After presenting 27 witnesses over 10 days to show that Paul Manafort defrauded banks, filed false tax returns, did not disclose foreign bank accounts, the prosecution rested last night, after presenting one final witness, a bank loan officer who testified that he would not have given Manafort a particular $16 million loan but his boss, the CEO Stephen Calk, overrode him. Manafort then recommended Stephen Calk for an administration position months after the FBI began investigating him. (Jared Kushner replied to the recommendation, “On it!”)
These Kushner-Manafort emails show extraordinary access and influence Manafort had with Trump transition team MONTHS after he was fired and MONTHS after it was publicly known he was under FBI investigation.— Ryan Goodman (@rgoodlaw) August 14, 2018
Remember this—next time POTUS says he wasn’t warned of Manafort by FBI. pic.twitter.com/6xvktb6gD3
This morning, the defense for Paul Manafort was scheduled to present its case.
It rested without presenting a single witness. Paul Manafort also declined to testify.
What does this mean?
Typically, the defense rests without presenting witnesses or evidence when they believe that the prosecution has not met their burden in proving their case. When the defense does not present a case, it suggests to the jury that they are confident that the government hasn’t met its burden, or that the defense successfully poked enough holes in the prosecution’s case to overcome the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard.
In this instance, the prosecution certainly seemed to present a ton of evidence proving its case, although it’s possible that Manafort’s attorney ripped the prosecution’s case to shreds, so it did not need to present a defense. Either that, or the defense has a shitty case and no defense is better than a bad defense, or Manafort has paid off the jury, or that Manafort is gonna take his medicine and wait for a pardon from Trump.
Unless the jury has been rigged, however, I would expect a quick verdict.
This is how much time I imagine the Manafort jurors will need to deliberate in the jury room before returning their verdict pic.twitter.com/rV3FF1wBuZ— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) August 14, 2018