“Every lawyer plays a role in safeguarding democratic principles and upholding the rule of law,” expressed Jamie Raskin, U.S. Congressman from Maryland’s Eighth Congressional District. He is the ranking member on the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability and was the lead manager in the second impeachment trial of former President Trump. Raskin was one of three keynote speakers at the MSBA’s recent 2023 Legal Summit in Ocean City.
Based upon what he believes is every lawyer’s role in safeguarding the rule of law, he started the Marshall Brennan Constitutional Literacy Project, where law students teach high school students about the Constitution and Bill of Rights. Raskin also wrote a book about the project titled, “We the Students.”
While discussing the indictment of former President Trump, Raskin stated that he strongly believes in the presumption of innocence and due process but feels the indictment contains serious charges that would not have been brought against Trump if there was not “substantial evidence or probable cause to believe that they happened.” He believes the indictment will make a difference to “the public and how people view Trump, and ultimately what happens with respect to his candidacy for office.” More importantly, he said the indictment will show the citizens that the rule of law in the United States “applies equally to everybody,” including former Presidents.
In regards to the House Oversight Committee seeking to pursue allegations of impropriety by President Biden and his son, Hunter, Raskin thinks they have not found enough “verifiable authenticated evidence upon which to go forward to create a preliminary investigation.” He also views the pursuit of allegations against President Biden as “an attempt to divert people’s attention and distract them from what’s going on with President Trump” because the allegations have already been fully exhausted with no indictment or charges.
Moving on to gun control, Raskin noted one of the last things he worked on in the Maryland legislature was the Maryland Firearm Safety Act of 2013 which banned the sale of assault weapons in the state. Raskin is working hard to ban assault weapons at the federal level. He believes half of the firearms recovered in homicide investigations in Baltimore were purchased in neighboring states, so banning assault weapons in one state does not solve the problem.