Elijah Cummings ‘signed subpoenas from his hospital bed’ for Trump impeachment before his death

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Elijah Cummings was kept busy to the very end of his life leading an investigation into Donald Trump before passing away at the age of 68 on Wednesday, his aides have said.

The chairman of the House Oversight Committee was signing subpoenas from his hospital bed, one aide told the New York Times.

He also helped lead a Democratic caucus conference call.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi described Mr Cummings as a “north star” who spoke with “unsurpassed clarity and moral integrity” on the House floor.

Ms Pelosi, who grew up in the city Mr Cummings represented, said he was her “brother in Baltimore” during a press conference on Thursday, adding: “We’ve all lost a friend … I’m devastated by the loss.”

Despite not having participated in a roll call vote since September, the late congressman was continuing to spearhead the oversight committee’s impeachment inquiry into Mr Trump along with two other House committees handling the investigation.

He has sparred with Mr Trump since the president took office, condemning the humanitarian crisis on the US-Mexico border during a fiery speech and decrying his attempts to ban residents of Muslim-majority nations from entering the country as “unconstitutional” and “un-American”.

Mr Trump consistently attacked Mr Cummings online, calling the congressman a “racist” then describing his majority-black district as a “disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess” in which “no human being” would wish to live.

Mr Cummings served 12-terms representing the 7th District of Maryland, which includes parts of Baltimore.

The president tweeted his “warmest condolences” to Mr Cummings’ family and friends, writing: “I got to see first hand the strength, passion and wisdom of this highly respected political leader.”

He added: “His work and voice on so many fronts will be very hard, if not impossible, to replace!”

The House announced its intentions to continue the impeachment inquiry against Mr Trump in the wake of Mr Cummings’ passing.

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News of his death came as Gordon Sondland, the ambassador to the European Union, testified on Capitol Hill.

He turned on Mr Trump in a rare rebuke from a sitting ambassador and admitted he was “disappointed” by the president’s decision to have his Ukraine agenda go through his personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani.

Top Dem Faces Ethics Questions After Watchdog Group Finds His Wife May Have Benefitted From His Committee Role

House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairman Cummings chairs a committee meeting on White House security clearances on Capitrol Hill in Washington

Congressman Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) is facing ethics concerns after a conservative watchdog group found that his wife may have benefitted from his House leadership position, according to a report from the Washington Examiner.

Cummings chairs the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform which is the main investigative committee of the lower legislative body. While serving as chair, Cummings has overseen the investigations into and regulations for many large corporations.

The chairman’s wife, Maya Rockeymoore, operates a non-profit called Center for Global Policy Solutions and a for-profit consulting agency called Global Policy Solutions, LLC.

While Cummings served as chair of the Oversight Committee, Rockeymoore’s Global Policy Solutions received financial backing from Google, J.P Morgan, and Prudential — all of which had business before the committee while Cummings was serving as chair or ranking member.

Johnson & Johnson charity, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, was the non-profit’s largest financial backer. Rockeymoore raked in more than $10 million into her two operations from the charity. Her non-profit received a total of $5.2 million while her for-profit consulting firm brought in $5.5 million.

The pharmaceutical giant stopped contributing to Rockeymoore’s operations in 2017. Since then, Cummings has been a vocal critic of Johnson & Johnson as part of the committee’s investigation into pharmaceutical prices in the U.S.

When the right-leaning National Legal and Policy Center requested the financial records of Rockeymoore’s non-profit — which the organization is required by law to turn over — the non-profit refused. This prompted the IRS complaint from the center requesting information about the overlapping aspects of Rockeymoore’s non-profit and for-profit operations.

This overlap could be illegal because Rockeymoore’s consulting group received a $1 million federal contract to oversee “Leadership for Healthy Communities” — a 2017 project from the General Services Administration — for which Rockeymoore’s non-profit “served as the national program office.” This could qualify as “self-dealing,” which is illegal under IRS laws.

National Legal and Policy Center’s Government Integrity Project director Tom Anderson claimed the lack of transparency is a “serious problem.” Anderson told the Washington Examiner:

“When a powerful chairman of a committee of the House of Representatives has a wife that is bringing in money from entities with interests before his Committee and she is not providing the transparency mandated by the IRS, there’s a serious problem. The potential for corruption in this situation is simply off the charts and can’t be understated. We hope Chairman Cummings works with his wife to end the stonewalling and provide the public with what’s legally mandated all charities provide.”

This IRS controversy for Cummings and Rockeymoore comes as the congressman continues to demand that President Donald Trump release his personal taxes for his committee to comb through.

 

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Congressman’s daughter uses car with official plates to drive for Lyft

150430125919-cummings-bmore-slideshow-exlarge-169Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Maryland, appears in Baltimore in this undated file photo.

 

Washington (CNN)No, that’s not Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings driving for Lyft in his downtime.

But his daughter, Adia, who borrowed her father’s car, may have made her passengers feel like VIPs since the black Honda she uses was sporting official congressional license plates.
Lyft is a company that provides rides to subscribers who summon a car to pick them up using an app on their phone.
The Washington Post first reported that Cummings did lend his car to his daughter, who was a student at Howard University.
Someone posted a picture of the car with a Lyft sticker on a D.C. blog called “Popville” and asked which member of Congress worked for the company. The picture showed the vehicle with Maryland plates that read “US Congress” and the number “7,” which designates Cummings’ district in Baltimore, and the “Reliable Sources” gossip column at the Post solved the mystery.
Cummings explained the situation in a statement to CNN.
“In an effort to earn some extra money to pay her expenses at school, she signed up for a part-time position with one of the ride-sharing companies. They, in turn, gave her a sticker to apply to the windshield of the car,” Cummings said.
The congressman, who is the top ranking Democrat on the House Oversight Committee and another panel investigating the attacks in Benghazi, says after he spoke with his daughter, the congressional tags have been removed. He took responsibility for the situation, saying, “I apologize for not having removed the license plate before loaning the vehicle to her.”
Cummings’ office told CNN that the Honda is a personal car, not one leased or purchased through his campaign or official office account.
According to Lyft’s requirements posted on their website, drivers must be 21 years old, have a smartphone and “must be a covered party on your car’s in-state insurance and have in-state license plates.” The website advertises that individuals can make up to $35 per hour with the company by signing up as a driver.
Lyft riders in D.C. can still be picked up by Adia, since Cummings isn’t taking the car away.
“My daughter has now graduated from Howard and I could not be more proud of her,” Cummings said. “I have told her she can continue to use my car while she pursues full-time employment.”
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