Reporter’s Notebook: Rep. Elijah Cummings’ megaphone silent goes

nearvideo Elijah Cummings’ death a ” terrible loss for the country,’ Rep. Kildee says

Michigan Democrat Rep. Dan Kildee speaks on the legacy of his house colleagues and defended the impeachment process against President Trump.

CAPITOL HILL – It is the iconic image of 2015 riots in Baltimore: the late Republic, Elijah Cummings, D-Md., walks through the streets, a voice tube, clamped in his right hand.

Baltimore was in an uproar, in the spring of 2015 after the death of Freddie Gray in police custody. The city exploded in riots after the police struggled, to explain how Gray died. Twenty police officers were injured. There are a number of fires and looting goods. The Governor called in the national guard.

And so, Cummings stormed through the streets of his home city, the night, night with his loud-hailer. The deputies asked the people to get home and calm down.

Rep. Elijah Cummings plea for the protesters to go home to a curfew rather than risk arrest in Baltimore, April 29, 2015. (Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images, File)

“It’s time to go home!” pleaded Cummings. “Now, come on. You go home!”

Cummings really don’t need a voice to be heard. His rich, resonant baritone is often the marble corridors of the Cannon House Office Building, and in the house chamber echoed, when the Maryland press for have Democrat.

Cummings earned the megaphone, thanks to a 2014 exchange with then-House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif. Issa abruptly have a hearing with former IRS employee Lois Lerner ended to examine whether the Agency is politicized, the tax status of conservative organizations. Cummings was the top Democrat on the Committee, and was talking about you, when Issa cut him off. Issa hit with the Hammer on the dais, and lowered his hand across his throat, ordering a helper to cut Cummings’ microphone.

“We were interrupted,” cried Issa. To close “you.”

Democrats howled in protest. The Republicans asserted Issa’s behavior was repulsive. Democrats demanded that then-House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, sanctioning Issa for his behavior.

Former Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Fla., took notice of Cummings’ plight with Issa. Grayson sent Cummings the megaphone, along with a plaque, “The Lord Will Not give in.” Cummings provided to help the tool, facilitate the voltage in Baltimore after the riots.

During the riots, the Baltimore Orioles have a home game at Camden Yards against the Chicago White Sox were scheduled to play. Citing security concerns chosen, the Orioles, to play the game in an otherwise empty stadium. Cummings confided in me that he disagreed vehemently with the Orioles ” to make a decision. He said that the ‘ O ‘ should have opened the stadium for all of the Baltimore, the students in an effort to salve the wounds after the riots.


In particular, it was Major League Baseball that brought Cummings into the national spotlight.

In February 2008, the house Oversight Committee agreed to hear testimony from All-Star pitcher Roger Clemens. Clemens’ former trainer Brian McNamee told the legislature that he injected Clemens with human growth hormone (HGH), many times. The pitcher had asked, the window for an opportunity to try clearing his name.

“I never did steroids or HGH,” said Clemens.

This is where Cummings entered the national consciousness.

“It is hard to believe that you, sir,” boomed Cummings. “I hate to say that. You’re one of my heroes, but it is hard to believe that of you!”

The clip continues to play to this day on TV shows about doping and sports.

It is unclear whether Cummings much cared about hockey. But a phenomenon in hockey helped the improvement of the status of the Maryland Democrat: the right matchup.


Hockey coaches strategies constantly in order to certain defensive pairings on the ice at the same time as your opponent top offensive line. The Republicans won control of the house in 2010 and the aggressive Issa promoted to the chair of the Oversight panel. Such a scenario was seen, resulting in a problem for the Democrats and President Obama. Former REP Ed towns, D-NY, was in line to serve as the top Democrat on the panel. But, Fox News was told at the time that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., lack of faith in the cities’ ability to defend themselves, the President and wrestling with Issa. Cities withdrew from the race. Cummings then Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-NY, the leading Democrat on the panel, and Issa defeated ‘ s sparring ner.

Former Reps Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, and Trey Gowdy, R-S. C., succeeded in Issa as Chairman of the Oversight Committee. Gowdy led Benghazi Committee. Pelosi Cummings Gowdy’s dance partner made it to the panel. And, if Democrats in the house won in the year 2018, the Republicans sure, she had would serve a good matchup against Cummings: Rep. Jim Jordan, of Ohio, as the ranking Republican on the Oversight Committee.

Cummings patrolled on the streets of Baltimore the night with his bullhorn in the spring of 2015. But, Congressman, double-postponed trip to Washington, sans sleep, the battle with Chaffetz and Gowdy. As a Baltimore the major challenges, an hour southwest of melted, Cummings face, from his home. The Benghazi investigation came to a head. The Supervisory Board held big hearings on the misdeeds of the secret service and it was, as the protection of President Obama. It is an investigation of how the U.S. Capitol police allowed to land a gyrocopter, on the West front of the Capitol.

There were days where Cummings would walk through the streets of Baltimore in the night, to Washington the next morning, back in Baltimore, in the afternoon return to Washington for evening votes, and to patrol then head back for another shift on the road.


In the midst of all of this, Cummings rush to vote on the house floor, runs the hearing about the gyrocopter robbery were found. I was already on Board a car of the subway to the Rayburn House Office Building associate with the Capitol. Exhausted, Cummings cumbersome on the cart, stretched out his legs and leaned his head against the Plexiglas window. Cummings closed his eyes, tried to Marshal a moment of shuteye for the 38-second trip in the capital.

It is probably the only kind of respite Cummings got these days a restless, noisy ride on a subway car winds its way beneath Independence Avenue.

The house of representatives honored Cummings on Thursday afternoon with a moment of silence.


“He is now with the angels, from the pain,” said Baltimore native Pelosi between tears. “I didn’t know it was this close. I thought he came back in a few weeks.”

“A moment of silence will not be enough to have the life of Elijah Cummings respects,” said House majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md. “What enough is, if we follow his example for life.”

Follow us

Don't be shy, get in touch. We love meeting interesting people and making new friends.

Most popular