Manafort Judge Says He's Received Threats, Fears For Jurors' Safety

Clay Curtis
August 18, 2018

Just before 4:50 p.m. Thursday, there was a knock at one of the doors to U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis's courtroom, behind which the jurors are deliberating.

He said that he personally has received threats and is now under the protection of USA marshals. As a result, Ellis said, he didn't "feel right" releasing the names of the 12-person jury.

"The fact that they are sending questions on reasonable doubt tells me that the group is divided", said jury consultant Alexandra Rudolph.

Mr Manafort denies charges of bank and tax fraud, in the first trial stemming from the inquiry into alleged Russian meddling into the 2016 USA elections.

The commander in chief made it clear what he thought of the case earlier in the day, calling Manafort, 69, "a very good person" and his trial "sad" for the country.

Robert Mueller, the special counsel for the Department of Justice, led this prosecution, which arose from evidence uncovered by his team as it pursued whether Russian Federation had attempted to influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.

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Federer will play his opening match of the tournament against Peter Gojowczyk of Germany on August 15. And course the big goal is the US Open . "I feel like that's a bit of an opportunity wasted".

The case calls on the dozen jurors to follow the complexities of foreign bank accounts and shell companies, loan regulations and tax rules.

The government says Manafort hid at least $16 million in income from the IRS between 2010 and 2014.

Judge T.S. Ellis told the jury they need to rely on their collective memory of the evidence to answer most questions.

"I did not understand how this case would be perceived by the public", Ellis said. Witnesses testified at Manafort's trial that he used so-called shelf companies - companies previously created by a lawyer in Cyprus that could be used to control the bank accounts in question - in order to move Manafort's money. The judge rejected the request for juror information, citing security concerns.

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". Among the questions they have since sent to the judge was a request to define "reasonable doubt". Ellis responded that the prosecutors had to prove their case not "beyond possible doubt", but beyond "doubt based on reason". A spokeswoman for the U.S. Marshals Service did not immediately comment. He went on to insist that Manafort only briefly worked for him, but said that was long enough to know that Manafort is a top-notch guy.

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