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Jury in ex-Trump aide Manafort's trial adjourns for day without a verdict

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Jury in ex-Trump aide Manafort's trial adjourns for day without a verdict

By Nathan Layne and Karen Freifeld

 

2018-08-20T131741Z_1_LYNXNPEE7J121_RTROPTP_4_USA-TRUMP-RUSSIA-MANAFORT.JPG

FILE PHOTO: Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort departs from U.S. District Court in Washington, DC, U.S., February 28, 2018. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas/File Photo

 

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (Reuters) - The jury in the bank and tax fraud trial of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort ended its third day of deliberations on Monday without reaching a verdict.

 

The judge said the jury would reconvene on Tuesday morning.

 

The case is the first to go to trial stemming from Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russia's role in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, although the charges largely predate Manafort's five months working on Donald Trump's successful campaign.

 

Manafort faces five counts of filing false tax returns, four 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.

 

A conviction would undermine efforts by Trump and some Republican lawmakers to paint Mueller's Russia inquiry as a political witch hunt, while an acquittal would be a setback for the special counsel.

 

In a break with convention, Trump weighed in on the trial on Friday, calling the case against Manafort at the federal court in Alexandria, Virginia, "very sad" and lauding his former associate as a "very good person."

 

On Monday, Trump accused 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!" Trump wrote on Twitter.

 

Trump's tweet was in reference to a New York Times report that White House Counsel Don McGahn had cooperated extensively with Mueller.

 

Before dismissing them on Friday, Judge T.S. Ellis reminded the jurors, who are not sequestered, to refrain from discussing the case or investigating it on their own during the weekend.

 

Some legal experts expressed concern, however, that jurors might still see Trump's comments - inadvertently or otherwise.

 

Another headline from Friday that could grab the attention of jurors concerned Ellis' disclosure that he had received threats related to the trial and was being protected by U.S. marshals. The jury was not present when he made those remarks.

 

"In a high profile case, the general assumption is that some outside information may accidentally reach a jury, despite jurors' best efforts to avoid relevant news," said jury consultant Roy Futterman.

 

"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."

 

On 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.

 

Shanlon Wu, who represented Manafort’s former protege Rick Gates before he pleaded guilty in February and cooperated with the prosecution, said the lack of questions might bode better for the prosecution than the defence.

 

He said it suggested "they were working hard and working well together, and there was no dissension."

 

"I think that's a good sign for the prosecution," Wu said.

 

Still, he said he saw a chance of acquittals on the four counts of failing to disclose foreign bank accounts, citing the jury's technical question on Thursday about the ownership and control threshold requirements for such disclosures.

 

(Reporting by Nathan Layne and Karen Freifeld in Alexandria, Va.; Writing by Alistair Bell and Tim Ahmann; Editing by Bill Trott and Peter Cooney)

 
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-- © Copyright Reuters 2018-08-21

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It will be interesting if 12 people can still get together and apply the rule of law rather than the hypocrisy of Trump!

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28 minutes ago, wayned said:

It will be interesting if 12 people can still get together and apply the rule of law

If you had stopped your post at this point I would have agreed with you.

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1 hour ago, webfact said:

Mueller's Angry Dems are looking to impact the election. They are a National Disgrace!" Trump wrote on Twitter.

I think we all know who the national disgrace is...

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As I feared, there will be hardcore Trump fans on the jury who cannot bring themselves to convict despite the overwhelming evidence. They have been effectively ordered by Trump on Twitter not to convict.

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22 minutes ago, Briggsy said:

As I feared, there will be hardcore Trump fans on the jury who cannot bring themselves to convict despite the overwhelming evidence. They have been effectively ordered by Trump on Twitter not to convict.

 

We live in a world of “Truth isn’t truth” 

it’s been building up to this. It began with what seemed farcical at first: “largest inaugural crowd EVER” went on to “alternative facts” then finally to “Don’t believe what you see or hear”

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Can't see one single juror holding out on all 18 counts? Maybe some are on some counts and they've moved those to the side, and maybe are re-addressing them now?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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It’s a complex case I think the jury is doing due diligence although I do worry about a devoted my trump right or wrong kind of juror 

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4 minutes ago, Tug said:

It’s a complex case I think the jury is doing due diligence although I do worry about a devoted my trump right or wrong kind of juror 

you're worried? about what? the verdict? the juror?

you seem to have some kind of weird attachment to the POTUS?...

as though the verdict would be a benefit or liability to you depending on the result.   

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6 minutes ago, Tug said:

It’s a complex case I think the jury is doing due diligence although I do worry about a devoted my trump right or wrong kind of juror 

 

Especially one sharing photos of the new yacht he bought over the weekend, with funds wired from the Bank of Cyprus. ?

 

Seriously, it has to be unanimous either way, on each count, not guilty/guilty. I am pretty certain that he can be convicted on a count-by-count basis, assuming a unanimous vote on those counts, if a hold-out on one or more counts then a mistrial could be declared on those counts, and the government could re-try on those individual accounts if they so choose.

 

I assume there are some grouping of counts, maybe the Failure to Report Foreign Bank Accounts counts?, which are posing challenges for one or more jurors. Given the way these accounts were "structured", there may be a hole to squeeze through, although being able to wire funds from Cyprus to your pool guy would indicate to me that you "control" that account? This is obviously all conjecture based on some reporting.

 

He was remanded to jail for witness tampering so not sure what happens re: that situation after this trial? He faces at least one more trial next month. Maybe another one or two after that?

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2 hours ago, Briggsy said:

As I feared, there will be hardcore Trump fans on the jury who cannot bring themselves to convict despite the overwhelming evidence. They have been effectively ordered by Trump on Twitter not to convict.

 

So if they decide "guilty" - it's a victory for justice.

If they decide "not guilty" - it's because Trump told them to do so.

 

Okaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay. You gonna take your ball and go home too, if you don't get the outcome you desire?

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Posted (edited)

Manafort-Guilty

Flynn-Guilty

Cohen-Guilty

Trump- on borrowed time

Maybe this Mueller thing not such a nothing-burger after all. 

Edited by pegman
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BANGKOK 25 September 2018 08:31
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