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President Biden kicked off his campaign trail with a visit to his childhood hometown of Scranton in Pennsylvania. He plans to use this working-class city as a backdrop to pitch his new tax plan. As Biden travels through Pennsylvania, his 2024 opponent, Donald Trump, is facing a criminal trial in New York City. Trump has been charged with 34 counts of falsifying business records relating to hush money payments during his 2016 presidential campaign. The trial began on Monday with jury selection, and Trump has been ordered to attend every day of the trial.

Biden is scheduled to spend Tuesday night in Scranton before heading to Pittsburgh on Wednesday and then briefly visiting the White House. He plans to return to Pennsylvania on Thursday for an event in Philadelphia. Scranton holds personal significance for Biden as it is where he grew up in a three-story colonial home before his family moved to Delaware. Political analysts believe that winning Pennsylvania is crucial for Biden to secure the presidency, as the state has been historically significant in presidential elections.

In contrast, Trump is currently sequestered in a courtroom in New York City defending himself against criminal charges. The trial has faced challenges, with concerns about Trump receiving a fair trial. Despite Trump’s claims of a political witch hunt, the trial is proceeding with Judge Juan Merchan overseeing the proceedings. Merchan has warned Trump that if he fails to be present, a warrant for his arrest will be issued. Trump pleaded not guilty to all counts last year but faces the possibility of being sentenced to prison if convicted.

During jury selection, more than 50 prospective jurors were excused for admitting they could not serve as impartial jurors. Trump has criticized Judge Merchan, accusing him of being partisan and serving the interests of Democrats. The judge has maintained order in the courtroom, making it clear that Trump must be present and follow courtroom protocol. Trump’s request to be excused from attending the trial during his son’s graduation or for a Supreme Court argument was denied. The defense’s request to recuse Judge Merchan was also denied.

Judge Merchan has set a hearing for the following week to discuss possible sanctions for Trump violating a gag order imposed on him. Despite Trump’s attempts to portray the trial as a political targeting, the proceedings continue with a focus on the criminal charges brought against the former president. Biden, meanwhile, continues his campaign efforts in Pennsylvania, emphasizing his tax plan and connecting with voters in crucial battleground states. The contrast between the two candidates’ activities highlights the political landscape as the 2024 election approaches.

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