Paul Manafort narrowly escaped an estimated 300-plus years in prison, according to one juror interviewed by Fox News Wednesday.
“It was one person who kept the verdict from being guilty on all 18 counts,” said juror Paula Duncan.
She noted that the team of prosecutors often seemed bored, taking a few catnaps during the trial. They’ve likely been overworked for the past year, however.
The identities of the jurors was not revealed by Judge T.S. Ellis, but at the conclusion of the trial, jurors can say whatever they wish.
Duncan’s interview with Fox revealed she was an “avid supporter” of Trump, but she was moved by the exhibits and evidence provided by Mueller’s team. She said she was skeptical about the prosecutor’s motives in the financial crimes, but in the end it was a conviction.
“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 Mueller’s case. She went on to parrot Trump, saying it was a “witch hunt to try and find Russian collusion.”
“Something that went through my mind is, this should have been a tax audit,” she said, sympathizing with the foundation of the Manafort defense team’s argument.
She said that the days of deliberation were both tense and emotional. In the end, however, one juror was the only holdout. Tempers were high with others ready to deliver a guilty verdict.
“It was a very emotionally charged jury room – there were some tears,” she said, revealing there were many “fellow Republicans” in the jury box.
She said she was conflicted about Manafort, but let justice come first.
“Finding Mr. Manafort guilty was hard for me, I wanted him to be innocent, I really wanted him to be innocent, but he wasn’t,” Duncan said. “That’s the part of a juror, you have to have due diligence and deliberate and look at the evidence and come up with an informed and intelligent decision, which I did.”