Kirsters Baish| A juror assigned to the Manafort trial has decided to go public with her account of what took place in the courtroom. She explains that in the trial of the former Trump campaign manager, prosecutors came shockingly close to convicting Manafort of all of the 18 charges that were filed against him. She also felt compelled to share with the public what she took away from the trial, that it was a total and complete “witch hunt.”
This past Wednesday, Fox News‘ Shannon Bream sat down for an interview with juror #0302, who was identified as Paula Duncan. During the televised interview, Duncan explained that just one single juror stopped Manafort from being convicted of all 18 charges.
Fox News reported:
“Certainly Mr. Manafort got caught breaking the law, but he wouldn’t have gotten caught if they weren’t after President Trump,” Duncan said of the special counsel’s case, which she separately described as a “witch hunt to try to find Russian collusion,”…”
Duncan said to Bream, “We all tried to convince her to look at the paper trail. We laid it out in front of her again and again. And she still said she had a reasonable doubt. And that’s the way the jury worked. We didn’t want it to be hung, so we tried for an extended period of time to convince her. But in the end, she held out. And that’s why we have 10 counts that did not get a verdict.”
"There was one holdout."
In an exclusive interview on @foxnewsnight, Paul Manafort juror Paula Duncan said Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team was one holdout juror away from convicting Paul Manafort on all 18 counts of bank and tax fraud. https://t.co/IPeZ46buVL pic.twitter.com/vNMFMBUuiz
— Fox News (@FoxNews) August 23, 2018
Western Journal Politics reports, “Getting so close to a sweeping conviction would be an indication of how strong special counsel Robert Mueller’s case was, but in separate interviews, according to Fox, Duncan disparaged the Manafort prosecution as a ‘witch hunt to try to find Russian collusion.'”
“Something that went through my mind is, this should have been a tax audit,” Duncan said.
During her interview with Bream, Duncan spoke more about that.
The Washington Post had reported that Judge T.S. Ellis had prohibited both the prosecution and the defense from talking about “Russian collusion” while the jury was in the room, so it isn’t exactly clear what Duncan was referencing.
Ellis did, however, make it clear that when the trial started, even before the jury had been selected, that he was unsure of the true basis for Manafort being prosecuted in the first place.
“You don’t really care about Mr. Manafort’s bank fraud,” Ellis said to the prosecution. “What you really care about is what information Mr. Manafort could give you that would reflect on Mr. Trump or lead to his prosecution or impeachment…”
Towards the end of their interview, Bream read the quote aloud to Duncan. Duncan answered, “Spot on. I think that they used Manafort to try to get the dirt on Trump. Or hoping that he would flip on Trump.”