The first juror to speak to the media about the trial of President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager has gone public with the story of just how close prosecutors came to convicting Paul Manafort of all 18 charges brought against him.
But she also made it clear in Fox News interviews what she thought the Manafort prosecution was really all about.
During a televised interview with Fox News’ Shannon Bream on Wednesday, the woman identified as Paula Duncan, “Juror #0302,” said only a lone juror held out against convicting Manafort on all charges.
“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”, Bream told Fox News.
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.”
According to Fox News, Duncan described herself as an avid supporter of President Trump but said she was moved by four full boxes of exhibits provided by Mueller’s team – though she was skeptical about prosecutors’ motives in the financial crimes case.
“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.