Manafort Jury Begins Second Day of Deliberations

Jury in Paul Manafort trial poses questions about reasonable doubt

Trump: Trial of Former Aide Manafort 'Very Sad'

Judge T.S. Ellis III revealed that he has received a number of death threats during the proceedings and is being protected by USA marshals. According to the Washington Post, the jurors' questions indicate they are considering some defense arguments.

"I'm not [lead prosecutor] Greg Andres, so it's easy for me to say he doesn't need to bite his nails right now", Litman said.

"I have the marshals' protection", he said.

It is unusual for a US president to make comments about the character of a defendant in an ongoing trial and criticize the legal proceedings.

Mr. Trump did not address whether he would pardon Manafort when asked about the trial on Friday. Normally they leave at 5:30 p.m., but the note asked to leave at 5 p.m. They are to return Monday morning.

But there's little reason to be surprised about the attention the trial has garnered. The judge rejected the request for juror information, citing security concerns.

He did not give specifics of the threats but said he had been taken aback by the level of interest in the trial.

"I had no idea this case would excite these emotions, quite frankly", Ellis said.

"The fact that they are sending questions on reasonable doubt tells me that the group is divided", jury consultant Alexandra Rudolph said.

Ellis was more accommodating on another request made by the press.

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The judge also denied a motion to unseal all the bench conferences and sidebars, which have been sealed. But it was not the first time Trump has weighed in since the Manafort trial began on July 31.

Earlier in the day, Ellis said he was open to scrutiny.

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.

Neither case involves allegations of Russian election interference or possible coordination by the Trump campaign, which are at the heart of Mueller's larger investigation.

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

The judge presiding over the trial of veteran political consultant Paul Manafort said on August 17 that he received threats related to the trial and was being protected by USA marshals. "I think instead he's engaged in a campaign strategically created to communicate to some of his former friends like Paul Manafort, like Cohen, and in essence dangle pardons on Twitter".

The jury concluded its first day of deliberations Thursday with a series of questions to the judge. Under U.S. law, the guilt of the accused must be proven "beyond a reasonable doubt" or there can be no conviction. It was their second day to deliberate 18 tax and bank fraud charges Manafort faces for allegedly hiding millions of dollars from the Internal Revenue Service in overseas bank accounts.

One of the four questions concerned the need to file Foreign Bank Account Reports, known as FBARs, for people who don't own more than 50 percent of a company and have no signatory authority, but have the authority to control disbursements.

Manafort's lawyers said Tuesday that they would call none, alleging that the government "cannot meet that burden" of proof that would move a jury to issue a guilty verdict. If convicted on all counts, he could spend the rest of his life in prison.

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