Trump defends ex-aide Manafort as jury mulls over verdict

Trump defends ex-aide Manafort as jury mulls over verdict

Mr Trump said: "I think the whole Manafort trial is very sad".

Manafort, who worked for a short time as President Trump's campaign chairman during the 2016 presidential election, has been charged by special counsel Robert Mueller with various financial crimes, none of which have anything to do with Trump or the campaign.

"I think it was very ill-advised for the president to do this". Why do you suppose seven news organizations-all liberal, presumably-wanted to know who the jurors are and where they live?

On Friday, Trump issued a fresh defense of Manafort and called him a "very good person". "He happens to be a very good person, and I think it's very sad what they've done to Paul Manafort".

The judge in Paul Manafort's fraud trial revealed Friday he has received threats over the case and now travels with U.S. Marshals, as he turned back a media request to release juror information.

Judge T S Ellis III said Friday he has received threats over the Manafort case.

The New York Times said the jurors' questions "could mean either that they were befuddled by some of the charges or that they understood enough to ask specific questions". The group also asked for the names and addresses of jurors and alternates. Democrats have also been reluctant to pursue any efforts to impeach Trump, waiting instead for the final Russian Federation investigation findings.

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The judge later allowed the jurors - six men and six women - to finish their work for the day because one of them had a social engagement.

The press surrounding the Alexandria-based federal courthouse of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia stirred into action when word spread the jury had delivered a note to Judge Ellis. If convicted on all counts, he could face up to 10 years in prison.

Ellis said that he had not anticipated the intense public interest in the case and the emotion surrounding it before the former Trump campaign manager's trial began more than two weeks ago.

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. Jurors are now deliberating on the charges against him.

Trump again denounced the Mueller probe on Friday, calling it a "witch hunt", and - in an extraordinary commentary by a sitting president about an ongoing trial - weighed in on the Manafort case.

The jury also requested that the judge redefine "reasonable doubt".

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