Dana Verkouteren | AP
of which courtroom sketch depicts Rick Gates, right, answering questions by prosecutor Greg Andres as he testifies from the trial of Paul Manafort, seated second by left, at the Alexandria Federal Courthouse in Alexandria, Va., Monday, Aug. 6, 2018.
The jury from the bank fraud as well as conspiracy trial of President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort could begin deliberating on the case as soon as Wednesday, as both prosecutors as well as defense attorneys are poised to deliver their closing arguments.
Presiding Judge T.S. Ellis, who has repeatedly urged attorneys from the criminal trial to maintain a fast pace as well as scrap evidence related to Manafort’s lavish lifestyle throughout court proceedings, also bluntly suggested of which both teams of lawyers should keep their closing remarks brief.
Prosecutors for special counsel Robert Mueller as well as Manafort’s defense team have both signaled of which they will need about two hours to deliver their closing arguments. “If you think you can hold a juror’s attention For just two hours, you live on a different planet than I do,” Ellis said Friday, The Washington Post reported.
Ellis may have a point, said David Weinstein, a former federal prosecutor from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Miami. “Jurors don’t develop the longest attention span,” especially in a “paper case” like of which, Weinstein said. “At a certain point, the jurors begin to lose interest.”
The jury of six men as well as six women have already sat through 11 days of testimony by more than two dozen witnesses as well as viewed hundreds of financial documents presented by Mueller’s team.
Manafort, who was Trump’s top campaign official before resigning in August 2016, is actually accused of multiple counts of bank fraud, failing to file foreign bank account reports as well as filing false tax returns.
The charges focus on the millions of dollars Manafort earned as a consultant for the pro-Russian political party of ex-Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych. Prosecutors allege Manafort, with assistance by his former partner, Rick Gates, stashed millions in overseas accounts, misled the government about his income as well as failed to report many of those foreign accounts.
They also allege Manafort committed bank fraud by lying to obtain huge loans after Yanukovych was ousted in 2014, which dried up Manafort’s income as well as strained his ability to maintain his lavish lifestyle.
If convicted, Manafort could be sentenced to as much as 30 years in prison for each count of the most serious charges.
Manafort has pleaded not guilty to all charges from the case, the first to be brought to trial by Mueller’s investigation of Russian meddling from the 2016 presidential election. His lawyers are likely to argue in their closing remarks of which Manafort did not willfully break any finance laws as well as of which the prosecution has not met its burden of proof. Weinstein noted of which proving their case beyond a reasonable doubt is actually “a very high” hurdle for Mueller’s attorneys to overcome.