Video of Elijah Cummings' 'This Is Our Watch' Speech Following Mueller Testimony Resurfaces After Congressman's Death

A video of Representative Elijah Cummings urging the American people to "pay attention" after the testimony of former special counsel Robert Mueller earlier this year resurfaced on Thursday following the congressman's death.

Cummings died Thursday morning at the age of 68 due to complications from long standing health challenges, his office said. The Democrat from Maryland was the chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee and led several investigations into President Donald Trump and his administration.

In recent months, Cummings had made it clear that he thought the country was at a crossroads under Trump's leadership. Following Mueller's appearance on Capitol Hill in late July, during which the former special counsel said his investigation did not exonerate Trump, Cummings implored the public to "guard this moment."

"I'm begging the American people to pay attention to what is going on," Cummings said after the testimony in a press conference with other House Democratic leaders. "Because if you want to have a democracy intact for your children and your children's children and generations yet unborn, we have got to guard against this moment. This is our watch."

In the speech, the longtime representative also urged listeners not to accept Trump's conduct as normal and debunked conservative arguments that Democrats were misusing the Russia probe to mess with Trump out of personal dislike.

"It's not about not liking the president. It's about loving democracy. It's about loving our country," Cummings said. He added that lawmakers were "not going to get used to this kind of conduct by the president and our attorney general and our Republican colleagues. ... We refuse to accept it."

I'm begging the American people to pay attention to what is going on. Because if you want to have a democracy intact for your children, and your children's children, and generations yet unborn we've got to guard this moment…this is our watch.

— Elijah E. Cummings (@RepCummings) July 24, 2019

Cummings, who served 12 terms in the House, was most well-known for his work on the Voting Rights Act and was a leading voice among African American lawmakers in Washington D.C. But after Trump was elected, he became one of the most powerful House chairmen and was a key figure on oversight action. He was one of three committee leaders guiding the House Democrats' impeachment inquiry.

His oversight often drew the ire of Trump and over the summer the president targeted Cummings in a string of statements condemned as racist. Trump once tweeted that Cummings' congressional district was a "disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess" and that the lawmaker had "failed badly."

Cummings responded to Trump's comments by tweeting that he goes home to his district daily to advocate for his constituents.

"Each morning, I wake up, and I go and fight for my neighbors," Cummings wrote. "It is my constitutional duty to conduct oversight of the Executive Branch. But, it is my moral duty to fight for my constituents."

congressman elijah cummings death
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, speaks at a National Press Club Headliners luncheon in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, August 7, 2019. Cummings died on Thursday morning from complications from longstanding health challenges. He was 68. Cheriss May/NurPhoto via Getty Images