House Democrat Jamie Raskin has a big task on his shoulders. After the articles of impeachment were delivered to the Senate on Monday night, it will be up to him and eight other members of the House of Representatives to make the case that former President Donald Trump is guilty of insurrection. The events that led to the second impeachment charge against Trump is fresh in Raskin’s mind, particularly because his family was with him on January 6, the day violence and rioting broke out in the U.S. Capitol.
“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. 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,” Raskin, who heads the house impeachment team, told CNN’s Jake Tapper (via People).
Raskin added, “These events are personal to me. There was an attack on our country “
Jamie Raskin was born into the Washington, D.C., political scene
Jamie Raskin is no stranger to Washington politics. His father, Marcus Raskin, worked for President John F. Kennedy as a staff aide on the National Security Council and went on to establish the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, D.C., which examined issues including economic inequality, civil rights, and national security. The elder Raskin’s opposition to the Vietnam War even led a Boston court to indict him and four others on federal charges of conspiracy, because they had been trying to get people to dodge the Vietnam War draft (via The New York Times).
His mother, Barbara Raskin, was a journalist and novelist whose work centered on feminist issues. She is best known for her 1987 book Hot Flashes — about three women who get together to mourn the death of a friend. The Washington Post’s Claudia Levy, who wrote Barbara Raskin’s obituary, said that the couple was well known “for their political activism, and their home was a meeting place for the civil rights and antiwar movements.”
Jamie Raskin met his wife, Sarah Bloom Raskin, at Harvard
Jamie Raskin went to Georgetown Day School before graduating from Harvard (magna cum laude) in 1983, and Harvard Law School (magna cum laude) in 1987 (via Jewish Virtual Library). It was at Harvard Law where he met his wife, Sarah Bloom Raskin. They were married in 1990 (via The Baltimore Sun).
Jamie Raskin has had an illustrious academic career teaching Constitutional Law, the First Amendment, and Legislative Process at American University Washington College of Law, where he is still a Professor of Law Emeritus. In 2006, Raskin became a Maryland State Senator, where, according to the Washington Post, he became known for his liberal views in support of same-sex marriage, against the death penalty, and for the legalization of medical marijuana (his bill was signed into law on January 2015). When he entered the U.S. House of Representatives as a freshman, one of his first acts was to object to certifying Donald Trump’s election over Russian interference. It was then Vice President Joe Biden who ruled the objection out of order (via Washington Post).
Jamie Raskin vowed he wouldn't lose his son … and his country
For years, the Raskins were considered a Washington power couple, particularly after Sarah Bloom Raskin was appointed to the Federal Reserve Board in 2010, and when she served as Deputy Secretary of the Treasury between 2014 to 2017 (via Jewish Virtual Library). But tragedy struck on December 31, 2020 when their only son, Tommy, a Harvard Law sophomore, committed suicide. In a heartbreaking statement announcing the death of their son, who had suffered from depression, Sarah and Jamie Raskin wrote, “He left us this farewell note on New Year’s Eve day: “‘Please forgive me. My illness won today. Please look after each other, the animals, and the global poor for me. All my love, Tommy.'”
During his CNN interview with Jake Tapper, Jamie Raskin revealed, “I’ve devoted my life to the Constitution, and to the republic. I’m a professor of constitutional law. But I did it, really, with my 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” (via The Baltimore Sun).
He then made this pledge: “I’m not going to lose my son at the end of 2020 and lose my country, my republic, in 2021. It’s not going to happen.”
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