An unofficial cause of death of Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), who was deeply involved in the inquiry to impeach President Donald Trump, was due to “complications concerning longstanding health challenges,” his office told news outlets on Thursday.
It did not elaborate on the exact cause of death.
The legislator hadn’t come back to work after having a medical procedure, reported the Baltimore Sun, which added that he said it would have kept him away for about a week.
His office also confirmed that he died at Johns Hopkins Hospital at 2:45 a.m. on Thursday.
Cummings said at the time of the procedure: “I was very disappointed to miss today’s hearing. Unfortunately, I’ve had to have a medical procedure, and my doctors expect me to be back in the office in a week or so. However, nobody should mistake my absence as a lack of commitment to D.C. to statehood or passage of H.R. 51,” ABC News reported.
As chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, he led several investigations into the White House along with the impeachment inquiry.
Statement regarding the passing of @RepCummings : “He worked until his last breath because he believed our democracy was the highest and best expression of our collective humanity… I loved him deeply and will miss him dearly.” — @MayaRockeymoore pic.twitter.com/OLXVdHydoO
— MD Democratic Party (@mddems) October 17, 2019
Cummings led multiple investigations of the president’s governmental dealings, including probes in 2019 relating to the president’s family members serving in the White House.
His wife, Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, is the chair of the Maryland Democratic Party.
“Congressman Cummings was an honorable man who proudly served his district and the nation with dignity, integrity, compassion and humility,” she said in a statement.
“He worked until his last breath because he believed our democracy was the highest and best expression of our collective humanity and that our nation’s diversity was our promise, not our problem. It has been an honor to walk by his side on this incredible journey. I loved him deeply and will miss him dearly,” she said.
Trump praised Cummings’ “strength, passion and wisdom” in a tweet.
“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!” the president wrote.