Kendall Coffey on The Hill TV

Ex-US attorney: Jury asking about reasonable doubt is ‘glimmer of hope’ for Manafort

Former U.S. Attorney Kendall Coffey said that a question posed by the jury in Paul Manafort’s criminal trial about the definition of “reasonable doubt” offers a “glimmer of hope” for the former Trump campaign chairman.

Coffey told told Hill.TV’s Buck Sexton and Krystal Ball on “Rising” that Manafort is facing an uphill battle in his trial on bank and tax fraud charges over the vast number of documents presented against him by federal prosecutors.

“But his team has to have a little bit of glimmer of hope just from the question that jurors want to know more about reasonable doubt,” Coffey said.

“Because there are certainly cases where that can be the final thing that at least gives them a few hold-out jurors,” he continued, “because a hung jury here would be a big victory for the defense.”

A hung jury, or a jury that is so gridlocked that it cannot reach a verdict, would mark the end of the case for now; federal prosecutors could decide whether to retry Manafort.

The jury in Manafort’s trial in federal court in Alexandria, Va., ended its first day of deliberations on Thursday by asking the judge in the case to redefine “reasonable doubt,” along with three other questions.

Manafort’s team celebrated the question at the time, saying that it “indicates someone has doubts.”

The jury signaled in a note on Friday afternoon that they would not reach a verdict in the case before the weekend, requesting to end deliberations at 5 p.m. so a juror could attend an event.

If the jury does not reach a verdict by Friday evening, they will resume their work on Monday — making it the third day of deliberations in the case, which is the first trial test for special counsel Robert Mueller and his team.

— Jacqueline Thomsen