Jamie Raskin, the Jan. 6 Investigator, Said, “I’m Not Going to See American Democracy Go Down the Tubes.”
Watched Congressman Jamie Raskin handle former President Trump’s impeachment trial in February. We are on trial, he said.
We have an obligation to collect all necessary information to present to Congress and the American people,” he told the Senate Committee probing the Jan. 6 Capitol assault.
Raskin has performed his obligations in situations most of us could not possibly comprehend.
After all, Raskin has been elected to a Maryland Congressional District that shares his pragmatic-progressive values since 2017. “This is a community of activists, dreamers, and visionaries,” he told Rita Braver.
He met his wife, former Deputy Treasury Secretary, and Federal Reserve Board member Sarah Bloom Raskin, at Harvard Law School.
So, Sarah, why did you marry him?
“I knew life would be rich and wonderful with Jamie,” she said.
Mom Barbara was a successful author; dad Marcus was an anti-Vietnam War activist on President Nixon’s “enemies list.” “It made me sensitive to those who abuse high power, or the highest office, like the presidency,” Jamie added.
When Raskin, a veteran constitutional law professor at American University, decided to run for office, his family was behind him: Sarah, Hannah, Tabitha, and Tommy.
“Tommy was pure magic,” Raskin added. “He constantly wrote plays.” He constantly wrote poetry. He was giddy. “Everyone flocked to him.”
“As bright as he was, did he start having difficulties with anxiety and other mental challenges as he got older?” Braver wondered.
“He did. He, like many today’s youth, struggled with mental health.”
During the epidemic, Tommy took lessons from the Raskins’ Maryland home. Both George Floyd’s death and Trump’s election boasts shook him.
His time’s gloom overtook him, Raskin remarked.
And on December 30, 2020, Tommy Raskin would kill himself. His father discovered him the next morning.
“I can’t even imagine,” Braver remarked.
“World-ending,” Raskin stated.
“Please forgive me,” Tommy wrote. Today I lost. For me, look after each other, animals, and the impoverished. Love, Tommy.”
“If he asks forgiveness of us, we may beg forgiveness of him,” Raskin remarked.
But Raskin’s latest novel, “Unthinkable,” is about both his son’s death and the national catastrophe that followed.
He was in the House chamber on January 6th when Congress certified Joe Biden as the future president. Raskin sighed as Vice President Mike Pence declined to reject certain electoral votes.
Was Mike Pence a Hero?
“He saved the day,” Raskin said. and a person who I believed went along with much too much throughout Trump’s presidency.” His constitutional patriotism on that day.”
Raskin stood up to thank his colleagues for “all your compassion and care, which my family will never forget.”
“Everyone stood up,” he recalled. “I was overtaken with emotion.” And for a single second, I thought maybe the two sides won’t fight tonight because of Tommy.
“But that was a fantasy.”
Trump supporters stormed the Capitol, seeking to get into the House chamber, just minutes after President Trump reiterated the “Big Lie” that the election was stolen from him.
“Boom!” said Raskin. “It was mayhem and anarchy at that moment.”
Raskin and other members were forced to flee the building through the passageways.
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Is It True You Were Scared?
“I was never afraid,” Raskin claimed. “I suppose it was Tommy. The worst that could happen to me has already happened. Then I felt Tommy in my chest, Rita. My heart sensed him. He gave me courage.”
After the House decided to impeach Trump for “incitement of rebellion,” Raskin became the Senate Trial’s lead House manager. But the Democrats required a two-thirds majority to convict.
“Did you ever honestly believe impeachment would win?” Braver questioned.
“I felt we could get 100 votes from the beginning,” Raskin said. “I expected 100-0.”
Undeterred, Congressman Raskin decided to participate on the January 6th committee, systematically seeking to find a coup conspiracy. “There was a plot, effectively, to put aside the presidential election of 2020, despite Joe Biden winning by over seven million votes,” he claimed.
“Given your personal sorrow, why do you fight?” Braver questioned.
“I’ve already lost my son, my most valuable thing,” Raskin added. “But I won’t let American democracy crumble.” American democracy is in jeopardy.”