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Weirdest Exchange Yet at the Manafort Trial

Judge sees tears in prosecutor's eyes, but the prosecutor denies it
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 7, 2018 11:47 AM CDT
This courtroom sketch depicts Rick Gates, right, answering questions by prosecutor Greg Andres in the trial of Paul Manafort, seated second from left, at the Alexandria Federal Courthouse in Virginia.   (Dana Verkouteren via AP)

(Newser) – The high-stakes Paul Manafort trial is underway, and Bloomberg takes note of a particularly odd exchange Monday between US District Judge TS Ellis III and prosecutor Greg Andres. It came during a break in the testimony of former Manafort partner Rick Gates as the judge and prosecutors clashed, out of the jury's earshot, about which questions were fair game. "I understand how frustrated you are," said Ellis at one point. "In fact, there’s tears in your eyes right now." When Andres denied that, the judge responded, "Well, they're watery."

At another point, the judge admonished Andres to look at him when speaking, instead of looking down. "I don't want to get in trouble for some facial expression," Andres replied. "I don't want to get yelled at again by the court for having some facial expression when I'm not doing anything wrong, but trying my case." As the Hill notes, Ellis has warned both sides not to make facial expressions in court that could sway the jury. (Read more Paul Manafort stories.)

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