Ex-Trump campaign chair found guilty of tax fraud
- Author: Leroy Wright Aug 23, 2018,
Aug 23, 2018, 23:04
In a Fox News interview late Wednesday night, Duncan, a self-described Trump supporter, became the first from the panel to speak out since Manafort's conviction Tuesday on eight of the fraud counts, with mistrials declared on the remaining 10.
"We didn't want it [the jury] to be hung, so we tried for an extended period of time to convince her", she said. She said, "it kind of sent a message of "we're bored with this" and I'm thinking, 'well if you're bored then why are we here?'"
In Manafort's case, the jury found Manafort guilty on eight counts, including tax fraud, bank fraud and failure to declare foreign bank accounts. The jury couldn't reach a decision on the other 10 counts. Now Daniels' attorney Michael Avenatti says he'll renew efforts to get Trump to submit to a deposition in a lawsuit Daniels filed to invalidate a nondisclosure agreement she signed ahead of the 2016 election.
If a deal is struck, Cohen would plead guilty in federal court in Manhattan and agree to cooperate with the government, said the people, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to publicly discuss the case.
On the credibility of Cindy La Porta, the tax preparer, Duncan said some jurors thought she was credible. Shortly after the verdicts were announced, Trump told reporters, "I feel badly for Paul Manafort" and called him "a good man". "I did not want Paul Manafort to be guilty, but he was, and no one's above the law".
Manafort decided not to put on any witnesses or testify himself in the trial.
Trump, who has played coy whenever asked about the possibility of a pardon for Manafort, once again complained Mueller was supposed to be investigating Russian election tampering - similar to how Special Counsel Ken Starr was seated to investigate Whitewater, not Monica Lewinsky.
She also said the jury "agreed to throw out the testimony" of Manafort protege Rick Gates, who pleaded guilty in Mueller's investigation and agreed to cooperate with investigators, and focus instead on the documents.
"It was a very emotionally charged jury room-there were some tears", she said.
Cohen, who was one of Trump's closest associates for more than a decade, said in court that he arranged to make payments "for (the) principal objective of influencing (the) election" at the direction of a candidate for federal office.
He argued, however, that Manafort's looming trial in D.C. - which centers on allegations of money laundering and his unreported foreign lobbying work in Ukraine - should be put on hold until after November's midterm elections.
Cohen's plea follows months of scrutiny from federal investigations and a falling out with the president, whom he previously said he would "take a bullet" for.
Earlier this year he admitted arranging a $130,000 payment to quiet porn actress Stormy Daniels' claims that she had an affair with Trump.