Lead House impeachment manager Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), who will conduct the first-ever trial of a president who is no longer in office, initially called for national “healing” in January, after the Capitol riot that is the subject of the accusations.
“Let us stop pouring salt in the wounds of America for no reason at all. Let us start healing our beloved land and our wonderful people,” Raskin said in the early hours of January 7, as the House affirmed the Electoral College vote.
Days before, on New Year’s Eve, Raskin had lost his 25-year-old son, Tommy, to suicide, the result of a lengthy battle with depression. He received a standing ovation in the House after he spoke, and condolences from members of both parties.
Despite his call to avoid pointless political fights, however, Raskin now leads a trial that Republicans have dismissed as a political stunt, and that conservative pundits have called an effort to punish not only Trump, but millions of Trump voters.
In an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper, Raskin appeared to link his trauma with his political fight: “I’m not going to lose my son at the end of 2020 and lose my country and my republic in 2021.”
Tapper then went on to connect Americans’ struggles with depression during the pandemic to President Donald Trump’s claims of election fraud: “I have to also note that so many Americans right now have been struggling with mental health during this pandemic, and then, frankly, during this time of insurrection [sic] … because they have been lied to over and over by the president and his allies on Congress.”
Raskin was taken to task earlier this week for threatening President Trump with adverse legal consequences if he refused to testify in the Senate trial.
Impeachment has been something of an obsession for Raskin: he vowed to impeach Trump as soon as he took office in 2017 for allegedly violating the Emoluments Clause by making money from foreigners.