Rep. Jamie Raskin’s 25-year-old son, Tommy, died by suicide on New Year’s Eve and was buried the following Tuesday. A day later, a violent mob launched a deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol that forced Raskin and his colleagues to evacuate.

Now, the Maryland Democrat and former constitutional law professor is leading the effort to remove President Donald Trump from office for inciting the riot.

He authored a resolution being approved Tuesday by the House that calls on Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment and declare Trump unable to complete his term, which expires next week. Pence likely won’t do that, which will likely lead the chamber to quickly move to articles of impeachment, which Raskin also helped draft.

“That is the groundwork for fascism, when you add racism, anti-Semitism, conspiracy theory and magical thinking. That is an absolute powder keg in terms of an assault on democracy,” Raskin, who represents a portion of Frederick County, said of the riot in an interview. “So we have to be very tough and very strong right now in defending the Constitution and democracy.”

With the collision of his personal tragedy and a national trauma, Raskin is emerging as a unique figure in a polarized Congress. He drew extended applause from his colleagues on the House floor last week just before the insurrection began. And even as many Republicans fought the Democratic effort to remove Trump on Tuesday, Raskin was praised by the GOP for continuing his work during such a challenging moment.

“I wanted to tell Mr. Raskin how much we grieve with him for his loss and how much we admire him for continuing to perform his duties under unimaginably difficult circumstances,” Oklahoma GOP Rep. Tom Cole said during a House Rules Committee hearing.

In the midst of grief, Raskin is bringing a certain clarity in outlining societal ills that led to the riot.

Many of the rioters storming the Capitol, Raskin said, were used to a world in which white people were “a comfortable, commanding majority in this country.” They were unsettled by Barack Obama becoming the nation’s first African-American president, he added, and now “have a full blown, independent reality, totally cut apart from the world of facts.”

Raskin noted a wooden gallows that was erected on the nearby grounds and suggested that the rioters, some of whom had chanted “Hang Mike Pence,” intended to kidnap the vice president and other leaders and execute them.

“The president didn’t want to let go, and the fruit of his obsession with his big lie that he had actually won the election was this nightmarish assault on Congress,” Raskin said. “The president has become a clear and present danger to the Republic.”

For his part, Trump insisted Tuesday that what he said shortly before the mob forced its way into the Capitol “was totally appropriate” and called his looming impeachment “a continuation of the greatest witch hunt in the history of politics.”

“I think it’s causing tremendous danger to our country,” the president said. “And it’s causing tremendous anger.”

The FBI has now warned of more, potentially armed, protests in Washington and many states by Trump loyalists ahead of Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 20. The area around the Capitol has been ringed by climb-proof fencing, National Guard troops have been deployed and the nearby Washington Monument closed.

As concerns about security in Washington grow, the memory of Tommy Raskin is still fresh. He was studying at Harvard Law School, his father’s alma mater. He left behind a suicide note that read “My illness won today. Please look after each other, the animals, and the global poor for me.”

In a moving online tribute last week, Raskin and his wife, former Obama administration treasury official Sarah Bloom Raskin, wrote of their son’s affinity for playing jazz piano, writing and performing one-act plays and “teaching our dogs foreign languages.” But they also noted that he “began to be tortured later in his 20s by a blindingly painful and merciless” depression.

“Despite very fine doctors and a loving family and friendship network of hundreds who adored him beyond words and whom he adored too, the pain became overwhelming and unyielding and unbearable,” they wrote.

Last week’s riot at the Capitol began as lawmakers were certifying Biden’s Electoral College victory over Trump. During those proceedings, Raskin stood to argue against Trump’s baseless claims of fraud but also to thank “all my dear, beloved colleagues for all your love and tenderness, which my family will never forget.”

That drew a lengthy standing ovation as Raskin stepped back and placed his hand over his heart. When the congressman finally spoke again, his voice cracked and he managed a soft, “Thank you again.”

The Capitol was breached a short time later. Waiting out the siege from a secure location, Raskin declared during a real-time TV interview that, “This is an attack on the government. It didn’t even happen during the Civil War.” But mostly his thoughts were on his 23-year-old daughter Tabitha, and son-in-law, who had accompanied him to the Capitol and gotten separated in the mayhem.

When they were eventually reunited, Raskin assured his daughter that the next time she went to the Capitol it would be calmer. “Dad, I don’t think there’s gonna be a next time,” she responded, giving her father an opportunity for levity, despite everything.

“So, I’ve got to rebuild her confidence in ‘take your daughter to work day,’” Raskin said with a small chuckle “after that nightmare.”

(34) comments

sevenstones1000

For people here who seem to be confused, and say there is no way to trace these rioters to Trump - they were carrying his flag, they were wearing his hats and t shirts. They literally had the name of the man who sent them all over their bodies.

Fiver

Not to mention they were not shy online or in person to identify themselves over a long period of time as Trump supporters. Some gave quotes to the press. Some are well known online.

