ARLINGTON, VA — The jury in the fraud trial of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort ended its second day of deliberations with no verdict. The first day of deliberations on Thursday ended with the jurors asking U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III a series of questions. Among the questions the jurors posed was a request to redefine “reasonable doubt,” according to The Associated Press.
President Trump was asked on Friday whether he would pardon Manafort if he were convicted. Trump said he would not talk about that but said it is very sad what happened to Manafort and added that he is a “good person.”
According to reports from the courtroom, Judge Ellis said he was “optimistic that the case might end soon.” On Friday, Ellis said he has received threats over the case and is being given protection by the U.S. Marshals Service.
Ellis said he would not be unsealing the names and addresses of the jurors, fearing for their safety, CNBC reported. Several media organizations had brought a motion requesting that certain documents in the trial and the names of the jurors be unsealed. According to CNBC, Ellis said he will unseal any other documents after the trial ends.
The government says Manafort hid at least $16 million in income from the IRS between 2010 and 2014. Prosecutors say Manafort declared only some of his foreign income on his federal income tax returns and repeatedly failed to disclose millions of dollars that streamed into the U.S. to pay for luxury items, services and property.
The case against Manafort was brought by Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III. Mueller’s team is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election. Along with Manafort, Trump’s former national security advisory Gen. Michael Flynn, campaign aide George Papadopoulos and Manafort’s longtime associated, Rick Gates, have been indicted in the probe. Mueller has also indicted a number of Russian nationals and companies in the probe.
Reporting from The Associated Press was used in this report.
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