No verdict as Manafort jury breaks for weekend

Microphones are set up in front of the Albert V. Bryan United States Courthouse as the jury begins deliberation in the trial of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort

Jury in Paul Manafort trial poses questions about reasonable doubt

The judge in the criminal trial of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort will hold a hearing Friday on whether to unseal the names and addresses of the jurors.

Paul Manafort's trial will stretch into a fourth week, as jurors headed home Friday without reaching a verdict for the second straight day and the judge overseeing the case alluded to "threats" the jury may be receiving. Manafort faces 18 charges of tax and bank fraud.

He added: "When you look at what is going on, I think it's a very sad day for our country". "He worked for me for a very short period of time".

"If you're Paul Manafort and you hear about that and we all know Paul Manafort's heard about that, it's hard to read that as anything other than a message to Manafort, hold on, don't cut a deal with the government while the jury is out, which defendants sometimes do".

Trump on Friday issued a fresh defense of Manafort and called him a "very good person". "Thank you very much".

The case stems from Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election - and possible collusion between the Trump campaign team and Moscow.

Manafort, 69, faces five counts of filing false tax returns, four counts of failing to disclose his offshore bank accounts and nine counts of bank fraud.

But he said they were enough to make him wary of making the names of the 12 jurors and four alternates public, in response to a request from media organizations.

Judge T.S. Ellis III revealed that he has received a number of death threats during the proceedings and is being protected by USA marshals.

Manafort, who pleaded not guilty, was sent to prison on June 15 after allegedly attempting to tamper with the testimony of at least two witnesses.

Westling said that is the reason the defense chose to rest Its case without calling any witnesses to testify, including Manafort himself.

Seven left-leaning and left-wing news outlets - CNN, BuzzFeed, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Associated Press, Politico, and NBC News - had requested that Judge T.S. Ellis unseal that information.

Judge T.S. Ellis III has expressed skeptical opinions about the government's case from the outset.

It is unusual for a US president to comment about the character of a defendant in an ongoing trial and criticize the legal proceedings.

On Friday afternoon, the jury broke for the weekend without a verdict in the trial.

A Manafort acquittal would provide ammunition to the president and his allies to ramp up the pressure on Mueller to conclude his investigation.

His crimes, however, are not linked to Mr Trump and instead centre on his consultancy work with pro-Russian politicians in Ukraine.

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