Joeseamhead

I just want to say that I think that America, and Maryland in particular, is fortunate to have someone with Jamie Raskin’s knowledge and integrity serving in the Congress. He is a truly good person, so rare to find these days on Capitol Hill. I wish for spiritual peace for him and his family.

his family

vodalone

As much as I despise Trump I don't think this post term impeachment is a good idea for the country mainly because it threatens Biden's mandate to heal the nation. Unless it can be guaranteed this whole process can be wrapped up in a week of Biden taking office, it will just divide the nation more and distract congress from much needed relief related to Covid.

NewMarketParent

@vodalone

Imagine you had a boss who sent a hitman to your home? Would you want to continue working with them? How would you feel if they came to you after they were found out and acted as if it never happened, but also wanted to remain close.

I don't think you realize that every person that stormed that building was not simply going there to scare Congress. They were going to execute every congressperson who did not declare that vote was rigged. That was/is the loyalty test. If you support the lie, you will be spared, if you didn't, they would have been executed.

vodalone

That's why those people who stormed the Capitol should be found, arrested, and charged, all of them. I don't understand your analogy of still working with a boss who tried to kill me, Trump will be out on Jan. 20 either way, nobody in government will have to work with him again.

As for the intention of those people who stormed the Capitol, you may be right about some of them wanting to hurt or kill congress people, but given the loose and unorganized nature of this mob I don't think that intention was universal. Court proceedings for those arrested will determine this however. We have to remember context and priorities here, this time last year was the last impeachment process and it distracted everyone from the initial response to Covid and look what it has caused us as a nation. Here we are again with a new admin., same time of year, but now in the midst of the pandemic with a failing vaccination program. It's time to move on, let's not let this orange stain on our nation live rent free in our lives and psyche.

NewMarketParent

@vodalone

You seem to think this is over. I don't think it is.

The analogy may not have been the best, I can admit to that.

You must not have seen the videos I have seen from inside. They were coordinated. There was someone on the outside with a bullhorn telling them exactly where to go.

I believe this was a trial run and it was almost predictable. To not use the strongest rebuke possible is to invite it to happen again.

MD1756

If it were a lesser act I might agree, but what Trump did with his words, then lack of action followed by lack of accepting responsibility needs to be punished. No one should be able to incite insurrection (which is hat happened not terrorism) without punishment and when it is the president, it is even worse. A reasonable person could have predicted what influence Trump's words would have especially when you look at past actions by some portion of Trump's supporters in response to his words. Trump, by his words, incited insurrection and that should always be punished.

vodalone

Trump should be held accountable for what he did, but another impeachment that is for show when Trump is out of office in a few days will do more harm than good in terms of healing the nation in the long run. Like I said at some point we have to move on from the Trump presidency nightmare, and it's critical we do so ASAP in light of the pandemic.

LJF0929

My only concern is that without impeachment, he can come back in 4 years and we have seen the crazies that will literally die for this man. With an impeachment he can no longer run for office!

vodalone

Then it may be wise to let things cool down for a while, let Biden take over and prioritize the healing process and Covid response. Then some time later in 2021 or 2022 proceed with impeachment proceedings to ensure Trump cannot run for public office. Benefit of that would also be much more evidence and testimony from those arrested in the riot to come out, also would enable purging out any members of congress that facilitated any of the insurrectionists. This may be the reason why Biden hasn't called for impeachment and removals himself, IMO a smart move.

wran

So, why not just let the voters decide?

sevenstones1000

There can be no reconciliation, no healing without accountability.

Trump has avoided accountability for four years. No more.

There are no shortcuts to healing. You don’t just sweep this under the rug.

NewMarketParent

Representative Raskin,

Our deepest condolences go out to your family.

Hayduke2

Can't imagine the pain of losing a child. May you find some peace.

matts853

Mr. Raskin, my sincerest condolences to you and your family for the loss of your son. May he Rest In Peace.

LJF0929

I cannot begin to imagine what Mr. Raskin has been dealing with. Such a horrible loss and then to return to work for this disgrace of democracy.

MRS M

I feel exactly as you do, LJF THIS is what courage truly looks like.

Comment deleted.
MRS M

blue line, Your comment, is low, uninformed, ugly, cruel and.........wrong. Not surprised, though. We can smell the stench from here.

Comment deleted.
LJF0929

Or the constituents of MD elected a Harvard professor that has a very deep understanding of the constitution to manage the work of making and changing laws on our behalf. So much better than many of these elected fools running around with zero knowledge and understanding of our constitution and the roles they get elected to fulfill. I would put Raskin up against any other politician in a test on the constitution and their jobs in Congress. Look at that fool from CO that runs around with her gun packed, talking about rights - she's a high school drop out (had a baby at 16) that worked her way into middle management at McDonalds and now owns two sports bars. She likely missed high school government classes and I doubt she took any courses on the constitution or how our government works - and she's sitting in a chamber with Raskin......so when you speak of running around like fools, there are so many more that fit the bill!

Thewheelone

Blueline, you should be ashamed of yourself.

MRS M

LJF

Yes, this was clearly evident yesterday as Raskin addressed new Trump anointed "Medal of Freedom" winner and Republican member of the House Jim Jordan, who was unable to utter the words to himself and the nation, that Biden won the election fairly. A shocking difference between representation by a constitutional scholar and attorney such as Raskin, who has demonstrated courage beyond the call of duty this week, vs a retired wrestling coach still dedicated to keeping "the lie" alive, so dug-in and so cowardly that he cannot admit to himself and to the nation that he supports a loser.....and is in fact a foaming-at-the-mouth loser himself. Poor Trump syncophant Jordan can always be counted upon to embarass himself.

The days since the insurrection have been even more relevatory of how low, moronic and misguided and criminal some of these Republican House members really are, when we now see 3 having worked for months with the insurgents in supporting and planning the attack on the Capitol, the 5 or 6 stupidly and arrogantly refusing to wear masks during the Capitol lockdown (all captured on film for the world to see), the 2 or 3 new honorable Q-Anon conspiracy nuts...and of course Louie Gohmert. And lets not forget "great American patriot" Kevin McCarthy, trying to convince Trump that it was Trump's crazed MAGA constituents, and not Antifa, that attacked the Capitol and killed 6 people.

I guess this is the type "representation" that Blueline respects, in the midst of last weeks death and destruction.. So much for a love of "law and order", the protection and honor of the true, courageous members of the working blue line (2 are now dead), and for those claiming they wanted to make America great again.

LJF0929

Very well said. And I have more research to do on some of these other clowns serving terms in Congress. I was wondering if Blueline is a big supporter of police, because there was no care for police on Jan 6th from people normally shouting Blue Lives Matter. One clip I witnessed had a bunch of rioters screaming in the face of police, "Oath Breakers," for being there and doing their jobs. I also wonder if Blueline is affiliated with the small business in Emmitsburg - because public comment can have a negative effect when people get to see the true colors of a small business owner - money can easily go elsewhere.

threecents

Incredible that Trump is giving out Medals of Freedom to some sports figures in the middle of the chaos he created. Equally incredible that relatively smart people like CD, Bosco, and PDL are excusing Trump and his white nationalist followers who disregarded police and stormed the Capitol. They say crimes committed by bad actors at civil rights demonstrators somehow precipitated this, rather than Trump and his calls to fight nonexistent election fraud. Many of the insurrectionists are QAnon believers who think they are literally in holy war for Trump. This reminds me of the last debate when the moderator kept giving Trump opportunities to bury QAnon, but he refused. Trump supporters now have the chance to bury the lies and hate Trump supported, but only a few are rising up. Surprising that one of them is Mitch McConnell. Even Mitch has had enough. Let's see if he can continue to redeem himself. That would be an amazing story.

Dwasserba

Mitch is above all, a politician.That was his move. Better late than never.

NewMarketParent

@threecents

Never underestimate Mitch's instincts for self-preservation above all else. He is looking at the deep fissure inside his party and he can decide whether they want to be a mob or a political party. His move was decide they are a political party only after the mob wasn't successful. If they were, he would have tried to calmly reassure the American people that our new dictator would be benevolent.

threecents

Nope Pdl, you are wrong on all counts. I get my news mostly from objective sources like public radio and the FNP and I from my open eyes and ears. Follow my example and stop listening to cable news and talk shows. Eventually you will see that I am correct. I have faith in you.

threecents

Also WTOP radio is a big source of the news I get. Definitely stay away from WFMD, as it is completely unreliable. I would not even trust their weather forecasts.

phydeaux994

As a member of the renowned RRR(RadicalRightRepublicans)/BTT(BullyTagTeam) piddle, you certainly understand group think. As a more Radical FC Republican, I wonder if you were in D.C. on 1/6/2021? I can’t believe that no BTT(BullyTagTeam) members were there.

phydeaux994

The Free Media is a Hallmark of a Free Country and the bane of a Dictator. Trump set out to demonize the Free Media even before he was elected POTUS. As he demonized anyone or anything that represented TRUTH.

pdl603

Think about this, the grasp you think you have on reality is through the lens of a media whose only mission was to destroy President Trump and control your mind. They have achieved their goals based on comments such as yours. I am shocked to think that someone of your intellectual prowess would fall victim to their plan, but they always say group think dumbs down the herd. The 10 to 12 of you haters in here are the best example of group think.

Fiver

To pdl, Trump’s fans often say this, but many times I do not need news commentary to understand what is happening. Whether I am watching a video of him in which he makes no sense, or I see comments of his fans online, or I hear his unedited speech and the reactions of the crowd last Wednesday, it is not rocket science.

bosco

threecents....please provide the specific reference wherein I excused "Trump and his white nationalist followers who disregarded police and stormed the Capitol."

Maybe Fido can assist, I'll check back later.

Dwasserba

His family was there. Two daughters. Terrible.

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