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"Unthinkable": Rep. Jamie Raskin's memoir of grief and patriotic duty

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U.S. Congressman Jamie Raskin, a Democrat from Takoma Park, has represented Maryland's 8th District since 2017. He managed the second Trump impeachment trial, and currently serves on the House Select Committee investigating the January 6th, 2021 insurrection. (courtesy photo)

Tom's guest today is Congressman Jamie Raskin, who represents Maryland’s 8th District, which includes parts of Montgomery, Carroll, and Frederick Counties.

Raskin came to national prominence early last year when he was tapped by Speaker Nancy Pelosi to be the lead manager in Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial. Trump was charged with “incitement of insurrection” for the purpose of overturning the results of the 2020 election.

As Rep. Raskin writes in his new book, although the Senate demonstrated the most bipartisan support ever for conviction in a presidential impeachment trial, Mr. Trump “beat the constitutional spread,” in Raskin’s words, and avoided conviction. The final vote was 57-43, 10 votes short of the number needed to convict.

Rep. Raskin is a member of the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the Capitol. The committee has interviewed more than 300 witnesses in private sessions. It plans to hold public hearings in the coming weeks.

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Published by Harper Collins Publishers

This Thursday marks the one-year anniversary of the insurrection at the Capitol. But for the Raskin family and legions of their friends, last Thursday marked the one-year anniversary of a terrible tragedy. The Congressman’s son, Tommy, a 25-year-old student at the Harvard Law School, succumbed to depression and died by suicide.

The riot at the Capitol occurred just a week after Tommy Raskin’s death. Jamie Raskin has written a book that weaves the story of Tommy’s life into the Congressman’s work as the lead impeachment manager, reflecting on his personal anguish, and the national anguish that the country experienced as the very foundations of democratic rule were threatened.

The book is called Unthinkable:  Trauma, Truth, and the Trials of American Democracy. 

Congressman Raskin joins us on Zoom from his home in Takoma Park.

If you or someone you know needs help now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255.

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