Jamie Raskin

Rep. Jamie Raskin Talks Penning Article of Impeachment While Mourning Late Son

"I did it really with my son in my heart and helping lead the way," the congressman said

Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.)
Graeme Jennings-Pool/Getty Images

Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md. opened up during CNN's “State of the Union” about taking on the role as the House’s lead impeachment manager during President Donald Trump’s second impeachment while also grieving the loss of his son, Tommy Raskin.

When asked how he could deal with processing "trauma on top of trauma," Raskin said, "I’m not going to lose my son at the end of 2020 and lose my republic in 2021. It’s not going to happen."

"People were asking me why I decided to do this," he said, referring to his role as one of the nine House impeachment managers. "First of all, I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to say 'no' to Speaker Pelosi about anything, but she’s actually been very sensitive and thoughtful, but she wanted me to do it because she knows that I’ve devoted my life to the Constitution and to the republic. I’m a professor of constitutional law."

He continued, adding, "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 and I was most concerned with our youngest daughter and my son in law, who is married to our other daughter, who were with me that day and who got caught in a room off of the house floor," he recalled. "In 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 with my chief of staff, Julie Tagen."

"These events are personal to me, Jake. There was an attack on our country, there was an attack on our people."

Tommy Raskin died on New Year’s Eve at the age of 25. The congressman and his wife, Sarah Raskin, confirmed on Jan. 4, 2021, that their son died by suicide in an obituary posted to Medium.

The obituary discussed Tommy’s battle with the "blindingly painful and merciless 'disease called depression'" calling it a "kind of relentless torture in the brain for him."

On Sunday, Raskin reflected on who his son was, extolling that his son was a "remarkable person."

"He had an overwhelming love for humanity and for our country in his heart, and really, for all the people of the world," the congressman said. "We lost him on the very last day of that god awful year, 2020."

Raskin said his son was a slam poet who was "absolutely devoted to human rights for every person, he was devoted to animal rights and welfare."

"He was a passionate vegan and convinced a lot of people to stop eating animals just through the force of his poetry," he explained. "He was a second-year student at Harvard Law School. When we lost him, he had not only beloved friends at Harvard Law School, but he was teaching a course with Michael Sandel, Justice, as a teaching fellow at the college, so he had students of his own."

The congressman said that his son graded all of his papers and exams by writing pages analyzing his students’ work and writing back to them.

"He made donations in each of their names to different charitable groups that he thought would be consistent with the values of the student,” Raskin revealed. "I asked him why he did that and he quoted something that Father Berrigan had said about the great Dorothy Day. He said, 'Well like Father Berrigan said about Dorothy Day, she lived as though the truth were true. I want to show them that the truth is true and we can live that way.'"

If you or someone you know is at risk of suicide please call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255, text HOME to 741741 or go to SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources for additional resources. 

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