In opening statements of Paul Manafort’s ongoing trial over bank and tax fraud charges, a federal prosecutor mentioned a $15,000 jacket “made out of an ostrich” to highlight the former Trump campaign chairman’s extravagant lifestyle.
The question will be if the tactic works for the jury trial.
Here’s a look at the jacket, according to the government evidence:
Prosecutors also referenced an $18,500 python jacket worth and a $9,500 ostrich vest. These items are in addition to the $21,000 Bijan black titanium wristwatch, multiple $10,000 custom-made suits, and oriental rugs valued at a total of $934,000 that will be part of the high-stakes trial.
“The evidence will show that Paul Manafort placed himself and his money above the law,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Uzo Asonye, a prosecutor working on the case with special counsel Robert Mueller, said during opening statements on Tuesday in Alexandria, Va. Manafort has pleaded not guilty.
U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III repeatedly criticized prosecutors for discussing the defendant’s wardrobe, saying that they were prejudicial and drew away attention from how Manafort’s fraud case.
Latest scolding from Judge Ellis as prosecutors wanted to discuss Manafort’s purchase of super high-end suits: “ The government doesn’t want to prosecute someone because they wear nice clothes, do they? Let’s move on. That’s enough.”
— Eric Tucker (@etuckerAP) August 1, 2018