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Biden and His Allies Are Likely to Stay Quiet on Trump’s Manhattan Trial

U.S.Biden and His Allies Are Likely to Stay Quiet on Trump’s Manhattan Trial

As former President Donald J. Trump goes on trial on Monday in Manhattan, President Biden and his allies are not likely to say much.

For Democrats, a former president facing criminal charges over covering up a sex scandal surrounding the 2016 campaign speaks for itself. The media coverage will be constant, especially if Mr. Trump takes the stand, which he has floated as a possibility. And while Mr. Trump faces up to eight weeks in court, Mr. Biden will be on the campaign trail and employing a “Rose Garden strategy” as he governs from the White House, a contrast that the president’s aides hope voters will view favorably.

The approach could be bolstered by the fact that Mr. Trump will be appearing in a court case involving salacious details and questionable financial maneuverings while Mr. Biden is addressing a conflict in the Middle East.

Mr. Biden and his campaign have said nothing publicly about the criminal indictments against Mr. Trump, worried about improperly influencing the cases or stoking Mr. Trump’s repeated allegations — made without evidence — that Mr. Biden has engineered the charges.

Many of the deep-pocketed outside Democratic groups supporting the Biden campaign are charting a similar path. Part of their calculation, they say, is that ads promoting Mr. Biden’s record or arguing that Mr. Trump is a threat to democracy are testing better with voters than highlighting Mr. Trump’s legal troubles. Another consideration is that the Manhattan case, which is being brought by the Manhattan district attorney, Alvin Bragg, is not easily explained in a sound bite or a 30-second ad.

“I just don’t think in the end it’s the strongest argument for voters,” said Steve Schale, a Democratic strategist running a pro-Biden super PAC called Unite the Country. “Campaigns have limited resources and you spend those resources in a way that moves the most votes.”


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