Dan McLaughlin and Jonah Goldberg have both made important points about the Paul Manafort indictment, but I’m afraid both are missing the real scandal: This guy allegedly wired nearly a million bucks to an antique-rug store over a two-year period, and then $100,000 more to a “related” business a couple years later. He also spent more than a million dollars on clothes.
Such offenses can truly be uncovered only with the tools of data journalism, so I have produced a chart for you. Even the tiny “housekeeping” slice here amounts to $20,000.
According to the indictment, Manafort wired money from offshore accounts to various businesses between 2008 and 2014, which enabled him to spend money here he hadn’t paid taxes on. Those wires, plus four more to buy real estate in 2012, top $18 million, most of which went to real estate and home-improvement businesses. (I had to make a few lumping-vs.-splitting calls in making the chart, of course — “home improvement” includes unspecified “contractors,” as well as landscapers and companies that handle home automation, lighting, and audio/video equipment, for example.)