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A Mighty Voice: Elijah Cummings, 1951-2019

Congress Editor's Blog Featured Post Impeachment

A Mighty Voice: Elijah Cummings, 1951-2019

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Cummings

America lost a great leader today with the passing of Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), the proud son of Baltimore who chaired the House Oversight Committee and played a key role in the Trump impeachment inquiry.

During his decades in Congress, Cummings earned a spotless reputation for integrity, intelligence, and commitment to progressive values. He coped superbly with the demands of his position, whether he was chairing a contentious public hearing on Donald Trump’s impeachable offenses or calming his city in the aftermath of a police killing. The respect he won for his political skills shaded into affection and even love, among Republicans as well as fellow Democrats, because he always led with humanity. He never lost the sense of dignity and gravity that motivated his public service, no matter how outrageous the behavior of his right-wing opponents.

He displayed that unshakeable righteous strength, so well expressed in his sonorous voice, last summer when Donald Trump assaulted him with a blatantly racist caricature of his district. Cummings responded by inviting the president to visit Baltimore with him — and then delivered a powerful denunciation of the white supremacist tropes and terrorism that have plagued the nation under Trump.

We mourn his death and send condolences to his friends, his family, and his city.

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Joe Conason

A highly experienced journalist, author and editor, Joe Conason is the editor-in-chief of The National Memo, founded in July 2011. He was formerly the executive editor of the New York Observer, where he wrote a popular political column for many years. His columns are distributed by Creators Syndicate and his reporting and writing have appeared in many publications around the world, including the New York Times, the Washington Post, The New Yorker, The New Republic, The Nation, and Harpers. Since November 2006, he has served as editor of The Investigative Fund, a nonprofit journalism center, where he has assigned and edited dozens of award-winning articles and broadcasts. He is also the author of two New York Times bestselling books, The Hunting of the President (St. Martins Press, 2000) and Big Lies: The Right-Wing Propaganda Machine and How It Distorts the Truth (St. Martins Press, 2003). Currently he is working on a new book about former President Bill Clinton's life and work since leaving the White House in 2001. He is a frequent guest on radio and television, including MSNBC's Morning Joe, and lives in New York City with his wife and two children.

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