Speed Reads

impeachment round 2

Raskin chokes up while recalling the day of the Capitol riot

Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), the lead House manager in former President Donald Trump's impeachment trial, closed his opening arguments Tuesday by emotionally describing his and his family's personal experience during the Capitol riot.

After Democrats laid out their argument for why the impeachment trial against Trump is constitutional, Raskin spoke about the fact that his youngest daughter and his son-in-law were with him at the Capitol building when the Jan. 6 riot occurred, just one day after his son was buried.

"They wanted to be together with me in the middle of a devastating week for our family," Raskin explained.

Raskin remembered assuring his daughter and son-in-law that "of course" it would be safe to come with him to the Capitol on the day Congress was meeting to certify President Biden's election win. When the riot began, Raskin said his family members had to hide in House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer's (D-Md.) office and "thought they were going to die," "placing what they thought were their final texts." The Democratic lawmaker became emotional describing his conversation with his daughter after the attack.

"I told my daughter, Tabitha ... I told her how sorry I was, and I promised her that it would not be like this again the next time she came back to the Capitol with me," Raskin said. "And you know what she said? She said, 'Dad, I don't want to come back to the Capitol.' Of all the terrible, brutal things I saw and I heard on that day and since then, that one hit me the hardest."

Raskin also described witnessing people "calling their wives and their husbands, their loved ones, to say goodbye" during the riot, and he recalled the sound of "pounding on the door like a battering ram" as the "most haunting sound I ever heard." He concluded by telling lawmakers, "This cannot be the future of America." Brendan Morrow