Judge in Manafort Trial Received Threats, Travels With Marshals

Judge in Manafort Trial Received Threats, Travels With Marshals

Judge in Manafort Trial Received Threats, Travels With Marshals

The federal judge presiding over Paul Manafort's tax-evasion case confirmed Friday that he has received multiple death threats since the beginning of the trial; adding he now travels with US Marshals to ensure his safety. "I'd imagine they would too", Ellis said, adding that USA marshals accompany him everywhere, including an unnamed hotel where he's staying, but jurors don't have that protection.

The president didn't give an answer when asked if he is prepared to pardon Manafort, a veteran lobbyist who joined Trump's campaign team in March 2016 and spent three months as Trump's campaign chairman until mid August of that year. "I think it is a very sad day for our country". Asonye "turned to the reporter with a smile", the Times reports, and said, "Sorry, I can't talk to you".

"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'".

Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman. Of Mr. Manafort, he said: "He happens to be a very good person. Thank you very much".

The financial fraud trial is the first courtroom test of the Russian Federation probe led by special counsel Robert Mueller. Manafort faces five counts of filing false tax returns that failed to disclose his foreign accounts and understated income.

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The judge also is due to hear arguments on Friday on a motion filed by seven news organizations seeking the names and addresses of the jurors and alternates, and for the court to unseal documents that have been filed but not made public, apparently related to a motion by the defense. The charges all relate to work Manafort did in Ukraine prior to his affiliation with Trump.

Another headline on Friday that might grab the attention of jurors: Ellis disclosing that he personally had received threats related to the trial and was being protected by USA marshals. They also asked the judge to define "reasonable doubt".

Manafort has pleaded not guilty to all charges. If that's the case, then the more time the jury spends reviewing the evidence the more likely it becomes that they will convict him. While certainly risky, this isn't an uncommon defense tactic since it allows defense counsel to concentrate the jury's attention on the question of whether or not the prosecution has proven their case beyond a reasonable doubt.

Earlier Friday morning, Ellis acknowledged facing pushback about how he's handled this case.

Left-wing cable news and a series of op-eds, including one in the Washington Post, have slammed Judge Ellis for alleged bias against Mueller's prosecutors over the course of the trial.

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