Donald Trump

New York's Carolyn Maloney to Chair House Oversight Committee After Elijah Cummings' Death, Giving Her Key Impeachment Inquiry Role

What to Know

  • Carolyn Maloney, a veteran House Democrat from NYC, will for now take over the House committee chaired by late Rep. Elijah Cummings
  • Cummings chaired the House Oversight and Reform Committee, which has a key role in the Trump impeachment investigation proceedings
  • The political icon and longtime congressman from Maryland died Thursday of complications from long-running health problems. He was 68

Carolyn Maloney, a veteran House Democrat from New York City, will for now take over the House committee that the late Rep. Elijah Cummings chaired,to a senior Democratic leadership aide told the Associated Press. 

Maloney, who has served in Congress since 1993, will be acting chair of the House Oversight and Reform Committee until Democrats choose a permanent chair at an undetermined future date, the leadership aide said. 

Cummings was a Maryland Democrat whose committee has had a leading role in the House's impeachment investigation of President Donald Trump. 

The congressman died Thursday of complications from long-running health problems. He was 68.

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.

He was an early supporter of Barack Obama's presidential bid in 2008. By 2016, Cummings was the senior Democrat on the House Benghazi Committee, which he said was "nothing more than a taxpayer-funded effort to bring harm to Hillary Clinton's campaign" for president. 

Throughout his career, Cummings used his fiery voice to highlight the struggles and needs of inner-city residents. He was a firm believer in some much-debated approaches to help the poor and addicted, such as needle exchange programs as a way to reduce the spread of AIDS. 

A key figure in the Trump impeachment inquiry , Cummings had been hoping to return to Congress after a medical procedure he said would only keep him away for a week. His statement then didn't detail the procedure. He had previously been treated for heart and knee issues. 

Cummings' committee, authorized to investigate virtually any part of the federal government, is one of three conducting the House impeachment probe of Trump. Cummings was among the three chairmen to sign a letter seeking documents into the formal inquiry into whether Trump pressured Ukraine to investigate the family of Democratic presidential rival Joe Biden, the former vice president. The committees have issued multiple subpoenas of witnesses in the face of the Trump administration's refusal to cooperate with the impeachment probe and have jointly been meeting behind closed doors to hear testimony. 

Separately, Cummings led an effort to gain access to Trump's financial records. His committee subpoenaed records from Mazars USA, an accounting firm that has provided services to Trump. The panel demanded documents from 2011 to 2018 as it probed Trump's reporting of his finances and potential conflicts of interest. Last week, a federal appeals court ruled that the records must be turned over to the House.

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