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The Latest: Manafort found guilty on 8 of 18 counts (UPDATED)

  • Trump-Russia-Probe-Manafort-7

    FILE -- Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman, leaves the Federal District Court after a hearing in Washington on May 23.

    JOSE LUIS MAGANA / AP

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ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Paul Manafort, the longtime political operative who for months led Donald Trump's winning presidential campaign, was found guilty of eight financial crimes Tuesday in the first trial victory of the special counsel investigation into the president's associates.

A judge declared a mistrial on 10 other counts the jury could not agree on.

The verdict was part of a stunning one-two punch of bad news for the White House, coming as the president's former lawyer, Michael Cohen, was pleading guilty in New York to campaign finance charges arising from hush money payments made to two women who say they had sex with Trump.

The jury returned the decision after deliberating four days on tax and bank fraud charges against Manafort, who led the Trump election effort during a crucial stretch of 2016.

Manafort, who appeared jovial earlier in the day amid signs that the jury was struggling in its deliberations, stared intently at the panel as the clerk read off the charges. He stared down blankly at the defense table, then looked up, expressionless, as the judge finished thanking the jury.

Manafort was found guilty of five counts of filing false tax returns on tens of millions of dollars in Ukrainian political consulting income. He was also convicted of failing to report a foreign bank account and of two bank fraud charges that accused him of lying to banks to obtain millions of dollars in loans after his income dried up.

The outcome, though not the across-the-board guilty verdicts the prosecutors sought, almost certainly guarantees years of prison for Manafort. It also appears to vindicate the ability of special counsel Robert Mueller's team to secure convictions from a jury of average citizens despite months of partisan attacks — including from Trump — on the investigation's integrity.

The verdict raised immediate questions of whether the president would seek to pardon Manafort, the lone American charged by Mueller to opt for trial instead of cooperate. The president has not revealed his thinking but spoke sympathetically throughout the trial of his onetime aide, at one point suggesting he had been treated worse than gangster Al Capone.

The trial, presided over by the colorful and impatient U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III, captured Trump's attention as he sought to undermine Mueller's investigation through a constant Twitter barrage and increasingly antagonistic statements from his lawyer-spokesman, Rudy Giuliani.

But the Trump campaign comprised but a fraction of the trial as jurors instead heard detailed and sometimes dull testimony about Manafort's finances and what prosecutors say was a years-long tax-evasion and fraud scheme.

Manafort decided not to put on any witnesses or testify himself. His attorneys said he made the decision because he didn't believe the government had met its burden of proof.

Manafort's defense team attempted to make the case about the credibility of longtime Manafort protege Rick Gates, who served as the government's star witness. They attacked him as a liar, embezzler and instigator of any crimes as they tried to persuade jurors that Manafort didn't willfully violate the law.

Gates spent three days on the witness stand, telling jurors how he committed crimes alongside Manafort for years. Gates admitted to doctoring documents, falsifying information and creating fake loans to lower his former boss' tax bill. He also admitted to stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars without Manafort's knowledge by filing fake expense reports.

But the government's case wasn't all about Gates. Prosecutors spent two weeks presenting a meticulous, document-based case before the jury as they sought to prove Manafort used offshore bank accounts to conceal millions of dollars in proceeds from his Ukrainian political consulting from the IRS and later turned to defrauding banks.

Overall, prosecutors say Manafort avoided paying more than $16 million in taxes over several years.

They called carpenters, landscapers and clothiers to attest to how Manafort paid for his lavish lifestyle of expensive suits and elaborate properties through offshore wire transfers from shell companies in Cyprus and elsewhere. They also brought in bankers and accountants to tell jurors how, when Manafort's foreign consulting income dropped off, he turned to obtaining millions of dollars more in bank loans under false pretenses.

And perhaps most importantly, the government read from Manafort's own emails as they laid out their case, including messages where he personally directed withdrawals from the offshore accounts he never reported on his tax returns.

Some of other emails admitted into evidence revealed Manafort's lobbying of Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner on behalf of Stephen Calk, the chairman of Federal Savings Bank. Prosecutors say Calk approved $16 million in loans for Manafort — despite several red flags — because Calk wanted a job in the Trump administration.

The emails showed that in the weeks after the 2016 election, Manafort urged Kushner to consider Calk for Secretary of the Army, a position Calk had put at the top of his list in an earlier email to Manafort. Calk also listed seven other senior domestic appointments and 18 ambassadorships — ranked in order of preference — that he would accept.

Kushner respond to Manafort's email by saying, "On it!" But Calk ultimately did not get an administration post.

