WASHINGTON — The leader of the Democratic team prosecuting Donald Trump’s impeachment trial lost it on Tuesday as he recanted the moments of how his 24-year-old daughter and his son-in-law hid in fear inside the U.S. Capitol during the insurrection by the former president’s supporters.
U.S. Representative Jamie Raskin, now in his third two-year term representing parts of Maryland and a constitutional law expert, was defending the legality of considering impeachment charges against a former president.
When he invited his family to witness the Jan. 6 joint session of Congress to certify Democrat Joe Biden’s presidential election victory, Raskin, 58, was also mourning the Dec. 31 death of his 25-year-old son.
According to Raskin, his daughter had asked if they would be safe visiting the Capitol on Jan. 6, after hearing of the planned protest.
“I told them, of course it should be safe. This is the Capitol,” Raskin said as he wrapped up his opening argument.
Moments into Trump’s “Save America Rally,” hardcore supporters broke the barriers and breaching the capitol leaving one Capitol Police officer and four other dead, his daughter Tabitha and other family members were left to huddle in an office off the floor of the House of Representatives.
Raskin said when he finally was reunited with his daughter and son-in-law, he apologized to them and promised things would be better on their next visit.
“And you know what she said? She said, ‘Dad, I don’t want to come back to the Capitol,’” the congressman recalled.
With the Senate’s 100 members pausing from their note taking and fiddling with papers on their desks, they locked onto Raskin as he spoke tearfully of his daughter’s fear.
At times barely able to speak, he wrapped up his opening statement to the Senate, saying, “Of all the terrible things I saw… that one hit me the hardest. That and watching someone use an American flag pole, the flag still on it, to spear and pummel one of our police officers.”
ATR News Contributing Writer Andy Burton in Livonia, MI contributed to this report.