Paul Manafort, the longtime political operative who for months led Donald Trump's winning presidential campaign, was found guilty of eight financial crimes Tuesday in the first trial victory of the special counsel investigation into the president's associates. A judge declared a mistrial on 10 other counts the jury could not agree on. The verdict was part of a stunning one-two punch of bad news for the White House, coming as the president's former lawyer, Michael Cohen, was pleading guilty in New York. The jury returned the decision after deliberating four days on tax and bank fraud charges against Manafort, who led the Trump election effort during a crucial stretch of 2016, reports the AP. Manafort, who appeared jovial earlier in the day amid signs that the jury was struggling in its deliberations, stared intently at the panel as the clerk read off the charges.
He stared down blankly at the defense table, then looked up, expressionless, as the judge finished thanking the jury. Manafort was found guilty of five counts of filing false tax returns on tens of millions of dollars in Ukrainian political consulting income. He was also convicted of failing to report a foreign bank account and of two bank fraud charges that accused him of lying to banks to obtain millions of dollars in loans after his income dried up. The outcome, though not the across-the-board guilty verdicts the prosecutors sought, almost certainly guarantees years of prison for Manafort. It also appears to vindicate the ability of special counsel Robert Mueller's team to secure convictions from a jury of average citizens despite months of partisan attacks on the investigation's integrity. (Read more Paul Manafort stories.)