Jury finds Paul Manafort guilty in federal tax and bank fraud trial

Judge T.S. Ellis III gives jury instructions in front of tax fraud defendant Paul Manafort on Tuesday. (Court rooms sketch by Art Lien)

Judge T.S. Ellis III gives jury instructions in front of tax fraud defendant Paul Manafort on Tuesday. (Court room sketch by Art Lien)

Updated at 5:18 p.m. ET

A federal jury on Tuesday found Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, guilty on eight of the 18 charges he faced in his tax and bank fraud trial.

Judge T.S. Ellis III declared a mistrial on the other 10 counts.

The Justice Department has a choice about whether to attempt to retry Manafort on those counts; prosecutors have until Aug. 29 to notify the judge as to what they’ve decided.

Prosecutors made no comment after the verdict; Manafort’s camp also had made no statement as of early on Thursday evening.

Manafort blinked slowly as the first few charges were read but he said nothing.

No sentencing hearing has been scheduled so far. Manafort was expected to be returned to custody; another federal judge had ordered that he be confined after he was charged with witness tampering.

Manafort is set to go on trial in a separate federal case in September in Washington, D.C. He’s also been charged with conspiracy and failing to register as a foreign agent in that case.

Jurors had been deliberating since Thursday and had sent a few notes to Ellis asking questions about their work. He had urged them to continue to try to reach consensus on all the charges but that did not appear to be possible by Tuesday afternoon.

The judge had allowed lawyers for the government and Manafort to read the notes sent into court by the jury.

The deliberations followed two weeks of evidence and testimony.

The government says Manafort hid income from foreign consulting from the IRS and then, when that work dried up, lied to banks to qualify for loans to sustain his lavish lifestyle.

Manafort’s defense attorneys say he didn’t pay close enough attention to his personal finances in order to have deliberately broken the law, and they sought to damage the credibility of the star witness in the case, former Manafort protégé Rick Gates.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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