Political News

Why Paul Manafort isn't wearing socks

Posted August 14, 2018 8:41 p.m. EDT

— In a trial that's featured talk of hundreds of thousands of dollars in clothing, including a $15,000 ostrich jacket and an $18,000 python jacket, the latest sartorial question for court-watchers is: Where are Paul Manafort's socks?

During his 11 days at the United States District Court here, Manafort has appeared both in person and in courtroom sketches to be barefoot at times under his loafers.

Artist Bill Hennessy captured this in a sketch published last Monday that made the rounds on Twitter and was even featured in FN, or, Footwear News, which bills itself as the "the ultimate destination for industry insiders and shoe lovers alike."

After a brief recess on Wednesday of last week, Manafort reappeared with white socks under his loafers, causing a stir within the courtroom. The next day, the socks once again disappeared.

According to Manafort spokesperson Jason Maloni, Manafort refuses to wear white socks with his suits. "He doesn't like white socks" Maloni said.

Manafort's outfits are carefully chosen by the defense counsel, says Maloni, but are limited to the requirements set forth by the authorities of the court. Manafort is not allowed to wear a belt or shoes with shoelaces, but is permitted a tie. Since Manafort remains in the custody of the marshals he is only allowed the issued white socks.

In criminal cases, defense lawyers can argue that shackles and jail jumpsuits could make the accused look guilty by presumption, hindering the jury's ability to make an informed decision.