Rep. Jamie Raskin Talks Decision to Lead Second Trump Impeachment After Son's Death
"I'm not going to lose my son at the end of 2020 and lose my country and my Republic in 2021," said Democratic Rep. Jamie Raskin
On Sunday, Raskin, a Democratic representative from Maryland and the House of Representative's lead impeachment manager, spoke to Jake Tapper on CNN's State of the Union and opened up about the death of his 25-year-old son Tommy, who died by suicide on New Year's Eve after struggling with depression.
"Tommy was a remarkable person," Raskin, 58, told Tapper. "He had overwhelming love for humanity and for our country in his heart and for all the people of the world. We lost him on the very last day of that good awful year 2020. He left us a note which said, 'Please forgive me, my illness won today. Look after each other, the animals and the global poor for me. All my love, Tommy.' That was the last act in a life that dazzled anybody who came into contact with Tommy."
Raskin went on to say that his son had a big impact on the politician's decision to take on the role of the House's lead impeachment manager. "I did it really with my son in my heart in helping lead the way," he said. "I feel him in my chest."
He later added: "I'm not going to lose my son at the end of 2020 and lose my country and my Republic in 2021. It's not going to happen."
During the interview, Raskin also recalled being inside the Capitol in Washington D.C. on Jan. 6, when thousands of pro-Trump violently stormed the building. The ensuing chaos left five people dead, including one Capitol police officer.
"When we went to count the electoral 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, whose married to my other daughter, who were with me that day who got caught in a room off the House floor," he said. "And between them and me was a rampaging armed mob that could have killed them easily and was banging on the doors where they were hiding under a desk. "
"These events are personal to me," Raskin added. "There was an attack on our country. "
Raskin said that House Democrats plan to give the article of impeachment to the Senate "soon," despite there being only days left in Trump's presidency. He also declined to share if the Democratic impeachment managers will seek witnesses for the impending trial.
Last Wednesday, a bipartisan majority in the House voted to impeach Trump, 74, on one charge of "incitement of insurrection" for his role in encouraging his supporters to march on the U.S. Capitol last week.
Following the House vote, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Trump's trial could not begin in earnest until he leaves office on Jan. 20, though Democrats had reportedly investigated options to convene sooner.
President-elect Joe Biden, who is set to take the oath of office on Jan. 20, said he has asked Congress if they can split their upcoming sessions in order to focus on both his initial agenda and his predecessor's impeachment.