The trial in Alexandria, Virginia, is the first of two for Manafort. He faces a trial later this year in the District of Columbia on charges of conspiracy against the United States, conspiracy to launder money, making false statements and acting as an unregistered foreign agent for Ukrainian interests. He is also accused of witness tampering in that case.

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ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — The Latest on the Paul Manafort trial (all times local):

5:10 p.m.

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort has been found guilty of five counts of filing false income tax returns, one count of failing to file a report of a foreign bank account in 2012 and two charges of bank fraud.

The jury couldn't reach a verdict on 10 counts — three regarding his failing to file reports of foreign bank accounts and the rest of the bank fraud and bank fraud conspiracy charges.

No sentencing date has been set. Prosecutors have until Aug. 29 to decide whether they will seek a retrial on the 10 counts where the jury hung.

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5:05 p.m.

Paul Manafort stood grim and stone-faced as a court clerk read eight guilty counts against him at the former Trump campaign chairman's tax and bank fraud trial.

Manafort had his hands clasped in front of him and showed no visible change of expression as the first guilty count was read. When the jury finished, he sat down with his defense lawyers and stared blankly at the defense table.

He remained expressionless even as his lawyers smiled during a brief discussion after the verdict in which Judge T.S. Ellis III complimented the lawyers and joked about the attention the trial has received.

After the hearing concluded, prosecutors and defense lawyers had no initial comment. Special counsel spokesman Peter Carr said there would be no comment from special counsel Robert Mueller's office.

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4:50 p.m.

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort stared intently at the jury as the clerk read off the counts finding him guilty of eight financial crime charges.

Manafort was found guilty Tuesday in the first trial victory for special counsel Robert Mueller's team. The judge declared a mistrial on 10 other counts after jurors failed to reach a unanimous verdict.

Clad in a dark suit and powder-blue tie, Manafort stood with his hands clasped before him.

As U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III thanked the jury for its service, Manafort stared down blankly at the defense table, then looked up, expressionless, as the judge finished.

The jury deliberated for four days.

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4:40 p.m.

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort has been found guilty of eight financial crime charges in the first trial victory for special counsel Robert Mueller's team.

A judge declared a mistrial on 10 other counts after jurors failed to reach a unanimous verdict.

The jury deliberated for four days before announcing the verdict at the federal courthouse in Alexandria, Virginia.

Prosecutors spent more than two weeks presenting their case as they sought to prove Manafort concealed millions of dollars in offshore accounts from the IRS.

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4:25 p.m.

The jury in the financial fraud trial of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort says it's reached a verdict on eight counts but is undecided on the remaining 10.

Jurors made that announcement in a note Tuesday afternoon to the federal jury overseeing the trial.

The jury is in its fourth day of deliberations and had signaled earlier in the day that it was stuck on at least one count.

U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III encouraged jurors to continue deliberations, and suggested he was not ready to consider a partial verdict.

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4:15 p.m.

The jury in the Paul Manafort financial fraud trial has submitted a new note to the judge.

That's according to the office of special counsel Robert Mueller, whose office is prosecuting the former Trump campaign chairman.

The jury earlier Tuesday suggested it was stuck on at least one of the 18 counts against Manafort. Jurors asked what they should do if they could not agree on one of the counts in the indictment.

U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III encouraged the panel to continue deliberating.

This is the fourth day of deliberations for the federal jury in Alexandria, Virginia.

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11:45 a.m.

The jury in the financial fraud trial of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort wants to know what to do if it cannot reach a consensus for a single count in the case.

Jurors posed the question to U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III on their fourth day of deliberations. They also said they would need a new verdict form.

Prosecutors say Manafort hid tens of millions of dollars in foreign income from Ukraine. They also say he lied on loan applications to obtain millions more to maintain a lavish lifestyle.

Manafort's attorneys called no witnesses, arguing prosecutors failed to meet their burden of proof.

The trial is the first courtroom test of special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia probe, though the case doesn't involve allegations of Russian election interference.

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9:50 a.m.

The jury in the fraud trial of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort has begun its fourth day of deliberations.

Judge T.S. Ellis III sent the jury back to resume deliberating Tuesday shortly after 9:30 a.m.

Jurors deliberated past 6 p.m. Monday without submitting notes or questions.

The trial of Manafort is now in its fourth week. Prosecutors say Manafort hid tens of millions of dollars in foreign income from Ukraine. They also say he lied on loan applications to obtain millions more to maintain a lavish lifestyle.

Manafort's attorneys called no witnesses in his defense, arguing the prosecution failed to meet its burden of proof.

The trial is the first courtroom test of special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia probe, though the case doesn't involve allegations of Russian election interference.



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