Reporter's notebook

‘Mr. Trump’ Gets An Unexpected Shoutout From Judge In Manafort Trial

Photo by Getty Images/ SHAWN THEW
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August 16, 2018 11:13 am

Dozens of reporters’ hearts skipped a beat during an otherwise low-key proceeding Thursday morning when Judge T.S. Ellis, who is overseeing Paul Manafort’s financial crimes trial, indicated that a “Mr. Trump” was in the courtroom.

“Mr. Trump, you’re here for what?” Ellis asked.

He had just wrapped up a brief proceeding with the members of the Manafort jury as they kick off their deliberations. Everyone turned around dramatically to find who Ellis was talking to. Then laughter began.

“Mr. Trump,” it turns out, is Jim Trump, a prosecutor in the Eastern District of Virginia who had a case in front of Ellis this morning.

To give you a sense of what the next hours and/or days will look like for us: The jury has gone into deliberations, which means either Caitlin or myself will be in the courthouse at all times to be ready for a verdict. Whichever one of us is not in the courtroom will be hanging out in the hotel across the street, keeping an eye on the defense team, which is usually milling about the lobby, for any sign of movement towards the courthouse.

Another fun twist is that the New York Jets football team is staying at the same hotel. I wonder what they’ll think of the mad rush into the courthouse that will likely ensue when a verdict comes in, and how it will compare to their pile-ups on the field.

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