For One Juror In The Paul Manafort Trial, The Call For Justice Trumped Political Beliefs

"I wanted him to be innocent."

Paula Duncan had a "Make America Great Again" hat in her car every day as she drove to the trial of Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump's former campaign manager.

But Duncan, a die-hard Trump supporter, said she rose to the occasion and left her politics behind while deciding whether the man who helped her preferred candidate win the 2016 election was guilty of bank and tax fraud. On Thursday, Duncan opened up to Fox News about her experience and why she ultimately believed he was guilty.

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"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," Duncan told Fox News.

Behind the scenes, Duncan said the jury room was "emotionally charged" and "there were some tears." Manafort was found guilty on eight counts and the jury was deadlocked on 10 others. Duncan said it was a single juror who prevented the group from charging Manafort on all 18 counts. 

"Finding Mr. Manafort guilty was hard for me," Duncan said. "I wanted him to be innocent, I really wanted him to be innocent, but he wasn't."

The news of charges against Manafort came within minutes of President Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen pleading guilty in a New York City courtroom to five counts of tax evasion, one count of making a false statement to a bank, and two campaign finance violations. Cohen also implicated the president, saying Trump directed him to pay off two women to keep their affairs quiet before election day.

Despite her vote, Duncan used Trump's language when describing the special counsel's investigation into his campaign, calling it a "witch hunt." Duncan's account of the jury deliberations is a stark reminder of the responsibility Americans have, regardless of political beliefs, to strive for truth and justice.

"It's my civic duty, and I'm pleased to serve my country in any way I can," Duncan said.

(H/T: Fox News)

Cover image: Mandel Ngan / AFP / Getty Images

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