Manafort juror said one holdout 'exasperated' others with her logic
24 August, 2018, 03:08 | Author: Edward Snyder
The president has denied having the affairs, and he and his team have denied he had any knowledge of the payments before they were made. It was one of the largest fees levied against a presidential campaign.
Cohen, who faced five tax evasion charges, and one count each of making a false statement to a federally insured bank, causing an unlawful corporate contribution, and making an excessive campaign contribution, will be sentenced in December. "We didn't want to be hung, so we tried for an extended period of time to convince her".
Paul Manafort's 16-day trial ended with the former Trump campaign chairman convicted of eight felony counts and prosecutors facing a choice of whether to retry him on 10 other charges.
The loans are part of an investigation into whether Cohen committed bank and tax fraud, and for possible campaign law violations linked to a US$130,000 payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels. White House spokeswoman Hope Hicks denies there had been an affair.
The disclosure by one juror of another juror's remarks on the ninth day of Manafort's trial prompted U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III to question jurors about whether the comment would affect their ability to make a fair and impartial verdict.
In one instance, prosecutors said "Corporation-1" - whose description matches public descriptions of the National Enquirer, entered into an agreement in August 2016 to buy the story of one woman, Karen McDougal, identified as "Woman-1", for $150,000. "There is no allegation of any wrongdoing against the president in the government's charges against Mr. Cohen", he said in a statement. Trump told people that Cohen was not "smart or loyal" and that he wanted to destroy him, said a former senior administration official.
Paula Duncan says she's a Trump supporter, but voted to convict Manafort due to the strength of the evidence against him. Cohen said he made the payments "at the request of a candidate" to silence "information that would be prejudicial to the candidate and the campaign". Trump, concerned by the legal downfall of two former advisers, accused Sessions of failing to take control of the Justice Department, leading Sessions to declare that he and his department "will not be improperly influenced by political considerations".
"Those involves were a sham", Khuzami said.
His lawyer, former NY mayor Rudy Giuliani, said the Cohen plea deal wasn't related to Trump.
"I participated in this conduct, which on my part took place in Manhattan, for the principal objective of influencing the election", Cohen told the court.
Cohen didn't name Trump in court, referring instead to a "candidate" who directed him to make the illegal payments.
Here we go, Act II of the Donald Trump-Michael Cohen-Paul Manafort Twitter performance.
The jury also deadlocked on five charges of bank fraud conspiracy.
However, in the charging documents, a news release and comments outside the courthouse, prosecutors did not go as far as Cohen did in open court in pointing the finger at the president. This would create a host of other complications: It would become a campaign issue in every Congressional midterm election this November and could become an albatross on the GOP; it would eliminate Manafort's Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination, so he could be compelled to testify before Congress; and it would not apply to any state charges that could be brought against Manafort in NY.
Trump has spent more than a year publicly and privately venting over Sessions' decision to recuse himself from the federal Russia-collusion investigation because he'd worked on Trump's campaign. But court records filed Tuesday also show investigators' interest swept far more broadly, and that the Federal Bureau of Investigation had mined deeply into Cohen's finances. During those years, prosecutors had argued, the longtime political consultant failed to report more than $16 million to the IRS as he hid income from his Ukrainian political consulting in offshore accounts. The money came from real estate deals, consulting fees and even brokering the sale of an expensive handbag.
The scratch-outs also reveal why the jury may have asked for a new verdict form the morning they returned the verdict.
While Trump escalated his attacks this week, calling Mueller "disgraced and discredited" in a series of posts on Twitter, prosecutors did nothing to acknowledge them.
"Buckle Up Buttercup", he wrote.
People familiar with the investigation say Cohen secretly recorded Trump discussing a potential payment for McDougal two months before the election.
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