‘His work and voice on so many fronts will be very hard, if not impossible, to replace!’
Elijah Cummings was the heart and soul of our caucus, a dignified leader with a voice that could move mountains.
He was our moral and ethical North Star. Now we will be guided by his powerful memory and incomparable legacy.
Rest In Peace, my friend.
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) October 17, 2019
Despite his recent role as chairman of the House Oversight Committee, both Cummings and his wife, Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, were deeply embroiled in ethical scandals of their own involving the blurring of lines between nonprofits, corporate lobbying and political influence.
Cummings death raises several questions as to who will succeed him, both in his safely Democratic Baltimore district and in his committee chairmanship—one of the three that was leading the way in the impeachment probe of President Donald Trump.
Some Democrats, such as former Democratic National Committee chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, noted the challenges of the timing while honoring Cummings’ legacy, reported the Baltimore Sun.
“When our nation can ill-afford to lose such a kind, principled leader one of my dearest friends and mentors has left us,” Schultz said in a statement.
Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., noted that it came “[a]t a time of chaos and division,” while suggesting, misleadingly, that Cummings rose above such things “as a man of principle, unity, dignity, and compassion” with an “insatiable thirst for justice was rooted in his core.”
Cummings himself called the impeachment efforts a “critical moment” that “people will be talking about 3-, 400, 500 years from now,” but was ultimately deprived of the opportunity to see his longtime efforts come into fruition.
I’m begging the American people to pay attention to what is going on. Because if you want to have a democracy intact for your children, and your children’s children, and generations yet unborn we’ve got to guard this moment…this is our watch. pic.twitter.com/ShTZwbQROP
— Elijah E. Cummings (@RepCummings) July 24, 2019
Meanwhile, Trump, who had a public spat recently with Cummings over his “rat-infested” district, paid a heartfelt tribute to his adversary.
My warmest condolences to the family and many friends of Congressman Elijah Cummings. 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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 17, 2019