How Paul Manafort’s suits and ostrich jacket became a centerpiece of his trial

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On Wednesday evening, the public got a peek at former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort. much discussed wardrobe, which was an eye-catching element of the first try in special advice Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russia. The office of the special advocate released Pictures of Manafort’s many expensive clothing purchases – nubby gray suits, silky striped suits, blue checked suits and more “casual” jackets in brown python and black ostrich leather – which He claims Manafort paid with laundered money.

The lawsuit, which began on Tuesday, deals with the allegation that Manafort made millions of dollars working for the Ukrainian government, filtered money through offshore shell companies without reporting it to the U.S. government or paying tax. on income, then proceeded to spend approximately $ 30 million on real estate, landscaping, fancy rugs and clothing from luxury boutiques in the United States. On top of that, Mueller accused Manafort of fraudulently attempting to obtain bank loans.

Employees of upscale clothing stores House of Bijan and Alan Couture testified in court on the second day of the trial. Manafort’s extravagant wardrobe featured prominently in his case, as it offers proof that he secretly transferred money from offshore bank accounts to vendors in the United States. Clothing can also be turned into weapons to play our critical side.

In the same way that we like to skewer politicians for buying expensive clothes (proof, apparently, that they are deeply disconnected with the concerns of ordinary citizens) – or to wear anything that is noticeably impractical, as with Melania Trump’s stilettos – the prosecution scrolls through the property of Manafort to present him as “a man driven by greed”, in the words of the New York Times.

Judge TS Ellis III didn’t let prosecutors show jurors all of Manafort’s big buys. “We don’t condemn people for having a lot of money and throwing it all over the place,” he said.

However, the photos of Manafort’s clothes had their effect. Journalists on Twitter immediately clung to them as a point of interest and a source of comedy.

While it’s easy to get carried away by the thought of spending half a million dollars on clothes in six years – the dream, some would say! – it is not the contents of Manafort’s cupboard that is important in this trial. It’s the question of where it comes from.

About Renee Williams

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