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U.S. Representative Elijah Cummings, one of the most influential Democrats in Congress and a key figure in the impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump, died on October 17 at age 68. The cause of death was "complications concerning longstanding health challenges," his office said in a statement. Cummings had been absent recently from Congress due to health concerns including heart and knee problems. The son of sharecroppers who rose to lead the powerful House Oversight and Reform Committee, Cummings clashed with Trump over multiple probes involving the Republican president, from his personal finances to possible abuses at federal agencies. The African American lawmaker called Trump a racist and sharply criticized his immigration policies. REUTERS/Mary F. Calvert