Washington (AP) – Remy. Jamie Ruskin’s 25-year-old son, Tommy, killed himself on New Year’s Eve and was buried the following Tuesday. A day later, a violent mob launched a deadly uprising in the US Capitol that forced the Maryland Democrats and its allies to evacuate.
Now former constitutional law professor Ruskin is leading the effort to remove President Donald Trump from the post on charges of inciting a riot.
He wrote a House resolution calling on Vice President Mike Pence to implement the 25th Amendment and declare Trump unable to complete his term, which expires next week. Pence refused to do so on Tuesday night. It was a fast-forward to an article of impeachment, which Ruskin also helped draft.
“This is the cornerstone of fascism when you combine racism, anti-Semitism, conspiracy theories and magical thinking. It’s an absolute powder cork in the context of an attack on democracy,” Ruskin said of the riots in an interview. ” So we still have to be very tough and very strong to defend the Constitution and democracy. ”
With his personal tragedy and the collision of a national trauma, Ruskin is emerging as a unique figure in a polarized Congress. He shouted applause from his colleagues on the floor of the house last week just before the rebellion began. And even as many Republicans fought a Democratic effort to oust Trump, Ruskin was praised by the GOP for continuing his work during such a challenging moment.
Oklahoma GOP Representative Tom Cole said during a House Rules Committee hearing on Tuesday, “I wanted to tell Ruskin how sad we are for his loss and how much we praise him for continuing duty under so many difficult circumstances We do.” .
In the midst of grief, Ruskin is bringing a certain clarity in outlining the social isle that led to the end of the Capitol. Speaker Nancy Pelosi named her the lead manager of the House team that would present testimony in the Senate during Trump’s impeachment trial, as Ruskin played when impeached against the president in 2019 and finally acquitted last year.
Many of the Capitol rioters, Ruskin said, were used to a world in which whites had “a comfortable, commanding majority in this country”. He said that Barack Obama became the country’s first African-American president, and is now “a full-blown, independent reality, completely cut off from the world of facts.”
Ruskin noted a wooden fence standing in a nearby field and suggested that the rioters, some of whom chanted “Hang Mike Pence”, were intended to kidnap and execute the Vice President and other leaders.
“The president didn’t want to let go, and the fruit of his obsession with his big lie that he actually won the election was a bad attack on Congress,” Ruskin said. “The President poses a clear and present danger to the Republic.”
For his part, Trump insisted on Tuesday that shortly before the mob he made his way to the Capitol was “completely justified” and called his disgusting impeachment “the continuation of the biggest witch hunt in the history of politics” .
“I think it’s a tremendous threat to our country,” the president said. “And it is causing tremendous anger.”
The FBI now warns of more potential, armed protests in Washington, and in several states, by Trump loyalists ahead of Biden’s inauguration on January 20. The area around the Capitol is ringed by a climate-proof fence, troops of the National Guard are deployed, and the nearby Washington Monument is closed.
With concerns about security growing in Washington, Tommy Ruskin’s memory is still fresh. He was studying at Harvard Law School, his father’s alma mater. He left behind a suicide note that read, “My illness has won today.” Please take care of the global poor for each other, animals and me. ”
In a moving online tribute last week, Ruskin, and his wife, former Obama Administration Treasury Officer Sarah Bloom Ruskin, shared their son’s affinity for playing jazz piano, writing and performing one-on-one plays, and “teaching our dogs foreign languages “Wrote about. But he also noted that he was later tortured by a “painful and merciless depression in his 20s”.
“Despite the network of awesome doctors and the loving family and friendship of hundreds of people who treated her beyond words and who she accepted, the pain became overwhelming and unbearable and unbearable,” he wrote.
Last week’s riot in the Capitol began when lawmakers were certifying Biden’s Electoral College victory over Trump. During those proceedings, Ruskin stood up to argue against Trump’s unfounded claims, but also to thank “all my dearest, dearest fellows, for all your love and tenderness, which my family will never forget.” ”
As Ruskin stepped back and placed a hand on his heart, a tall standing ovation drew. When the Congressman finally spoke again, his voice crackled and he heard a soft, “Thanks again.”
After some time the capitol was breached. Waiting for the siege from a safe place, Ruskin announced during a real-time TV interview that, “This is an attack on the government.” This did not happen even during the civil war. “But most of his thoughts were on his 23-year-old daughter, Tabitha and son-in-law, who went with him to the Capitol and parted ways in the melee.”
When they finally reunited, Ruskin assured his daughter that it would be quieter the next time he went to the Capitol. “Dad, I don’t think that is going to happen next time,” he replied, giving his father an opportunity for levity, despite everything.
“So, I believe ‘Take your daughter to work week’ has got to rebuild her faith,” Ruskin said with a small chuckle “after that bad dream.”
Associated Press Writer Noreen Nasir from Chicago contributed.