Editor's Brief

A Desperate, Desperate Man

August 6, 2018 2:23 p.m.

This post covers some ground we’ve covered before. But the Manafort trial and the various documents its producing throw this fact into much sharper relief, as does President Trump’s little-concealed rage and panic over the trial.

In 2015 and 2016 Paul Manafort was a desperate man. The source of most of his income and wealth had been driven from power in 2014. It took a while for the cut-off of funds to really kick in. It also probably took a while before it became totally clear that Viktor Yanukovych wasn’t coming back. At the end of 2014, his daughters (and eventually his wife) found out about an affair he was carrying on. There were teary-phone calls, threats of suicide. The Manaforts went into couples therapy but Paul kept up the affair. He was caught again and by late 2015 he’d entered a clinic in Arizona for what his daughter described as a “massive emotional breakdown.” (The best narrative of this and much else in the Manafort story comes from Frank Foer’s March article in The Atlantic.)

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