NORTHERN VIRGINIA – Particular Counsel Robert Mueller’s workforce was one holdout juror away from successful a conviction in opposition to Paul Manafort on all 18 counts of financial institution and tax fraud, juror Paula Duncan informed Fox Information in an unique interview Wednesday.
“It was one one who saved the decision from being responsible on all 18 counts,” Duncan, 52, stated. She added that Mueller’s workforce of prosecutors typically appeared bored, apparently catnapping throughout components of the trial.
The identities of the jurors have been intently held, saved beneath seal by Decide T.S. Ellis III at Tuesday’s conclusion of the high-profile trial.
However Duncan gave a behind-the-scenes account to Fox Information on Wednesday, after the jury returned a responsible verdict in opposition to the previous Trump marketing campaign chairman on eight monetary crime counts and deadlocked on 10 others.
Duncan described herself as an avid supporter of President Trump, however stated she was moved by 4 full containers of displays offered by Mueller’s workforce – although she was skeptical about prosecutors’ motives within the monetary crimes case.
“Actually Mr. Manafort bought caught breaking the legislation, however he wouldn’t have gotten caught in the event that they weren’t after President Trump,” Duncan stated of the particular counsel’s case, which she individually described as a “witch hunt to attempt to discover Russian collusion,” borrowing a phrase Trump has utilized in tweets greater than 100 occasions.
“One thing that went by my thoughts is, this could have been a tax audit,” Duncan stated, sympathizing with the inspiration of the Manafort protection workforce’s argument.
She described a tense and emotional 4 days of deliberations, which in the end left one juror holding out. Behind closed doorways, tempers flared at occasions, though jurors by no means explicitly mentioned Manafort’s shut ties to Trump.
“It was a really emotionally charged jury room – there have been some tears,” Duncan stated about deliberations with a bunch of Virginians she didn’t really feel included many “fellow Republicans.”
A political allegiance to the president additionally raised conflicted emotions in Duncan, however she stated it in the end didn’t change her choice concerning the former Trump marketing campaign chairman.
“Discovering Mr. Manafort responsible was exhausting for me. I needed him to be harmless, I actually needed him to be harmless, however he wasn’t,” Duncan stated. “That’s the a part of a juror, it’s a must to have due diligence and deliberate and have a look at the proof and give you an knowledgeable and clever choice, which I did.”
Duncan, a Missouri native and mom of two, confirmed Fox Information her two notebooks together with her juror quantity #0302 on the covers.
Within the interview, Duncan additionally described how the particular counsel’s prosecutors apparently had a tough time conserving their eyes open.
“A variety of occasions they regarded bored, and different occasions they catnapped – a minimum of two of them did,” Duncan stated. “They appeared very relaxed, toes up on the desk bars and so they confirmed slightly bit of just about disinterest to me, at occasions.”
The jury field was located in a nook of the courtroom that gave them an unobstructed head-on view of the prosecutors and protection, whereas members of the media and the general public considered each events from behind.
COULD MANAFORT COOPERATE WITH MUELLER’S TEAM? A LOOK AT HIS OPTIONS AFTER THE GUILTY VERDICT
Decide Ellis informed jurors, together with Duncan, that their names would stay sealed after the trial’s conclusion, due to harmful threats he obtained in the course of the proceedings.
However the verdict gave Duncan a license to share her story with out concern.
“Had the decision gone some other manner, I may need been,” Duncan stated.
MANAFORT CONVICTED ON BANK AND TAX FRAUD CHARGES
Her account of the deliberations is now not a secret. And neither is the pro-Trump attire she saved for a protracted drive to the federal courthouse in Alexandria day-after-day.
“On daily basis once I drove, I had my Make America Nice Once more hat within the backseat,” stated Duncan, who stated she plans to vote for Trump once more in 2020. “Simply as a reminder.”
Fox Information’ Andrew O’Reilly contributed to this report.