Elijah Cummings: A Tough Investigator in Life, Bipartisan Hero in Death

Elijah Cummings: A Tough Investigator in Life, Bipartisan Hero in Death


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Janet Ybarra
Former Washington Journalist
Contributor on The Bipartisan Press

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As chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) has been one of the most important point people in Congress heading up the investigations into Donald Trump, leading up to the current impeachment inquiry.

Cummings had become such a formidable investigator that he became the target earlier this year of one of Trump’s vicious, racist tweet attacks.

However, the longtime lawmaker from Maryland’s Seventh Congressional District having passed away early Thursday morning at age 68, Cummings now is being heralded from across the political spectrum.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s remarks are typical of the beautiful condolences and well-wishes pouring out for Cummings, in Congress since 1996: “In the House, Elijah was our North Star. He was a leader of towering character and integrity, whose stirring voice and steadfast values pushed the Congress and country to rise always to a higher purpose. His principled leadership as Chair of the Committee on Oversight and Reform was the perfect testament to his commitment to restoring honesty and honor to government, and leaves a powerful legacy for years to come.”

In death, even Cummings’s nemesis, Donald Trump, chose an unexpected expression of condolence and grace.

One has to wonder, however, if Trump can manage this level of magnanimity towards a political adversary in death, how much better off we would all be if he could have governed with this spirit of grace toward all on a daily basis.