Manafort judge to hold hearing on unsealing juror's names


Speaking to reporters on the South Lawn of the White House, Trump said Manafort only worked for him for a short period of time but called the trial a "very sad day for our country".

If you're Paul Manafort and you hear about that - and we all know Paul Manafort's heard about that - it's hard to read that as anything other than a message to Manafort: "'Hold on, don't cut a deal with the government while the jury is out.'" A deal would nearly certainly involve cooperation in other investigations, possibly including the president.

The case that Bob Mueller has brought against Paul Manafort has nothing to do with Donald Trump or the 2016 election.

This Aug. 7, 2018, courtroom sketch depicts Rick Gates, right, testifying during questioning in the bank fraud and tax evasion trial of Paul Manafort at federal court in Alexandria, Va. U.S. district Judge T.S. Ellis III presides at top right.

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Judge T.S. Ellis made the remarks Friday, saying the jury may be receiving threats and refused to release the names of the 12 jurors.

"I had no idea myself this case would arouse such public interest", he said. If convicted on all counts, he could face up to 10 years in prison. The president declined to say whether he would issue a presidential pardon for Manafort.

"We trust jurors to be on their best behavior and wall themselves off but that kind of goes against human nature", Ohlin said.

The six-man, six-woman jury met for about seven hours Thursday in a Virginia courthouse, during which they asked the judge four questions, including clarification of the meaning of "reasonable doubt".

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On August 17, Trump criticized Mueller's prosecution of Manafort.

On the first day of testimony, Trump said Manafort had been treated worse than 1920s gangster Al Capone.

The federal prosecutors handling the fraud case against Paul Manafort spent two weeks laying out their case before the jury. The charges all relate to work Manafort did in Ukraine prior to his affiliation with Trump. He declined to release those names, citing threats he had received and the fact that he is now receiving USA marshals service protection. He said some of the sealed material involved "the court's administration of the jury in this case" and would be unsealed when the trial ends. Among other items, the jury requested details on the definition of reasonable doubt.

Judge Ellis told the jurors they needed to rely on their collective memory of the evidence to answer most questions.

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In the hyper-partisan atmosphere of United States politics, the prolonged deliberations have caused Trump critics to fear that the jury might acquit Manafort - which they see as a blow to Mueller and the "Russiagate" probe - while Trump supporters have interpreted the media motion as an attempt to pressure the jury into a guilty verdict.