CNN accused of intimidating Paul Manafort jury

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"I'm going to do that, maybe five minutes before", Ellis said Friday afternoon, shortly before dismissing the jurors.

"If you're Paul Manafort and you hear about that - and we all know Paul Manafort's heard about that - it's hard to read that as anything other than a message to Manafort: 'Hold on, don't cut a deal with the government while the jury is out'".

Mr Manafort managed Mr Trump's campaign for several months in 2016 - and he was in charge when Mr Trump cinched the Republican party's nomination.

The remarks came as a Virginia jury entered its second day of deliberations in Manafort's bank and financial fraud trial, during which prosecutors hammered the former Trump campaign chairman's "lies".

A motion by AP, BuzzFeed, CNN, NBC, the New York Times, Politico and the Washington Post asked US District Judge T.S. Ellis III to reveal the names and addresses of the Manafort jurors, as well as the transcripts of sidebar conversations with the attorneys in the case, which remain sealed.

"The fact that they are sending questions on reasonable doubt tells me that the group is divided", said jury consultant Alexandra Rudolph.

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Manafort faces the prospect of spending the rest of his life in prison if convicted. The president also offered a full-throated defense of Manafort's character and painted him as a victim of special counsel Robert Mueller.

So they want to know who the jurors are so they can apply pressure on them through mob action, newspaper denunciations, online harassment and so on. Ideally, the jurors would have been carefully screened for excess partisan sentiment, but that would be extraordinarily hard given that Judge Ellis" so-called "rocket docket'; only spent less than a day to impanel the entire jury. Trump also again called out Turkey, saying the country has been a "problem for a long time".

Manafort also filed false statements to obtain millions of dollars in loans from banks when his Ukraine consulting fees dried up, according to prosecutors.

Judge Ellis told the jurors they needed to rely on their collective memory of the evidence to answer most questions. If the jury fails to render the Democrats' preferred verdict, what do you suppose Maxine Waters will suggest Democrats should do to the jurors if they venture out in public? The charges against Manafort are not related to Trump, Russia, or the campaign.

Along with the question on reasonable doubt, the jury asked about the list of exhibits, rules for reporting foreign bank accounts and the definition of "shelf companies, " a term used during the trial to describe some of the foreign companies used by Manafort.

The verdict could have major political consequences for Mueller's probe into whether Trump's campaign helped Russian Federation interfere with the 2016 presidential election.

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