Paul Manafort, the longtime political operative who for months led Donald Trump’s successful 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 on which the jury could not agree.
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 sexual relationships with Trump.
The jury returned the decision after deliberating four days on tax and bank fraud charges against Manafort, who led Trump’s election effort during a crucial stretch of 2016, including as he clinched the Republican nomination and during the party’s convention. Manafort, who appeared jovial earlier in the day amid signs the jury was struggling in its deliberations, focused intently on the jury 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.
‘‘Mr. Manafort is disappointed of not getting acquittals all the way through or a complete hung jury on all counts,’’ said defense lawyer Kevin Downing.
He said Manafort was evaluating all his options. The jury found Manafort 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 foreign bank accounts in 2012 and of two bank fraud charges that accused him of lying to obtain millions of dollars in loans after his consulting income dried up. The jury couldn’t reach a verdict on three other foreign bank account charges, and the The jury couldn’t reach a verdict on three other foreign bank account charges, and the remaining bank fraud and conspiracy counts.
Original article source: http://aurn.com/paul-manafort-found-guilty-on-eight-counts-of-financial-crimes/ | Article may or may not reflect the views of KLEK 102.5 FM or The Voice of Arkansas Minority Advocacy Council