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In opening remarks, Raskin chokes up talking about his family’s Jan. 6 experience

'They thought they were going to die'
Trump Impeachment
Posted at 2:22 PM, Feb 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-09 16:43:17-05

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Jamie Raskin, the lead House impeachment manager, grew emotional as he concluded the Democrats’ first round of arguments in former President Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial.

Raskin spoke about his personal experience in the Capitol on Jan. 6. He had been joined by family members that day — the day after he had buried his son, who took his own life in December.

“My youngest daughter, Tabitha, was there with me on Wednesday, Jan. 6,” said Raskin. “It was the day after we buried her brother, our son, Tommy, the saddest day of our lives. Also, there was our son-in-law, Hank, who’s married to our oldest daughter, Hannah, and I consider him a son, too, even though he eloped with my daughter and didn’t tell us what they were going to do.”

When the rioters breached the Capitol, his daughter and son-in-law were in an office in the building and hid under a desk, where they sent what they thought were their final texts. He said, “They thought they were going to die."

Separated from them in the House chamber, Raskin described people around him calling to say goodbye to their families, members removing their congressional pins to try to evade detection. And he said he heard the rioters “pounding on the door like a battering ram” — a sound he said he would “never forget.”

He choked up as he recounted his daughter telling him she never wanted to return to the Capitol again.

Through tears, Raskin said, “This cannot be the future of America, we cannot have president inciting and mobilizing mob violence against our government and our institutions, because they refuse to accept the will of the people under the Constitution of the United States."

Raskin ended his remarks by arguing that Congress cannot create a “January exception,” where “corrupt presidents” have time to get away with “whatever it is they want to do.”