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Manafort trial judge says he’s received threats

August 17, 2018

The federal judge presiding over the financial fraud trial of Paul Manafort said Friday he’s received threats because of the case.

“I won’t tell you what threats I’ve received, but I’ll tell you I have the U.S. Marshals’ protection,” Judge T. S. Ellis III.

The stunning courtroom disclosure came as the judge denied a request from a coalition of news agencies to have jurors’ names and addresses unsealed.

Judge Ellis told the attorney representing the news agencies that the threats against him are why he won’t release jurors’ names.

He said if jurors’ names were exposed, “there is no reason to believe” they won’t be subjected to the same threats.

Because of the threats, U. S. Marshals are escorting Judge Ellis to and from his hotel each day of the Manafort trial, he said. And that he won’t even say the name of the hotel.

He did not provide any more information about the type of threats or if law enforcement was investigating.

The judge said he was surprised that the case has generated so much attention.

“I had no idea myself this case would arouse so much public interest,” he said.

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