Manafort jury ends first day with questions, including definition of 'reasonable doubt'

The jury in the criminal trial against former Trump campaign chairman Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortLobbyist Tony Podesta returns to work for Huawei Former bank CEO convicted of bribery in scheme to land Trump admin job Trial begins for Chicago banker who exchanged loans with Manafort for Trump job MORE sent a note to the judge asking him to redefine "reasonable doubt" and answer three other questions as their first day of deliberations drew to a close. 

Judge T.S. Ellis III, who reconvened court to answer the questions orally for the 12-member jury shortly after 5 p.m., said the government is not required to prove the defendant's guilt beyond all possible doubt — only doubt based on reason. 

Manafort's defense team said the jury's question about reasonable doubt is the best question the defense can get.


"It indicates someone has doubts," the team said. 

Ellis allowed the jury to recess for the day after their questions were answered.

The jury also asked the court if someone is required to report a foreign bank account if they own less than 50 percent of the company and have no signature authority. They also asked for the definition for “shelf company” and the filing requirements related to income. 

A shelf company, according to Investment, is one that has taken no actions since its inception, but simply been left to sit on the "shelf." Like shell companies, they are legal entities.

Manafort has been indicted on 18 criminal counts of bank and tax fraud, as part of special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerSenate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Why a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel MORE’s probe charges that include failing to report overseas accounts. Federal prosecutors have spent the past two and a half weeks trying to convince the jury that he stashed millions he made as a political consultant for pro-Russian officials in offshore accounts and defrauded banks to obtain loans when the money dried up. 

On Thursday afternoon, Ellis re-read the jury instructions for the question relating to the foreign accounts, explaining that a person must own more than 50 percent of the account's profits or capital. 

Ellis said the jury would have to rely on their own collective recollections of the testimony provided to define shelf company and the filing requirements related to income.

The jury also asked asked Ellis if the indictment could be amended to show which pieces of evidence go with which charges. Ellis said no, the jury would have to rely on their own memory of the testimony.

Prosecutor Greg Andres said in court Wednesday there were 388 documents submitted into evidence.

The jury will resume deliberations at 9:30 a.m. Friday. 

Updated at 6:26 p.m.