Republican New York congressman's tax evasion trial put off until next year

A New York congressman's tax evasion trial has been put off until next year.

U.S. District Judge Pamela Chen told lawyers at a hearing Tuesday jury selection for Michael Grimm's trial will begin Feb. 2, not Dec. 1. She set the new trial date after rejecting defense claims the prosecution is politically motivated.

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The Republican congressman from Staten Island has pleaded not guilty to charges he evaded taxes by hiding more than $1 million in sales and wages while running a small Manhattan restaurant.

Grimm is fighting the charges as he runs for re-election. He has called the case a witch hunt aimed at driving him from office.

He left court without speaking to reporters.

A Houston woman romantically linked to him pleaded guilty to campaign finance charges last month.