Manafort attorneys opt to skip defense, proceed to closing arguments

Attorneys for Paul Manafort, the former Trump campaign chairman who is on trial for financial crimes in federal district court Alexandria, Virginia, will not call additional witnesses to present a defense.

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“The defense rests,” Manafort’s lead attorney Kevin Downing said in court on Tuesday.

Government prosecutors from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office rested their case on Monday, so without a defense, the jury is expected to begin deliberations following closing arguments.

Legal experts told ABC News this strategy is common but risky.

“This is very common after prosecution rests to file a motion saying they didn’t meet the burden beyond a reasonable doubt,” said former homeland security official and ABC New contributor John Cohen. “Typically, this doesn’t work.”

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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