Paul Manafort Jury Still Out After Full Day of Deliberation

Pauline Gross
August 18, 2018

The judge in Paul Manafort's fraud trial revealed Friday he has received threats over the case and now travels with U.S. Marshals, as he turned back a media request to release juror information.

In a note to the judge that said it wanted to go home at 5:30pm (local time), the jury asked for a definition of "reasonable doubt".

Judge T.S. Ellis cited the "peace and safety" of the jurors and "the integrity of the process" in denying the motion.

"If any or all of the jurors have a sense of the public interest in this case, they are likely to be even more careful and deliberative in their review of the evidence than usual", Abramson said.

Judge Ellis, sitting in Alexandria, Virginia, just outside Washington, said he himself was being guarded by a USA marshal.

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When asked whether he'd pardon Manafort, Trump said, "I don't talk about that, no".

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On Thursday, Ellis invited others in the courtroom to remain while the jury deliberated and other cases were heard.

The jury briefly resumed deliberations after submitting the note. Kevin Downing, Manafort's attorneny, told reporters he sees the continued deliberations as "a great sign for the defense". Prosecutors accused Manafort of concealing more than $16 million in income from USA tax authorities and fraudulently securing $20 million in bank loans.

Speaking the South Lawn of the White House, Mr. Trump said of the trial: "I think it's a sad day for our country".

Witnesses described how Manafort routed $16 million in income hidden in foreign bank accounts to USA vendors to purchase real estate, expensive clothing and antique rugs, income he is charged with omitting from his tax returns. If convicted on all the charges, he could spend the rest of his life in prison.

The government is not, Ellis reminded the jury, required to prove Manafort's innocence "beyond all possible doubt".

Defense attorneys for Paul Manafort said jury deliberations seem to be going in their favor as the group of six men and six women huddle for a second day. Ellis, for example, told jurors if a person was shown to have knowingly testified falsely, they "obviously have a right to distrust" that person.

"I think it was very ill-advised for the president to do this".

Other reports by GizPress

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