Tags: Russia Probe | james hirsen | jurors | paul manafort | threats | antifa

Hirsen to Newsmax: Manafort Jury May Have Been Intimidated

Hirsen to Newsmax: Manafort Jury May Have Been Intimidated
Paul Manafort (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 21 August 2018 06:08 PM

Veteran legal analyst James Hirsen tells Newsmax it is "more likely than not" the jury that returned eight guilty verdicts against former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort on Tuesday was influenced by major media outlets' efforts to obtain their names and home addresses only a few days before they rendered their verdicts.

That jury found Manafort guilty Tuesday afternoon on eight fraud-related charges, while declaring a mistrial on 10 other counts prosecutors had filed against him. As the first case brought by special counsel Robert Mueller, the trial has garnered special attention from the media.

Hirsen, an author and attorney, wrote in a Tuesday column the mainstream media experienced "concern and even anxiety" last week after the jury asked Judge T.S. Ellis to "redefine reasonable doubt."

Several media outlets filed a motion to obtain the names and home addresses of the jury members, who were not sequestered. In an exclusive Newsmax interview, Hirsen characterized that request as "unethical."

Hirsen said he believes the motion for juror information was "fundamentally an attempt to interfere with due process," although he later conceded "that's speculation on my part" based on the timing of the media request.

Hirsen's column is carried on Newsmax.com's "Newsmax Insiders" section. He is chief legal counsel at the California-based Hirsen & Associates, is author of "The Coming Collision: Global Law vs. U.S. Liberties."

U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis, 78, denied the motion for the release of jurors' identities, citing the "peace and safety" of the jurors and "the integrity of the process." He told the courtroom that jurors were "scared" and "afraid."

In denying the motion, the judge revealed he personally had faced "criticism and threats" during the trial, and did not want jurors to be subject to them as well.

"I have the [U.S.] Marshals' protection," Ellis said, according to CBS News. "I don't even go to the hotel alone."

The judge added: "I've received criticism and threats. I'd imagine [jurors] would, too."

Hirsen told Newsmax he finds the timing of the motion to reveal jurors' identities "very suspicious."

"It's likely that they were influenced," Hirsen said, "because they were not sequestered, they know what's going on, there were death threats. When you put all this together . . . worst of all, the Antifa people would know where they live — we have a violent anti-Trump group now.

"Add all those factors, I think it's more likely than not that they would be influenced."

The jury in Alexandria, Viginia, found Manafort guilty on eight of 18 counts of fraud-related charges stemming from activities that preceded the campaign.

The indictments reportedly grew out of Manafort's 2014 work on behalf of since-deposed, pro-Russian Ukrainian leader Viktor Yanukovych.

According to NBC News, Manafort was convicted of five counts of tax fraud, two counts of bank fraud, and a single count of failing to file the requisite reports disclosing "foreign bank and financial accounts."

The judge declared a mistrial on the other 10 counts.

Manafort's legal troubles are far from over. He is due back in court in Washington, D.C., next month for a second trial involving charges of lying to the FBI and money laundering.

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It is "more likely than not" the jury that returned eight guilty verdicts against former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort on Tuesday was influenced by major media outlets' efforts to obtain their names and home addresses, legal analyst James Hirsen told Newsmax.
james hirsen, jurors, paul manafort, threats, antifa
527
2018-08-21
Tuesday, 21 August 2018 06:08 PM
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