Jury begins 3rd day of deliberations in Manafort fraud trial

Microphones are setup in front of the Albert V. Bryan United States Courthouse as the jury begins deliberation in the trial of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort

On Friday afternoon the jury of six men and six women sent the judge a note asking that they be permitted to finish their work for the day because one juror had a social engagement.

A lawyer for Paul Manafort said Tuesday that there's "no chance" that the former campaign chairman for President Donald Trump would strike a deal with prosecutors, reports.

The jury is weighing hundreds of pieces of evidence and an 18-count indictment accusing Manafort of tax fraud, bank fraud and failing to disclose foreign bank accounts.

Prosecutors say Manafort collected $65 million in foreign bank accounts from 2010 to 2014 and spent more than $15 million on luxury purchases in the same period, including high-end clothing, real estate, landscaping and other big-ticket items.

He also subsequently faced accusations of lying to banks to secure $20 million in loans after his Ukrainian income dried up.

Manafort's attorneys didn't call witnesses in his defense, claiming the prosecution failed to meet its burden of proof. They have attacked the credibility of Manafort's former business partner, Rick Gates, who testified against his former colleague.

The case against the former Trump campaign chairman is the first courtroom test for special counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation investigation.

The verdict, in the hands of 12 jurors, will provide a measure of the special counsel's ability to make charges stick.

Lastly the jury asked the judge to "redefine reasonable doubt", which Ellis clarified as "a doubt based on reason", adding the government "is not required to prove guilt beyond all possible doubt".

Another headline on Friday that might grab the attention of jurors was about Ellis disclosing he had received threats related to the trial and was being protected by USA marshals.

Defense attorney Richard Westling said Manafort became the special counsel's victim in a "selective process of pulling" his financial records to concoct a narrative of an "elaborate fraud scheme".

A coalition of media organizations, including The Associated Press, filed a motion requesting the names of jurors after the trial, as well as access to sealed transcripts of bench conferences that have occurred during the three-week trial.

Last week, Ellis voiced concerns for the panel's safety after indicating he had been the target of threats. "I'd imagine they would too", Ellis said, adding that U.S. marshals accompany him everywhere, including an unnamed hotel where he's staying, but jurors don't have that protection.

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