Manafort jury sends note asking to leave early

Members of the media as set up outside of federal court as jury deliberations are set to begin in the trial of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort in Alexandria Va. Thursday Aug. 16 2018

Jury deliberations began on Thursday in the tax and bank fraud trial of President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman, who worked as a political consultant.

I think the whole Manafort trial is very sad, when you look at what's going on there.

The jury in the fraud trial of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort has been sent home for the weekend after concluding a second day of deliberations without reaching a verdict.

"I have the Marshals' protection", Ellis said. The jury has been deliberating since Thursday morning - and while reporters await any word from the jury room, they're scrambling for any news at all about the high-profile case.

After noting that the one wildcard in the Manafort case is politics, Callan said that as a prosecutor he would worry "if there is somebody on that jury that is a diehard Trump fan you have the President of the United States making comments". He faces 18 felony counts on tax evasion and bank fraud.

The case is the first to go to trial stemming from special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russia's role in the 2016 USA election, although the charges largely predate Manafort's five months working on Donald Trump's campaign. The charges stem from special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russian Federation probe MORE's sprawling investigation into Russian Federation meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

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Mr Manafort managed Mr Trump's campaign for several months in 2016 - and he was in charge when Mr Trump cinched the Republican party's nomination.

Witnesses described how Manafort routed $16 million in income hidden in foreign bank accounts to US vendors to purchase real estate, expensive clothing and antique rugs, income he is charged with omitting from his tax returns.

One question asked for a redefinition of "reasonable doubt".

Jurors also asked the court to define "shelf company", and for more information on foreign bank account records. In the USA legal system, juries are required to find a defendant guilty of a crime "beyond a reasonable doubt".

Since the start of jury selection, the case has drawn packed galleries to the ninth-floor courtroom and to an overflow courtroom three floors below that hosts a closed-circuit broadcast of the proceedings.

Prosecutors accused Manafort of hiding from USA tax authorities $16 million in money he earned as a political consultant for pro-Russian politicians in Ukraine to fund an opulent lifestyle and then lying to banks to secure $20 million in loans after his Ukrainian income dried up and he needed cash.

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