Raskin recounts Capitol riot after son's death

Rep. Jamie Raskin, the lead House impeachment manager, grew emotional as he concluded the Democrats’ first round of arguments in former President Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial. Raskin spoke about his experience in the Capitol on Jan. 6. (Feb. 9)

Video Transcript

JAMIE RASKIN: Distinguished members of the Senate, my youngest daughter Tabitha was there with me on Wednesday, January 6. It was the day after we buried her brother, our son Tommy, the saddest day of our lives. Also there was my son-in-law Hank who's married to our oldest daughter, Hannah. And I-- I consider him a son too, even though he eloped with my daughter and didn't tell us what they were going to do. But it was in the middle of COVID-19. But the reason they came with me that Wednesday January 6 was because they wanted to be together with me in the middle of a devastating week for our family. And I told them I had to go back to work because we were counting electoral votes that day on January 6.

My chief of staff, Julie Tagen, was with Tabitha and Hank locked and barricaded in that office, the kids hiding under the desk, placing what they thought were their final texts and whispered phone calls to say their goodbyes. They thought they were going to die. My son-in-law had never even been to the Capitol before. And when they were finally rescued over an hour later by Capitol officers and we were together, I hugged them and I apologized.

And I told my daughter Tabitha, who's 24 and a brilliant algebra teacher in Teach for America, now 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. 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.

Senators, this cannot be our future. This cannot be the future of America. 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 under the Constitution of the United States.