Manafort judge alludes to 'threats' in not releasing jurors' names


On Friday, US President Donald Trump said Mr Manafort was a "very good person", describing the trial as "very sad". The jury has been deliberating since Thursday morning - and while reporters await any word from the jury room, they're scrambling for any news at all about the high-profile case.

But Andres alleged that when the stream of money from Yanukovych dried up four years ago, Manafort financed his lifestyle by securing about $20 million in bank loans in the lying about his assets and debts on loan applications.

Earlier Friday, Ellis denied a request from multiple media organizations to reveal the jurors' names and addresses, saying he himself had been threatened during the proceedings of the trial.

Judge Ellis, sitting in Alexandria, Virginia, just outside Washington, said he himself was being guarded by a United States marshal. "I think there would be a substantial amount of people do so would create a risk of harm to them". "It's important to keep their names confidential".

"I had no idea this case would excite these emotions, I can tell you frankly", the judge said.

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"I don't talk about that now", he said, before ripping the prosecution of his former adviser by special counsel Robert Mueller's team of investigators. If convicted on all the charges, he could spend the rest of his life in prison. I think the whole Manafort trial is very sad.

"If you're Paul Manafort and you hear about that and we all know Paul Manafort's heard about that, it's hard to read that as anything other than a message to Manafort, hold on, don't cut a deal with the government while the jury is out, which defendants sometimes do".

Outside the courtroom, Manafort's lead defense attorney Kevin Downing said he's pleased to see the jury is taking their time and that he thinks a long deliberation plays in his client's favor.

Trump declined to comment on whether he would pardon his former campaign chairman.

Trump has stepped up his attacks on the investigation and his denials that there was any collusion with Russian entities to try to sway the election in his favor.

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Trump has made previous comments criticizing various federal judges and courts and has been harshly critical of Mueller.

The federal prosecutors handling the fraud case against Paul Manafort spent two weeks laying out their case before the jury. The jury will return Monday at 9:30 begin a third day of deliberations on 18 counts, including tax and bank fraud and failure to disclose foreign bank accounts.

During his testimony, Gates, 46, acknowledged stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from Manafort and having an extramarital affair. He has pleaded not guilty to all the charges. Additionally, an attempt by President Trump to pardon Manafort could add evidence to a possible "obstruction of justice" case against the president.

The FBI reportedly had an active criminal investigation on Manafort since 2014 to do with business dealings while he was lobbying for former President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych.

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