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Maryland Rep. Elijah E. Cummings died early Thursday due to complications from longstanding health challenges, his congressional office said.

He was 68.

Cummings, the son of a sharecropper, became the powerful chairman of a U.S. House committee that investigated President Donald Trump, and was a formidable orator who passionately advocated for the poor in his black-majority district, which encompasses a large portion of Baltimore as well as more well-to-do suburbs.

As chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, 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.

President Trump has just tweeted his “warmest condolences” following the death of Congressman Elijah Cummings.

Cummings, was an early supporter of Barack Obama’s presidential bid in 2008 and had a long career that spanned decades in Maryland politics.

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.

Source: Associated Press