Rep. Jason Chaffetz announces resignation from Congress, effective June 30

Olive Rios
May 24, 2017

The chairman of the House oversight and government reform committee, Jason Chaffetz, is leaving Congress on June 30, the Utah Republican announced Thursday. "But as I celebrated my 50 birthday in March, the reality of spending more than 1,500 nights away from my family over eight years hit me harder than it had before", Chaffetz said in a letter written to his constituents on Thursday.

Chaffetz said last month he was not running for reelection, and then later said he might not finish out his term.

"Serving you in the U.S. House of Representatives for almost nine years has been a rare honor and privilege", he said. "When I first ran for Congress in 2008 I promised I would get in, serve, and get out". "And that process is not always the one that's most favorable to guys like me who don't always go along with the establishment".

"I started poking around to see what I might be worth and what sort of possibilities are there", Chaffetz said in April.

According to multiple press reports, Chaffetz has told his colleagues he will become a Fox News contributor upon his June 30 departure. Utah lawmakers are struggling to reach a consensus for how and when to schedule a special election.

Rep. Devin Nunes, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, had to recuse himself from that investigation after a freaky incident where he emerged from the White House and seemed to suggest he had evidence backing up Trump's groundless contention that he had been surveilled by the Obama administration. He has represented Utah's 3rd District since 2009.

Under the House GOP's rules limiting chairmen to three two-year terms, Chaffetz could have kept the Oversight gavel through 2020.

The House Oversight Committee he heads is one of several congressional panels looking into aspects of Russia's alleged attempts to influence the USA presidential election.

Chaffetz, chairman of the House Oversight Committee, recently subpoenaed former FBI Director James Comey's memos, and invited him to testify before his panel next week.

Chaffetz vowed to get the memos Comey wrote about his meeting with Trump in which the president allegedly asked him to shut down the FBI investigation into ousted National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

- Cristina Marcos and Scott Wong contributed.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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