We're just hours into the first trial of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia probe, and it has already earned its hype.
The first trial for former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort began Tuesday, as Manafort faces charges of bank and tax fraud. A jury was selected, opening statements began — and trialgoers learned Manafort had a $15,000 ostrich jacket.
Manafort's bold fashion statement was revealed courtesy of Assistant U.S. Attorney Uzo Asonye, The Washington Post reports. Manafort "created cash out of thin air" thanks to his Ukranian political consulting gig, Asonye said during his opening statement. That "cash spigot," as Asonye put it, pumped out $60 million between 2010 and 2014. Manafort allegedly didn't report $15 million of it to the IRS, instead shuffling it between 30 bank accounts in three countries — but he did make time to buy outerwear "made from an ostrich," Asonye revealed.
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Along with his fowl coat, Asonye said Manafort bought pricey cars and watches and owned several homes. But when Ukrainian candidate Viktor Yanukovych turned off the cash flow, Manafort couldn't stop his extravagant menswear habits and began falsifying loans. Millions of laundered dollars and at least one deceased bird later, and Manafort is facing up to 305 years in prison for these financial crimes.
Tuesday's proceedings are for the first of his two scheduled trials, with the second slated for September. Follow along with more trial details at The Washington Post.
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