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Biden campaign seizes upon Trump’s Capitol Hill visit with a televised reminder of his role on January 6

President Joe Biden’s campaign is intensifying its focus on Donald Trump and his role in the January 6, 2021, riot, seizing on the presumptive Republican nominee’s Capitol Hill appearance Thursday to launch a new attack ad spotlighting the insurrection.

The campaign recently announced Biden’s endorsements from several January 6 police officers — who are stumping later this week in battleground Wisconsin — and now is unveiling a 30-second ad accusing Trump of inciting the Capitol attack.

“There’s nothing more sacred than our Democracy, but Donald Trump’s ready to burn it all down,” a narrator says in the 30-second spot, which the president’s reelection campaign said would air in battleground states during local news broadcasts on Thursday.

The ad is part of an ongoing 7-figure ad buy in battleground states, a campaign official said.

The spot coincides with Trump’s planned visit to Capitol Hill for strategy sessions with House and Senate Republicans. Although he won’t be inside the Capitol building, it is Trump’s first time meeting with some key Republicans since the attack, including Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell.

Though Trump said during a rally that preceded the attack on January 6, 2021, that he was planning to march to the Capitol to join the rioters, he did not ultimately make the trip. Instead, he watched the events unfold on television from the White House.

The ad is the latest attempt by the Biden team to harness the events of January 6 into an argument against Trump’s leadership and what they view as his anti-democratic tendencies.

The campaign this month enlisted three police officers who were in the US Capitol on January 6 to stump for Biden in battleground states. Two of them, Harry Dunn and Daniel Hodges, will be in Wisconsin on Thursday meeting local officials and holding a press conference to bolster their warnings about Trump’s potential return to the White House.

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Recently, Biden has been telling audiences he believes Trump “snapped” after losing the 2020 election.

“That’s why January 6 happened. Trump tried to challenge the election results on every legal avenue. Over 60 court cases unanimously rejected his outrageous claims. Trump failed in the courts, and he unleashed an insurrection,” Biden told donors earlier this month.

He’s also tailored the message to Black voters, asking during an event in Philadelphia this month: “What do you think would have happened if Black Americans had stormed the Capitol? I don’t think he’d be talking about pardons.”

Biden advisers believe January 6 remains a resonant memory for voters and a reminder of the chaos Trump oversaw while in office. While issues like inflation and abortion remain atop voters’ lists of priority issues, the president’s team also sees preserving Democracy as a key motivator.

January 6 has become one of the clearest points of contrast with Trump, who has promised to pardon those convicted of attacking the Capitol, called those imprisoned for their participation “patriots” and sometimes plays a recording of riot defendants singing the National Anthem before his rallies.

Trump faces legal charges for his role in the insurrection attempt, including a four-part indictment brought by special counsel Jack Smith involving a conspiracy to overturn the election results in 2020. He has pleaded not guilty and attacked the prosecution as a “witch hunt.”

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