On Wednesday, Maryland Democratic Representative Jamie Raskin said that he had been given a diagnosis of a “severe but treatable” type of cancer. Raskin is a candidate for reelection this year.
Mr. Raskin, 60, a member of the House Jan. 6 committee and the newly appointed senior Democrat on the Oversight Committee, announced his diagnosis with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma and his plans to undergo outpatient chemo-immunotherapy.
Mr. Raskin stated in a statement, “I hope to be able to work during this time, but have been urged by my physicians to prevent needless exposure to avoid Covid-19, the flu, and other infections.” “Chemotherapy not only kills cancer cells, but it also reduces the effectiveness of the body’s natural antibodies and weakens the immune system. I’ve been told that it may also lead to an increase in weight as well as a loss of hair, but I’m still keeping my fingers crossed that I can find a variant that does the opposite.
According to Mr. Raskin, his strategy is to “get through this and, in the meanwhile, to keep making progress every day in Congress for American democracy.”
Mr. Raskin, a former constitutional law professor at American University and Maryland state senator, has been one of the few members of Congress who has been as aggressive as he has been in trying to hold former President Donald J. Trump accountable for the attack on the Capitol that occurred on January 6, 2021.
On Capitol Hill, Mr. Raskin is well-known for his in-depth conversations on the history of the United States and the complexities of the Constitution. In accordance with the 25th Amendment, he is the primary proponent of legislation that would establish a commission that would be able to remove a president from office.
A graduate of Harvard Law, he has also published a memoir titled “Unthinkable: Trauma, Truth, and the Trials of American Democracy.” The book is about 45 days in his life that altered drastically around the time of the Capitol siege and the loss of his son.
During Mr. Trump’s second trial for impeachment, Mr. Raskin served as the lead impeachment manager. During this trial, seven Republican senators joined every Democrat in voting to convict the former president of incitement of insurrection for his role in the attack on the Capitol. The conviction was based on the fact that Mr. Trump encouraged others to participate in the attack. Despite the fact that the vote did not reach the threshold of 67 senators necessary for a conviction, Mr. Raskin has repeatedly said that “commanding majorities” in both the House of Representatives and the Senate thought that Mr. Trump was guilty.
On the evening of New Year’s Eve, a few days before the riot, his son Tommy, who was 25 years old and a student at Harvard Law, took his own life. Mr. Raskin was subsequently forced to endure the attack on the Capitol while being incapacitated by his sorrow. Within a few days, Speaker Nancy Pelosi designated him to head the drive to impeach President Trump for instigating the violence. He started pushing for the impeachment of Trump almost soon after it occurred.
Mr. Raskin has said that at that same instant, the project provided him with a feeling of purpose.
On Capitol Hill, Mr. Raskin’s coworkers immediately started sending their well wishes and condolences when he broke the news of the diagnosis.
Representative Ritchie Torres, a Democrat from New York, tweeted that “Jamie Raskin is a national treasure – an oasis of legal integrity and brilliance at a time when both are badly needed in the protection of democracy.” I hope and pray that the cancer therapy he is receiving will help him to bounce back quickly and strongly. Those in the United States of America are counting on you, Jamie.
“Wishing for a speedy recovery for an amazing public worker and a long-time friend,” Ron Klain, the chief of staff at the White House, said in an email.