WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump‘s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort has agreed to plead guilty to two criminal counts as part of a deal with Special Counsel Robert Mueller, according to federal court documents released on Friday.
Manafort will plead guilty to one count of conspiracy against the United States and one count of conspiracy to obstruct justice, according to documents filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
Manafort, convicted by a Virginia jury last month on bank and tax fraud charges, was due to go on trial a second time on related charges in Washington.
Jury selection was due to begin on Monday on charges including conspiring to launder money, conspiring to defraud the United States, failing to register as a foreign agent and witness tampering.
Manafort‘s decision could be a blow to Trump, who last month praised his former aide for not entering into an agreement with prosecutors, as the president’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen had.
Writing on Twitter on Aug. 22, Trump said, “Unlike Michael Cohen, he refused to ‘break’ – make up stories in order to get a ‘deal. Such respect for a brave man!”
(Reporting by Nathan Layne and Susan Heavey; Writing by Doina Chiacu; Editing by Lisa Lambert and Howard Goller)