Paul Manafort trial judge reveals he is under police protection

Mueller's team, Manafort's attorneys and U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III all took actions - either before trial or during proceedings in the historic Alexandria courthouse - to erase nearly all mentions of the president.

Citing their "peace and safety", he also declined a request by a group of media outlets to release the names of the jurors hearing the case in Alexandria, Virginia.

The prosecutors have brought charges of bank and tax fraud against the President Donald Trump's former campaign chair, Paul Manafort.

Kevin Downing made the assertion asfor Manafort, on trial in Alexandria, Virginia, for bank fraud and tax evasion.

It is the first trial based on evidence collected by federal agents from Special Counsel Robert Muller's investigation into potential Russian collusion with the Trump campaign in the 2016 election. Trump said that the "whole Manafort trial is very sad", words that political analyst David Atkins said could constitute an attempt to tamper with Manafort's jury and lead to an acquittal.

I haven't written much about the proceedings in this trial, but with the trial hitting its 14th day yesterday and the jury ending its second day of deliberations, it seems like as good a time as any to take a look at the case and where the two sides stand. But you know what?

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

The trial is the first stemming from Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of Russia's meddling in the 2016 US election.

Manafort faces 18 counts of fraud and banking-related charges. If convicted on all counts, he could spend the rest of his life in prison.

Prohibitions on jurors reading about a case they are deciding are hard to enforce in the smartphone era, Cornell University criminal law professor Jens David Ohlin said.

However, some legal experts expressed concern that Trump's comments might still be viewed - inadvertently or otherwise - by jurors over the weekend.

Along with the question on reasonable doubt, the jury asked about the list of exhibits, rules for reporting foreign bank accounts and the definition of "shelf companies", a term used during the trial to describe some of the foreign companies used by Manafort. They also say he lied on loan applications to obtain millions more to maintain a lavish lifestyle.

Mr Trump has claimed his former campaign chief is the target of a "witch hunt", persecuted for his association with the president. They say Manafort declared only some of his foreign income on his federal income tax returns and repeatedly failed to disclose millions of dollars that streamed into the pay for luxury items, services and property. Ellis said he didn't "feel right" releasing the names of the 12-person jury that has been deliberating since Thursday morning in Manafort's trial.

  • Jon Douglas