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House panel recommends Carolyn Maloney to head Oversight Committee

Congressman Elijah Cummings dies at 68

The House Democratic Steering Committee on Tuesday recommended Representative Carolyn Maloney to take the helm of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, the powerful panel that is playing a crucial role in the ongoing impeachment inquiry involving President Trump.

Maloney, who is in her 14th term, has been leading the panel on a temporary basis following the death of Representative Elijah Cummings, Democrat of Maryland, last month and is the panel's longest serving Democrat. Also vying for the chairmanship were Representatives Gerry Connolly of Virginia and Stephen Lynch of Massachusetts.

All House Democrats will vote on a new chair Wednesday.

The Oversight panel is one of three, alongside the Foreign Affairs and Intelligence Committees, that have been leading the ongoing impeachment inquiry.

Maloney's selection came after the Intelligence Committee heard testimony from two key witnesses — Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman and Jennifer Williams — who listened in on the July 25 phone call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that prompted a whistleblower complaint to the intelligence community inspector general. Vindman is an expert on Ukraine on the National Security Council, and Williams is an aide to Vice President Mike Pence.

Later Tuesday afternoon, the Intelligence panel heard testimony from Kurt Volker, the former special representative to Ukraine, and Tim Morrison, outgoing national security aide .

The Oversight Committee is one of several investigating the president's conduct and the administration's policies, including whether Mr. Trump is profiting from foreign governments that visit his Washington, D.C., hotel in violation of the Constitution and the administration's family separation policy. The panel also held hearings on the Trump administration's efforts to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census and heard public testimony from Michael Cohen, the president's former attorney, in February.

Maloney has represented her New York district, which includes parts of Manhattan, since 1993 and is a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. She also serves on the House Financial Services Committee.

Lynch, an attorney, has served on the Oversight Committee since his swearing in in 2001. Connolly, who is in his sixth term, has been a member of the panel since 2009.

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