Reporter's notebook

The Manafort Verdict Waiting Game

Kevin Downing. (TPM Illustration. Photo by Getty Images/Mark Wilson)
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August 16, 2018 3:55 p.m.

Kevin Downing, the lead attorney for Paul Manafort, is pacing around the lobby of this hotel in Alexandria, Virginia, across the street from the courthouse, and staring anxiously out the window. Another defense lawyer, Richard Westling, is currently sitting across the lobby charging his phone.

There’s a lot of us here.

After the rush of covering Paul Manafort’s lengthy trial in Virginia, dashing in and out of the courtroom with news from the witness stand, we’re now left waiting as the jury deliberates, with little sense of how long they’ll take.

Those reporters who are not waiting inside the chilly courtroom for a note from the jury or a verdict are either waiting outside with their camera crews or here, across the street, in a hotel lobby with the lawyers for the defense. Manafort’s legal team is gathered in the hotel restaurant near a window that looks out at the courtroom.

Also spotted in the hotel this afternoon is Manafort’s wife, her friend who accompanied her each day of the trial, and Manafort’s spokesman.

We’re all clueless about the timing of the verdict and preparing for the mad dash across the street whenever the jury sends up the signal.

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