Back in October, Representative Jason Chaffetz, chair of the House Oversight Committee, had big plans for 2017. After leading the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server, he positioned himself to be President Clinton’s greatest foe in Congress, bragging to the Washington Post that he would spend the next four years probing her alleged misdeeds.
“It’s a target-rich environment,” Chaffetz said. “Even before we get to Day One, we’ve got two years’ worth of material already lined up. She has four years of history at the State Department, and it ain’t good.”
Even after the election, Chaffetz said he had a “duty and obligation” to continue investigating the former secretary of State. However, he claimed his committee would investigate President-elect Trump with equal fervor. “I am optimistic that a Trump administration would actually be cooperative,” Chaffetz said. “The Obama administration has given us the stiff arm every single step of the way. I think a new administration would actually work with us to quickly get to the truth, learn what we need to learn and then fix it.”
It’s unclear why Chaffetz thinks the candidate who refused Chaffetz’s call to release his tax returns will be more responsive as president, but so far the Utah congressman isn’t even asking for a response.
Amid staggering evidence of Trump’s conflicts of interest — from letting the manager of his blind trust sit in on meetings with foreign dignitaries to allowing his D.C. hotel to court foreign diplomats — Chaffetz has ignored calls to launch an investigation into the president-elect.
And he will continue to ignore them, and he will be rewarded with easy reelection in a Utah district that he won by 46 points just three weeks ago, and he will remain House Oversight Committee chair.
And nobody will care. Anyone who thought for a moment that Chaffetz was ever going to investigate Trump is nearly as much of a problem with our political system as Chaffetz himself is. The next four years will be brutal, blood-soaked payback against the Obama coalition in an effrot to make sure Democrats never hold power again.
Jason Chaffetz won't even begin to interfere with that.