The jury in the federal trial against Paul Manafort ended the first day of deliberations with a series of questions. U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III read aloud a note detailing four questions from the jury.
The note asked Judge Ellis to repeat the definition of reasonable doubt, and covered foreign financial accounts, shell companies and evidence in the case.
The defense took that as good news.
One source close to the defense team told Fox News, “We’re in the game.”
Andrew McCarthy, a former Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York., cautioned not to read too much into the note. He specifically mentioned the request to repeat the definition of reasonable doubt.
“Don’t read too much into reasonable doubt note. Sometimes suggests jury has real doubt,” he tweeted. “Sometimes means most jurors think 1 or 2 jurors need to be reminded RD doesn’t mean ‘all possible doubt.’ To early to tell.”
Don’t read too much into reasonable doubt note. Sometimes suggests jury has real doubt. Sometimes means most jurors think 1 or 2 jurors need to be reminded RD doesn’t mean ‘all possible doubt.’ To early to tell.
— Andrew C. McCarthy (@AndrewCMcCarthy) August 16, 2018
Mr. Manafort, 69, stood trial for nearly three weeks and is now awaiting a verdict on tax evasion and bank fraud charges. It is the first real test of the prosecutions resulting from the investigation led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller III.
He has been accused of hiding income from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) earned lobbying the Clinton Department and Capitol Hill Democrats through The Podesta Group on behalf of the then-pro Russian government in Ukraine.
Neither he nor The Podesta Group, which was founded by former Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta and his brother, were registered under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA).
He is also accused of fraudulently obtaining millions of dollars in bank loans.
Mr. Mueller needs a unanimous verdict from the 12 jurors to convict Mr. Manafort on each of the 18 counts against him. But this trial isn’t the end of his legal troubles, regardless of the verdict.
He is also facing charges in a separate federal court case in Washington, D.C., including allegations of conspiring against the United States, conspiring to launder money, failing to register as an agent of a foreign principal and providing knowlindgly false statements to federal investigators.