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As the Manafort Jury Deliberates, Let’s Look at the Background of Mueller’s Prosecutors

Manafort Trial Closing Arguments

Reasonable Doubt – A standard of proof that must be surpassed to convict an accused in a criminal proceeding. Reasonable doubt is a standard of proof used in criminal trials. When a criminal defendant is prosecuted, the prosecutor must prove the defendant’s guilt Beyond a Reasonable Doubt. If the jury—or the judge in a bench trial—has a reasonable doubt as to the defendant’s guilt, the jury or judge should pronounce the defendant not guilty. Conversely, if the jurors or judge have no doubt as to the defendant’s guilt, or if their only doubts are unreasonable doubts, then the prosecutor has proven the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt and the defendant should be pronounced guilty.

FoxNews.com reports that

The jury in the federal trial of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort ended the first day of deliberations Thursday without a verdict, but did ask the judge a series of questions before breaking — a development the defense took as good news.

One source close to the Manafort team told Fox News, “We’re in the game.” 

Before court was adjourned in the afternoon, U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III announced that jurors would continue their work on Friday morning.

Ellis read aloud a note detailing four questions from the jury, which covered foreign financial accounts, shell companies, the definition of reasonable doubt and other evidence in the case.

Outside court on Thursday, Manafort’s defense attorney, Kevin Downing, called the questions from the jury — especially the one about reasonable doubt — a “good sign.”

“So, overall a very good day for Mr. Manafort,” Downing told reporters.

After a trial spanning nearly three weeks, Manafort, 69, is awaiting a verdict on tax evasion and bank fraud charges. He has been accused of hiding income earned from his Ukrainian political work from the IRS. He’s also accused of fraudulently obtaining millions in bank loans.

He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

A humorous moment occurred earlier Thursday after Ellis excused the jury from the courtroom.

“Mr. Trump, are you here?” the judge asked, eliciting an audible gasp from the many reporters in the room.

It turned out the judge was referring to a man named Jim Trump, a prosecutor who was present in court for the next case and has no relation to President Trump. The moment resulted in a smile and a laugh from Manafort.

Before deliberations started, Ellis acknowledged that the jury room is small. He offered to let the jurors use his conference room to deliberate instead. The jury, though, informed the judge that the members would prefer to deliberate in the break room, where they eat lunch. Ellis granted the request.

A unanimous verdict from the 12 jurors is required to convict Manafort on each of the 18 counts against him.

During closing arguments on Wednesday, attorneys for Manafort suggested that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team had improperly ensnared their client in his ongoing probe of alleged Russian influence in U.S. politics.

Manafort attorney Richard Westling told jurors that banks had not reported any problems with Manafort to regulators “until the special counsel came and asked questions,” and he accused prosecutors of “stacking” charges against Manafort. And  Downing, the other defense attorney, said several times the prosecution should have been handled by an IRS audit, rather than through a high-profile federal prosecution by the special counsel’s office.

Prosecutors said both arguments violated a pretrial agreement not to discuss the larger political context of the case. Later in the day, during jury instructions that lasted well over an hour, Ellis told jurors to ignore the defense team’s suggestion that the Mueller prosecution was politically motivated.

Throughout their closing arguments during the day, defense attorneys claimed prosecutors had produced “not a single bit” of evidence in support of their charges.

On Wednesday, prosecutors used their closing arguments to paint the former Trump campaign chairman as a chronic liar, telling jurors Manafort is “not above the law.”

The prosecution’s star witness, Rick Gates – Manafort’s former business partner, who struck a plea deal to cooperate with the government — testified that he and Manafort committed bank and tax fraud together.

Manafort’s legal troubles won’t end with this trial. He is also facing charges in a separate federal court case in Washington, including allegations of conspiring against the United States, conspiring to launder money, failing to register as an agent of a foreign principal and providing false statements.

In an article from WRAL.com, they report that Mueller’s prosecutorial team is stay across the street at The Westin Hotel.

Guess whose dime they are staying on?

If you guessed the American Taxpayers’, you are absolutely correct.

Two of the members of the Special Counsel’s team of prosecutors mention in the article are Greg D. Andres and Andrew Weissmann, one of Mueller’s top deputies.

Greg D. Andres attended the University of Chicago Law School, where he graduated in 1995.

He was most recently employed as a white-collar criminal defense lawyer with New York law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell.

