Jury deliberations start in Manafort trial

Jury deliberations start in Manafort trial

Jury deliberations start in Manafort trial

This courtroom sketch depicts U.S. District court Judge T.S. Ellis III speaking to the lawyers and defendant Paul Manafort.

The prosecution's massive cache of Manafort-related emails and financial documents - and the witnesses that prosecutors put on -were largely created to establish a narrative that Manafort's crimes were of his own making and committed long before he took over Trump's campaign in April 2016. "I think it's a very sad day for our country", Trump said. "And I think it's very sad what they've done to Paul Manafort". "And I think it's very sad what they've done to Paul Manafort".

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.'" A deal would nearly certainly involve cooperation in other investigations, possibly including the president.

The judge overseeing the Paul Manafort trial warns the jury is "scared" as they head home failing to reach a verdict for the second day in a row. "Thank you very much".

Ellis, a famously prickly judge known for his colorful comments, has attracted considerable attention during the Manafort trial for his frequent sparring with the attorneys - particularly those on Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team.

Manafort is charged with 18 criminal counts of bank and tax fraud.

Manafort faces the prospect of spending the rest of his life in prison if convicted of the more serious charges against him. It was not the first time Trump has weighed in since Manafort's trial began on July 31.

Trump declined to comment on whether he would pardon his former campaign chairman. Ellis said he didn't "feel right" releasing the names of the 12-person jury that has been deliberating since Thursday morning in Manafort's trial.

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They also alleged that Manafort had lied to banks in order to take out more than $20 million in loans after his Ukrainian political work dried up in 2015, and they accused him of hiding the foreign bank accounts from federal authorities.

Ellis had addressed a well-coiffed man in a dark suit sitting in a back row about a routine criminal case.

In any case, while the prosecution put up what seems from a distance like a fairly strong case, the defense chose not to present any evidence or call any witnesses.

Federal prosecutors allege Manafort hid tens of millions of dollars in foreign income.

However, the trial "might end soon", Ellis told reporters later.

He notably side stepped a question about whether he would issue a presidential pardon for Mr Manafort.

The jury sent a note on Thursday afternoon asking Ellis four questions including one about defining "reasonable doubt".

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