Jurors' first day deliberating the special counsel's case against Manafort, who faces 18 counts of tax- and bank-related fraud, ended with questions - not answers. He worked for me for a very short period of time, but you know what? A Manafort conviction could also boost Mueller's position as he negotiates with Trump's lawyers over a potential interview.
The commander in chief made it clear what he thought of the case earlier in the day, calling Manafort, 69, "a very good person" and his trial "sad" for the country. "Thank you very much".
Robert Mueller, the special counsel for the Department of Justice, led this prosecution, which arose from evidence uncovered by his team as it pursued whether Russian Federation had attempted to influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential election. In Virginia, they calculated a sentence of roughly eight to 10 years on the tax fraud charges plus an additional four to five years on the bank fraud.
Eliis said during a hearing Friday afternoon he is concerned for the "peace and safety of the jurors".
As president, Trump has the power to pardon Manafort on the federal charges.
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Judge T.S. Ellis III revealed at the Paul Manafort trial Friday that he has been threatened during proceedings. Jurors are now deliberating on the charges against him. The president also offered a full-throated defense of Manafort's character and painted him as a victim of special counsel Robert Mueller.
Listen to what else Vance had to say about Trump's "message" to Manafort in the video up top.
In the United States jury lists are presumed to be public unless a judge has good reason for keeping them secret. Asked by a reporter on August 17 if he would pardon Manafort, Trump said, "I don't talk about that now".
Left-wing cable news and a series of op-eds, including one in the Washington Post, have slammed Judge Ellis for alleged bias against Mueller's prosecutors over the course of the trial.
Prosecutors outlined schemes allegedly used by Manafort to avoid paying USA taxes on the millions of dollars he earned in Ukraine and then deposited in bank accounts in Cyprus.
It was the "reasonable doubt" question that caught some legal experts most by surprise as it suggested one or more jurors may be grappling with whether the prosecution met this standard of proof on certain counts.