Court Battles

Judge in Manafort trial tells attorneys to 'rein in' their facial expressions

Federal prosecutors and defense attorneys in the case against President Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort got a little scolding Wednesday from the judge overseeing the trial on its second day.

U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis said he was told that lawyers on both sides of the high-profile case have been seen rolling their eyes upon leaving the bench, saying the lawyers need to "rein in their facial expressions."

Ellis said the expressions communicate to those who see them that the lawyers are wondering, "Why do we have to deal with this idiot judge?"

"It's inappropriate," he said.

Manafort is on trial in federal court in Virginia for 18 counts of bank and tax fraud, charges that stem from special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

The trial has recessed for lunch until 1:30 p.m., when prosecutors said they will return and call three more witnesses to the stand, including one of Manafort's suit makers, Maximillian Katzman, The Washington Post reported.

 

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