentenced Manafort to 47 months instead.
Special Counsel Robert Mueller has been investigating claims that Russia meddled in the 2016 US presidential election, as well as allegations of collusion between Trump’s campaign team and Moscow.
Russia has repeatedly denied interfering in the election, saying the allegations were made up as an excuse for the defeat of Trump’s campaign opponent as well as to deflect public attention from actual instances of electoral fraud and corruption. The claims of collusion have also been repeatedly dismissed by both Moscow and US President Donald Trump, who has called Mueller’s probe a “witch hunt.”