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21 Aug, 2018 20:37

Jury finds former Trump manager Manafort guilty on 8 counts, mistrial declared in 10

Jury finds former Trump manager Manafort guilty on 8 counts, mistrial declared in 10

The Virginia jury deliberating the 18 federal charges against former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort could only reach consensus on 8 counts, finding him guilty. The judge has declared a mistrial on the 10 remaining counts.

Manafort was found guilty on five counts of tax fraud, one count of hiding foreign bank accounts, and two counts of bank fraud.

The veteran political operative was charged with a laundry list offenses related to his income from lobbying for the government of Ukraine prior to 2014. If convicted on all counts, he would have faced over 300 years in prison.

None of the charges are in any way connected to President Donald Trump’s campaign, which Manafort managed between March and August 2016, or allegations of “Russian collusion” that Special Counsel Robert Mueller was tasked with investigating.

No sentencing date has been set. Judge TS Ellis III has given prosecutors until August 29 to decide whether to refile charges on the 10 counts that the jury could not agree on.

"I feel very badly for Paul Manafort," President Trump told reporters after landing in West Virginia on Tuesday afternoon, adding that the trial "has nothing to do with me. Nothing to do with Russia collusion."

The jury began deliberating on Thursday, after Manafort’s defense rested without calling any witnesses or putting Manafort himself to the stand. The lengthy deliberations, during which the jurors asked for clarification on the meaning of “reasonable doubt,”fueled fears of a mistrial or acquittal.

On Friday, The Washington Post, New York Times, AP, CNN, NBC, Politico and BuzzFeed filed a motion to unseal the jurors’ names and addresses last week, in a move to turn up the pressure as deliberations continued. Judge Ellis denied the request, saying that doing so would open jurors to threats of the kind he has received, revealing that he was traveling with a protective detail of US Marshals.

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