Manafort juror says 1 holdout prevented 18-count conviction

Paul Manafort

A juror from the Paul Manafort trial said she believes it would be a "grave mistake" if President Donald Trump were to pardon his former campaign chairman. She also claims at times the prosecution seemed uninterested in the proceedings.

In a Fox News interview on Wednesday, Paula Duncan, a self-described Trump supporter, said the juror, who has not been publicly identified, was not convinced that Manafort was guilty of all the charges.

"The evidence was overwhelming", Duncan said.

The jury returned the decision after deliberating four days on tax and bank fraud charges against Manafort, who led Trump's election effort during a crucial stretch of 2016, including as he clinched the Republican nomination and during the party's convention.

Wow, that's not the way you want the jury thinking about you. "He took the job and then he said, 'I'm going to recuse myself.' I said, 'What kind of a man is this?'"

"I have great respect for what he's done", Trump said.

Rudy Giuliani said he advised President Donald Trump against considering granting Paul Manafort a pardon until at least after special counsel Robert Mueller has concluded his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 United States election.

Giuliani said Trump was seeking advice in the wake of a spate of pardons he granted earlier this summer, including for a woman whom Kim Kardashian had lobbied the White House to release.

"I think that they used Manafort to try to get the dirt on Trump or hoping that he would flip on Trump", she said.

Giuliani said he and Sekulow provided their advice to delay any possible pardons for people linked to the Mueller probe in the past "three to five weeks" - in the wake of a series of pardons Trump granted this summer.

She said the jury chose to not consider Gates's testimony and focus instead on the documentary evidence. Manafort will face yet another trial in D.C. next month on separate charges, including one involving a rarely enforced law requiring foreign agents to register with the Justice Department. Those types of discussions should not be held until the jury gets the case.

Manafort was indicted as part of the special counsel investigation into Russian election interference, though his charges were unrelated to his work for the Trump campaign. Among other counts, Cohen's guilty plea relates to one count of giving a false statement to a financial institution between February 2015 and April 2016, one count of willfully causing an illegal corporate contribution from June 2016 to October 2016, and one count of making an excessive campaign contribution on October 27, 2016, according to court documents. "The real concern", explains Giuliani, "is whether Mueller would turn any pardon into an obstruction charge".

A year ago, Graham said "there will be holy hell to pay" if Trump ousted Sessions, who served for years as a senator alongside Graham and Grassley.

His former associate Rick Gates, who in February pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy and lying to investigators, co-operated with the investigation into Manafort.

"He feels Manafort has been mistreated". Earhardt praised Trump, calling him "very brave" for speaking to her.

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