Home » Biden returns to campaign trail as Trump forced to remain in court for second day of New York hush money trial

Biden returns to campaign trail as Trump forced to remain in court for second day of New York hush money trial

by John Jefferson
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President Biden returns to the campaign trail on Tuesday with a visit to his childhood hometown of Scranton to begin three consecutive days of campaigning in Pennsylvania. While the Democratic incumbent is holding events in the battleground state, his 2024 opponent, Donald Trump, is forced to spend the day in a New York City courtroom for the first ever criminal trial of a former president.

Biden plans to use Scranton, a working class city of roughly 75,000 people, as the backdrop to pitch his new tax plan. His travels through Pennsylvania overlap with the start of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s criminal hush money case against Trump.

Day two of the New York City trial continues with the jury selection at approximately 9:30 a.m. Tuesday. Trump has been charged with 34 counts of falsifying business records in the first degree relating to alleged hush money payments to Stormy Daniels during his successful 2016 presidential campaign.

Trump has been ordered to attend the court proceedings Tuesday and every day of the trial. Judge Juan Merchan told Trump that if he fails to be present, a warrant will be issued for his arrest.

TRUMP HUSH MONEY TRIAL ENTERS DAY TWO AS JURY SELECTION CONTINUES

Biden plans to spend Tuesday night in Scranton before continuing to Pittsburgh on Wednesday morning. He is expected to then briefly visit the White House, but intends to return to Pennsylvania on Thursday, with an event in Philadelphia.

Scranton, Biden’s first destination, blends the personal and political for Biden as he grew up in a three-story colonial home in the Green Ridge neighborhood. His family later moved to Delaware, the state Biden ultimately represented in the U.S. Senate.

“It’s hard to draw paths to Biden winning the White House that don’t involve Pennsylvania,” said Daniel Hopkins, a political science professor at the University of Pennsylvania.

Biden walking, smiling
Joe Biden street sign

Harry Truman, in 1948, was the last Democrat to become president who did not win the state.

SEE THE 42 QUESTIONS POTENTIAL TRUMP HUSH MONEY TRIAL JURORS ARE BEING ASKED

His opportunity to campaign comes as Trump is sequestered in a courtroom, defending himself against criminal charges. If convicted, Trump could be sentenced to time behind bars.

Trump in court

Trump pleaded not guilty to all counts last year.

As Monday showed, however, the criminal case against the former president continues to struggle against worries that Trump will get a fair trial.

TRUMP SLAMS BRAGG AFTER PLEADING NOT GUILTY: ‘I NEVER THOUGHT ANYTHING LIKE THIS COULD HAPPEN IN AMERICA’

Yesterday afternoon, 96 prospective jurors were sworn in but more than 50 of them were almost immediately excused for admitting they could not serve as impartial jurors.

“It’s a scam. It’s a political witch hunt,” Trump said after court adjourned Monday.

Trump waving
Trump at a campaign event

Judge Juan Merchan, who Trump has repeatedly criticized as being partisan and serving the interest of Democrats, addressed Trump directly before calling the prospective jurors into the courtroom.  

NEW YORK JUDGE IMPOSES GAG ORDER ON TRUMP IN BRAGG HUSH MONEY CASE

The judge told Trump that if he fails to be present, a warrant will be issued for his arrest. Judge Merchan also told Trump that he has a right to be present at the trial, but that if he disrupts the proceedings he would be removed. Trump nodded after hearing the instructions.

Scranton sign

Judge Merchan denied Trump’s request to be excused from the trial next Thursday, after the president expressed he wanted to attend arguments at the Supreme Court about presidential immunity. The judge has not yet ruled on whether the trial will be adjourned so Trump can attend his son Barron’s high school graduation.  

Before jury selection began, Judge Merchan again denied the defense’s request to recuse himself.

Judge Merchan also set a hearing for next Tuesday, April 23 to discuss possible sanctions for Trump violating the gag order.

Read the full article here

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