Manafort trial verdict: Manafort, Mueller and Trump await jury’s choice


The jury started deliberations 9:56 a.m. ET Thursday and continued by lunch, which was delivered by a court docket worker.

Manafort is going through 18 counts of tax evasion, financial institution fraud and hiding international financial institution accounts going through Donald Trump’s former marketing campaign chairman. He has pleaded not responsible to all expenses.

For the primary time, jurors are seeing photos of the $15,000 ostrich jacket, $18,000 python jacket, and different high-end clothes Manafort bought utilizing international wire transfers. They’re additionally debating the testimony of Rick Gates, Manafort’s former deputy who admitted to embezzling lots of of 1000’s of {dollars}. And so they can pore over reams of emails, tax types and monetary paperwork that prosecutors say are the “star witness” of their case.

The courtroom drama shall be nothing in comparison with the political earthquake the decision will convey, no matter which approach it comes down.

The President has repeatedly referred to as Mueller’s investigation a “witch hunt” that hasn’t discovered proof of Russian collusion along with his marketing campaign, and Trump’s allies out and in of the White Home say the particular counsel ought to wrap issues up.

“If he does not get it performed within the subsequent two or three weeks we’ll simply unload on him like a ton of bricks,” Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani advised Bloomberg News.

“Trying again on historical past, who was handled worse, Alfonse Capone, legendary mob boss, killer and “Public Enemy Quantity One,” or Paul Manafort, political operative & Reagan/Dole darling, now serving solitary confinement – though convicted of nothing? The place is the Russian Collusion?” Trump tweeted earlier this month about Manafort.

An acquittal would solely add to criticism that Mueller’s investigation hasn’t been definitely worth the time and expense.

A conviction, in the meantime, would permit Democrats and Mueller’s supporters to say ending the investigation can be untimely given the particular counsel’s outcomes, having beforehand collected a number of responsible pleas.

It may additionally increase Mueller’s place as he negotiates with Trump’s lawyers over a possible interview.

‘This can be a case about lies’

The trial has not touched on Russia or the 2016 election. As an alternative, the main focus has been solely on Manafort’s funds.

Inside Bijan: The boutique behind Paul Manafort's lavish wardrobe

Prosecutors say that Manafort collected $65 million in his international accounts from 2010-2014 and spent greater than $15 million on luxurious purchases in the identical time interval, together with high-end clothes, actual property purchases, landscaping and different big-ticket objects.

In addition they alleged that Manafort lied to banks to take out greater than $20 million in loans after his Ukrainian political work dried up in 2015 and accused him of hiding international financial institution accounts from federal authorities. Manafort additionally was charged with receiving loans from the Federal Financial savings Financial institution after one among its executives sought a place within the Trump marketing campaign and the administration, in line with prosecutors.

“Mr. Manafort lied to maintain extra money when he had it, and he lied to get extra money when he did not,” prosecutor Greg Andres stated advised jurors throughout closing arguments. “This can be a case about lies.”

Protection lawyer Richard Westling stated Manafort grew to become the particular counsel’s sufferer in a “selective means of pulling” his monetary data to concoct a story of an “elaborate fraud scheme.” (Choose T.S. Ellis, who has been a colourful, and at-times controversial, presence in the course of the trial, later instructed the jury to not contemplate such characterizations of Mueller’s crew’s motives.)

Baked Alaska and birthday cake: Memorable lines from the Manafort trial judge, T.S. Ellis

Manafort protection lawyer Kevin Downing advised reporters that his shopper was “very completely happy” with how closing arguments went. “His protection crew received to deal with the jury, level out the shortcomings within the authorities’s case and clarify that the federal government has not met their burden of proof,” Downing stated.

Manafort faces as much as 305 years in jail if convicted on all expenses.

CNN’s Tammy Kupperman, Aaron Cooper, Devon Sayers contributed to this report.

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