Maryland Rep. Jamie Raskin Chokes Up, Recalls Daughter Being At The US Capitol During Riots: 'They Thought They Were Gonna Die'
WASHINGTON (WJZ) — As lead impeachment manager in former President Trump's impeachment trial, Maryland Rep. Jamie Raskin, who represents the 8th District, got personal in his closing arguments about the stakes on whether Trump should be held to account for "inciting insurrection against us."
He cited all the people the trial is personal to, including his own family- who were at the Capitol on January 6. His youngest daughter, Tabitha, along with his son-in-law, Hank, were both there- a day after they buried the congressman's late son Tommy Raskin.
He said they came because they wanted to be with him in the middle of a "devastating week" for their family. He said they had told him that they had heard President Trump was calling on his followers to come to Washington to protest, and that they asked him whether it would be safe.
"I told them, 'Of course it should be safe, this is the Capitol,'" he said, taking a long pause after this statement.
He said he would never forget the sounds of the "pounding on the door," and that his chief of staff and Tabitha and Hank locked and barricaded themselves in an office, hiding under a desk, sending what they thought could be their final texts and whispered phone calls.
"They thought they were going to die," he said.
They were rescued over an hour later by Capitol officers. After they were safe, he hugged and apologized to his daughter.
"I told her how sorry I was. And I promised her that it would not be like this again the next time that she came back to the Capitol with me. And you know what she said? She said, 'Dad, I don't want to come back to the Capitol." he said.
At this point, he had started to cry.
He reminded everyone in the chambers that people died that day, recalling someone using an American flagpole to "spear and pummel one of our police officers, ruthlessly, mercilessly tortured by a pole," with "a flag on it that he was defending with his very life."
Five people died during the riot, including Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick. Many have been arrested since that day, including several Marylanders who were at the Capitol. More than 50 Capitol and DC police officers were injured.
"Senators, this cannot be our future. This cannot be the future of America," he concluded. "We cannot have presidents inciting and mobilizing mob violence against our government and our institutions because they refuse to accept the will of the people."
He said a "January exception" would be created if a president can't be held accountable for impeachable offenses in their last weeks in office. He added it would be "an invitation to the president to take his best shot at anything he may wanna do on his way out the door."
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