Only One Holdout Juror Prevented Paul Manafort From Being Convicted On All 18 Counts
The jury in the trial of former Donald Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort would have convicted him on all 18 criminal charges if not for one juror who had “reasonable doubt” on 10 charges, a juror told Fox News on Wednesday.
In the first public comments by a juror in the case, juror Paula Duncan said that 11 members of the jury were in agreement that Manafort was guilty on all 18 felony charges but that they could not get the one holdout to change her mind after nearly four days of deliberations.
“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 that she had a reasonable doubt, and that’s the way the jury worked,” Duncan said. “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.”
A jury convicted Manafort on Tuesday on five counts of filing false income tax returns, one count of failing to report foreign bank accounts and two counts of bank fraud. Judge T.S. Ellis III declared a mistrial on three counts of failing to report foreign bank accounts, five counts of bank fraud conspiracy and two counts of bank fraud.
“I thought that the public, America, needed to know how close this was and the evidence was overwhelming,” she said. “I did not want Paul Manafort to be guilty. But he was and no one is above the law.”
Duncan identified herself as supporter of President Trump and said she had hoped Manafort was innocent. But, Duncan said, she was convinced of Manafort’s guilt after seeing four full boxes of evidence from special counsel Robert Mueller’s legal team.
“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) 23. August 2018
The day after Manafort’s conviction, Trump pointed to the mistrial as evidence that he was being improperly targeted by Mueller, calling it again a “Witch Hunt!”
“A large number of counts, ten, could not even be decided in the Paul Manafort case. Witch Hunt!” he tweeted Wednesday morning.
A large number of counts, ten, could not even be decided in the Paul Manafort case. Witch Hunt!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) 22. August 2018