A self-proclaimed Trump-supporting juror from the recent Paul Manafort trial has spoken out with a stern warning for President Trump, saying a pardon for Manafort would be a “big mistake”.
Juror Paula Duncan has been on the public’s radar since she made a splash last year when she appeared in a “Make America Great Again” hat on Fox News and spoke out about the Mueller investigation, calling it a witch hunt.
Now, however, her tone has changed, and she has harsh words for Mr. Trump.
Appearing in an interview on MSNBC after Manafort was found guilty of 8 out of 18 counts of financial wrongdoings, Ms. Duncan said a pardon for him would be “big mistake”. So far, Ms. Duncan is the only juror to speak out publicly, telling Lawrence O’Donnell.
“He [Trump] should absolutely not pardon him [Manafort]. I think it would be a big mistake…
If President Trump pardons him without him doing any time at all it would look like President Trump was saying it’s OK that you broke the law. It’s not OK to break the law.”
-Paula Duncan, speaking to Reuters
She said she would set aside her loyalty to Trump in the face of the this much evidence.
Manafort was up on 18 charges and Ms. Duncan said she was prepared to convict on all of them but that one holdout juror forced them into a lesser conviction of only 8, which included bank fraud and filing a false tax return.
Trump weighed in with his thoughts on the matter, calling the conviction “very sad” and saying that Manafort was a “very good person”, and after several tweets on the matter this week, many people are now speculating as to whether or not he will issue a presidential pardon.
President Trump: “I feel very badly for Paul Manafort.”
Manafort is Trump’s former campaign chair who was sentenced yesterday to 47 months in prison for financial fraud convictions obtained by special counsel Robert Mueller. https://t.co/jII6rdmZr7 pic.twitter.com/WC5wmS21yp— CNN (@CNN) March 8, 2019
The outspoken juror, Duncan, says that while she does believe Manafort was targeted specifically by Robert Mueller in his investigation that the bottom line is that Manafort broke the law and needs to face the consequences.
“I don’t think that Mr. Manafort would have been on trial had not the Special Counsel been looking for information on Russian collusion in the last election…
He’s still guilty … and he now needs to pay for the laws he broke.”
-Juror Paula Duncan