The Slatest

Elijah Cummings, Democratic Leader at Forefront of Trump Investigations, Dies at 68

Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings on Aug. 7 in Washington.
Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings on Aug. 7 in Washington. Win McNamee/Getty Images

Democratic Congressman Elijah Cummings of Maryland died early Thursday due to complications stemming from longtime health issues, the Democratic leader’s office announced.* He was 68. Cummings, who has played a high-profile role in a myriad of investigations into President Donald Trump as the chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, underwent a medical procedure last month but had not yet returned to his office this week when the House was back in session.

“A sharecropper’s son, Cummings became the powerful chairman of a U.S. House committee that investigated President Donald Trump, and was a formidable orator who passionately advocated for the poor in his black-majority district, which encompasses a large portion of Baltimore as well as more well-to-do suburbs,” the Associated Press notes. “Cummings’ long career spanned decades in Maryland politics. He rose through the ranks of the Maryland House of Delegates before winning his congressional seat in a special election in 1996 to replace former Rep. Kweisi Mfume, who left the seat to lead the NAACP.”

Cummings, whose district includes parts of Baltimore and Howard counties, was a frequent recipient of Trump’s tirades, as he had played a prominent role in the impeachment inquiry and other investigations into the administration.

Correction, Oct. 17, 2019: This post originally misstated when Cummings died. It was Thursday, not Tuesday.