Jury signals it needs more time for Manafort verdict

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The jury in the criminal tax and bank fraud trial against onetime Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort signaled in a note to the judge Friday afternoon they are unlikely to reach a verdict before the weekend. 

In a note to Judge T.S. Ellis III, the jury said they would like to finish at 5 p.m. because one of the jurors has an event they would like to attend. Ellis said he will bring the jury back in the courtroom at 4:50 p.m. to ask what time they would like to reconvene on Monday.  

{mosads}The jury deliberations, now in their second day, started about 9:40 a.m. Friday. 

Kevin Downing, an attorney for Manafort, told The Hill that he sees the note as a sign the jury will not reach a verdict on Friday

Manafort has been charged with 18 counts of tax and bank fraud, charges that include failing to report overseas accounts.  

The jury on Thursday asked Ellis to redefine reasonable doubt and answer additional questions about reporting foreign bank accounts, filing requirements related income, shelf companies and what evidence relates to each charge.

The jury has not been sequestered for the duration of 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.

President Trump has been commenting through the trial. In the first week he suggested Manafort is being treated worse than the infamous gangster Al Capone. On Friday, he called Manafort a “good person.”   

“He happens to be a very good person and it happens to be very sad what they’ve done to Paul Manafort,” Trump told reporters.

— Updated 4:10 p.m.

Tags Donald Trump Paul Manafort
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