ALEXANDRIA, VA — The jury in the Paul Manafort bank and tax fraud trial ended the week without a verdict. They will continue deliberations at 9:30 a.m. ET Monday.
The jury asked to be dismissed a bit early on Friday, at 5 p.m. ET, because one of the jurors had an event later in the evening. Judge T.S. Ellis granted the jury’s request, noting with a smile that he was letting them out 5 minutes ahead of their proposed time.
Ellis instructed the jury not to discuss the case with anyone or “undertake any investigation” on their own.
“Put the case out of your minds until Monday,” he told the jury.
The jury has so far spent two days deliberating in the case. Late Thursday afternoon, the jury asked the court for clarification on several issues related to the charges Manafort faces. The questions related to the requirements to file FBAR reports; a definition of “shelf” companies; clarification of the term reasonable doubt; and whether the exhibit list could be linked up to reflect counts Manafort faces.
Manafort has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Kevin Downing, a defense attorney for Manafort, responded to those questions favorably on Thursday.
“They’re great questions,” he told TPM. He said they showed the jury was working through the “complicated” issues in the case.
President Trump weighed in on the trial against his former campaign chairman Friday before leaving the White House.
“I think the whole Manafort trial is very sad,” Trump told reporters. “When you look at what’s going on there, I think it’s a very sad day for our country. He worked for me for a very short period of time. And you know what? He happens to be a very good person. I think it’s very sad what they’ve done to Paul Manafort.”
Trump: "It's very sad what they've done to Paul Manafort." pic.twitter.com/JWAQufXyE8
— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) August 17, 2018
Outside the courtroom, Downing told reporters that Manafort’s team “really appreciates the support of President Trump.”