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Brandi Buchman @BBuchman_CNS
, 9 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
#ManafortTrial Thread - Update.
Def attorney Richard Westling told Judge Ellis they will not call forward any witnesses. Manafort opted to forgo his right to testify. For the first time since the trial began nearly two weeks ago, Manafort spoke.
Judge Ellis first asked Manafort if he had an opportunity to confer with his attorneys ahead of resting their case.
“I have, your honor,” Manafort said.
Ellis then asked him if he was satisfied with his attorney’s legal representation.
“I am, your honor,” he replied.
The judge then asked Manafort if he wished to testify on his own behalf.
“No, sir,” Manafort said.
Before the attorneys rested their case, Judge Ellis denied the defense attorneys motion to acquit Manafort of four of the 32 counts he faces.
That ruling was delivered after the courtroom was unsealed but before jurors were asked to return.
Westling argued the motion to acquit should be granted because Federal Savings Bank was aware of Manafort’s employment and income status at the time the loan was granted. (4/9)
“They structured the loan to accommodate any issues they might have found,” Westling said.
“They weren’t acting without the knowledge of his true status of affairs.”
Prosecutor Uzo Asonye countered saying both FSB employees Dennis Raico & James Brennan made it clear...
...that regardless of whether there was sufficient collateral for the loans, “if a borrower supplies fraudulent information to a bank, it’s [still] fraudulent information.”
The defense also argued that Steve Calk, as CEO of the bank, acted within his rights to lend Manafort the $16 million because effectively, the bank is under his ownership and it’s his call on whether the institution can take the risk.
“Calk is not the bank,” Asonye said. “He is a 67 percent shareholder. There were four other victims involved.”
And there is a difference, the prosecutor argued, between a “reasonable lender” and a “renegade lender.”
After this, the judge has called recess until 1:30PM.
When the jury returns, the defense will rest its case formally in front of them.
A charging conference will follow and closing arguments are expected to begin Wednesday at 9:30 a.m.
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