Prosecutors have for the second time during Paul Manafort’s criminal trial asked Judge T.S. Ellis to correct a statement he made to the jury, according to a filing they made Friday morning.
This time, they’re asking Ellis to tell the jury to disregard his comment Thursday during a witness’ testimony about alleged bank fraud conspiracy that the attorneys “might want to spend time on a loan that was granted.”
Ellis made the comment near the end of the day Thursday, as witness Taryn Rodriguez of Citizens Bank testified about a $5.5 million loan Manafort applied for using false statements to the bank but did not receive.
What prosecutors want: Prosecutors said the comment misrepresents the law regarding bank fraud conspiracy and is likely to confuse and mislead the jury.
They want Ellis to explain in court Friday “that the jury is not to consider the Court’s comment and that loans that Manafort fraudulently applied for but did not receive are relevant to the charges in the indictment.”
This will be the second time in as many days they’ve asked for a correction. Yesterday, prosecutors asked Ellis correct the record for the jury about his agreement to let an expert witness from the IRS sit in the courtroom before he testified. Ellis told the jury he was “probably wrong.” Transcripts from earlier in the trial show he clearly discussed with prosecutors the IRS witness observing the trial.