John Dowd, a former defense attorney for President Trump, has accused the judge in the Paul Manafort case of “hysterical overreach.” Speaking to the conservative outlet, the Washington Times, Dowd said, “What a travesty. Special Counsel Robert Mueller was appointed with a prime objective of finding collusion between the Trump campaign and Moscow.”
Manafort, Trump’s former campaign manager, was convicted of crooked business dealings and tax fraud, neither of which had anything whatsoever to do with Russia. However, that did not stop US District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson, from expressing her frustration at defense attorney Kevin Downing for making that point, when he said that while convicted and sentenced, there was “no collusion” found between Manafort and the Russians.
“The ‘no collusion’ refrain that runs through the entire defense memorandum is unrelated to matters at hand,” Judge Jackson said, according to Vox.com. “The ‘no collusion’ mantra is simply a non-sequitur.”
Dowd, however, would disagree, arguing that the Mueller team repeatedly implied that Manafort was linked to Moscow misdeeds by alleging that his office manager in Ukraine, Constantin Kilimnik, was with Russian intelligence.
Hysterical Overreach in Manafort Sentencing
In lambasting Judge Berman, Dowd went on to say that Mueller never presented evidence to prove the link, but the news media copiously repeated the charge that Kilimnik was a Russian operative. On the other hand, Mr. Downing argued that Mr. Kilimnik was a State Department asset in Kiev.
“Of course it was about collusion,” Mr. Dowd said. “Special counsel said it was while hiding the fact that Kilimnik was an asset of our State Department, and claiming a Russian connection. That was the fraud. The sentence was the cruel product of hysterical overreach and exaggerated self-justification for the terrible waste of time and energy. The media mob rules!”
According to the Associated Press, Manafort’s Defense attorney, Kevin Dowling, who made the “no collusion” statement, also blasted Judge Berman after she handed down her sentence.
“I think the judge showed that she is incredibly hostile toward Mr. Manafort and exhibited a level of callousness that I’ve not seen in a white-collar case in over 15 years of practice.”