WASHINGTON — Representative Jamie Raskin began drafting the article of impeachment against President Trump within hours of the violent mob attack on the Capitol.
“We don’t have a minute to spare,” he declared Wednesday on the House floor. “He is a clear and present danger to the people.”
Mr. Raskin, 58, a former constitutional law professor at American University who also served as a state senator from Maryland, won election to Congress in 2016 after an expensive, hard-fought nine-way primary in his heavily Democratic district in the Washington suburbs. A graduate of Harvard University and Harvard Law School, he is passionate about the Constitution and American history.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi has named him the lead impeachment manager, which means he will be the lead prosecutor in a Senate trial of Mr. Trump.
“We need to create a dynamic of action in which all of our colleagues are forced to confront their conscience about the permission they’ve given the president to trample all of the principles and values of our Constitution,” he said in an interview this week.
In many ways, Mr. Raskin was made for this moment; he has been engaged in progressive politics since he was a toddler, learning at the knee of his father, Marcus Raskin, a well-known antiwar activist and liberal intellectual. But as he assumes the weighty role of lead prosecutor, he is also coping with a devastating family tragedy: the loss of his son, Tommy, 25 and a student at Harvard Law, to suicide on New Year’s Eve.
“Even in this darkest moment, he has not in any way diminished what he sees as his responsibility as a member of Congress to defend our democracy,” said Representative David Cicilline, Democrat of Rhode Island and one of Mr. Raskin’s closest friends in the Capitol. “None of us who know Jamie well are surprised by it.”
Well liked on both sides of the political aisle, Mr. Raskin is a member of Ms. Pelosi’s unofficial “kitchen cabinet,” and serves on both the House Judiciary Committee and the House Rules Committee, the powerful 13-member panel that sets the terms of debate in the House.
In addition to drafting the article of impeachment, he also wrote the resolution, adopted by the House on Tuesday night, calling on Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment to strip Mr. Trump of his powers. He is fond of quoting Thomas Paine, the Revolutionary War figure for whom his son was named: “The times have found us.”
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