House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Jason Chaffetz has announced that he will not be finishing his Congressional term, with his resignation to become official at the end of June.
In a letter to constituents, he said: “This week I sent a letter to Governor Herbert indicating my intention to resign from Congress effective June 30, 2017.”
He announced last month that he would not seek re-election in 2018, fueling speculation that he had some sort of yet to be discovered scandal. Some said that he had illicit connections to Russian interests, citing an apparent disregard for the seriousness of the investigation into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 presidential race.
Chaffetz, however, initially cited family concerns as underlying his decision to abandon his congressional career. He cited these concerns again in his Thursday letter announcing his resignation, writing, “After careful consideration and long discussion with my wife, Julie, we agree the time has come for us to move on from this part of our life.”
As chair of the House Oversight Committee, Chaffetz helped lead the ultimately irrelevant investigation into Hillary Clinton’s usage of a private email server while serving as secretary of state.
More recently, Chaffetz, along with the House Oversight Committee’s ranking Democratic member Rep. Elijah Cummings, announced that former presidential National Security Adviser Michael Flynn likely committed a felony in failing to disclose his financial ties to Turkey and Russia when being taken on by the White House.
Chaffetz also recently subpoenaed any memos held by fired FBI Director James Comey on conversations that he had with President Trump while the former still had a job. These memos have been the source of much speculation following reports that Trump tried to get the FBI to stop investigating Michael Flynn. Such, if true, is a possibly impeachable obstruction of justice.
Three sources familiar with the Utah Republican first revealed to POLITICO early Thursday that he would announce his early departure from Congress, but Chaffetz’s office initially refused to comment on those reports.
Anonymous sources revealed to Washingtonian earlier this month that Chaffetz had been telling colleagues on Capitol Hill that he would be taking a “substantial role” at Fox News. There’s no apparent word from Chaffetz as to whether or not those reports are accurate.
Featured Image via Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call.