The jury began deliberations yesterday in the tax and bank fraud trial of Donald Trump's former campaign chief Paul Manafort after 12 days of riveting testimony featuring hidden bank accounts, betrayal and lavish spending on homes, cars and clothes.
Judge TS Ellis delivered final instructions to the six-man, six-woman jury before they retired to consider the 18 charges facing the once high-flying Republican political consultant.
"You may deliberate as long or as little as you like" Ellis told the jurors before they filed out of the federal courtroom in Alexandria, Virginia, clutching their black notebooks.
Manafort, 69, is accused of providing fraudulent statements to secure bank loans and failing to pay taxes on tens of millions of dollars he earned while advising Russian-backed politicians in Ukraine between 2005 and 2014.
The case stems from Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
Manafort is not charged with any crimes related to his brief time as Trump's campaign chief, but the trial is seen as an important test for the Mueller probe.