Chaffetz resignation latest twist in GOP oversight of Trump
- Author: Zachary Reyes May 20, 2017,
May 20, 2017, 14:40
On Tuesday, shortly after the existence of memos by Mr. Comey was reported, Mr. Chaffetz sent a letter to Andrew McCabe, the acting director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, asking for all documents relating to communication between Mr. Trump and Mr. Comey.
The Utah Congressman announced his plans on Thursday, saying that he would stay on duty until the end of June.
"For those who would speculate otherwise, let me be clear that I have no ulterior motives", Chaffetz wrote in a Facebook post in April, when he first announced he would not be seeking re-election.
He said he believed that other members of his committee would keep the investigation going. It was something that would take months or years, he added.
Chaffetz, a Republican, has demanded that the FBI hand over memos and notes that ex-FBI Director James Comey reportedly compiled after meetings and phone calls with Trump. Rep. Devin Nunes, the chairman of the House Intelligence Agency, had to recuse himself from that investigation after a weird 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.
But Trump complicated Chaffetz's life. He later re-endorsed Trump shortly before the FBI announced it was reviving its investigation into Clinton's emails.
When it appeared likely that Clinton would win the election, Chaffetz bragged that he would use his committee to attack her, telling The Washington Post, "We've got two years' worth of material already lined up".
After Trump won, liberals hammered him for not going after Trump's administration with almost the vigor used against Democrats.
As a college football kicker at Mormon-owned Brigham Young University in Utah, Chaffetz stumped for Dukakis during his 1988 presidential campaign.
Chaffetz said Thursday in Utah that he hopes to find out from the U.S. Department of Justice within the next few weeks if they exist and if they'll share them with the House Oversight Committee he chairs.
A packed field of Utah Republicans started shaping up Friday to replace Rep. Jason Chaffetz while the governor and legislators tussled over whether the state needs to pass emergency laws to hold a special election.
Chaffetz became a campaign manager and chief of staff to former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, Jr. but they had a falling out in 2012 when Chaffetz endorsed Mitt Romney for president over Huntsman.
"I think I'll actually miss the chaos; I kind of thrive in that", he said. He later cited his lifestyle as one of the reasons he plans to leave Congress, saying, "I just turned 50".
"The reality is, as much as I like my job, I love my family".
He is planned to speak with reporters at his home south of Salt Lake City later Thursday afternoon.