Jury Deliberates Manafort Fraud Charges for 4th Day
Jurors in the eastern U.S. state of Virginia are in their fourth day of deliberations Tuesday on tax and bank fraud allegations against U.S. President Donald Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort.
The six-man, six-woman panel has been discussing the case behind closed doors since last week in a courthouse just outside Washington.
The jury sent a note to the judge about 90 minutes after resuming deliberations asking the judge how to complete a verdict form for a single count if it is unable to reach consensus on that count.
During the two-week trial, prosecutors accused Manafort of hiding millions of dollars in offshore accounts in order to avoid paying U.S. taxes and to finance a lavish lifestyle that included the purchase of palatial mansions, cars, clothes and electronics.
They alleged much of the money came from Manafort's lobbying for deposed Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych before joining Trump's election campaign in 2016.
Manafort's defense team, which rested its case without calling any witnesses, or Manafort, to testify, said the prosecution failed to prove Manafort's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, the legal standard for a conviction in the U.S. court system.
It also worked to discredit the key prosecution witness in the case, Rick Gates, Manafort's former business associate who also was Trump's former deputy campaign manager. Gates had already pleaded guilty to helping hide millions in income from U.S. tax authorities.
The trial is the first conducted by special counsel Robert Mueller's prosecutors in connection with their wide-ranging investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.