"He happens to be a very good person, and I think it's very sad what they've done to Paul Manafort". References to his campaign and administration have slipped in only through carefully scrubbed exchanges. "I don't feel right if I release their names", the judge said.
Manafort is charged with 18 counts of tax evasion, bank fraud and hiding foreign bank accounts brought by special counsel Robert Mueller as part of the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 United States election. But the president's absence is strictly intentional. I imagine they (the jurors) would too.
U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III revealed his concerns in explaining why he doesn't intend to make jurors' names public at the end of the trial, now in the second day of jury deliberations.
The trial in Virginia "has not allowed defense counsel sufficient time to confer with the Special Counsel's Office" on their plans for the September trial, the defense lawyers said. But prosecutors lacked venue to bring the tax and bank-fraud charges against Manafort anywhere but Virginia, where Manafort owns a home.
The Special Counsel's Office opposed the requests for deadline extensions, because Manafort has known the DC trial date for nearly half a year and chose to split his criminal charges into the two separate trials.
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.
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Lastly the jury asked the judge to "redefine reasonable doubt", which Ellis clarified as "a doubt based on reason", adding the government "is not required to prove guilt beyond all possible doubt".
As other have noted, any efforts to actually impeach Donald Trump would require a massive political shift. In a pretrial hearing, he speculated that prosecutors only chose to bring charges against Manafort to pressure him to "sing" against Mr. Trump.
For a moment, as spectators swiveled around, Assistant U.S. Attorney Jim Trump, no relation, had the courtroom's rapt attention.
Mr Trump has claimed his former campaign chief is the target of a "witch hunt", persecuted for his association with the president.
Manafort faces five counts of filing false tax returns, four counts of failing to disclose his offshore bank accounts and nine counts of bank fraud. We can not guarantee that it is suitable for the visually or hearing impaired. On the first day of testimony, Trump said Manafort had been treated worse than 1920s gangster Al Capone. While allegations of collusion are still being investigated, evidence of bank fraud and tax evasion unearthed during the probe has cast doubt on the integrity of Trump's closest advisers during the campaign.