Raskin writing memoir about Jan. 6, son's suicide

Raskin writing memoir about Jan. 6, son's suicide
© Greg Nash

Rep. Jamie RaskinJamin (Jamie) Ben Raskin'You're a joke': Greene clashes with Cheney, Raskin on House floor Cheney becomes GOP's Trump foil Jan. 6 panel votes to hold Bannon in contempt MORE (D-Md.) is writing a memoir about the tragic and historic first 45 days of 2021 that forever altered the lives of him and his family members.

In “Unthinkable: Trauma, Truth, and the Trials of American Democracy,” Raskin opens up about losing his 25-year-old son Tommy to suicide on New Year’s Eve, defending the results of the 2020 election on the House floor on Jan. 6, surviving the deadly Capitol insurrection with his daughter and son-in-law, drafting two articles of impeachment against former President TrumpDonald TrumpHarris stumps for McAuliffe in Virginia On The Money — Sussing out what Sinema wants Hillicon Valley — Presented by Xerox — The Facebook Oversight Board is not pleased MORE for his role in the riot and leading the Democrats’ ultimately unsuccessful prosecution of the 45th president in his second Senate impeachment trial.

It will be published by Harper, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, on Jan. 4, just two days before the first anniversary of the Capitol insurrection. 


“I wrote UNTHINKABLE as a way to make sense of two traumatic events in my life, the shattering loss of our son Tommy to depression on the last day of 2020 and, one week later, the bloody January 6, 2021 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol incited by Donald Trump and calculated to overthrow the 2020 presidential election,” Raskin said in a statement Wednesday.   

“This book is a labor of love written to capture the dazzling life of a brilliant young man in crisis, who we lost forever, and the struggle to defend a beautiful nation in crisis, a democracy that we still have the chance to save.”

In just a few short years in Congress, Raskin has emerged as one of the most well-respected legal scholars in Washington. A former constitutional law professor at American University, he is often Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiDemocrats scramble to reach deal on taxes On The Money — Sussing out what Sinema wants Overnight Health Care — Presented by Carequest — Key CDC panel backs Moderna, J&J boosters MORE (D-Calif.) and Democrats’ go-to guy for complex legal and ethics questions.

But during the impeachment trial, it was Raskin’s ability to weave his personal grief over his son's sudden death with Trump’s push to overturn the election and overthrow democracy that captivated Washington and the nation. 

“Congressman Raskin’s memoir speaks to the tenacity of the human spirit through devastation and trauma,” said Lisa Sharkey, a HarperCollins executive who acquired the book.

“Not only will readers come to learn what he and his family went through after facing the unimaginable, but the powers of his famously lucid constitutional mind will help readers understand exactly what happened on the floor and off the floor on January 6 — and during the planning and managing of the case against the president during the second impeachment.”

Raskin's efforts to probe the events of Jan. 6 did not end with Trump's acquittal. In July, Pelosi appointed Raskin to a bipartisan special committee charged with investigating the Jan. 6 attack. That House panel is now seeking records for a number of people in Trump's orbit, including his family members, close associates and even Republican members of Congress who participated in Trump's "Stop the Steal" rally that led to the violent march on the Capitol.