Baltimore-area Democrat Elijah Cummings, chair of Congress’ powerful House Oversight Committee, passed away early Thursday morning, October 17, at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Maryland.
Cummings, who drew the ire of President Donald Trump, reportedly died from complications of longstanding health challenges, his office said in a statement.
Cummings represented Maryland’s 7th Congressional District for 23 years before ascending to his most current post atop the oversight panel in January, from which he oversaw several investigations into the Trump administration.
“Today we have lost a giant. Elijah Cummings was a public servant to his core,” said House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, the highest-ranking African American in Congress, according to Politico.
Several leading US politicians have expressed sadness as they react to Cummings’ death, including Hillary Clinton, Beto O’Rourke, and Kamla Harris.
Cummings, Baltimore’s beloved son, was born in the city on January 18, 1951 – earning the respect of his citizens as he continued to traverse the inner-city districts – where he had lived during his formative years and decades after.
As chairman of the oversight and reform committee, Cummings led multiple investigations of the president’s governmental dealings, including several in 2019 relating to Trump’s family members serving in the White House.
An incensed Trump retorted by slamming the Democrat’s district as a ‘rodent-infested mess’ where ‘no human being would want to live’, in a series of vitriol-laced tweets.
Today, Trump tweeted Cummings was a head-working and highly-respected Congressman.
Along with House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff and House Foreign Affairs Chairman Eliot Engel, Cummings was one of three committee leaders guiding House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry.