After months of scandal, rumor, and court filings, it’s the first day of the first trial in the Russia investigation and it began with Paul Manafort, a consulting gig in Ukraine, and a $15,000 ostrich coat. U.S. v. Manafort has officially begun. So how did the first day go?
Welcome to Rabbit Hole.
Theory of the case: The Manafort charges involve a dizzying array financial transactions and offshore front companies, but the stories put forth by both prosecutors and Manafort’s attorneys are quite simple. The feds say he and his buddy hid $30,000,000 from the tax man and lied about how they got it; Manafort’s team says the feds have the wrong guy and he’s the real victim here.