Judge In Manafort Trial Receives Threats; Media Tries To Reveal Juror's Identities

Jury in Paul Manafort trial poses questions about reasonable doubt

Trump: Trial of Former Aide Manafort 'Very Sad'

When you look at what's going on, I think it's a very sad day for our country. But, you know what, he happens to be a very good person.

Manafort's defense attorney Kevin Downing told reporters they "really appreciate the support of President Trump".

The judge's revelations came as Mr Trump called Mr Manafort a "very good person".

U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III revealed his concerns Friday when explaining why he doesn't intend to make jurors' names public at the end of the trial.

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In a note to the judge that said it wanted to go home at 5:30pm (local time), the jury asked for a definition of "reasonable doubt".

"The fact that they are sending questions on reasonable doubt tells me that the group is divided", jury consultant Alexandra Rudolph said. If convicted on all counts, he could face up to 10 years in prison.

Donald Trump's musings on the Paul Manafort trial may not have much an effect on the outcome, experts say.

This courtroom sketch depicts Paul Manafort, fourth from right, standing with his lawyers in front of USA district Judge T.S Ellis III, and the jury during the jury selection of his trial in Alexandria, Va., July 31, 2018. Meanwhile President Trump watches from afar, commenting when he feels it is necessary. It could also boost Mueller's position as he negotiates with Trump's lawyers over a potential interview.

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While the general rule is that juries reach a verdict on Friday so they won't have to return after the weekend, Rudolph said she now believed it was likely the trial would carry over into early next week.

After a full day Thursday, the jury hadn't yet reached a verdict on the 18 counts of tax evasion, bank fraud and hiding foreign bank accounts brought by special counsel Robert Mueller as part of the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 USA election. The charges against Manafort are not related to Trump, Russia, or the campaign. He declined to release those names, citing threats he had received and the fact that he is now receiving USA marshals service protection.

Rejecting the request about the jury, Ellis said "to do so would create a risk of harm to them". It features a presidential campaign chair with ties to Russian oligarchs, while the president himself stands accused of colluding with Russians to win the election. The trial yielded fresh evidence about favor-trading in the Trump campaign, even in its final days.

The prosecution could request a mistrial, but such a maneuver was very unlikely, Ohlin said.

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"In some cases, juries reach quick decisions on almost all the charges but take a long time to decide what to do with a final charge or two that they think may not have been proven beyond a reasonable doubt", Abramson said.

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