Judge in trial of Donald Trump's former aide says he received threats

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Asked whether a pardon was on the table for Manafort should he be convicted, Trump was noncommittal.

The questions came as the jury began deliberations on Thursday (Friday NZT). Manafort is charged with four counts of failing to file FBARs for offshore companies.

Prosecutors accused Manafort, 69, 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. "I think there would be a substantial amount of people afraid.to do so would create a risk of harm to them". "I don't even go to the hotel alone". One charge, for example, is that Manafort hid some of the money he earned from Ukraine in foreign accounts in Cyprus, which he used to pay for $6 million in USA real estate purchases as well as other luxuries to support his lavish lifestyle - in an elaborate scheme to avoid paying US taxes.

In this file photo taken on June 15, 2018 Paul Manafort arrives for a hearing at U.S. District Court in Washington, DC.

But there's little reason to be surprised about the attention the trial has garnered.

The judge said he would not be revealing the jurors' names because of his safety concerns.

"I'm not [lead prosecutor] Greg Andres, so it's easy for me to say he doesn't need to bite his nails right now", Litman said.

"I had no idea this case would excite these emotions".

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Ellis said he had already planned to unseal all materials "save one exception" after the trial ended.

Ellis also denied the media's request to make sealed sidebar transcripts public, although he added that much of those transcripts will be made public after the trial. "He said he's confident the jurors would be threatened as well if their information was public", write Fox News.

Earlier in the day, Ellis said he was open to scrutiny.

"A thirsty press is essential to a free county", he said.

The six men and six women on the panel must reach a consensus on each charge before breaking from the jury room for good. A couple of reporters are saying this suggests the case may not be a "slam dunk" in the minds of the jurors. Two of the questions sought definitions of laws or technical terms.

Mr Manafort also faces a second trial in September on charges of failing to register as a foreign agent based on his links with Russian and Ukrainian backed business work.

Prosecutors and defense lawyers presented their closing arguments Wednesday, the prosecution arguing Manafort's life was "littered with lies" as he bought palatial mansions, expensive suits, cars, electronics and other high-priced items.

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