WATCH: Raskin Explains Why Dems Are Pursing Impeachment 2.0

Posted: Jan 17, 2021 10:10 AM

Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), the House's lead impeachment manager, on Sunday said it was important to pursue impeaching President Donald Trump, even if the trial takes place after he leaves office, because the president was responsible for "the most serious presidential crime in the history of the United States of America." He was referring to the riots that took place at the United States Capitol on Jan. 6, where Congress gathered to certify the results of the 2020 presidential election.

"The Constitution talks about conviction, and removal, and disqualification from holding further public office. I don't think anybody would seriously argue that we should establish a 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 organize a coup against the union and, if it succeeds, he becomes a dictator, and if he fails, he's not subject to impeachment or conviction because we just want to let bygones be bygones," Raskin explained to CNN's Jake Tapper.

"This was the most serious presidential crime in the history of the United States of America, the most dangerous crime by a president ever committed against the United States," he said.

Raskin applauded GOP Conference Chair Liz Cheney (R-WY) who came out in favor of impeachment. In his eyes, support from Cheney shows there is support for impeachment on both sides of the aisle. 

The article of impeachment has yet to be formally sent to the Senate for an impeachment trial. Raskin said that is because the Senate isn't actively in session, although it will be sent sometime in the near future.

"I know that everybody wants to focus on trial tactics and strategy. I want people to focus on the solemnity and gravity of these events," the impeachment lead said. "Five Americans are dead because a violent mob was encouraged, exhorted, incited by the President of the United States of America, which broke into the Congress of the United States, into the Capitol, and came within a hair's breadth of hanging Vice President Mike Pence. The words are still ringing in the ears of members, 'Hang Mike Pence. Hang Mike Pence.'"

Raskin said gallows were created outside of the Capitol and an "assassination party" was on the hunt for Speaker Nancy Pelosi. 

He concluded by saying what took place on Jan. 6 should not be part of the normal bickering both sides do.