ALEXANDRIA, Va. (CN) - On Tuesday morning, the verified Twitter account of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort appeared frozen in time.
"President Donald J. Trump!" the most recent post, dated December 19, 2016, says. "Nothing more to say except now it is time 'To Make America Great Again!"
Twenty months after Manafort typed those words on a cold and mostly overcast day a month before Trump's inauguration, a long line extended from inside the federal courthouse in Alexandria, Virginia, to the plaza outside.
Several news trucks and camera crew stood poised outside the courtroom’s main entrance and nearby, a group of roughly 20 protesters carried colorful signs that read: “It’s Mueller Time,” “Your Silence Gives Consent” and on one a jab at Manafort’s penchant for lavish spending. That sign read: “Was the $18,000 karaoke machine worth it?”
Another protester carried a life-size, homemade Trump cut-out. Crafted from cardboard, the paper Trump sports a red tie with the word “Traitor” running down the middle in black.
It took reporters roughly 20 minutes to get inside. Meanwhile, at the White House, Trump tweeted, "The Fake News Media is going CRAZY!"
"They are totally unhinged and in many ways, after witnessing first hand the damage they do to so many innocent and decent people. I enjoy watching," the president said. "In 7 years, when I am no longer in office, their ratings will dry up and they will be gone."
Moments later, Kellyanne Conway, counselor to the president, spoke briefly with reporters in the White House driveway.
"As you know, I did not collude with Russia. I was colluding with voters in Michigan and Wisconsin," she said, adding that Paul Manafort's trial on tax-evasion and bank-fraud charges trial has "nothing to do" with the Trump campaign.
As Manafort's federal trial gets underway at the courthouse in Alexandria on Tuesday, the questions hanging in the air are whether Trump's onetime campaign chieftain will be found guilty and likely spend the rest of his life in prison, or whether he'll somehow "flip" and provide Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team with information that incriminates the president of the United States.
The answer to the latter question -- at least for now -- was a definitive no from Manafort attorney Kevin Downing as he entered the courthouse.
"No chance," he said when a reporter asked if his client is prepared to cooperate with the special counsel to avoid the consequences of a trial.
The questions surrounding Mueller and his investigation are no less profound -- this is the team's first trial since Mueller's appointment more than a year ago.
The main action on Tuesday is the final selection of the 12 jurors who will provide most if not all of the answers.
This morning the pool of 65 jurors faced questions from prosecutors, Manafort's defense team and U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III as they strive to empanel an impartial jury for the highly publicized and politically charged trial.
The pool is comprised of 32 men and 33 women; from it, 12 jurors and four alternates will be chosen.
The potential jurors were packed into the courtroom early Tuesday morning, in numbers so great that about half the reporters who turned out to cover the trial were asked to vacate their seats and relocated to an overflow courtroom three floors down.