An interview with House Democrat Rep. Jamie Raskin on CNN turned emotional, as the Maryland politician exposed his raw personal feeling about leading the second impeachment trial just weeks after losing his son to suicide.
“I’m not going to lose my son at the end of 2020 and lose my country and my republic in 2021,” he told Jake Tapper on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
Raskin announced the death of his 25-year-old son, Tommy, on New Year’s Eve, saying that he had been experiencing chronic depression in recent years and that it became “a kind of relentless torture in the brain for him.”
“Tommy was a remarkable person,” Raskin said. “He had overwhelming love for humanity and for our country, in his heart, and really for all the people of the world. We lost him on the very last day of that God-awful year, 2020, and 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.'”
Hear Raskin’s touching story in the clip below.
"I'm not going to lose my son at the end of 2020 and lose my country and my republic in 2021," Rep. Jamie Raskin says as he presses forward with impeachment articles while mourning his son. #CNNSOTU pic.twitter.com/PFPn9X4oic
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) January 17, 2021
As difficult as losing his son has been, Raskin said that Tommy’s death has only increased his resolve to lead the impeachment trial, and his son was on his mind as he and members of his family hid from Trump supporters that attacked the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
“When we went to count the electoral college votes and [the Capitol] 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 said. “These events are personal to me. There was an attack on our country, there was an attack on our people.”
Raskin joked that when Speaker Nancy Pelosi asked him to be impeachment manager, he couldn’t refuse.
“I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to say no to Speaker Pelosi about anything,” he said with a grin. “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. But I did it, really, with my son in my heart and helping lead the way. I feel him in my chest.”