The late Rep. Elijah Cummings was steadfast in his quest to hand President Donald Trump the largest consequence possible for the illicit actions he has exhibited while in office – impeachment. Prior to the Maryland Democrat’s passing, he was considered a key probe in Trump’s impeachment inquiry. The chairman of the House Oversight Committee fought relentlessly after uncovering evidence of potential corruption, despite facing attacks from the president who often slandered Cummings as well as his district.
Cummings imposed a number of challenges for Trump, including conducting “oversight to protect against violations of the Emoluments Clause of the U.S. Constitution,” requesting “information about the Administration’s plan for addressing his breach of lease given President Trump’s refusal to divest himself of his ownership interests in his company, “investigating efforts to suppress the vote for years,” “conducting oversight of any potential violations of protocol and security precautions related to President Trump’s handling of national security information” and investigating Trump’s refusal to hand over his tax returns, as reported on Oversight.house.gov.
Despite facing major pushback every step of the way, the House of Representatives gathered on Wednesday to debate and vote on two articles of impeachment against Trump – abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. The debate comes two months after Cummings’ passing, which concerned many who thought his passing would affect the impeachment inquiry.
Nonetheless, the fearless Democratic leader’s presence was felt during the historic debate as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi took the floor. “As Speaker of the House, I solemnly and sadly open up debate on the impeachment of the President of the United States. If we do not act now, we would be derelict in our duty. It is tragic that the president’s reckless actions make impeachment necessary. He gives us no choice,” she began.
She went on to quote Rep. Cummings when he announced his support for Trump’s impeachment. “When the history books are written about this tumultuous error I want them to show that I was among those and the House of Representatives who stood up to lawlessness and tyranny,” Pelosi said. “…When we are dancing with the angels, the question will be… What did we do to make sure we kept our democracy intact?”
Pelosi added that while Cummings is now “dancing with the angels,” he and the other members of the House of Representatives are “proud of the moral courage of members who want to honor the vision of our founders for a republic, the sacrifice of our men and women in uniform to defend it, and the aspirations of our children to live freely within it.”
Cummings died at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore on October 17 from “complications concerning longstanding health challenges,” according to his office. He was 68 years old.