Politics

Former Trump Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort Found Guilty Of Eight Felonies

Published on August 21, 2018 by Athena Pallas

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort has just been found guilty of eight felony charges in his trial in Virginia on bank and tax fraud. The jury is reportedly deadlocked on the other 10 counts of the 18 counts Manafort was facing. The judge has declared a mistrial on those other 10 counts, meaning if they chose to do so, prosecutors could attempt to try Manafort again on those charges.

Initial reports had indicated that the jury in Manafort’s trial had reached a verdict on eight counts, but the verdicts were not yet known. The judge in the case, Judge T.S. Ellis reportedly spoke to the jurors individually regarding the charges about which the jury was deadlocked in order to see if they might still be able to reach additional verdicts. Given that now Ellis has declared a mistrial on those 10 additional counts, he must have been convinced that the deadlock would be lasting, and so the eight guilty verdicts and ten deadlocked counts were announced. According to The Hill:

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort has been found guilty on eight charges of bank and tax fraud, according to multiple news reports. Manafort faced a total of 18 counts, but the jury said it was deadlocked on the remaining 10 charges. The verdict follows two and a half weeks of testimony in which the prosecution called 27 witnesses and submitted 388 documents into evidence in an effort to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Manafort orchestrated schemes to avoid paying taxes on income he earned working as a political consultant in Ukraine and defrauded banks to obtain loans when the money dried up.

Paul Manafort’s defense team did not call any witnesses in the trial and Manafort himself chose not to testify. The eight charges on which Manafort was convicted include five counts of tax fraud, two counts of bank fraud, and one count of hiding foreign bank accounts, according to CNN. Paul Manafort faces another trial in September in Washington, D.C., on charges including conspiracy against the United States, conspiracy to launder money, and failure to register as an agent of a foreign principal, related to Manafort’s work lobbying for pro-Russian interests in the Ukraine. According to CNN:

Prosecutors say Manafort collected $65 million in foreign bank accounts from 2010 to 2014 and spent more than $15 million on luxury purchases in the same period, including high-end clothing, real estate, landscaping and other big-ticket items. They also allege that Manafort lied to banks in order to take out more than $20 million in loans after his Ukrainian political work dried up in 2015, and they accused him of hiding the foreign bank accounts from federal authorities. Manafort received loans from the Federal Savings Bank after one of its executives sought a position in the Trump campaign and administration, according to prosecutors…He still faces a second set of criminal charges in a Washington, DC, federal court, of failure to register his foreign lobbying and of money laundering conspiracy related to the same Ukrainian political work that was central to the Virginia case.

This verdict comes on the same day as another Trump associate, Trump’s longtime personal lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen, has reached a plea deal on charges of tax and bank fraud as well as campaign finance violations. That last bit, about campaign finance violations, includes a payout to adult film actress Stormy Daniels on Donald Trump’s behalf, in order to keep Daniels quiet about an affair she allegedly had with Trump, and so brings Trump, and his campaign, fully into the mix.

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Featured image by Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia Commons.