Monday, 19 November, 2018

Trump says Paul Manafort fraud trial is 'very sad'

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort goes through security as he arrives at federal court in Washington JACQUELYN MARTIN AP Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort goes through security as he arrives at federal court in Washington
Patty Aguilar | 18 August, 2018, 02:48

The jury in the fraud trial of US President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort has submitted a note to the judge with four questions. "I think there would be a substantial amount of people afraid.to do so would create a risk of harm to them". I think it's a very sad day for our country.

Prohibitions on jurors reading about a case they are deciding are hard to enforce in the smartphone era, said Jens David Ohlin, a professor of criminal law at Cornell University.

After noting that the one wildcard in the Manafort case is politics, Callan said that as a prosecutor he would worry "if there is somebody on that jury that is a diehard Trump fan you have the President of the United States making comments".

The defense attacked the credibility of key prosecution witness Rick Gates, Manafort's longtime right-hand man who also worked for Trump's campaign and inauguration team.

Just before 4:50 p.m. Thursday, there was a knock at one of the doors to U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis's courtroom, behind which the jurors are deliberating.

A courtroom sketch depicts Paul Manafort fourth from right standing with his lawyers in front of US district Judge

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. On Friday, he accused Mueller of having "a lot of conflicts", but said the special counsel should be allowed to finish a report on Russia's role in the 2016 election. They return Monday morning.

"We trust jurors to be on their best behavior and wall themselves off but that kind of goes against human nature", Ohlin said. "He should have kept his mouth shut", Mr Ohlin added.

The case calls on the dozen jurors to follow the complexities of foreign bank accounts and shell companies, loan regulations and tax rules. In the U.S. legal system, juries are required to find a defendant guilty of a crime "beyond a reasonable doubt".

Prosecutors say Manafort hid tens of millions of dollars in foreign income from the IRS, money he made advising politicians in Ukraine.

Outside the courtroom, Manafort's lead defense attorney Kevin Downing said he's pleased to see the jury is taking their time and that he thinks a long deliberation plays in his client's favor.

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