As the Paul Manafort trial was playing out, some observers found themselves asking what would happen if one or more strong supporters of Donald Trump happened to find their way onto the jury. Would this lead to Manafort going free? Would this mean that Trump and his family members would never be convicted by a jury? Now one juror is speaking out about precisely that issue, and let’s just say that it’s terrible news for Trump.
One of the Manafort jurors, Paula Duncan, has appeared on Fox News last night and identified herself as being a strong Trump supporter. She also stated that she ended voting “guilty” on all eighteen counts because, in her words, “I did not want Paul Manafort to be guilty, but he was.” She says she even went so far as to work hard to convince the lone holdout juror that Manafort was guilty on all counts.
That one holdout juror, a woman whose identity is unknown, was ultimately only willing to convict on eight of the eighteen counts, and so that’s what the jury ended up doing. But if the holdout juror had been trying to throw the trial in Manafort’s favor in order to help Trump, she’d have voted “not guilty” on all eighteen counts in order to prevent Manafort from being convicted on any of them. So it’s easy to parse that the holdout juror was not doing Trump’s bidding for partisan reasons, and was not bought off, or anything like that.
But the real upshot here is that the Paul Manafort jury contained at least one self-identified Donald Trump supporter who didn’t want Manafort to be guilty, but ultimately voted to convict him. So much for the notion that jury nullification was somehow going to bail Trump out of this. Yet another supposed Trump magic wand has turned out to be a dud.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report