Raskin: ‘Of All the Terrible Things I Saw and Heard’ at Capitol Attack, My Daughter Not Wanting to Come Back ‘Hit Me the Hardest’

By Melanie Arter | February 9, 2021 | 4:01pm EST
Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) (Photo by DREW ANGERER/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) (Photo by DREW ANGERER/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

(CNSNews.com) - Lead House impeachment manager Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) spoke on the Senate floor Tuesday at the  impeachment trial of President Donald Trump about how his daughter and son-in-law were in the building during the Capitol attack on Jan. 6.

The congressman said that “of all the terrible things” he saw and heard that day, his daughter not wanting to come back to the Capitol again hit him the “hardest.” Then he proceeded to detail how someone from the mob tried to “spear and pummel one of our officers” with a flag pole while the U.S. flag was still on it and how “people's eyes were gouged.”


Tabitha and Hank came with me to the floor, and they watched it from the gallery. When it was over, they went back to that office, Steny’s office off the House floor. They didn't know that the House had been breached yet and that an insurrection, or a riot or a coup had come to Congress, and by the time we learned about it, about what was going on, it was too late. I couldn't get out there to be with them in that office.

All around me, people were calling their wives and their husbands, their loved ones to say goodbye. Members of Congress in the House anyway were removing their congressional pins so they wouldn't be identified by the mob as they tried to escape the violence. Our new chaplain got up and said a prayer for us, and we were told to put our gas masks on, and then there was a sound I will never forget - the sound of pounding on the door like a battering ram. It’s the most haunting sound I ever heard, and I will never forget it.

My chief of staff ... 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.

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, 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 do you know what she said? She said, Dad, I don't want to come back to the Capitol. Of all the terrible things I saw and heard on that day and since then, 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, ruthlessly, mercilessly, tortured by a pole with a flag on it that he was defending with his very life. 

People died that day. Officers ended up with head damage and brain damage. People's eyes were gouged. An officer had a heart attack. An officer lost three fingers that day. Two officers have taken their own lives. 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. 

Much less can we create a new January exception in our precious beloved Constitution that prior generations have died for and fought for so that corrupt presidents have several weeks to get away with whatever it is they want to do. History does not support a January exception in any way, so why would we invent one for the future? We close, Mr. President. 

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