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Congressman Jamie Raskin Opens Up About His Son’s Suicide and Capitol Insurrection


“You’re talking about the worst week of my life.”

Maryland Rep. Jamie Raskin experienced not just one but two unimaginable traumas in the span of a single week. First his 25-year-old son, Tommy, committed suicide on New Year’s Eve, and then days later he was at work when a violent mob stormed the U.S. Capitol.

“You’re talking about the worst week of my life,” Raskin tells Katie in the latest episode of Next Question. “We suffered the catastrophe of losing Tommy on the last day of December in 2020 — that’s an inexpressible nightmare.”

Raskin’s son took his own life after a long battle with depression. “It’s been described as the beast, as an endless dark tunnel of terror and horror.”

In his new memoir, Unthinkable, Raskin recalls a time when he wasn’t sure he was going to ever be able to do anything again because of his grief over the loss of his son. Then, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi asked him to serve as the lead manager in the second impeachment trial of President Trump. 

He remembers the night before the insurrection very well. His daughter had asked him not to go into the Capitol that day, but he tells Katie that he saw it as his constitutional responsibility to be there and to formally recognize President Biden’s victory in the 2020 election.

“Although it was an objectively terrifying situation, I really experienced no fear because I felt like the very worst thing that could ever happen to me had already happened,” he says. “What were these fascists and hooligans going to do that could be worse than what I’d already experienced? But I was very angry about what was taking place and I set my mind to try to figure out exactly what they had done.” 

Raskin’s now serving on the House select committee charged with investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection, the events leading up to it, and the people behind it. Though the investigation has been underway for more than a year now, he says it still has a long way to go.

“We don’t know the exact proportions for every part of the assault on the election, because we don’t have complete testimony yet,” he tells Katie. 

So far, the committee has subpoenaed everyone from former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows to ex-Trump advisor Stephen Bannon. But many more have been requested to appear, such as House minority leader Kevin McCarthy and Fox host Sean Hannity. 

If you prefer to see our conversation in addition to hearing it, you can watch the whole interview here:

If you or someone you know may be considering suicide, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741.