BREAKING: The jury in Paul Manafort’s fraud case indicated in a note Tuesday that it is struggling to reach a unanimous verdict on all 18 tax- and bank-fraud charges.
The six-woman, six-man jury in the trial of President Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort began its fourth day of deliberations on Tuesday.
U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III summoned jurors into the courtroom a little after 9:35 a.m. As occurs each morning, the clerk called out each juror’s number, and each responded they were “here” or “present.” The judge asked them to confirm that they had not done any independent research, then set them back to resume their work.
Manafort, who has worked on Republican presidential campaigns dating back to Gerald Ford, faces 18 bank fraud and tax charges. The trial in Alexandria, Va., began three weeks ago, and the jury began deliberating on Thursday.
After the panel went home for the night Monday, defense attorney Kevin Downing said outside the courthouse that his client was happy to see the jury continues to deliberate. “He thinks it was a very good day,” said Downing.
Prosecutors charge that from 2010 to 2014, Manafort hid more than $15 million from the IRS — money he made as a political consultant in Ukraine.
When that income ended in 2014, authorities charge Manafort lied to banks to get millions of dollars more in loans to support his seven-figure lifestyle.
On Thursday, the jury asked Ellis to clarify some legal elements in the case that had been raised by the defense team. Since then, they have deliberated without asking for any further guidance from the judge.
Manafort, 69, could spend the rest of his life in prison if convicted of the most serious charges in the case.
The trial is the first to emerge from the office of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III.
The president has repeatedly spoken out publicly in support of Manafort, both at the outset of the trial and during jury deliberations.
On Monday morning, Trump tweeted that Mueller’s investigators “are enjoying ruining people’s lives and REFUSE to look at the real corruption on the Democrat side — the lies, the firings, the deleted Emails and soooo much more! Mueller’s Angry Dems are looking to impact the election. They are a National Disgrace!”