What Happened Was...

A lightning fast recap of the week's biggest events for Feb. 8th - 14th, 2021

Lead impeachment manager Representative Jamie Raskin (D-MD) leads the House impeachment managers to the US Senate to deliver the Article of impeachment against former president Donald Trump on Jan. 25, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Samuel Corum /via Getty Images)

Happy Valentine’s Day: here is a precious video of the Bidens walking around the White House lawn that Dr. Biden insisted on filling with giant candy hearts — enjoy! Below is a catch-up of the major events of the week of February 8th, 2021. You can check in with a minimal time commitment, read about the big stuff and stay in the know before we’re on to the next. Also, I would encourage you to scroll through my Twitter feed for the week for more detail. Some important stories that didn’t make the cut can be found there, and the topics I discuss in quick snippets here will have links attached, if you are looking for more information on the topic. 

If you would like access to important moments that happened this week during the Trump Impeachment Trial, I would recommend my article, Will the Chilling Video Evidence Do it for the GOP? For more detail on the performance of both sides, you can review this week on my Twitter feed, where I was live-tweeting a majority of the trial. If you only have a short time to watch some of the proceedings, I will tell you that ‘Day 2’ was the most pivotal.

One-Time SHERO Tribute

We were introduced to new security footage from inside the Capitol Building, and for the first time we saw how much danger former Vice President Pence was in during the riot on Jan 6th. Democrats also showed, through a timeline, that Trump was aware of this danger and sent out a tweet to his followers, that was aimed at attacking Pence, after he knew of the risk. The entire day was jam-packed with damning evidence and arguments that proved House Democrats’ case, and you can watch the entire eight hours here or you can watch a 12-minute version of highlights here.

I also had a great time appearing on the live podcast, “We’re Talking,” with Lisa Senecal and Maya May on Wednesday night. We talked about everything from why we should bother to impeach, to the post-Trump exhaustion state we are all in, to an honest assessment of how Biden is doing so far. Disclaimer: I am still new to these appearances so I promise my head will not be so prominent next time. Also, here’s a fun fact: I had every lamp in my home, with the shade off, surrounding me on my living room floor and it was not only toasty, but hysterical. You can watch it here:

SHERO of the Week 

Lead impeachment manager Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) climbs the stairs to leave the US Capitol at the conclusion of former President Donald Trump's impeachment trial on February 13, 2021 in Washington, DC. The Senate voted 57-43 to convict Trump on the charge of inciting the January 6 attack on the US Capitol, thus failing to meet the 2/3rds threshold to pass. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/via Getty Images)

Without question, this week’s “SHERO of the Week” goes to Rep. Jaime Raskin (D-MD) for his tireless leadership, particularly this week. His steadfast guidance over a brilliant impeachment team was clear for everyone to see this week, as was his passion for protecting our democracy and holding those who attacked the US Capitol responsible. Despite the odds being stacked so heavily against them, the House Impeachment Managers did their jobs to the highest level, and represented us all with dignity, intelligence and conviction. The credit for setting the bar so high, and maintaining standards to which every legal professional should aspire, rightfully belongs to Representative Jaime Raskin.

Rep. Raskin has been tested recently with some of the most profound challenges a human can face. In addition to surviving a mob attack while his family was also at risk in the Capitol, Raskin has recently lost his beloved son, whom he called, “A radiant light in this broken world.” If you have not read his loving tribute yet, where he describes Tommy as someone who struggled with depression, but nevertheless had a “perfect heart, a perfect soul, a riotously outrageous and relentless sense of humor, and a dazzling radiant mind,” you can read it here.

Before the trial began, Raskin was asked in an interview how he would handle all of the pressures of leading an impeachment after suffering such great personal tragedy. He simply responded with: "I'm not going to lose my son at the end of 2020 and lose my country and my republic in 2021." Raskin carried this heavy emotion with him and looked to be using it as fuel for the daunting task ahead of him. He began opening statements for the House by talking about Tommy and what the experience was like when his daughter told him she was never returning to the Capitol after the riot.

After this moving moment, Rep. Raskin immediately focused his attention on proving his case, and he showed a shocking but effective montage video that presented all of the events of Jan. 6, that were happening simultaneously with the insurrection. This video summarized the entire case perfectly and made a profound impact on the jury, even some Republicans, who later told the press how impressed they were with the presentation.

Raskin was a source of steady leadership throughout the week, and seemed to make the most impact with his poignant statements when he would begin and end the day. This delicate skill of bookending the strongest legal arguments with persuasive narratives was exquisite to watch — Raskin was always maneuvering to tie a bow of sentiment onto each and every package of evidentiary support that was presented by his team. As a lawyer, it was a thrill to watch — as someone who has suffered similar personal loss, it was an inspiration.

I was honored by the job that Rep. Jaime Raskin and his entire team did for us, for themselves and for the country. During the brief mourning period following Trump’s acquittal, we can afford today to lament the total lack of courage and integrity shown this week by Republicans — the contrast given to us from Raskin and the other House Managers was a saving grace. The proper arguments were put forward — the righteous battle ensued — and the record has been made.

History will judge what really happened here this week, and it will not look kindly on those who cowered, fearing an impotent has-been. What I will take from this experience is the lesson we learned from Professor Raskin, that ironically was not about Constitutional Law, but perseverance and using love to propel you through the hardest times. Thank you, sir.

For more detail on the events of the last few weeks, please check out the following articles listed below:

Dems Rest, Trump's Up Next

Will the Chilling Video Evidence Do it for the GOP?

Fight Like Hell

Could Holding Trump Accountable Be Wrong?


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Amee Vanderpool writes the SHERO Newsletter and is an attorney, published author, contributor to newspapers and magazines and analyst for BBC radio. She can be reached at avanderpool@gmail.com or follow her on Twitter @girlsreallyrule.

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