While digging through newly-unsealed documents from the beginning of Paul Manafort‘s trial, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow found a bizarre interaction that may lead to further charges for the former Trump campaign chairman.
On February 14, 2018, the judge in Manafort’s Washington, D.C. trial questioned defense attorneys after they were offered to drop one of the two trials. The case is the second trial of the two, the first being in Virginia.
Instead of choosing one venue over the other, the defense said Manafort wants to sit both trials.
“I understand you’re hamstrung,” the judge told the defense. “Is there any change in Mr. Manafort’s point of view about the Eastern District [of Virginia] versus the District [of Columbia]?”
“I think the only thing I can imagine that’s more unusual than the government offering that you that choice — is the choice you’re making,” the judge continued. “But is there any further discussion about that?”
Manafort’s defense attorney replied that no, there was no more discussion, and the judge accepted it — but the interaction showed that even the judge was confused, Maddow noted.
“Are you sure you want your client to go on trial twice?” the host said, mimicking the judge’s point of view. “You want two federal felony trials?”
The government gave the defense “the option to just go on trial once,” but they chose not to take them up, Maddow continued.
“The judge is like, ‘OK, it’s your funeral,'” she joked.
Watch below, via MSNBC: