Editor's Brief

The Big Picture: A Desperate Man

February 23, 2018 5:29 p.m.

I’ve noted a number of times that spies look for desperate, bankrupt and stupid people as vulnerabilities in any organization. They’re malleable. They are desperate. If you look at Frank Foer’s recent profile of Manafort, in 2015 his marriage was falling apart. He was in financial trouble. He was telling family members he was considering taking his own life. He’d spent years building a cash cow out of his relationship with Viktor Yanukovych. But he went into exile in Russia after being driven from power in 2014. The events of the last three days cast this all into much higher relief. The new charges leveled yesterday detail various crimes and frauds. But the big picture shows someone absolutely desperate for money.

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