Jury begins 3rd day of deliberations in Manafort fraud trial

Jurors in Manafort trial send judge 4 questions, including asking him to redefine reasonable doubt

The jury in the trial of Paul Manafort began deliberating for a third day on Monday about whether to convict the former Trump campaign chairman for financial crimes. The jury's request to go longer raised speculation a verdict might be near.

Jurors will return Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. ET.

Despite gray clouds hovering over the Albert V. Bryan United States Courthouse, a row of television cameras remained at the ready all day, pointed at the entrance.

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 US marshals.

Judge Ellis III said during a hearing Friday afternoon he is concerned for the "peace and safety of the jurors". He did not elaborate on the nature of the threats, but the judge acknowledged he was being protected by U.S. Marshals.

The federal trial in Virginia is the first stemming from Special Counsel Robert Mueller's 15-month-old investigation of Russia's role in the 2016 United States presidential election. "I think that's a good sign for the prosecution". The courtroom filled with static as lawyers huddled around Ellis to talk.

Though the charges against Manafort are not related to Russia's interference in the 2016 presidential election, the trial is an important initial test for Mueller. But President Donald Trump has expressed a keen interest in Manafort‚à "ôs fate as he seeks to publicly undermine Mueller's probe".

The jury in the fraud trial of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort has submitted a note to the judge with four questions.

On Thursday, the jury asked for a definition of "reasonable doubt" and clarification on the law governing the reporting of foreign bank accounts but did not ask any similar questions on Friday. "If you FIGHT BACK or say anything bad about the Rigged Witch Hunt, they scream Obstruction!"

Federal prosecutors in the trial in Alexandria, Virginia, allege that Manafort hid tens of millions of dollars in foreign income.

Jurors also were shown photos of high-end clothes, including a $15,000 ostrich jacket and $18,000 python jacket Manafort purchased with the funds.

Manafort's attorneys have accused prosecutors of engaging in "selective" prosecution.

Shanlon Wu, who represented Manafort's former protege Rick Gates before he pleaded guilty in February and cooperated with the prosecution, said the lack of questions on Friday might bode better for the prosecution than the defence.

Manafort is charged with 18 felony counts dealing with tax evasion and bank fraud.

Manafort faces a second trial in September for money laundering, conspiracy and making false statements.

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