No Verdict, Manafort Jury Adjourns for a 3rd Day Running
The jury in the bank and tax fraud trial of former Trump campaign Chairman Paul Manafort ended its 3rd day of deliberations on Monday without reaching a verdict.
The judge said the jury would reconvene on Tuesday morning.
The case is the 1st to go to trial stemming from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s role in the Y 2016 US Presidential election, although the charges largely predate Mr. Manafort’s 4 months working on President Trump’s successful campaign.
Mr. Manafort faces 5 counts of filing false tax returns, 4 counts of failing to disclose offshore bank accounts, and nine counts of bank fraud. If convicted on all the charges, he could spend the rest of his life in prison.
An acquittal on the charges would be a major set down for Mr. Mueller and his team.
President Trump weighed in on the trial Friday
He called the case against Manafort at the federal court in Alexandria, Virginia, “very sad” and lauding his former associate as a “very good person.”
Monday, President Trump accused Mr. Mueller’s team of “enjoying ruining people’s lives” and trying to influence the elections in November when Republicans will try to hold on to control of Congress.
“Mueller’s Angry Dems are looking to impact the election. They are a National Disgrace!” President Trump Tweeted.
Before dismissing them on Friday, Judge T.S. Ellis reminded the jurors to refrain from discussing the case or investigating it on their own during the weekend.
Some legal experts expressed concern that jurors will likely see President Trump’s comments, inadvertently or otherwise.
Judge Ellis’ disclosure on Friday that he had received threats related to the trial and was being protected by US Marshals. The jury was not present when he made those remarks.
Given the judge’s statement, the jurors may reasonably assume that they may be at some risk, which may change the tenor of their deliberations, perhaps raising tensions or speeding things up. So the Judge refused to give the MSM the information on the jurors.
Last Thursday, the jury asked for a definition of “reasonable doubt” and clarification on the law governing the reporting of foreign bank accounts, but it did not ask any similar questions on Friday or Monday.
We now see the chance of acquittals on at least the 4 counts of failing to disclose foreign bank accounts, citing the jury’s technical question Thursday about the ownership and control threshold requirements for such disclosures.