No verdict as Manafort jury breaks for weekend

Paul Manafort. Photo: Twitter/Paul Manafort

Aug. 17 (UPI) — The jury in the bank fraud trial for former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort ended deliberations Friday without a verdict.

The panel of six men and six women were scheduled to return to the Alexandria, Va., courtroom Monday morning. It was their second day to deliberate 18 tax and bank fraud charges Manafort faces for allegedly hiding millions of dollars from the Internal Revenue Service in overseas bank accounts.

District Court Judge T.S. Ellis III earlier that day declined a motion from news organizations seeking the personal information of the 12 jurors. Ellis cited their safety as his reason.

“I had no idea this case would excite these emotions, I can tell you that frankly,” he said. “I don’t feel right if I release their names.”

“I have no reason to believe that if those names are unsealed there won’t be threats against them.”

Ellis said he has received threats related to the case.

Manafort’s lawyer, Kevin Downing, said the protracted deliberations was favorable for his client.

Manafort’s charges stem from an investigation led by special counsel Robert Mueller, who is probing whether Russia interfered in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and whether the Trump campaign colluded. He’s also determining whether President Donald Trump obstructed justice when he fired former FBI Director James Comey, who at the time was looking into Russian meddling.


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