Last night I was in a twitter chat room where good liberals were worried that there was not already a verdict in the Manafort trial. The concern begins with a note that one of the jurors sent to Judge Ellis asking what beyond a reasonable doubt means.
Every Criminal Court jury I’ve been on has asked that question, and every Civil Court jury I’ve been on has asked for a definition of its evil twin, preponderance of evidence. These are reasonable questions to ask, but it does not indicate that there is already a hung jury, or that Manafort is gonna be set free with a song in his heart. Here’s why:
Another question the jury asked was much more technical about who is required to file reports on a type of foreign bank account with the Treasury Dept. Manafort had that kind of an account and he didn’t file the report. Judge Ellis told the jury that yes, he should have filed the report, so BOOM! Manafort will be found guilty on this count for sure.
There are 18 separate counts that have to be decided and each count has some legal definition that has to be met. This could take a while. It should take a while.
But be of good cheer, Scissorheads! Manafort has second trial starting on Sept. 17 in Washington D.C. The second trial will focus on money laundering and illegal foreign lobbying, and the evidence is almost entirely new. And this should make all Scissorheads happy: Mueller’s team has 3 times the evidence for Paul Manafort’s next trial than his current trial.
We hope he wears the python coat to court. Is that too much to ask?