Paula Duncan, a juror on the Manafort trial, joined Fox News to talk about her experience serving on the jury. Duncan is a fervent Trump supporter, but she appears to have been able to separate herself from her politics in order to do her civic duty on the jury.
“It was one person who kept the verdict from being guilty on all 18 counts,” Duncan told Fox News. Apparently the evidence was overwhelming enough on the other 8 counts, but there was doubt on for another juror on the other 10. To be perfectly clear: Duncan was NOT the holdout.
Here's more, via Fox Insider:
“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,” borrowing a phrase Trump has used in tweets more than 100 times.
“Something that went through my mind is, this should have been a tax audit,” Duncan said, sympathizing with the foundation of the Manafort defense team’s argument.
She described a tense and emotional four days of deliberations, which ultimately left one juror holding out. Behind closed doors, tempers flared at times, even though jurors never explicitly discussed Manafort’s close ties to Trump.
I'm grateful Duncan was able to consider the mountains of evidence in spite of her support for Trump. She still plans to vote for him in 2020, but apparently that good will did not extend to Paul Manafort.
Having served on a hung jury with one holdout, I felt her pain. She clearly worked very hard to do the right thing, and it's got to be frustrating to have someone decide they just can't bring themselves to believe the piles of paper in front of them.
Paul Manafort's future seems quite dim, based on this interview. Prosecutors have until the end of the month to decide whether they'll retry on the other 10 counts. Based upon Duncan's remarks, they could certainly decide to do that. He's facing another trial in Washington, D.C. next month, where the paper trail will surely be at least as solid as this one was.
It would probably be a bad idea for Trump to pardon Manafort, since that would open him up to criminal charges in at least three states, but all things are certainly possible.