You’ve probably never seen a more sharply dressed guy on his way to being arraigned.
Feds say former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, who was once on the payroll to help get Ukraine to submit to a Russian puppet, paid $500,000 to one Beverly Hills tailor alone.
And why not – when he earned at least $12 million as a political consultant to Viktor Yanukovych, the one-time Ukrainian president and Russian marionette.
Talk about choosing the wrong side! It doesn’t get much more unscrupulous than this: Manafort chose the Russian side in what became the freedom-loving Orange Revolution – which elected pro-Ukrainian independence candidate Viktor Yushchenko, but only after the Ukrainian Supreme Court ordered a second runoff due to blatant election fraud by the pro-Russia forces.
Of course, Yushchenko had to endure disease and disfigurement after Manafort’s Russian financiers appeared to have poisoned Yushchenko with, ironically enough, a toxin used in Agent Orange.
Now Manafort, the millionaire mercenary, is red-faced.
Authorities also say Manafort went to great lengths, logistically and geographically, to launder and conceal his Russia profiteering in order to deny the U.S. Treasury income taxes on the wrong-side windfall.
The big question now is, what does his and his partner’s indictment say about the Trump campaign, from which he was promptly fired? And what, if any, information might he have on others who’ve done business or monkey business with Moscow?
No Republican or conservative with any integrity will shed a tear over Manafort’s fate, whatever it might be: not with his alleged $75 million in offshore accounts, $600,000 for antiques, “premium” automobiles and pricey renovations at homes in Florida and the Hamptons.
But after this garish glance into the seamy side of opulence, it’s a good bet conservatives would like equal time: Will authorities dive as deeply into alleged Clinton and Democratic National Committee collusion with Russia? The Clinton camp reportedly paid for a scurrilous Russian dossier of trumped-up dirt on the Republican presidential candidate last year. And as secretary of state, Mrs. Clinton helped authorize the acquisition of 20 percent of American uranimum reserves by a shady Russian firm.
Her husband, and their Clinton Foundation, also saw a whirlwind of Russian money blow their way in the process.
If we’re going to follow the money, let’s go wherever it leads, regardless of party affiliation. Indeed, Manafort’s indictment also casts suspicion on a firm owned by -- guess who -- Hillary Clinton campaign chair John Podesta. His brother Tony has already resigned.
Americans of every ideological bent ought to take heart from the earliest takeaway from the Manafort indictment: that even the rich sometimes have to pay the piper.