Jury notes from Manafort trial released
Judge T.S. Ellis III on Wednesday released copies of the notes from the jury in the trial of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.
While Ellis read the jury notes during the trial in the courtroom in Alexandria, Va., the writings provide a firsthand look at deliberations among the jurors, who debated for four days before convicting Manafort on eight counts of bank and tax fraud.
One note from last Thursday asked the judge for a refresher on filing requirements for a foreign account, as well as the definition of “shelf company” and “reasonable doubt.”
In another note the following day, jurors informed the judge that they planned to wrap up for the day by 5 p.m. because one juror had somewhere to be that evening.
The jury sent two more notes on Tuesday, the day it reached a verdict. The first note said the group “cannot come to a consensus on a single count,” after which Ellis instructed jurors to keep working.
A second note indicated they had come to a final decision.
“Despite lengthy detailed discussions based on the guidance provided by the court, we are not able to reach a consensus on ten of the counts,” the foreperson wrote.
Redacted portions of the notes appear to be where the jury foreman had signed the notes.
The judge has kept the names of the jurors who served in the trial under seal. He specifically asked them in court on Tuesday whether they wanted him to do that and they all said yes.
The jury found Manafort guilty on five charges of filing false income tax returns, one count of failing to report foreign bank accounts and two counts of bank fraud.
Ellis declared a mistrial on the remaining 10 counts — three counts of failing to report foreign bank accounts, five counts of bank fraud conspiracy and two counts of bank fraud.
The Manafort trial was the first court battle stemming from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference.
After the verdict was read, President Trump defended Manafort as a “good man,” and attacked Mueller’s investigation as a “witch hunt.”
The Hill has removed its comment section, as there are many other forums for readers to participate in the conversation. We invite you to join the discussion on Facebook and Twitter.