August 21, 2018

Late Tuesday morning, there was breaking news in the Paul Manafort trial:  the jurors gave a note to Judge T. S. Ellis asking what happens with the “final verdict” if they can’t reach a decision on “a single count.”  It’s not clear what that means.  Presumably the judge understands, but we don’t really know.  Are the jurors in agreement on all counts but one, on some counts but not others, or are they hopelessly deadlocked and can’t agree on even a single one?

This case is extremely complicated, with prosecutors failing to supply jurors with a handy summary of the 18 charges and the documentary evidence for each charge when they presented their side, even though they reportedly had prepared one  That would have made the jurors' examination of the evidence a lot easier.  During deliberations, the jurors asked the judge for this, and he refused their request at that point.  So they may simply need more time to go through everything and piece it together, count by count.

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Also, it’s unknown what other factors might enter into their decisions, such as the sweetheart plea deal Rick Gates got after doing essentially the same things as Manafort allegedly has done, and even more.  To some, this would inevitably taint any guilty verdict.  But Manafort had the misfortune of being Trump's campaign manager for several months.

Of course, by the time you read this, we may have a verdict on all counts.  Or a partial verdict.  Or a hung jury.


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  • Pamela Moreau

    08/21/2018 05:38 PM

    I thought this was about Russia collusion...can all who are being investigated be charged with everything since they turned 18?

  • Ann Webb

    08/21/2018 02:47 PM

    Two words "Witch Hunt"