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This Vermont Conversation with Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Maryland) was originally published in May 2022.
Maryland Rep. Jamie Raskin was expecting trouble after the November 2020 presidential election. Raskin and his Democratic colleagues in Congress anticipated that former President Donald Trump would try to subvert the results and try to derail Congress’s normally pro-forma certification of President Joe Biden’s election.
But Raskin was blindsided. On December 31, 2020, Raskin’s only son, Tommy, a promising young student at Harvard Law School, took his own life after a long struggle with depression.
Seven days later — and just a day after burying his son — Raskin returned to Congress to cast his vote to certify Biden’s election. That’s when Trump supporters mounted a violent insurrection in the U.S. Capitol, egged on by the defeated president. Speaker Nancy Pelosi then tapped the grieving Raskin to be lead manager in Trump’s second impeachment trial. Since the summer, Raskin has been a member of the Select Committee to Investigate the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.
Raskin tells his intensely personal and political story in his new book, “Unthinkable: Trauma, Truth, and the Trials of American Democracy.”
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