Cummings' staff honor him in op-ed: He brought 'moral clarity'

Cummings' staff honor him in op-ed: He brought 'moral clarity'

Current and former House staffers who worked with the late Rep. Elijah CummingsElijah Eugene CummingsGOP leaders encourage retiring lawmakers to give up committee posts Pelosi taps Virginia Democrat for key post on economic panel Democratic challenger on Van Drew's party switch: 'He betrayed our community' MORE (D-Md.) honored their departed boss in an op-ed Friday, saying it was a “great honor and privilege” to work with him.

“He was inspiring, both in public and even more so in private. He brought moral clarity to everything he did, and his purpose was pure — to help those among us who needed it most,” about 180 staffers wrote for USA Today

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Reminiscing on a “demanding” boss who still “listened to us, respected us and trusted us,” the staffers remembered how Cummings, the former chairman of the powerful House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, insisted on personally interviewing everyone his office hired. 

“Each of us has a personal memory of sitting down with him for the first time, and it was like nothing we had experienced before," the group wrote. "He would ask why we were interested in public service, how we thought we could contribute and what motivated us. Then he would lean in and ask in his low baritone voice, ‘But … what feeds your soul?’” 

“More than a few of us left those interviews with tears in our eyes, perhaps feeling that we had learned more about ourselves than about him,” they continued. “It is difficult to describe the emptiness we now feel. His spirit was so strong, and his energy so boundless, that the void is devastating. 

Cummings, who laid in state on Capitol Hill on Thursday, was honored at a funeral in Baltimore on Friday by a who’s-who of U.S. politicians, including former President Obama, House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOvernight Defense: GAO finds administration broke law by withholding Ukraine aid | Senate opens Trump trial | Pentagon to resume training Saudi students soon Hillicon Valley: FBI to now notify state officials of cyber breaches | Pelosi rips 'shameful' Facebook | 5G group beefs up lobby team | Spotify unveils playlists for pets Hill.TV's Saagar Enjeti on impeachment: 'CNN can see through this nonsense' MORE (D-Calif.), former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonFormer Vermont Governor: Sanders 'will play dirty' NYT: Justice investigating alleged Comey leak of years-old classified info New Hampshire state lawmaker switches support from Warren to Klobuchar MORE and former President Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonDemocratic group plans mobile billboard targeting Collins on impeachment Political science has its limits when it comes to presidential prediction Walsh plans protest at RNC headquarters over 'nakedly anti-Democratic' primary cancellations MORE.