by Kylie Handler, editor
The identities of the jurors from the Paul Manafort trial were kept sealed until Tuesday’s conclusion. But after the jury returned a guilty verdict against President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager, one of the alleged jurors felt safe to reveal her identity — and to speak out against what Trump has called a political “witch hunt.”
Juror Paula Duncan gave a behind-the-scenes account of the trial to Fox News on Wednesday, and said it was one person that kept “the verdict from being guilty on all 18 counts.”
Duncan revealed that special counsel Robert Mueller’s team often look unengaged, bored, and would even take catnaps at the trial — leading her to be skeptical on what the prosecutors’ motives were in the trial.
Duncan explained that, “It was a very emotionally charged jury room – there were some tears,” and that ultimately, “it was one person who kept the verdict from being guilty on all 18 counts.” Duncan says she voted to convict Manafort on all 18 counts.
She also told Fox News that although Manafort’s connection to Trump was never discussed, it was on everyone’s mind. Duncan said the tensions and emotions were running wild in the jury room.
Thought she felt political allegiance to Trump, Duncan explained that the evidence shown in court left her feeling that her political allegiance could not conflict with her duty on the jury. And she was not pleased with the prosecution’s star witness. “He deserves a special place in Hell. He was just as guilty as Paul Manafort, maybe even more. I mean he embezzled from his employer,” Duncan said.
She said that she was finally moved to a guilty verdict after seeing four full boxes of exhibits on illegal financial dealings provided by prosecutors.
“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.”
Although Duncan did agree with the guilty verdict, she still questioned what Mueller’s motives were with this trial.
“Certainly Mr. Manafort got caught breaking the law, but he wouldn’t have gotten caught if they weren’t after President Trump,” Duncan suggested. After seeing much of their evidence, Dunan denounced other parts of the special counsel’s case as a “witch hunt to try to find Russian collusion.”
“Something that went through my mind is: This should have been a tax audit,” Duncan said.
In her interview with Fox News, Duncan went on to explain that prosecutors had a very tough time staying engaged in the trial and keeping their eyes open.
“A lot of times they looked bored, and other times they catnapped – at least two of them did,” Duncan said. “They seemed very relaxed, feet up on the table bars and they showed a little bit of almost disinterest to me, at times.”
Duncan explained that because of the guilty verdict, she felt safe to share her behind-the-scenes story.
And to no surprise, despite seeing much of Mueller’s evidence, Duncan made it clear that she still plans to vote for Trump in 2020.
–Kylie Handler is a news editor for The Horn News