ALEXANDRIA, VA — Closing arguments in the Paul Manafort trial will begin Wednesday morning, U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis indicated Tuesday, after Manafort’s attorneys said they would not call additional witnesses and they were resting their case.
The prosecution rested its case against Manafort Tuesday afternoon. Manafort faces charges of bank fraud and tax fraud as part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. He has pleaded not guilty.
The judge held a sealed session Tuesday morning before opening the courtroom to the public at 11:30 a.m. He gave no hint as to what the sealed matter was about, but the two-hour sealed hearing came after another sealed hearing Monday evening and a number of delays in the proceedings on Friday, during which the attorneys and Ellis had multiple private conversations.
The jury will reconvene Tuesday afternoon, after their lunch break, to hear Manafort’s attorneys say that they are resting their case. After that, they will be dismissed, and the judge will hold a public hearing on jury instructions with the lawyers.
Ellis also told the lawyers on both sides that he would prefer they keep closing arguments to just one and a half hours. Previously prosecutors asked for two hours, which Ellis said Tuesday is “a little excessive.”