Perhaps concerned that Rudy Guiliani, the product of a freak laboratory accident between a Dementor and a festival barker, was getting too much attention on the “Can you believe the nerve of these people” circuit, Paul Manafort is back in the news in a big, ridiculous way. The former Trump campaign manager’s first trial got underway in Virginia today and though opening statements have just begun, there’s still so much to talk about. Virginia, by the by, is home to Republican congressional hopeful Denver Riggleman whom his opponent accused of being a white supremacist sympathizer and ::checks notes:: a bigfoot erotica devotee. Somehow, all of that is old news both literally and figuratively because Paul Manafort, professional embarrassment, is back in the headlines.

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During opening statements for the trial, the special prosecutor told the jury that Manafort lived a lavish lifestyle that outpaced his earnings, so essentially he was a millennial. Unlike most millennials, save for Anna Delvey, he decided to close the gap using fraud. When his 12-count indictment was handed down last year, it showed that he spent nearly a million dollars on rugs alone (for the floor), plus half a million on clothing and millions on cars, A/V equipment, and landscaping. LANDSCAPING. That must be one hell of a hedge maze.

Today, the jury learned that in addition to all of that, Manafort also dropped $15,000 on a “jacket made from an ostrich.” Presumably the jury is made up of Manafort’s peers, but one wonders how they were able to find 12 villains from a Joel Schumacher Batman sequel on such short notice.

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While the jacket most likely looked like a variation on leather attire, my hope is that Paul Manafort has something like this hanging in his closet for a special occasion.

Givenchy : Runway - Paris Fashion Week - Haute Couture Fall Winter 2018/2019

Getty ImagesVictor VIRGILE

You have to hand it to the Trump team, they are certainly creative with their diabolicalness. It would be boring if they were all the same kind of wretched toad. Collusion de Vil over here does bring a certain macabre extravagance to the whole affair.

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I mean, everyone knows that when you’re laundering money and committing bank fraud, the best way to throw the authorities off your tail (er, trail), is to find the biggest ostrich you can find and wear it like you’re a character on Pose and the category is Petting Zoo Realness.

I’m sure the prosecution will get to other evidence of Manafort’s misdeeds, but there’s a small part of me that wishes the entire trial consisted of listing ridiculous things that Manafort bought and then publicly judging him for how much he paid, like a reverse Price is Right. I’m just saying, if you’re going to have bad taste (and occasionally commit a little bit of fraud) at least wait until things go on sale.

Follow R. Eric Thomas on Twitter.

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