Per opensecrets.org, here are the top five political campaigns whom the organizations’ PACs, their individual members or employees or owners, and those individuals’ immediate families contributed to during the 2016 Presidential Election Campaign Season.

Clinton, Hillary (D) Pres $165,612
Rubio, Marco (R-FL) Senate $11,150
Schumer, Charles E (D-NY) Senate $10,600
Van Hollen, Chris (D-MD) House $10,142
Kasich, John (R) Pres $8,350

Andres, 50, also served in the Obama/Holder Department of Justice from 2010 to 2012. He was deputy assistant attorney general in the criminal division, where he oversaw the fraud unit and managed the program that targeted illegal foreign bribery.

He was the 16th “investigator” hired by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

Andrew Weissmann is a veteran government prosecutor known for his work on the Enron task force and for going after mob figures in New York. He is an expert at “flipping” lower level defendants.

Per Heavy.com,

1. Weissmann Served as the FBI’s General Counsel Under Robert Mueller – Before his tenure at the FBI, Weissmann was a partner at Jenner & Block in New York for five years.

2. Weissmann Led the Enron Task Force but Not Without Controversy – Time after time, courts have reversed Weissmann’s most touted ‘victories’ for his tactics. This is hardly the stuff of a hero in the law. Weissmann, as deputy and later director of the Enron Task Force, destroyed the venerable accounting firm of Arthur Andersen LLP and its 85,000 jobs worldwide — only to be reversed several years later by a unanimous Supreme Court.

3. Weissmann Donated Money to President Barack Obama – Weissmann is a Barack Obama and Democratic campaign donor, according to federal records. “Weissmann, who led the Enron investigation, previously gave $2,300 to Obama’s first presidential campaign in 2008 and $2,000 to the Democratic National Committee in 2006, the same year Democrats won control of Congress. 

4. Weissmann Attended Princeton & Columbia Universities & Prosecuted Mafia Crime Families – According to the DOJ press release, Weissmann “began his career with the Department of Justice in 1991 at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of New York, where he served in various leadership positions, including as chief of the Criminal Division. According to Mother Jones, one of the people Weissmann prosecuted had ties to Trump. “As a prosecutor in the Eastern District, Weissmann signed a 1998 cooperation agreement between the US government and Felix Sater, a violent felon and securities trader who had pleaded guilty to financial crimes. Sater went on to become a confidential informant for the FBI and a Trump business partner,” the magazine noted.

5. Some Conservatives Have Noted That Weissmann Was in a Position of Power During the Clinton Uranium Controversy – Some conservatives contend that Mueller has a conflict of interest because they argue the FBI, under his stewardship, should have more thoroughly investigated Bill and Hillary Clinton over a uranium deal known as Uranium One. National Review notes that Andrew Weissmann ran Obama DOJ’s Fraud Section during this time frame.

President Trump has been right all along.

This is nothing more than a Witch Hunt coordinated by a bunch of Democrats to attempt to either evict Trump from the White House or, at least, slow down his wonderful rapid progress on behalf of our Sovereign Nation to a crawl.

Mueller and his entire staff are nothing more than a Democratic Party Lynch Mob, being allowed to run amok and cause chaos in the heart of a Republican Administration.

The very fact that Paul Manafort remains in jail while the Radical Muslims who killed a 3-year old innocent child in New Mexico are out walking the streets is a travesty in itself.

This “Russia Probe” being conducted by a politically biased Special Counsel is nothing more than an extension of the Deep State Operation involving the DOJ and the FBI which began under the Obama Administration, producing a phony FISA Dossier which just like Muller’s lawyers rooms at The Westin Hotel, our tax dollars paid for.

The fact that the jury asked the sort of questions that they did of Judge Ellis is a good sign that they are having serious doubts about the “chain of evidence” presented by Mueller’s team of “Angry Democrats” and the efficacy of their case.

Now…America waits.

Until He Comes,

KJ

Written by kingsjester

Do you ever feel helpless about what's going on? Do you turn the sound down when a member of "The Resistance" speaks? Do you talk back to the television? I understand fully. My blog contains the views of a 59 year old Christian American Conservative. I was raised by members of The Greatest Generation. My father landed at Normandy. I love this country. By the way, how did that Hopey-Changey Thing work out for ya?

I have been writing daily since April of 2010. I enjoy researching and sharing my thoughts with you. It is a privilege and it beats the heck out of punching a hole in the wall.

Thanks for reading my posts!

I'll keep writing....

Until He Comes,

KJ

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