Biden campaign eager to seize more opportunities to make their case once Trump’s New York trial ends

Biden campaign officials have no idea what next week will bring in Donald Trump’s hush money trial in New York – including whether the former president will be convicted or found not guilty or whether the whole saga will ultimately end in a mistrial.

But regardless of precisely how the weeks-long historic trial ends, President Joe Biden’s reelection campaign is preparing to enter its next, more aggressive phase.

On everything from the ads the campaign runs to the messaging and rhetoric that comes from the president himself to growing the campaign’s infrastructure, a person familiar with the campaign’s thinking said, the Biden team recognizes that once the Trump trial – and the aggressive media coverage of it – is over, there will be more room and opportunities to make their case to the American people ahead of November.

Biden campaign officials are still grappling with the reality, this person said, that a substantial part of the population still doesn’t see that the choice on Election Day will be between Biden and Trump.

And while the campaign will need to calibrate its messaging and strategy based on how exactly Trump’s trial ends, this person insisted that at the end of the day, the thrust of their case against the former president won’t change – whether Trump emerges a convicted felon or not.

As CNN reported on Friday, the Biden campaign on Friday effectively launched the start of that next phase by releasing a scorching new ad called “Snapped,” narrated by actor Robert De Niro.

“We knew Trump was out of control when he was president,” De Niro says over a shot of Trump behind the Resolute Desk. “Then he lost the 2020 election and snapped.”

The ad describes Trump as “desperately” trying to cling to power while showing images of the January 6, 2021, insurrection. The phrases “dictator” and “terminate the Constitution” flash on screen, followed by a clip of Trump saying, “If I don’t get elected, it’s going to be a bloodbath.”

It’s a message echoed by campaign chair Jen O’Malley Dillon, who wrote in a memo released Friday that the campaign is ready to go deeper on Trump’s rhetoric ahead of next month’s debate on CNN.

“In the month leading up to that first debate, the Biden-Harris campaign will zero in on Trump’s dangerous campaign promises and unhinged rhetoric. We will make sure that the voters who will decide this election are reminded of the chaos and harm Trump caused as president – and why they booted him out four years ago,” she wrote.

That month will be busy for Biden – the president has two multi-day trips to Europe – one to commemorate D-Day and one for the annual G-7 summit – as well as a fundraising swing to California.

The key moments that the campaign has identified are the anniversary of the Dobbs Supreme Court decision that overturned Roe v. Wade and took away the federal right to an abortion and the anniversary of the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, in which 49 people were killed – “a tragedy to any normal person, but to Trump just something we should all just ‘get over,’” O’Malley Dillon wrote.

Closing arguments in the Trump trial are set for next week and the jury will receive its instructions from the judge overseeing the case before deliberation begins. There is not an exact time frame for when the jury will make its decision.

CNN’s Isaac Dovere, Kristen Holmes and Donald Judd contributed to this report.

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