The government’s star witness in the case against ex-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort “deserves a special place in Hell,” one of the jurors told Fox News in an exclusive interview, while revealing the jury largely discounted his testimony during the dramatic trial.
Fox News reports,
Juror Paula Duncan gave a behind-the-scenes account to Fox News on Wednesday, after the jury returned a guilty verdict against the former Trump campaign chairman on eight financial crime counts and deadlocked on 10 others. She revealed that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team was one holdout juror away from winning a conviction against Manafort on all 18 counts.
But Duncan, who described herself as an avid supporter of President Trump, said she ultimately considered Manafort guilty of the charges against him despite her misgivings about the case itself.
Still, she panned the prosecution’s star witness Rick Gates, the defendant’s former business partner, as “nervous” and doing whatever he could to save himself.
“He deserves a special place in Hell,” she said. “He was just as guilty as Paul Manafort, maybe even more. I mean he embezzled from his employer.”
During the trial, Gates testified that he and Manafort conspired to commit bank and tax fraud – while also admitting he embezzled hundreds of thousands of dollars from his former business partner.
Duncan pointed to the paper trail, not Gates’ testimony, as the key component in the jury’s decision.
In a separate interview with Shannon Bream on “Fox News @ Night,” Duncan said some jurors had issues with Gates’ testimony from the outset because he took a plea deal.
“So we agreed to throw out his testimony and look at the paperwork, which his name was all over,” she said, adding that they did not find him credible. “I think he would have done anything that he could to preserve himself. That’s just obvious in the fact that he flipped on Manafort.”
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