Congressman Michael Grimm appeared in court Monday for the first time since he was indicted on federal tax evasion and fraud charges, but that might be the last time Grimm sees the inside of a courtroom until after Election Day. NY1's Courtney Gross filed the following report.
Republican Congressman Michael Grimm walked silently into Brooklyn federal court on Monday, and it could be the last time he does for some time.
That's because Grimm received the OK from Judge Pamela Chen to skip out of his pre-trial hearings.
Judge Chen told Grimm it was "his prerogative if he doesn't want to be here."
Monday was Grimm's first court appearance since he was slammed with a 20-count indictment last month. He is accused of tax evasion and fraud—all charges connected to a restaurant he used to own on the Upper East Side.
In court on Monday, prosecutors said they would turn over mountains of evidence to Grimm's defense team, including seven-thousand pages of documents and eight thousand emails.
The judge called it a complex case, meaning it is highly unlikely to head to trial before Grimm faces re-election in November.
The congressman's defense team also requested a waiver so the congressman would not have to check in here in Brooklyn at pre-trial services every month. His attorney argued the congressman is a public figure and his whereabouts are known.
That means Grimm may be able to put the case on the back burner as he mounts a tough re-election campaign.
Grimm faces Democratic challenger Domenic Recchia. The former Brooklyn councilman has not called for Grimm's resignation.
"Michael Grimm has to spend time dealing with his issues and figure out how to deal with them," Recchia said.
Just this weekend, Grimm's supporters held a so-called "march for justice" for the congressman.
Grimm told the crowd he was confident he would be re-elected.
"Michael Grimm will be your congressman come January!" Grimm said to the crowd Saturday.
On Monday, Grimm refused to address the media. Instead, he made a b-line for his waiting SUV outside of court, and he then sped off.