June 12th, 2024

Biden campaign sends allies De Niro and first responders to Trump’s NY trial to keep focus on Jan. 6

By Colleen Long And Zeke Miller, The Associated Press on May 28, 2024.

FILE - Robert De Niro attends the 15th annual Tribeca Festival Artists Dinner hosted by CHANEL at Balthazar, June 13, 2022, in New York. President Joe Biden's campaign on Tuesday showed up outside former President Donald Trump's New York City criminal hush money trial in an effort to refocus the race on the Jan. 6 2021 Capitol insurrection. Biden's team, which had largely ignored the trial since it began six weeks ago, was looking to capitalize on its drama-filled closing moments, sending actor Robert De Niro and some of the first responders at the Capitol that day. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, file)

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Joe Biden’s campaign on Tuesday showed up outside former President Donald Trump’s New York City criminal hush money trial in an effort to refocus the presidential race on the Jan. 6, 2021, U.S. Capitol insurrection.

It was a sharp about-face for Biden’s team, which had largely ignored the trial since it began six weeks ago and is now looking to capitalize on its drama-filled closing moments, sending actor Robert De Niro and some of the first responders who were at the Capitol on Jan. 6. A top Biden adviser said they weren’t there to talk about the trial, rather to exploit the large media focus on the legal proceedings.

“We’re not here today because of what’s going on over there,” Biden campaign communication director Michael Tyler told reporters, gesturing toward the courthouse. “We’re here today because you all are here.”

The Biden campaign last week released a new ad that was narrated by De Niro sharply criticizing Trump’s presidency and plans if he’s reelected.

“I don’t mean to scare you. No, wait, maybe I do mean to scare you,” De Niro told reporters. “If Trump returns to the White House, you can kiss these freedoms goodbye that we all take for granted.”

“I love this city. I don’t want to destroy it,” De Niro added. “Donald Trump wants to destroy not only the city but the country, and, eventually, he could destroy the world.”

Former Washington, D.C., police officer Michael Fanone and former Capitol police officer Harry Dunn spoke of their personal experiences on Jan. 6, with Fanone describing his injuries suffered at the hands of the mob of Trump supporters seeking to halt Congress’ certification of Biden’s 2020 presidential victory.

“I came here today to remind Americans of what Donald Trump is capable of and the violence that he unleashed on all of Americans on Jan. 6, 2021,” Fanone said.

Added Dunn, who recently lost a Democratic primary race for the House in Maryland, “We can’t count on these institutions to stop Donald Trump. It’s going to take us Americans at the ballot box to defeat him once and for all.”

Trump’s allies planned their own press conference Tuesday, with the Republican former president’s adviser Jason Miller saying the Democratic president’s event proved Trump’s argument that his prosecution was politically motivated.

“Joe’s crookeds aren’t in PA, MI, WI, NV, AZ or GA – they’re outside the Biden Trial against President Trump,” he posted on X. “It’s always been about politics.”

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