Judge in trial of former Trump campaign aide Paul Manafort receives threats

Lester Mason
August 19, 2018

U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III made the disclosure while presiding in a hearing where a coalition of news organizations sought the disclosure of jurors' identities and the contents of several secret bench discussions with prosecutors and Manafort's attorneys.

As a jury deliberates a second day on a verdict in the trial of U.S. President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, Trump said the trial was "sad".

In an indication that the six women and six men of the jury may not reach a verdict on August 17, they sent the judge a note asking that they be permitted to finish their work for the day at 5 p.m. because one juror has a social engagement.

It is the first trial based on evidence collected by federal agents from Special Counsel Robert Muller's investigation into potential Russian collusion with the Trump campaign in the 2016 election.

"They go where I go", the judge said. Of Mr. Manafort, he said: "He happens to be a very good person".

"They're more interested in who the jury is than the court trial itself", she said. "Thank you very much".

Manafort faces up to 305 years in prison if convicted on all charges.

Lead prosecutor Greg Andres was spotted awaiting a delivery from Shake Shack in the entrance area of the local Westin hotel - but when reporters asked Andres later whether he had actually received an order from the burger chain, "he laughed, then paused", the Times says.

Prosecutors contend Manafort was paid millions of dollars for consulting work for Ukraine's former president, putting money in secret offshore accounts and hiding income from the IRS. Jury lists are considered to be public unless a judge bans any access to them.

So they want to know who the jurors are so they can apply pressure on them through mob action, newspaper denunciations, online harassment and so on. As one insider in the Russian Federation probe told Politico, Manafort is expected to be found guilty in this trial, and even if he someone does get off, he still faces another trial in September on charges of money laundering and failing to register as a foreign agent for his work on behalf of Ukraine.

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

That the jurors gave the judge their questions at the end of the day as opposed to at various intervals before suggests cohesion because they were able to draft the questions, set them aside, and move on to other matters throughout the day, Litman said.

The jury sent a note on Thursday afternoon asking Ellis four questions including one about defining "reasonable doubt".

Why would Trump comment on the ongoing trial?

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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