Manafort jury adjourns for the weekend with no verdict

Manafort jury adjourns for the weekend with no verdict
© Greg Nash

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The jury in the tax and bank fraud trial against former Trump campaign chairman Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortFormer White House lawyer sought to pay Manafort, Gates legal fees: report Mueller investigating Russian payments made by Trump Tower meeting organizers: report Cohen questioned for hours in Mueller probe about Trump's dealings with Russia: report MORE failed to reach a verdict Friday after its second day of deliberations.

The jury had signaled in a note to Judge T.S. Ellis in the afternoon it would be going home for the weekend without a decision. The jury requested to be dismissed at 5 p.m. so one of its 12 members could attend a previously scheduled event. 

"I'm going to do that, maybe five minutes before," Ellis said Friday afternoon, shortly before dismissing the jurors.

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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Manafort faces 18 criminal charges that include tax evasion, failing to report foreign bank accounts, bank fraud and bank fraud conspiracy. The charges stem from special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE's sprawling investigation into Russia meddling in the 2016 presidential election. Manafort's bank fraud case represents Mueller's first test in court since he began his investigation in May 2017.

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

President TrumpDonald John TrumpHannity urges Trump not to fire 'anybody' after Rosenstein report Ben Carson appears to tie allegation against Kavanaugh to socialist plot Five takeaways from Cruz, O'Rourke's fiery first debate MORE has repeatedly voiced his support for Manafort, calling his former campaign chief a "good guy" Friday. 

Trump had previously indicated that he found Manafort’s treatment by the Justice Department “very unfair.”

Downing told reporters flocking him outside the courthouse that the defense appreciates those comments.

"We're very happy to hear the president supports Mr. Manafort," Downing said. 

The jury has not been sequestered during the trial. At the end of each day, Ellis has reminded the jurors not to discuss the case with anyone, read any media reports or do any research on their own.

Earlier Friday, Ellis denied a request from multiple media organizations to reveal the jurors' names and addresses, saying he himself had been threatened during the proceedings of the trial.

"I have the marshals' protection," Ellis said.

"I had no idea this case would excite these emotions, I will tell you frankly," he added.