Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort was convicted on eight out of the eighteen counts in his Virginia trial, while the federal jury could not decide on the other ten after their fourth day of deliberations.
Manafort was convicted on counts of bank and tax fraud, but since the jury failed to reach a decision on ten such counts connected to financial crimes, Judge T.S. Ellis declared a mistrial on them. The former campaign manager is the first Trump associate to be found guilty as part of the special counsel’s investigation. He faces a maximum of 80 years in prison.
“I feel very badly for Paul Manafort,” said President Donald Trump, who was in Virginia for a political rally. “It has nothing to do with Russian collusion,” he added, again referring to the probe as a “witch hunt.”
The news of the latest developments in Manafort’s case came at the same time the President’s former lawyer Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to multiple counts of campaign finance violations, tax fraud and bank fraud, CNN reports.
Manafort had pleaded not guilty on all counts and after the judge read the verdict, his lawyer said, “Mr. Manafort is disappointed of not getting acquittals all the way through or a complete hung jury on all counts.”
Manafort was accused of unlawfully having collected $65 million in foreign bank accounts and having spent over $15 million on luxury items between 2010 and 2014. Prosecutors also accused the former campaign chairman of lying to banks in order to take out more than $20 million in loans and of hiding his foreign bank accounts from federal authorities.
The verdict was applauded by Democrats on Capitol Hill, who said it only demonstrated that “unscrupulous and dishonest” people were part of the President’s campaign.
Manafort still faces a second set of criminal charges in a Washington, DC federal court.