Paul Manafort is a 'good person' and his trial is 'very sad'

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The federal judge heading the financial fraud trial of Paul Manafort said Friday that he has received unspecified threats during the case and is under the protection of U.S. Marshals.

Trump's comments came as a 12-person jury continues to work toward a verdict on the 18 charges brought against Manafort by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III revealed his concerns when explaining why he doesn't intend to make jurors' names public at the end of the trial. The judge told them reasonable doubt "is a doubt based on reason", but added: "The government is not required to prove guilt beyond all possible doubt". "I can pardon you in the future, '" said Vance.

One bench conference would remain sealed, Ellis said, "because I don't want to interfere with any ongoing investigation".

Since the judge refused to give details about any of the threats, we don't know if they were coming from the left or the right, but most of the news the judge has made in this case has been for his criticism of the prosecutors.

After learning of Trump's remarks, one of Manafort's lawyers, Kevin Downing, said the defendants' legal team "really appreciates the support of President Trump".

A Manafort conviction would allow Democrats and Mueller's supporters to say ending the investigation would be premature. "I think it's a very sad day for our country", Trump told reporters at the White House.

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Manafort is charged with bank fraud, tax evasion and failure to report foreign bank accounts.

Manafort's trial in federal court in Alexandria is the first stemming from Special Counsel Robert Mueller's 15-month-old investigation of Russia's role in the 2016 U.S. election. The jury began deliberating on Thursday, after the closing arguments.

Much of the money, the government alleges, came from Manafort's lobbying for deposed Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, who was toppled in a popular 2014 uprising in Kyiv before fleeing to exile in Russian Federation.

Manafort is accused of hiding from US tax authorities an estimated $16 million out of $60 million that he earned advising former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych's political party until 2014, when Yanukovych was ousted by street protests and fled into exile in Russian Federation.

Another question asked for a definition of "shelf company;" the typical term is "shell company", according to the New York Times. Paul Manafort briefly worked for Trump's campaign in 2016.

"Mr. Manafort lied to keep more money when he had it, and he lied to get more money when he didn't", prosecutor Greg Andres said.

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