Mueller probe lawyer does jury duty stint in NYC
NEW YORK (AP) — One of Robert Mueller’s top lieutenants in the special counsel’s pressure-cooker probe embroiling President Donald Trump has returned to private life only to get a more mundane and unexpected legal assignment: Juror in a slip-and-fall case.
Andrew Weissman was picked for a New York City jury at a civil trial where there was a verdict on Thursday partially siding with a woman who sued a food market where she claimed she fell because of a wet floor.
“I never thought in a lifetime that I would be on a jury and I’d always wanted that experience,” Weissman told The Associated Press after the verdict.
Attorney Paul F. LaGattuta III, who represented the market, said on Thursday that the jury awarded the woman $50,000 — far less than sought by her side. There was no immediate response to a message left with the plaintiff attorneys.
Weissman is a veteran federal prosecutor drafted by Mueller to play a prominent role in the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election. During the probe, he came under attack by conservative commentators who labeled him left-leaning sympathizer of Trump opponents.
Weissman declined on Thursday to discuss his work for Mueller. But he detailed some of his jury duty.
During jury selection, he said he went mostly unrecognized beyond revealing he was a former prosecutor who was about to begin teaching national security law and criminal procedure at New York University School of Law. However, at one point another prospective juror quietly turned to him and said, “That you for your service,” he recalled.
Asked if he had any clue that someone like Weissman was in the jury pool, defense lawyer LaGattuta said, “In all honesty, no. I learned after the fact.”
Weissman said he was joined on the panel by another lawyer, an accountant and others who approached the job with equal vigor — and with no deference to him.
When jurors heard the judge’s instructions about deliberations, they “really took it seriously” and “followed the proof,” he said. “It was great.”
There was another bonus, he added: “It was nice to have an experience that was completely unrelated to Washington D.C.”