Paul Manafort, former campaign manager of President Trump, was found guilty Tuesday on eight of the 18 counts brought against him by special counsel Robert Mueller.
Manafort was found guilty of five counts of tax fraud charges, one charge of hiding foreign bank accounts, and two counts of bank fraud. In total, the guilty counts could carry a lengthy prison sentence for Manafort, who is 69 years old.
On the fourth day of deliberations following a two-week trial in Alexandria, Va., the jury notified judge T.S. Ellis shortly before 4:30 p.m. ET that it had reached a verdict on eight of the 18 counts. Ellis then polled the jury on the likelihood of their reaching a verdict on the remaining 10 counts against Manafort, and ruled a mistrial on the remaining counts.
Prosecutors now have until Aug. 29 to decide whether they will seek a retrial for the charges on which the jury deadlocked. Manafort will remain in custody and faces another trial on Sept. 17 in a Washington courtroom, where he will be tried on charges of failing to register as a foreign agent, money laundering and obstruction of justice.
Earlier in the day, the Alexandria jury sent Ellis a note that asked, “If we cannot come to a consensus on a single count, how should we fill out the jury verdict sheet for that count, and what does that mean for the final verdict?”
The guilty verdict comes as another blow to President Trump, whose former personal lawyer Michael Cohen pleaded guilty earlier in the day to multiple charges, including campaign finance fraud stemming from hush-money payments to two of Trump’s alleged mistresses.
In a Manhattan federal court, Cohen admitted to violating campaign finance law at the direction of “the candidate” and to having acted for the purpose of influencing the election.
Trump, who was traveling from Washington, D.C., to Charleston, W.V., for a rally, boarded Air Force One about 10 minutes before the Manafort verdict was reported by news networks.
Although the president often decries the Mueller investigation into Russian election meddling as a “WITCH HUNT,” it has so far yielded five guilty pleas in addition to the Manafort verdict. Former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI last October. Former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI two months later. Richard Pinedo pleaded guilty to identity fraud in February. Alex van der Zwaan, a lawyer who worked with Manafort and former Trump campaign adviser Rick Gates, pleaded guilty to lying to investigators in February. That same month, Gates himself pleaded guilty to financial fraud and lying to investigators, and became a star witness in the case against Manafort.
After landing in Charleston, W.V., Trump shared his thoughts on the verdict with reporters.
“It doesn’t involve me, but I still feel, you know, it’s a very sad thing that happened,” Trump said. “This has nothing to do with Russian collusion. This started as Russian collusion. This has absolutely nothing to do — this is a witch hunt and it’s a disgrace.”
At a campaign rally Tuesday night for Republican Senate candidate Patrick Morrisey, Trump largely avoided talking about the day’s legal developments.
“Fake news and the Russian witch hunt,” Trump told his audience. “We’ve got a whole big combination. Where is the collusion? You know they’re still looking for collusion. Where is the collusion? Find some collusion. We want to find the collusion.”
But many Democrats saw just that.
“Today’s guilty verdict makes it absolutely clear that the Mueller probe is a serious investigation that is rooting out corruption and Russian influence on our political system at the highest levels,” Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) tweeted shortly after news of the verdicts in the Manafort trial were released.
Dylan Stableford contributed to this article
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