The mob that rampaged through the Capitol on 6 January wanted to kill vice president Mike Pence and House speaker Nancy Pelosi, said Democratic Congressman, Jamie Raskin, as he elaborated on the level of the threat faced by lawmakers during the siege.
The rioters “came within a hair’s breadth of hanging vice president Pence,” Mr Raskin told CNN. “I mean, the words are still ringing in the ears of the members — ‘hang Mike Pence’.”
“There was an assassination party hunting for Nancy Pelosi,” he said, as he emphasised on why the impeachment of outgoing president Donald Trump was not “at the level of a normal partisan push and pull.” “This was an attack on our country.”
The Congressman who is going to lead the prosecution of Mr Trump, also spoke about the death of his 25-year-old son. “I am not going to lose my son at the end of 2020 and lose my country in 2021,” Mr Raskin told host, Jake Tapper. Mr Raskin’s son, Tommy, died by suicide after battling depression for years on New Years Eve.
The Democrat slammed the outgoing president for the armed insurrection on the Capitol building and said, “this was the most terrible crime, ever by a president of the United States against our country and I want everybody to feel the gravity and solemnity of those events.”
“I don’t think anybody would seriously argue that we should establish the precedent where every president on the way out the door has two weeks or three weeks or four weeks to try to incite an armed insurrection against the Union or organise a coup against the Union. And if it succeeds, he becomes a dictator and if it fails, he is not a subject to impeachment or conviction because we just wanna let bygones be bygones,” he said.
He also put the responsibility for the riots squarely on the shoulders of Mr Trump as he quoted Congresswoman Liz Cheney and said, “She thinks Donald Trump summoned the mob, assembled the mob. He lit the match that led to violent insurrection.”
“None of it would have happened without him. Everything is due to his actions. And this was the most sweeping betrayal. The most terrible betrayal of Presidential oath and office in the history of the United States,” Mr Raskin said.