In what some consider a stunning rebuke to the prosecution by Robert Mueller’s team, a judge has declared a mistrial on 10 of 18 charges faced by Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman. The jury found him guilty on eight felony counts of tax evasion on Tuesday.
None of the 18 counts against Manafort were for collusion with Russia or supposed Russian involvement in the U.S. election process.
The tax evasion took place in the last ten years, before he served two months in 2016 as a campaign manager for the Trump campaign in 2016.
Manafort was convicted of five counts of tax fraud, one count of failing to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts and two counts of bank fraud.
A mistrial was declared in three counts of failing to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts, and seven counts of bank fraud and bank fraud conspiracy. The jury said there was simply not enough evidence for conviction.
The trial was the first public test of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, and while the prosecution team is claiming victory, observers say the mistrial says otherwise.
Prosecutors have until August 29 to decide what they will do about the 10 mistrial charges.
The jury deliberated for four days after hearing 12 days of arguments, evidence and witnesses.
Mueller’s team buried the defendant in an avalanche of emails, tax returns, bank documents and the testimony of bankers, accountants and Manafort’s associate Rick Gates.
The defense sought to raise doubts about Gates’ credibility and about other aspects of the evidence, and was partially successful now that a miscount has been declared.