Democratic Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland on Sunday said that he's "not going to lose my son at the end of 2020 and lose my country and my republic in 2021" as he reflected on the recent death of his 25-year-old son, Tommy, and his own role as the lead House manager in President Donald Trump's second impeachment trial.
During an appearance on CNN's "State of the Union" with host Jake Tapper, Raskin expressed how the memory of Tommy, a graduate of Amherst College and student at Harvard Law School who died on Dec. 31, drove him to accept House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's request to become an impeachment manager during such a personal tragedy.
"I did it really with my son in my heart, and helping lead the way," Raskin said. "I feel him in my chest."
On Jan. 14, Trump was impeached by the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives for "incitement of insurrection" of the Jan. 6 Capitol riots, making him the sole president in US history to be impeached twice.
Raskin, who was present in Capitol during the attacks along with his youngest daughter and son-in-law, had to navigate what was the most significant breach of the building since 1814. Even during that harrowing attack, which resulted in five deaths, the spirit of his son guided him.
"When we went to count the Electoral College votes, and it came under that ludicrous attack, I felt my son with me," he said.
A touching Medium post written by Raskin and his wife, Sarah Bloom Raskin, highlights the trajectory of their son's far-too-short, but highly accomplished life. They spoke lovingly of his innate spirit.
"Tommy Raskin had a perfect heart, a perfect soul, a riotously outrageous and relentless sense of humor, and a dazzling radiant mind," they wrote. "He began to be tortured later in his 20s by a blindingly painful and merciless 'disease called depression,' a kind of relentless torture in the brain for him."
The congressman, who for years taught constitutional law at American University, brought up the dangers of the Jan. 6 riots and their effect on democracy.
"I'm not going to lose my son at the end of 2020 and lose my country and my republic in 2021," he said. "It's not going to happen."
He emphasized: "This was the most serious presidential crime in the history of the United States of America — the most dangerous crime by a president ever committed against the United States. There are Republicans who are recognizing it, as well as Democrats."
The House vote for Trump's second impeachment included support from ten GOP lawmakers, including Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the No. 3 Republican in the conference.
Raskin pledged that House Democrats will send the articles of impeachment to the Senate in a timely fashion, which will result in Trump facing a Senate trial.
"We don't have a minute to spare," he said. "He's a clear and present danger to the people."
He added: "We're putting together a trial plan, which is designed to get the truth of all of these events out. We are going to be able to tell the story of this attack on America and all of the events that led up to it."