Paul Manafort Guilty on 8 Counts, Mistrial on 10

This courtroom sketch depicts defense lawyer Kevin Downing asking questions of Rick Gates,
Dana Verkouteren via AP

The jury in one-time Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort’s first criminal trial has finalized its verdict on eight of the 18 felony counts he faced: guilty.

The other ten counts ended in a mistrial, with the jurors unable to reach a unanimous verdict. Manafort was found guilty of five counts of tax fraud, two of bank fraud, and one for failure to properly register a foreign bank account.

The jurors informed Judge T.S. Ellis they were prepared to deliver their verdict in a note shortly after 11:00 a.m. Tuesday. According to reports, the note asked “what it means for the final verdict” if they were unable to reach a consensus on one of the 18 counts of bank fraud and tax evasion. Judge Ellis reportedly informed the jury they could reach a partial verdict, which is not unusual.

Ellis urged them to return to deliberation and try to reach a verdict on all charges.

Shortly after 4:00 p.m., the jury sent a second note to the bench indicating they had reached a verdict on eight counts and could not reach a consensus on the other ten. Judge Ellis polled the jurors on the remaining ten counts and, satisfied no consensus could be reached, declared the jury deadlocked on those counts.

With Manafort in the courtroom, the jury then announced their verdict on the eight counts, guilty in each case. Mistrials are not acquittals and do not prohibit the government from trying defendants again of the same charges again. In this case, according to Fox News, Judge Ellis gave Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s prosecutors until August 29 to do so.

The verdict capped off nearly four full days of deliberation, following a 12-day trial in which the government presented hundreds of exhibits and the testimony of several witnesses including Rick Gates, Manafort’s one-time business partner and now-convicted co-conspirator who pleaded guilty to similar charges in exchange for a lighter sentence.

The felonies for which Manafort, 69, was found guilty carry a theoretical maximum of decades in prison, but Mueller’s prosecutors are expected to seek a far shorter sentence in the range of eight-ten years. A sentencing date is yet to be decided on.

Manafort will face a second criminal trial in neighboring Washington, DC, on additional felonies including failing to register as a foreign agent. None of the charges in either of these cases relate to his work with the 2016 Trump campaign, but the trials represent the first major public hearing of the findings of the Mueller investigation, which officially was charged with investigating “collusion” with the Russian government by that campaign.

In any event, Manafort will remain in jail, where he has been held since June after the judge in his second scheduled trial, Amy Jackson Berman, found credible the Special Counsel’s Office’s claims they had caught Manafort attempting to tamper with witnesses.

According to Fox News, each of the jurors told Judge Ellis they wished to remain anonymous when he asked. The question followed an attempt by CNN and other left-leaning news outlets to have Ellis publish their names and home addresses.


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