Update… Jury in Manafort Trial Submits Questions to Court – ‘Looks Like Case May Not Be Slam Dunk’

After nearly two hours of instructions by Judge Ellis, the jury began to deliberate Thursday morning in the tax evasion and bank fraud case against Paul Manafort.

The jury is comprised of 6 men and 6 women and it is unclear how long it will take for the jury to vote.

Judge Ellis told the jury to take as much or as little time as they need, but there are a lot of exhibits so they’ve asked and gotten OK to use a bigger room, reported Josh Gerstein of Politico.

Earlier this week…

“Mr. Manafort just rested his case. He did so because he and his legal team believe that the government has not met its burden of proof,” Manafort’s lawyer Kevin Downing said on Tuesday.


The closing arguments began at 9:30 AM ET Wednesday morning.

Mueller’s prosecutors said in their closing arguments that Manafort’s money is ‘littered with lies.’

Manafort’s defense attorneys hammered the Special Counsel prosecutors Wednesday afternoon after the jurors returned from a lunch recess, arguing the prosecution slapped together a smorgasbord of evidence and failed to prove any crimes were committed by Manafort.

Manafort’s lawyers argued that Mueller’s prosecutors were ‘fishing for a crime’ that never existed and that the indictments were thrown down after “the special counsel showed up and started asking questions.”

The defense also argued the prosecution failed to call key witnesses to testify such as the CEO of the Chicago-based bank that approved Manafort’s high risk loans totaling over $16 million.

The loan officer at the bank who handled Manafort’s loans and told him to “get creative” with his income wasn’t even called to testify, which of course the defense used as an opportunity to plant doubt in the minds of jurors.

The prosecution brought forward 23 witnesses; five of the witnesses testified against Paul Manafort under the protection of immunity.

Manafort is charged with 18 counts and is facing up to 305 years in prison if convicted on all counts.

Update: At 5:00 PM ET, the jury submitted four questions to the court.

Jurors want clarification on ‘reasonable doubt.’

Deliberations will resume tomorrow.

Via legal reporter for Politico Josh Gerstein: Jury in Manafort case sends note asking for legal definitions on filing requirements for overseas accounts, also for clarification on ‘reasonable doubt.’ Suggests jurors may not view case as a slam dunk.

This story is developing…please check back for updates.

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