Rep. Chaffetz Quits Congress, Trump Investigation To Fade
- Author: Salvatore Jensen May 21, 2017,
May 21, 2017, 4:36
It was not immediately clear who will succeed him at the helm of the congressional oversight panel.
"Just because there is an investigation or work done at the Department of Justice doesn't excuse the Congress from doing its own work and getting to the bottom of things", Chaffetz said.
In a letter addressed to his Third Congressional District constituents, Chaffetz said his life has undergone some big changes in the last 18 months, citing the fact that he and his wife, Julie, may soon be empty nesters.
Rep. Devin Nunes, the cCairman of the House Intelligence Committee, had to recuse himself from that investigation after a freakish incident where he emerged from the White House and seemed to suggest he had evidence backing up President Trump's groundless contention that he had been under surveillance by The Obama Admin.
Chaffetz acknowledged the speculation but insisted to reporters that "the overwhelming driving force" of his resignation was a desire to spend more time with family as he realized he was in a mid-life crisis. Chaffetz tweeted that the House oversight panel will see Comey's memo "if it exists".
He told reporters Thursday from his home in a southern Salt Lake City suburb that he still has not seen the Comey memo or spoken with the former Federal Bureau of Investigation director. He said his office started coming up with possible election timelines when Chaffetz announced last month that he might leave early.
None of the Republicans running for office should expect an endorsement from Chaffetz until a nominee has been selected, he said.
But for House Republicans, the timing of Chaffetz's spotlight-grabbing Comey subpoena has become more than an annoyance.
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.
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.
The Utah Republican had said he meant to leave sometime during this term, but the abrupt departure is yet another step in the on-again, off-again dance between GOP-led congressional oversight committees and the Republican president.
"Chaffetz is chair of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee at a critical time when so much is going on within the Trump administration", Fry said. "And there are a lot of good, quality people who can do this job".