Manafort judge says he's received threats, won't name jurors

Share

"I think it's a very sad day for our country", Trump told reporters at the White House. But you know what? Manafort's lawyers said Tuesday that they would call none, alleging that the government "cannot meet that burden" of proof that would move a jury to issue a guilty verdict.

The prosecutors have brought charges of bank and tax fraud against the President Donald Trump's former campaign chair, Paul Manafort.

The media coalition asked U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III to allow them to intervene in the case to make the request.

Manafort joined the Trump campaign in March 2016 and served as its chairman from June to August of that year - a period that included the Republican National Convention, where Trump officially became the party's nominee for president.

Judge T.S. Ellis revealed Friday that he has faced "criticism and threats" as he oversees the first trial in special counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation investigation.

Jurors in the trial are not sequestered but have been instructed not to watch news reports or talk to others about the matter. He declined to delve into specifics, but said he's been taken aback by the level of interest in the trial.

More news: Russian Federation mulls response to US sanctions over North Korea: Ifax
More news: Canada’s Felix Auger-Aliassime not a fan of new Davis Cup overhaul
More news: Tencent's shares slide after 'Monster Hunter

Witnesses described how Manafort routed $16 million in income hidden in foreign bank accounts to USA vendors to purchase real estate, expensive clothing and antique rugs, income he is charged with omitting from his tax returns. "I'm not sure why, but there have been certain exchanges at sidebar that have seemed not all that judicious to me", he said. He then called on a "Mr. Trump", prompting laughter and a smile from Manafort.

"We trust jurors to be on their best behavior and wall themselves off but that kind of goes against human nature", Ohlin said.

The jury's been deliberating.

The jurors also asked Ellis about when someone must disclose a foreign bank account to the Treasury Department, about the definition of a "shelf company" - an inactive company often sold to people aiming to bypass the registration process - and about the exhibit list.

Prosecutors say Manafort earned some $60 million consulting for the Russia-backed political party in Ukraine, and hid at least $16 million in income from the IRS between 2010 and 2014. As for reasonable doubt, he described it as "a doubt based on reason" and told jurors it does not require proof "beyond all doubt".

Share