Trump Is So Sad About Jury Deliberations In Paul Manafort Trial

Blanche Robertson
August 19, 2018

President Trump showed some love for his onetime campaign chair Paul Manafort on Friday, as jurors in his tax- and bank-fraud trial finished their second day of deliberations without reaching a verdict.

Manafort is the first person to be tried as a result of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 campaign. While he's consistently distance himself from Manafort since his indictment, President Donald Trump on Friday expressed some...

"They go where I go", the judge said. Speaking to reporters on the South Lawn of the White House, Trump said Manafort only worked for him for a short period of time but called the trial a "very sad day for our country". Why do you suppose seven news organizations-all liberal, presumably-wanted to know who the jurors are and where they live?

Judge Ellis read the questions aloud to lawyers for both sides as well as Mr Manafort before he called the jury in to give his answers.

The jury has been deliberating since Thursday, but ended the day yesterday without a verdict and will return Monday morning. The jurors met for about seven hours on August 16 without reaching a verdict on 18 criminal counts Manafort is charged with.

Trump had previously indicated that he found Manafort's treatment by the Justice Department "very unfair". When asked whether he'd pardon Manafort, Trump said, "I don't talk about that, no". But President Trump has expressed a keen interest in Manafort's fate as he seeks to publicly undermine Mueller's probe.

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After a trial spanning almost three weeks, Manafort, 69, is awaiting a verdict on 18 tax evasion and bank fraud charges. If convicted on all counts, he could spend the rest of his life in prison.

A media coalition including The Washington Post, the New York Times, CNN and BuzzFeed filed motions requesting sealed discussions and records from the trial be made public.

Atkins noted that Donald Trump has a legal obligation to remain quiet about an ongoing trial, and that his words constitute a criminal attempt to tamper with the jury, which would be an impeachable offense. He has also complained about Manafort's supposed "unfair" treatment by prosecutors.

Ellis does plan to make public all bench conferences now under seal with one exception - likely the part of the trial where the special counsel's office discussed its ongoing investigation.

Ellis went on to say he was not aware the case would create such a stir and leave jurors feeling "threatened" as they left the courtroom. But it's going to be very hard for jurors not to hear commentary on it by the President of the United States. "He should have kept his mouth shut", Ohlin added.

Prosecutors say Manafort earned some $60 million consulting for the Russia-backed political party in Ukraine, and hid at least $16 million in income from the IRS between 2010 and 2014. For now, Ellis said he would refuse to release the names of the six women and six men on the panel, in part because of the threats he has received. Whether any of this was successful in terms of tarnishing Gates's image in front of the jury, or of causing them to doubt his testimony regarding Manafort's financial dealings To a large degree, though, it seems apparent that Gates's testimony was thoroughly corroborated by the treasure trove of documents that the prosecution put into evidence both through Gates and through other witnesses.

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