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Contractor had no knowledge of companies Manafort used to pay him

The ninth witness brought to the stand by the government was Doug DeLuca, another contractor who performed work on Andrea Manafort’s Arlington home. The work included exterior design, an outside kitchen with soapstone countertops, a living room and a pergola.

DeLuca’s firm, Federal Construction Company LLC, was paid $104,424 by Paul Manafort.

DeLuca told attorney Brandon Van Grack that he was subpoenaed for documents related to his business with Manafort, including emails, sketches, photos of progress and completion, and bank statements.

It was established through an email brought into evidence that DeLuca would handle design with Andrea, and matters of construction and budget with Paul.

In one agonizing moment, Van Grack asked DeLuca what a “pergola” is. DeLuca took Van Grack to task, offering a lengthy explanation, including specific details about the wisteria vining up the wood to create natural shade. Judge Ellis interjected, asking Van Grack the “virtue” of “having a witness describe in exquisite detail” this aspect of the work. “You’re done. Move on,” Ellis said.

Manafort paid Federal Construction via wire from an entity called Lucicle Consultants Ltd — not to be confused with Lucille LLC, the entity that purchased Andrea Manafort’s home — and Pompolo Ltd.

DeLuca said he had no knowledge of the origins of these companies.

Again appearing to try to head off the defense’s strategy, Van Grack asked DeLuca if he’d ever met or spoken with Rick Gates, or if he’d received payment from him. DeLuca said he not to all of these questions.

In his cross examination, defense lawyer Jay Nanavati’s asked DeLuca if Manafort ever said this would be a business project (“No”), if he ever said the house would be used for anyone other than Andrea (“No”) and if he’d ever heard of Lucille or Lucicle except through Paul Manafort (again, “No”).

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The trial was the first public test of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, and while the special counsel was vindicated, the victory wasn't total.

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The jury began Day 4 of deliberations in the Manafort fraud trial at 9:37 a.m., and just before 11 a.m., the jury delivered a note to the judge, prompting a flurry of activity.

It was a question, not a verdict: What if we can't come to a consensus on one count? 

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Judge Ellis brought the jury into the courtroom promptly at 9:30 a.m. Monday morning and called roll. Jurors were asked if they were able to stay away from news reports and other influences over the weekend, and they all answered that they had.

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Jurors were dismissed at 4:55 p.m.

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The jury gave Judge Ellis a note to let him know that they'll finish deliberations for the day at 5 p.m, because one of the members of the jury has an event they'd like to attend tonight.

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He reiterated that all sealings in the case will be unsealed after the trial is over. It would be disruptive to unseal certain documents during the trial, he said. Nevertheless, he will consider the request.

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The note, delivered to Judge Ellis minutes ago, contains four questions from the jury. The judge heard argument from both sides as to the answers. 

Court is now dismissed for the day, and the jury will resume deliberations at 9:30 a.m. Friday.

Here are the questions from the jury, and the answers the judge gave. 

Question: Is one required to file an FBAR if they own less than 50% of the company and no signatory authority?

Answer: After suggestion from the prosecution, Judge Ellis reread Jury Instruction #53, which defined FBARs, and the details surrounding FBARS.

ELLIS: A person is an owner of record (Owner of FBAR) if a person is acting on behalf of a US person with access and control of the account, OR if a US person who owned more than 50% of company.

Q: Define "shelf company"?

A: Rely on collective recollection.

Q: Can you redefine reasonable doubt?

A: The government is not required to prove beyond "all possible doubt," just doubt that can be reasoned.

Q: Can the exhibit list be amended to include the indictment?

A: No.