Representative Jamie Raskin, D-Md., A constitutional law professor serving on the House Judiciary Committee, knew immediately that Donald Trump’s instigation of the uprising required a second impeachment on January 6th. This clarity led House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to appoint him as senior manager for Trump’s impeachment for “inciting violence against the United States government.” On Monday evening, Raskin submitted the impeachment proceedings to the Senate, where the trial against Trump is due to begin on February 9.
Raskin mourning the December 31st suicide of his 25 year old son TommyWe had spoken 232-197 on the day the House of Representatives voted 232-197 for the indictment against Trump, a family profile with courage and grace, when attacked.
– John Nichols
JN: Why do you think the January 6 attack on the Capitol required a second impeachment?
JR: We were coming dangerously close to overthrowing the US government by an armed insurgent mob who were keen to prevent us from counting the votes of the electoral college, as was our constitutional duty. The vote counting process was delayed by more than six hours as members, staff and family members were evacuated and people hid under desks. We heard people trying to beat on doors 20 feet away from us. We were forced to put on gas masks and it was a scene of absolute terror and chaos.
I have to say, of all attempts to synthesize responsibility for it, it is still Liz Cheney, the leader of the Republican Conference, who has best put it. she saidThe President of the United States called this mob, gathered the mob, and lit the flame of this attack. All that followed was what he did. None of this would have happened without the President. The president could have intervened immediately and forcefully to stop the violence. He did not. There has never been a greater betrayal of office and constitutional oath by a President of the United States. “
JN: Congress had to act.
JR: Sure. The drafters put impeachment into the constitution because they wanted it to be the people’s ultimate and ultimate tool in constitutional self-defense against a president who disregards the constitution and behaves like a mad king. We have one of these now, and, oddly enough, Republicans keep talking about how we tried to indict him before – as if that was somehow a harsh criticism against us. On the contrary, we warned against it from the start. We have a president who is completely lawless and ungovernable in his behavior.
JN: Do you think there is greater recognition of the need to assert the legislature’s role in controlling and balancing the executive?
JR: Absolutely…. There is a reason the folk branch is in Article I of the Constitution. We have the power to indict a lawless president. He has no power to accuse us. Now is the time for us to stand up and reaffirm Congress as the dominant branch of the US government.
JN: Will strengthening the 25th Amendment be part of that?
JR: Hopefully. This also applies to the separation of powers and the continuity of government. As you know, John, me first introduced an invoice in 2017 when I first entered Congress to create a body for the 25th Amendment. This body could have acted in this crisis without simply asking Vice President Pence to join the cabinet. I think we have to do that. Of course, it is irrelevant to solving the current crisis, but at least people have focused on the need to treat it seriously.
JN: How did you manage to mourn your son openly and heartily while you were doing important work for the republic?
JR: I carry the spirit and compassion of Tommy Raskin in my heart every day, along with the love of my family, friends and colleagues and the hopes and dreams of my constituents. I am strengthened in this fight against fascism.