A juror on the Manafort trial who supports Trump said it would be 'a grave mistake' if he issued a pardon to his former campaign manager Paul Manafort.
Paula Duncan, one of the jurors who served on the Paul Manafort trial, said it would be “a grave mistake” if Trump gave Manafort a presidential pardon.
Duncan voted for Trump and is a supporter of his presidency, but she told CNN’s Anderson Cooper that “justice was done” when Manafort was convicted on 8 of the charges that had been brought against him.
She went on to emphasize “the evidence was there” for the jury to convict Trump’s former campaign manager, saying, “That’s where it should stop.”
Trump has been complaining about Manafort’s treatment by prosecutors, and reports have indicated that he wants to grant Manafort a pardon.
Trump characterized the Manafort trial as a “witch hunt,” the inaccurate language he often used to refer to the Robert Mueller investigation.
After the verdict, Trump said, “I feel very badly for Paul Manafort and his wonderful family,” adding, “‘Justice’ took a 12 year old tax case, among other things, applied tremendous pressure on him and, unlike Michael Cohen, he refused to ‘break’.”
After pardoning figures like racist Sheriff Joe Arpaio and election fraudster Dinesh D’Souza, both major Trump fans, a pardon for Manafort would cement Trump’s use of the presidential pardon power as a political favor.
Along with former lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen, who directly implicated Trump in illegal campaign finance operations, a slew of Trump insiders are being granted immunity by prosecutors. Trump could deploy pardons as a weapon for them to keep their mouths shut.
But even those who support him, like Paula Duncan, say that a figure like Manafort is so overwhelmingly guilty that Trump should “stop” and let justice be served.
Americans are left to see what happens when Trump weighs that advice against his gigantic ego and drive for self-preservation.
Published with permission of The American Independent.