Rep. Elijah Cummings, powerful Democratic chairman and Trump target, dies at 68

Elijah Cummings

The Maryland congressman’s death was due to complications from longstanding health challenges, his office said in a statement.

Rep. Elijah Cummings — the Baltimore-area Democrat who chaired the powerful House Oversight Committee and drew the ire of President Donald Trump — died early Thursday at Johns Hopkins Hospital due to complications from longstanding health challenges, his office said in a statement. He was 68. Cummings died at Gilchrist Hospice Care, a Johns Hopkins affiliate.

Cummings had represented Maryland’s 7th Congressional District for 23 years before ascending in January to his perch atop the Oversight panel, from which he oversaw several investigations into the administration. Along with House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and House Foreign Affairs Chairman Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), he was one of three committee leaders guiding House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry.

Cummings was the top Democrat on the GOP-led Benghazi Committee, pushing back on the controversial probe that dogged Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign. As Oversight Committee chairman, he convened one of the most explosive hearings in this Congress — bringing Trump’s former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, to Capitol Hill to testify against his old boss.

Cummings also led an investigation into politicization of the U.S. Census that kept pressure on the Trump administration to ultimately withdraw plans for a citizenship question on the 2020 questionnaire.

Most recently, Cummings helped spearhead the Democratic impeachment probe, and was an active participant even when he was working the phones remotely. Though initially resistant to impeachment, Cummings embraced it last month as the scandal over Trump’s handling of matters connected to Ukraine unfolded.

“My warmest condolences to the family and many friends of Congressman Elijah Cummings,” Trump tweeted. “I got to see first hand the strength, passion and wisdom of this highly respected political leader. His work and voice on so many fronts will be very hard, if not impossible, to replace!”

%d bloggers like this: