A Manhattan federal judge on Thursday delayed until March 1 the criminal trial of Lev Parnas and another Soviet-born associate of former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who are accused of funneling foreign money into U.S. elections in order to buy political influence.

U.S. District Judge J. Paul Oetken of the Southern District of New York said that a planned Feb. 1 trial date in the case was too “aggressive,” given the slowdowns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, which continues to rage across the country. Instead, Oetken granted a defense request to delay the trial by at least a month, while attorneys sift through massive amounts of discovery still being produced by prosecutors.

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