Chaffetz to resign, raising doubts about Trump probe

Posted May 20, 2017

Gowdy, who chaired the House Select Committee on Benghazi, has started buttonholing members of the House Steering Committee in recent days to build support.

As chairman, Gowdy would lead the House's oversight of President Donald Trump and investigate whether the president attempted to quash an FBI investigation into former national security advisor Michael Flynn. Their concern: that Chaffetz might be using the high-profile Comey case, and an opportunity to grill the F.B.I. director in front of millions of Americans, to slingshot his way into a career as a top-tier cable news commentator.

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

Jason Chaffetz says he will resign from Congress on June 30, raising questions about the probe of President Donald Trump's ties to Russian Federation.

"There are lots of good people who care about these issues and are well-suited to carry out these investigations", he said.

A packed field of Utah Republicans is shaping up to replace Rep.

The 50-year-old lawmaker officially announced his resignation on Thursday, but he said last month he would not seek re-election in 2018.

Chaffetz was first elected to represent Utah's 3rd Congressional District in 2008 and quickly rose through the ranks to chair the powerful House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. He later converted to Mormonism and became a Republican after meeting President Ronald Reagan when Reagan visited the marketing company where Chaffetz worked.

Chaffetz wields significant power as the chairman of the House Oversight Committee.

The letter also doesn't mention Chaffetz's future plans, including a possible run for Utah governor.

Later that same day, Thursday, Chaffetz' office released a statement that the congressman would leave his cot and office in Washington at the end of June. He rescinded his endorsement of Trump a year ago after recordings surfaced of the reality show star bragging about groping women, only to hastily re-endorse Trump shortly before the FBI announced it was reviving its investigation into Clinton's emails.

After Trump won, liberals hammered him for not going after Trump's administration with almost the vigor used against Democrats. "The overwhelming driving force is the idea that I just love my family".

Chaffetz, in a letter to Utah Gov. Gary Herbert, said he will step down effective June 30. But they'll face an uphill battle in Chaffetz's heavily Republican district, which stretches from Salt Lake City's southeastern suburbs to desert towns in southeastern Utah and includes heavily conservative Mormon areas.