MAGA Manafort Jury Lady ... Was Good, Actually. Golf Clap, MAGA Manafort Jury Lady!
Far be it from Your Wonkette to hold back from snarking, but ... let's acknowledge that the Manafort jury did a good job. Yes, even with the one dimwitted holdout who prevented a unanimous guilty verdict on all 18 counts.
And as much as we wanted to make fun of the Trump-loving juror who went on Fox News to tell her story last night, we just can't. This lady kept an open mind, followed the evidence, stayed off the internet, and took her obligation seriously. This is how the American justice system is supposed to work.
Finding Mr. Manafort guilty was hard for me, I wanted him to be innocent, I really wanted him to be innocent, but he wasn't. [...] The evidence was overwhelming. I did not want Paul Manafort to be guilty, but he was, and no one's above the law.
She drove 50 miles to the courthouse with her MAGA hat in the trunk, and another 50 miles home every night, and still managed to convict Donald Trump's campaign manager. Because that was her civic duty. So don't be dicks about her in the comments, please!
Now that they've pulled back the curtain on jury deliberations, we know that there was an issue with a juror on day 9 (told ya so!). CBS reports that one member of the panel had called the defense's cross examination of a witness "weak," but Judge T.S. Ellis determined there was no bias after questioning each juror individually.
After a few days of discussion, Manafort's attorney, Kevin Downing, formally moved for a mistrial during a bench conference in the case on Aug. 20. Ellis asked Downing if he had ever been a part of a trial with this many people and this much media presence. Downing responded that he had. Ellis retorted, "No, you haven't. This is unique in American history."
Ellis denied the defense motion for a mistrial, saying that there was "no earthly reason" to permit one.
Which gibes with the MAGA juror's point that it only seemed like Judge Ellis was being an asshole to the prosecutors because their team was doing all the talking in public. Solid maybe on that one.
Also, the jury notes are out.
During her Fox interview, the MAGA juror implied that these questions embarrassed the other members of the panel, but were included in an attempt to pacify the holdout. But no dice.
Yes, it would have been enormously satisfying to have a unanimous guilty verdict on all 18 counts. But in reality, it won't make much difference for Manafort's sentence. Because all those stories about possible jail time of 305 YEARS!!!! based on tallying up the high end of the sentencing guideline for each individual count are mostly bullshit. And Judge Ellis can take into account Manafort's other bad acts -- even those for which he has not been convicted -- in determining the sentence.
Besides which, Manafort's got bigger problems. To wit, he's facing charges of money laundering, tax evasion, and failure to register as a foreign agent in DC District Court, with jury selection scheduled to begin September 18. And good luck finding a bunch of MAGA jurors in DC, buddy!
Will Manafort realize he's fucked and start cooperating with prosecutors before then? Or will Agent Orange's none-too-subtle hints about a pardon stop his former campaign manager from becoming a RAT?
We'll keep you posted.
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Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.