Paul Manafort’s lawyers declined Tuesday to call any witnesses to defend him against charges of bank and tax fraud. Mr. Manafort, President Trump’s former campaign chairman, also told the judge that he did not want to testify, clearing the way for closing arguments from both sides and the start of jury deliberations on Wednesday.
The decision by the defense to rest without presenting its own evidence was not unusual.
Mr. Manafort is letting the case go to the jury because he and his attorneys “do not believe that the government has met its burden of proof,” said Kevin Downing, the lead defense lawyer in the case.
Earlier on Tuesday, Judge T.S. Ellis III of the United States District Court in Alexandria also denied a motion by Mr. Manafort’s lawyers to acquit him on all 18 charges without giving the case to the jury, another standard defense tactic as trials wind down. He closed the courtroom for more than two hours to discuss another defense motion that has been sealed, along with the government’s response.