House Oversight chairman will resign in June

Angie Massey
May 19, 2017

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) is expected to step down from Congress June 30. "I turned 50, I'm sleeping on a cot", Chaffetz said of his life as a congressman in Washington. "I think that's the fair way Republicans and Democrats can look in the light of day in a public setting".

That looked like it was changing this week when reports emerged that former Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey had taken notes after Trump privately asked him to end a probe into his former National Security Adviser before firing Comey.

Comey was sacked last week as the FBI was investigating whether Trump's presidential campaign associates had colluded with Russian Federation to influence the outcome in his behalf.

Chaffetz had previously said he may leave before the end of his term but did not give any timeline. Chaffetz also asked Comey to testify before the House next week. Chaffetz, who heads the Oversight Committee, said he wanted more time with family.

Mr. Chaffetz had just started his 5th term in Congress, used his post as chair of the oversight committee to doggedly investigate Hillary Clinton before the Y 2016 Presidential election and raise his political profile. He asked Chaffetz if he was concerned the same thing could happen with Mueller's investigation.

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"As you know, after careful consideration and long discussion with my wife, Julie, we agree the time has come for us to move on from this part of our life", Chaffetz wrote in a letter posted on his social media.

After Donald Trump won the election, Mr. Chaffetz became a lightning rod for criticism that Republicans were not aggressively policing President Trump. Some say that he is scheduled to start his new position in July, which would suggest that Chaffetz would have to depart from Congress nearly immediately to prepare for his new life in the private sector.

Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, is one of the most senior committee members and has signaled his interest in succeeding Chaffetz as chairman, but it's not clear whether he could win that prized slot.

Chaffetz spent years conducting investigations into Benghazi, created to attack Hillary Clinton, but has bristled at providing the most basic oversight of President Donald Trump.

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert on Thursday said his office is making plans to hold a special election to fill Chaffetz's seat - only the second time in state history a congressional vacancy has occurred.

Other reports by GizPress

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