For Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), there’s more than meets the eye in taking on the role of the House’s lead impeachment manager after President Trump incited the deadly insurrection at the Capitol earlier this month — a violent scene that occurred the day after Raskin laid his late son to rest.
Last week, the House voted to impeach Trump for the second time for “incitement of insurrection.” Ten Republicans, including its third-ranking member Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), voted in favor of Trump’s impeachment.
A day before the pro-Trump mob breached Capitol amid the joint session of Congress to ratify President-elect Joe Biden’s electoral victory, Raskin laid his 25-year-old son to rest. On New Year’s Eve, Raskin announced the death of his son, Tommy, who took his own life after suffering from depression in his 20s.
Speaking to CNN on Sunday morning about leading the House’s push to impeach Trump, Raskin paid an emotional tribute to his late son when describing how his grief informs his purpose in holding Trump accountable for the Capitol riots that left five dead.
While honoring his son as a “radiant light in this broken world,” Raskin said that he wanted to to take on the role of the House’s lead impeachment manager with his “son in my heart and helping lead the way.”
“I feel him in my chest. When we went to count the electoral college votes and it came under that ludicrous attack, I felt my son with me and I was most concerned with our youngest daughter and my son-in-law is married to our other daughter — who were with me that day, who got caught in a room off of the House floor,” Raskin said. “In between them and me was a rampage in armed mob that could have killed them easily and was banging on the doors where they were hiding under a desk with my chief of staff.”
Raskin stressed that the “events are personal to me” in describing the gravity of the attack on the Capitol, before going on to share a moving message in the midst of his family’s loss and the upcoming second impeachment trial of Trump.
“I’m not going to lose my son at the end of 2020 and lose my country and my republic in 2021,” Raskin said. “It’s not going to happen. The vast majority of American people Democrats, Republicans and independents reject armed insurrection and violence as a new way of doing business in America. We’re not going to do that.”
Raskin emphasized that Trump’s incitement of his supporters who stormed the Capitol was “the most terrible crime ever by a president of the United States against our country.”
“I want everybody to feel the gravity and the seriousness of those events,” Raskin said.
Raskin also told CNN that House Democrats plan to transmit the article of impeachment to the Senate “soon” to begin Trump’s impeachment trial.
“I know that (House Speaker Nancy Pelosi) also considers the President a clear and present danger to the republic,” Raskin said.
Watch Raskin’s remarks below:
"I'm not going to lose my son at the end of 2020 and lose my country and my republic in 2021," Rep. Jamie Raskin says as he presses forward with impeachment articles while mourning his son. #CNNSOTU pic.twitter.com/PFPn9X4oic
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) January 17, 2021