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Jury may be hung in Manafort trial

The jury may be hung in deliberations over the trial of Paul Manafort. A note was sent to the judge in the case that asks what to do if it cannot reach a consensus for a single count in the case.

Jurors posed the question to U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III on their fourth day of deliberations. They also said they would need a new verdict form.

Prosecutors say Manafort hid millions of dollars in foreign income from Ukraine. They also say he lied on loan applications to obtain millions more to maintain a lavish lifestyle.

The trial is the first courtroom test of special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe, though the case doesn’t involve allegations of Russian election interference. Manafort served as a short-term campaign manager for the 2016 Trump campaign. The trial is over events that happened a decade ago.

Obeservers say the case against Manafor and by proxy, President Trump, is at risk of falling apart if it is indeed hung. The trial of Manafort is unrelated to any investigations involving Russian collusion yet may expose problems the Mueller team has in making future cases as their bullying tacticts of witnesses continues to be exposed.

Manafort’s attorneys called no witnesses, arguing prosecutors failed to meet their burden of proof. It was a strong statement to the jury that the defense is completely sure of his innocence. It is not known how a hung jury in this case would impact future Mueller trials.