The Latest: Manafort jury sent home for the weekend
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — The Latest on the trial of Paul Manafort (all times local):
The jury in the fraud trial of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort has been sent home for the weekend after concluding a second day of deliberations without reaching a verdict.
Judge T.S. Ellis III sent jurors home around 5 p.m. Friday. That’s about a half-hour earlier than normal, at the request of a juror who had an unspecified event to attend.
The jury is weighing hundreds of pieces of evidence and an 18-count indictment accusing Manafort of tax fraud, bank fraud and failing to disclose foreign bank accounts. Prosecutors say Manafort hid from the IRS tens of millions of dollars he earned advising Ukrainian politicians. When the Ukrainian money dried up, prosecutors say he lied to obtain millions in bank loans to maintain his lifestyle.
The defense says prosecutors failed to prove their case.
The jury in former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort’s fraud trial has submitted a note to the court asking to stop deliberations half an hour early Friday. Normally they leave at 5:30 p.m., but the note asked to leave at 5 p.m. The judge read the note aloud in court.
The jury deliberated for a second day Friday. On Thursday, the jury ended its first day of deliberations with a series of questions to the judge, including a request to “redefine” reasonable doubt.
Manafort is accused of hiding from the IRS millions that he made advising Russia-backed politicians in Ukraine, and then lying to banks to get loans when the money dried up. He faces 18 felony counts on tax evasion and bank fraud.
The judge presiding over the fraud trial of former Trump campaign Paul Manafort says he won’t release the names of jurors at the trial’s conclusion because he fears for their safety and because he himself has received threats.
A coalition of media organizations, including The Associated Press, filed a motion requesting the names of jurors after the trial, as well as access to sealed transcripts of bench conferences that have occurred during the three-week trial.
Jury lists are presumed to be public unless a judge articulates a reason for keeping them secret.
Judge T.S. Eliis III said during a hearing Friday afternoon he is concerned for the “peace and safety of the jurors.”
He said that he personally has received threats and is currently under the protection of U.S. marshals. He declined to delve into specifics, but said he’s been taken aback by the level of interest in the trial.
President Donald Trump is calling Paul Manafort a “very good person” as a jury deliberates in the tax and bank fraud trial of the former Trump campaign chairman.
Trump said Friday at the White House that it was “a very sad day for our country.” He said Manafort “worked for me for a very short period of time,” but added “I think it’s very sad what they’ve done to Paul Manafort.”
The jury began its second day of deliberations Friday.
Prosecutors say Manafort hid tens of millions of dollars in foreign income from the IRS, money he made advising politicians in Ukraine. When the Ukrainian money dried up, they say he lied on loan applications to maintain his cash flow.
Defense lawyers say the government failed to prove its case.
The Associated Press and five other media organizations are asking the trial judge in the financial fraud trial of Paul Manafort to unseal the closed documents being used in the case.
The media coalition asked U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III to allow them to intervene in the case to make the request.
After empaneling the jury Friday morning, Ellis said he was inclined to allow the media group to intervene and scheduled a hearing for 2 p.m. Friday.
In addition to The AP, the other media outlets are the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, NBC and BuzzFeed, Inc.
Ellis said he had already planned to unseal all materials “save one exception” after the trial ended.
The jury has begun its second day of deliberations in the tax and bank fraud trial of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.
Judge T.S. Ellis III sent the jury of six men and six women back to resume deliberations Friday shortly after 9:30 a.m.
The jury concluded its first day of deliberations Thursday with a series of questions to the judge. Among other items, the jury requested details on the definition of reasonable doubt. Ellis basically reiterated the instructions the jury had already received.
Prosecutors say he hid tens of millions of dollars in foreign income from the IRS by advising politicians in Ukraine. Then, when they Ukrainian money dried up, they say he lied on loan applications to maintain his cash flow.
Defense lawyers say the government failed to prove its case and that Manafort relied on underlings to handle his finances.