Paul John Manafort Jr. is an attorney, political consultant, and lobbyist. He was President Trump’s former campaign manager from June of 2016 through August 2016. He also been the campaign manager for prior presidents such as Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, and George H.W. Bush.
On August 21, 2018, Manafort was convicted of five counts of tax fraud, two counts of bank fraud and one count of failure to report foreign bank accounts. He is currently cooperating with the Robert Mueller investigation.
Paul Manafort has been found guilty on eight of the eighteen charges. Ten charges were declared a mis-trial by Judge Ellis.
The jury has passed on a question to Judge Ellis of the Manafort trial. The jury apparently is stuck on one of the charges and wants to know what happens if they cannot agree unanimously on that one specific charge.
I’ll keep saying that the jury is facing a mountain of evidence and eighteen charges. This isn’t a case where there is a video and a smoking gun. The jurors no doubt know what is at stake with this trial, especially since they were not sequestered.
If a verdict is not decided today, that no doubt will get the media and legal experts thinking on what is going on inside the jury room. However, there might be clues.
With eighteen charges, today was a long shot. With a couple of days rest, that allows the jury to relax, organize their thoughts, and start all over again on Monday.
But fact is, why should a judge who is randomly assigned to a case receive a threat? I definitely will start at the top with the President, but, more on that later.
What is reasonable doubt is in reality, a foreign term for jurors, that is why prosecutors usually will say over and over again, not beyond “all” doubt, just beyond “a” reasonable doubt.
Not one single witness will testify on behalf of the defense, including Manafort, and that comes as no surprise. In a complicated financial fraud case such as this one, Manafort would not have survived cross-examination by Mueller’s legal team.
Closing their case, the prosecutors had James Brennan, a vice-president of Federal Savings Bank testify that he lied about Manafort’s financial situation in order to get him approved for a $16 million loan.
I think we have seen every range of emotion possible with Judge Ellis, the judge presiding over the Paul Manafort trial. At the minimum, he’s entertaining, and on the other side of the spectrum, he’s tainting the jury.
The back and forth banter between Judge Ellis and the prosecutors is well documented, and when I read another report yesterday, my first question was if the jury was present during some of these verbal barbs. Apparently, the answer is yes.
Today we now for sure, that everyday it is getting worse Manafort who is living in La La Land if he thinks he can avoid a conviction. Maybe he gets a presidential pardon from Trump, but to be honest, with so many players caught in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, that’s like trying to create a ripple in the ocean.
Today, no doubt, a bomb was dropped in what is normally, a case no one cares about. Apparently, Paul Manafort had financial issues dating back to 2016. Gee, I wonder why? Well, start with a $15,000 ostrich jacket and spending $100,000 a year on maintaining a pond. That’s just the type of evidence that infuriates jurors; the flaunting of wealth and arrogance.
The ghost of Al Capone looms large in the trial of Paul Manafort, President Trump’s former campaign manager. Only Trump could think of tweeting about Al Capone. The last time I heard that name mentioned, was when I went for a motorcycle ride to visit an alleged safe house of Capone where rum runners dropped off their load of illegal booze.
As expected, prosecutors will blame Paul Manafort, who else could be responsible? However, his defense team is blaming his business associate Rick Gates. And I quote: “Gates had his hand in the cookie jar,” said defense attorney Thomas Zehnle.
Paul Manafort’s trial begins next week and Special Counsel Robert Mueller filed his list of witnesses, thirty-five in total, that he expects to testify. Of course, on that list is Rick Gates, Manafort’s former business partner and friend that has already pled guilty and has been cooperating with Mueller.
Manafort appeared in court today wearing a prison jumpsuit. Gone are those days where Manafort confidently walked up the court house steps wearing thousand dollar suits and flashing a smile like there was nothing wrong in his world.
Who would have guessed that three hundred plus years later, history would repeat itself with the Salem Witch Trials.
With the pending investigation of Special Counsel Robert Mueller regarding Trump’s campaign and Russia’s actions in the 2016 Presidential election, it seems that Manafort did not disclose a creditor as required per bankruptcy law.