- Fox News
- A juror who participated in the trial of the former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort says just one holdout prevented the jury from convicting Manafort on all 18 of the federal charges he faced.
- In a Fox News interview on Wednesday, Paula Duncan, a self-described Trump supporter, said the unidentified juror was not convinced that Manafort was guilty of all 18 criminal charges he faced.
- The jury found Manafort guilty on eight counts of bank fraud, tax fraud, and failure to disclose a foreign account. The judge in the case declared a mistrial on the remaining 10 charges.
- “We all tried to convince her to look at the paper trail – we laid it out in front of her again and again,” Duncan said of the holdout juror.
- Duncan also described the room in which the jurors, some of whom she said were emotional, deliberated Manafort’s case. “Crazily enough, there were even tears,” she said.
A juror who participated in the trial of the former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort says just one holdout prevented the jury from convicting Manafort of all 18 of the federal criminal charges he faced.
In a Fox News interview on Wednesday, Paula Duncan, a self-described Trump supporter, said the juror, who has not been publicly identified, was not convinced that Manafort was guilty of all the charges.
“We all tried to convince her to look at the paper trail – we laid it out in front of her again and again,” Duncan said during an interview with the Fox News host Shannon Bream.
Manafort was convicted of eight counts – five of tax fraud, two of bank fraud, and one of failure to report a foreign bank account. The judge declared a mistrial on the remaining 10 counts.
Duncan said it was the holdout who prompted the jury to send a note to Judge T.S. Ellis asking for an explanation of the term “reasonable doubt,” the standard of proof in US criminal trials.
“Most of us did not want that question out there,” Duncan said, adding, “We felt a little foolish.”
The interview Wednesday night marked the first time a juror had publicly identified him or herself after the trial. Ellis had cautioned against publicizing the juror’s identities, citing the high-profile nature of the case. Ellis previously said he had personally received “criticism and threats” while presiding over the trial.
“I don’t feel a threat,” Duncan said. “I’m an American, I’m a citizen, I feel I did my civic duty. I don’t think I need to hide behind anything. I’m not afraid at all.”
Duncan said she wanted to come forward because “the public, America, needed to know how close this was.”
“The evidence was overwhelming,” Duncan said. “I did not want Paul Manafort to be guilty, but he was, and no one is above the law. So it was our obligation to look through all of the evidence.”
“The charges were legitimate, but the prosecution tried to make the case about the Russian collusion right from the beginning, and of course the judge shut them down on that,” Duncan added. “We did waste a bit of time with that shenanigans.”
Asked whether she thought any of the jurors’ personal political views influenced their decision, Duncan said she did not believe so.
“I think we all went in there, like we were supposed to, and assumed Mr. Manafort was innocent,” she said. “We did due diligence, we applied the evidence, our notes, the witnesses, and we came up with the guilty verdicts on the eight counts.”
Duncan also described the room in which the jurors, some of whom she said were emotional, deliberated Manafort’s case. “Crazily enough, there were even tears,” Duncan said.
Manafort was indicted as part of the special counsel investigation into Russian election interference, though his charges were unrelated to his work for the Trump campaign.
After Manafort’s arrest, President Donald Trump distanced himself from his former surrogate and said “it doesn’t involve me.”
Manafort is scheduled to face a new judge and jury in another trial in September on charges that include obstructing justice and failing to register as a foreign agent.
In several tweets on Wednesday morning, Trump referred to Manafort as “a brave man” and contrasted his behavior with that of Michael Cohen, Trump’s longtime personal attorney who implicated Trump as a participant in crimes to which Cohen pleaded guilty a day earlier.
Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s attorney, reportedly told The New York Times that he and Trump had discussed the pros and cons of pardoning Manafort. The Times said Giuliani echoed Trump’s assertion that Manafort was treated “horribly” by the justice system.