Paul Manafort jurors go home for weekend without reaching verdict in trial of ex-Trump campaign boss

  • Jurors in the trial of ex-Trump campaign boss Paul Manafort ended their second full day of deliberations on Friday without reaching a verdict.
  • Manafort is accused of tax crimes and bank fraud related to his work in Ukraine for pro-Russia politicians.
  • President Donald Trump called Manafort's trial "very sad," and harshly criticized special counsel Robert Mueller, who brought the charges against the longtime Republican consultant.
President Donald Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort departs U.S. District Court after a hearing in the first charges stemming from a special counsel investigation of possible Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election in Washington, October 30, 2017.
Jim Bourg | Reuters
President Donald Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort departs U.S. District Court after a hearing in the first charges stemming from a special counsel investigation of possible Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election in Washington, October 30, 2017.

Jurors in the trial of ex-Trump campaign boss Paul Manafort ended their second full day of deliberations on Friday without reaching a verdict.

The 12-member jury will reconvene Monday in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Virginia, to continue mulling Manafort's fate.

Judge T.S. Ellis let the jury go home at around 5 p.m., several hours after the panel asked to recess at that time because one of its members had a social engagement on Friday night.

After the jury left the court, Manafort was sent back to a jail in Alexandria, where he is being kept isolated from other inmates.

The 69-year-old Republican consultant, who once routinely spent tens of thousands of dollars on custom-made suits, an ostrich jacket, watches and landscaping, has been locked up without bail since June after being charged with trying to tamper with potential witnesses against him.

In the Virginia case, Manafort is accused by special counsel Robert Mueller of a raft of tax and bank fraud charges related to his consulting work for pro-Russia politicians in Ukraine, which predated his tenure as chairman of President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign.

Mueller's team of prosecutors say Manafort hid tens of millions of dollars in offshore accounts, failed to disclose those accounts to the IRS and dodged paying taxes on much of the money.

He then allegedly used false financial statements to convince banks to loan him millions more after the Ukraine cash stream ran out when his clients lost power.

Manafort is set to go on trial Sept. 17 in another case in Washington, D.C., federal court, where he is charged with money laundering and failing to register as an agent of a foreign government, and also the witness tampering charges. That case also is related to his work in Ukraine.

During a hearing earlier Friday, Ellis revealed that he had received threats related to the trial and is now traveling with protection from the United States Marshals Service.

Ellis cited those threats in his decision to keep sealed the names and addresses of the jurors, who were not present for the hearing.

Several media outlets, including NBC News, had asked the judge to release the identities of the jurors.

Ellis also said he would keep sealed the transcript of a sidebar discussion he had during the trial with prosecutors and the defense that referred to an ongoing investigation by Mueller.

The special counsel is investigating Trump for possible obstruction of justice related to the Justice Department's probe of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, and the potential involvement of Trump's campaign in that interference.

Less than nine miles from the courthouse, in an exchange with reporters outside the White House, Trump refused to answer whether he would pardon Manafort.

But the president said, "I think it's very sad what they've done to Paul Manafort."

"I think the whole Manafort trial is very sad," Trump said. "He happens to be a very good person."