House oversight panel calls for May 24 hearing with Comey

Pauline Gross
May 19, 2017

Chaffetz, a Utah Republican who had just started his fifth term in Congress, used his post as chair of the oversight committee to doggedly investigate Hillary Clinton before the 2016 presidential election and raise his political profile.

When President Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, many expected - or hoped - that former prosecutor Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) might be selected to take his place.

The committee has been looking into whether President Donald Trump may have asked former Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey to back off the investigation of former national security adviser Michael Flynn shortly after Mr. Flynn had resigned.

Chaffetz also sent a letter to acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe requesting "all memoranda, notes, summaries and recordings" detailing any communication between Comey and Trump.

Utah Congressman Jason Chaffetz - who earlier announced he would not seek re-election in 2018 - has made a decision to end his tenure in the U.S. House of Representatives before his current term is up. Constituents booed him at a raucous February town hall, and a novice Democratic candidate raked in hundreds of thousands of dollars in online donations when she announced her longshot challenge to him weeks later.

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Chaffetz also expressed fears that the likely length of the investigation would cause congressional Democrats to "politically exploit this on a daily drumbeat, making up theories, making up stories, trying to get somebody to grab onto a piece of meat and say, 'Oh, this is true'". Republican Rep. K. Michael Conaway is now overseeing that probe.

Since Trump's election, Chaffetz has faced increasing pressure from constituents to more aggressively scrutinize President Trump's business dealings and his campaign's alleged ties to Russian Federation. But he did not provide a date for his departure until today.

"I am anxious, concerned, that continual political drama will drain the energy away from real accomplishments", Mac Thornberry, R-Texas, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal.

The former kicker for the Mormon-owned Brigham Young University football team was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2008. Chaffetz said he wants to spend time with his family, return to the private sector and potentially run for Utah governor.

Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), who chairs an Oversight subcommittee, pitched Jordan as the next chairman to The Hill on Thursday. "I turned 50, I'm sleeping on a cot", Chaffetz said of his life as a congressman in Washington.

Other reports by GizPress

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