Judge in Manfort trial fears for jurors safety

Jury in Paul Manafort trial poses questions about reasonable doubt

Also on Friday, Judge T.S. Ellis announced that he has received threats during the proceedings.

A coalition of media organizations, including The Associated Press, filed a motion requesting the names of jurors, as well as access to sealed transcripts of bench conferences that have occurred during the three-week trial.

Jury deliberations have resumed in the financial fraud trial of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

Jurors ended their second day of deliberations Friday a half-hour early, without reaching a verdict. "I think it's a very sad day for our country", Mr Trump said. When you look at what's going on, I think it's a very sad day for our country.

"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'".

Trump on Friday issued a fresh defense of Manafort and called him a "very good person".

The US federal judge hearing the case against former Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort says that he has been threatened. "Thank you very much".

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The trial is the first conducted by special counsel Robert Mueller's prosecutors in connection with their wide-ranging investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election.

The case went to the jury on Thursday after 12 days of gripping testimony about hidden bank accounts, betrayal and lavish spending by Manafort on luxury homes, cars, antique rugs and clothes including an $18,500 python jacket. If convicted on all counts, he could face up to 10 years in prison. He said if jurors' names were exposed they would be threatened as well, and for their "peace and safety", he would not release their names.

This was not the first time Trump commented on the trial. The charges all relate to work Manafort did in Ukraine prior to his affiliation with Trump.

Manafort's attorneys, too, have mostly steered clear of Trump references, preferring to go after the prosecution's star witness, Rick Gates - who also worked for Trump - and chip away at the government's hundreds of emails, tax documents and financial records.

Prosecutors accused Manafort, 69, of hiding from US tax authorities $16 million in money he earned as a political consultant for pro-Russian politicians in Ukraine to fund an opulent lifestyle and then lying to banks to secure $20 million in loans after his Ukrainian income dried up and he needed cash. "Put it out of your mind until Monday", Ellis told them.

Wu said he still saw a chance of acquittals on the four counts of failing to disclose foreign bank accounts, citing the jury's technical question on Thursday about the ownership and control threshold requirements for such disclosures.

The defense says prosecutors failed to prove their case.

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