Jury begins 3rd day of deliberations in Manafort fraud trial

by Abel Hampton August 21, 2018, 0:32
Jury begins 3rd day of deliberations in Manafort fraud trial

U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III revealed his concerns on August 17 when explaining why he doesn't intend to make jurors' names public, as U.S. courts usually do at the end of a trial.

The judge in Paul Manafort's financial fraud trial saiys he has received threats and he fears for the "peace and safety" of the jurors deciding the fate of the former Trump campaign chairman.

The 18-count indictment handed down on Manafort came amid special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into the alleged collusion between Trump's campaign and Russian operatives.

"I think the whole Manafort trial is very sad", Trump told reporters in White House before departing for fundraising events in NY. "I think it's a very sad day for our country".

"I think the whole Manafort trial is very sad".

"If you're Paul Manafort and you hear about that - and we all know Paul Manafort's heard about that - it's hard to read that as anything other than a message to Manafort: 'Hold on, don't cut a deal with the government while the jury is out'".

Also Friday, President Donald Trump issued a fresh defence of Manafort, calling him a "very good person". "Thank you very much".

Trump has made previous comments criticizing various federal judges and courts and has been harshly critical of Mueller, a former FBI director who is investigating whether Trump's campaign colluded with Russian Federation, an allegation the president and Moscow deny.

Manafort is charged with 18 felony counts dealing with tax evasion and bank fraud.

Manafort faces the prospect of spending the rest of his life in prison if convicted of the more serious charges against him.

"I had no idea this case would excite these emotions", he said. Deliberations by the six women and six men in the jury were set to resume on Monday morning.

The Special Counsel's Office opposed the requests for deadline extensions, because Manafort has known the DC trial date for nearly half a year and chose to split his criminal charges into the two separate trials. Prosecutors say Manafort hid from the IRS tens of millions of dollars he earned advising Ukrainian politicians.

Trump declined to comment on whether he would pardon his former campaign chairman. They also say he lied on loan applications to obtain millions more to maintain a lavish lifestyle.

Defense attorneys sought for their part to cast doubt on the credibility of the prosecution's star witness, Manafort's former trusted deputy, Rick Gates, who took a deal from the government and turned against his former boss.

The Special Counsel's Office has nearly three times the number of exhibits it wants to show a jury in Paul Manafort's next criminal trial compared with what it used in his Virginia case.

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