Manafort Judge Gives Jury Deliberation Instructions

The Washington Post reports:

U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III is currently reading to jurors the instructions on the law they will have to consider as they decide whether Paul Manafort is guilty of the 18 charges he faces. This is the last step before the case will be given to jurors to begin their deliberations.

The instructions are technical, but important. Ellis, for example, told jurors if a person was shown to have knowingly testified falsely, they “obviously have a right to distrust” that person.

Ellis also told them they should weigh with “greater care” testimony of an alleged accomplice or someone testifying under a plea agreement. That would apply to the prosecutors’ star witness, Rick Gates. Ellis also told jurors that a defendant has a “absolute right” not to testify, and a defendant’s not testifying “must not be discussed or considered.”

Late yesterday there was chatter that an unspecified issue with the jury might result in a mistrial. Apparently not.