Manafort juror reveals lone holdout prevented Mueller group from convicting on all counts
NORTHERN VIRGINIA –  Particular Counsel Robert Mueller&rsquos group was a single holdout juror away from convicting Paul Manafort on all 18 counts of bank and tax fraud, juror Paula Duncan told Fox News in an exclusive interview Wednesday.
&ldquoIt was one particular person who kept the verdict from becoming guilty on all 18 counts,&rdquo Duncan, 52, mentioned. She added that Special Counsel Robert Mueller&rsquos group of prosecutors usually seemed bored, apparently catnapping during parts of the trial.
The identities of the jurors have been closely held, kept under seal by Judge T.S. Ellis III at Tuesday’s conclusion of the high-profile trial.
But Duncan gave a behind-the-scenes account to Fox News on Wednesday, after the jury returned a guilty verdict against the former Trump campaign chairman on eight monetary crime counts and deadlocked on 10 other individuals.
Duncan described herself as an avid supporter of President Trump, but stated she was moved by 4 complete boxes of exhibits supplied by Mueller&rsquos team &ndash even though she was skeptical about prosecutors’ motives in the monetary crimes case.
&ldquoCertainly Mr. Manafort got caught breaking the law, but he wouldn&rsquot have gotten caught if they weren&rsquot right after President Trump,&rdquo Duncan stated of the unique counsel&rsquos case, which she separately described as a &ldquowitch hunt to try to uncover Russian collusion,&rdquo borrowing a phrase Trump has utilised in tweets a lot more than one hundred instances.
&ldquoSomething that went by means of my thoughts is, this must have been a tax audit,&rdquo Duncan said, sympathizing with the foundation of the Manafort defense team&rsquos argument.
She described a tense and emotional 4 days of deliberations, which eventually left one juror holding out. Behind closed doors, tempers flared at occasions, even though jurors by no means explicitly discussed Manafort&rsquos close ties to Trump.
&ldquoIt was a quite emotionally charged jury area &ndash there have been some tears,&rdquo Duncan mentioned about deliberations with a group of Virginians she didn&rsquot really feel integrated a lot of &ldquofellow Republicans.&rdquo
A political allegiance to the president also raised conflicted feelings in Duncan, but she stated it in the end didn&rsquot change her choice about the former Trump campaign chairman.
&ldquoFinding Mr. Manafort guilty was challenging for me, I wanted him to be innocent, I actually wanted him to be innocent, but he wasn&rsquot,&rdquo Duncan stated. &ldquoThat&rsquos the part of a juror, you have to have due diligence and deliberate and appear at the proof and come up with an informed and intelligent choice, which I did.&rdquo
Duncan, a Missouri native and mother of two, showed Fox News her two notebooks with her juror number #0302 on the covers.
In the interview, Duncan also described how the special counsel&rsquos prosecutors apparently had a hard time maintaining their eyes open.
&ldquoA lot of times they looked bored, and other times they catnapped &ndash at least two of them did,&rdquo Duncan said. &ldquoThey seemed quite relaxed, feet up on the table bars and they showed a small bit of virtually disinterest to me, at times.&rdquo
The jury box was situated in a corner of the courtroom that gave them an unobstructed head-on view of the prosecutors and defense, while members of the media and the public viewed each parties from behind.
COULD MANAFORT COOPERATE WITH MUELLER’S Group? A Appear AT HIS Alternatives Following THE GUILTY VERDICT
Judge Ellis told jurors, which includes Duncan, that their names would stay sealed following the trial&rsquos conclusion, since of harmful threats he received in the course of the proceedings.
But the verdict gave Duncan a license to share her story without having worry.
&ldquoHad the verdict gone any other way, I might have been,&rdquo Duncan said.
MANAFORT CONVICTED ON BANK AND TAX FRAUD CHARGES
Her account of the deliberations is no longer a secret. And neither is the pro-Trump apparel she kept for a lengthy drive to the federal courthouse in Alexandria each day.
&ldquoEvery day when I drove, I had my Make America Wonderful Once more hat in the backseat,&rdquo stated Duncan, who said she plans to vote for Trump once more in 2020. &ldquoJust as a reminder.&rdquo
Fox News&rsquo Andrew O&rsquoReilly contributed to this report.
Published at Thu, 23 Aug 2018 03:30:00 +0000