Manafort jury form confirms 11-1 split
When Paul Manafort’s jury of 12 Northern Virginians couldn’t reach a unanimous agreement on 10 criminal charges, it was because of one juror.
A photocopied version of the jury’s original handwritten verdict form, released Thursday by the federal court, confirms that Manafort’s jury hung 11-to-1 on 10 counts of foreign banking and bank fraud crimes.
The jury ultimately reached unanimous guilty verdicts on eight crimes, for tax fraud, bank fraud and a fraudulent foreign banking disclosure in 2012.
On the right hand side of the form, which the jurors filled out during their deliberations, the jury wrote “No Consensus” and “G to N, 11 to 1” next to the 10 counts that hung, the form released Thursday shows. Judge T.S. Ellis declared a mistrial on those counts.
The verdict form clearly shows how the jury placed checkmarks next to Manafort’s eight convictions. It also appears jurors almost convicted Manafort on two additional charges, for foreign banking violations in 2013 and 2014.
On those two counts, the jurors had checked “guilty” then scratched out the checkmarks. Next to the scratches — and a redacted block that may be the foreman’s initials or juror number authorizing the change — the jury wrote “No Consensus” again, “11 to 1.”
The jury foreman’s name is redacted with a Post-It note and has not been disclosed by the court.
The scratch-outs also reveal why the jury may have asked for a new verdict form the morning they returned the verdict. “We will need another form please,” the jury foreman wrote in a note to the court hours before Manafort’s conviction and the mistrial counts were announced on Tuesday.
Juror speaks out
The form confirms the story told by a juror in a Fox News interview Wednesday night. The juror, Paula Duncan, described how she was a supporter of President Donald Trump, doubted the testimony of Manafort deputy Rick Gates and thought the prosecutors inched too close to a Russia collusion accusation. Still, she found the evidence against Manafort to be “overwhelming.”
“I did not want Paul Manafort to be guilty, but he was, and no one’s above the law. So it was our obligation to look through all the evidence,” Duncan said.
Duncan also described how one juror, a woman, maintained that she had reasonable doubt. This woman, Duncan said, was the lone holdout, causing the 10 charges to end in mistrial.
“We all tried to convince her to look at the paper trial. We laid it out in front of her again and again, and she still said that she had a reasonable doubt,” Duncan said. “We didn’t want to be hung, so we tried for an extended period of time to convince her.”
Six women and six men comprised Manafort’s jury. They deliberated for four days after 12 days of testimony and arguments.
Also on Wednesday, unsealed court transcripts revealed that a still-unidentified female juror took issue with other jurors’ comments about the case before they began deliberations. Manafort’s defense team asked for a full mistrial, but after interviewing each juror, the judge denied this request.