DNC to unveil new billboard calling Trump a "convicted felon"

The Democratic National Committee is sharpening its attacks against former President Donald Trump, preparing for the first time to unveil a new political advertisement which will refer to Trump as a “convicted felon” after a Manhattan jury last week found Trump guilty of 34 counts of falsifying business records in his “hush money” trial. 

The move from the DNC will be unveiled Thursday in the form of a billboard near Trump’s scheduled campaign event in Phoenix, Arizona, CBS News has learned. Trump will be participating in a town-hall style conversation with Turning Point Action CEO Charlie Kirk, marking Trump’s first official campaign stop since the verdict came down. 

The billboard, which has an English and Spanish version, reads: “Trump already attacked Arizona’s Democracy once. Now he’s back as a convicted felon. He’s out for revenge and retribution. Trump. Unfit to Serve.” 

It is the first time the DNC is using the language “convicted felon” in paid advertising since the Manhattan criminal trial. 

“If Trump, now a convicted felon, wins in November, he pledges to be a dictator ‘on day one’ in order to implement his agenda of revenge and retribution: stoking political violence while attacking Arizonans’ reproductive and democratic rights,” said Abhi Rahman, deputy communications director for the DNC. 

Rahman was referring to a remark which Trump made during a Fox News town hall in December. 

The new advertisement comes as President Biden — who largely stayed away from commenting on the Manhattan criminal trial throughout its duration — is adopting a more aggressive approach to Trump following the verdict. 

Mr. Biden weighed in on the conviction Monday during a fundraiser in Greenwich, Connecticut. 

“For the first time in American history, a former president that is a convicted felon is now seeking the office of the presidency,” Mr. Biden told donors. 

Trump allies, including several prominent Republican lawmakers, have argued the trial was political in nature. 

“This was never about justice. This is about plastering ‘convicted felon’ all over the airwaves,” Sen. JD Vance of Ohio told CNN following the verdict. 

The Biden campaign is hopeful that a conviction may dampen Trump’s lead in the polls, but it remains to be seen what impact the verdict has had. 

A CBS News poll released after the verdict found that most Americans’ opinions about the trial are unchanged after Trump was found guilty. Opinions of the verdict were in line with what views of Trump’s guilt or innocence were before the verdict was reached, the poll found. Among those who thought Trump was guilty before hearing the verdict, nine in 10 respondents said the jury reached the right verdict — and vice versa for those who previously thought he wasn’t guilty. 

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