ALEXANDRIA, Va. ― Jurors deciding the fate of Paul Manafort indicated on Tuesday they were struggling to reach a consensus on one of the 18 federal counts against the former Trump campaign chairman, meaning they had likely reached verdicts on most of the other counts.
In a note to Judge T.S. Ellis of the Eastern District of Virginia, the jury foreperson asked late Tuesday morning: If the jury “cannot come to a consensus on a single count,” how should the members fill out the jury verdict form “for that count”?
Ellis told the jurors to continue their deliberations, but the judge could accept a partial verdict in the case if jurors indicate that they remain deadlocked. It’s unclear how much longer the jury will deliberate before returning its verdict.
If convicted, Manafort, 69, may spend the rest of his life in federal prison. But President Donald Trump has expressed sympathy for the political consultant in recent months, opening up the possibility that the president will either pardon or grant a commutation to his former campaign chairman.
Throughout the three weeks of the trial in Alexandria, Virginia, prosecutors presented a compelling case against Manafort, illustrating how he’d allegedly used secret overseas bank accounts to pay off his personal expenses, filed false tax returns, and provided false information to banks as he sought loans. Manafort’s defense team attempted to blame the criminal activity on former Manafort deputy Rick Gates, but prosecutors told jurors that the extensive documentation of Manafort’s alleged crimes was the prosecution’s “star witness.”
Ryan Reilly is HuffPost’s senior justice reporter covering the Justice Department, federal law enforcement, criminal justice and legal affairs. Have a tip? Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Signal at 202-527-9261.