Home / World / Trump falsely claims Manafort judge declared there was 'no collusion' with Russia

Trump falsely claims Manafort judge declared there was 'no collusion' with Russia

"Both Judge and the Lawyer in the Paul Manafort case were loudly and for the world to hear that there was NO COLLUSION with Russia," Trump said in a Friday morning tweet.

"The judge said there was no collusion with Russia, "Trump later told a gaggle of reporters, before leaving the White House to meet with victims of deadly tornadoes in Alabama.

Facts First: The judge said no such thing. He noted that Manafort was not accused of collusion and that was trialed on unrelated financial crimes. But the judge did not declare that there was no collusion in 201


Judge T.S. Ellis sent Manafort on Thursday to serve nearly four years in prison for a fixed financial fraud scheme. But Manafort "is not before the court for anything to do with the Russian government to influence this election," Ellis said. [Ellislaterrepeatedthatmanafort"isnotbeforethecourtforanyallegationthatheorshehashisdirectioncolludedwiththeRussiangovernmenttoinfluencethe2016presidentialelection"Thejudgeneversaidduringthethree-hourhearingthattherehadbeen"nocollusion"betweenTrump'scampaignandRussiaEllispresidedoverManafort'sfraudcaseintheEasternDistrictofVirginiaHehasnotbeeninvolvedinMueller'sinvestigationofpotentialcollusionin2016

Later with reporters on Friday, Trump correctly said, "The judge, for whatever reason, I was very honored by it, also made the statement that this had nothing to do with collusion with Russia. "

Throughout the trial, Ellis made it apparent that he wanted to separate the whole issue of Russia and collusion from the facts surrounding Manafort's financial crimes.

Manafort was convicted in August of eight counts of financial fraud. He committed some of those crimes – bank fraud, tax fraud and hiding foreign bank accounts – while he was running Trump's campaign. But the charges were not included in his work for Trump or the 2016 election.

Before the trial, Manafort's lawyers asked the judge to drop the charges because they were directly related to Russian interference in the 2016 campaign. Ellis rejected their argument, saying at the time that Mueller simply "followed the money" from pro-Russian sources to Manafort. He specifically reminded Manafort's defense lawyers about that decision at the sentencing hearing.
Ellis was appointed to the federal bench by President Ronald Reagan in 1987. During his career, Ellis has established himself as a cantankerous yet witty ringmaster in the courtroom.

This story has been updated.

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