Last month we found out GOP Rep. Jason Chaffetz wasn't too happy being chair of the House Oversight Committee when he didn't have Hillary Clinton as President to harass on a daily basis, so unhappy in fact he that he was not going to run in 2018. But now that Chaffetz's job involves actually having to deal with Donald Trump's Russia connections, money laundering, obstruction of justice and you know, possible treason it seems that Chaffetz is now bailing completely and hanging it up at the end of next month.
The chairman of the House oversight and government reform committee, Jason Chaffetz, is leaving Congress on June 30, the Utah Republican announced Thursday.
"As you know, 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," Chaffetz wrote in a letter posted on his social media. "This week I sent a letter to Governor (Gary) Herbert indicating my intention to resign from Congress effective June 30, 2017."
Chaffetz said last month he was not running for reelection, and then later said he might not finish out his term. He's reportedly eying a position at Fox News after leaving the House.
Chaffetz is head of a committee that is the House's investigatory arm into the Executive Branch. He has started digging into President Donald Trump's firing of FBI Director James Comey and the former director's memo saying Trump asked him to drop the investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn.
This week, Chaffetz sent a letter from FBI Director Andrew McCabe seeking all FBI notes and information on Comey's communications with Trump, and he announced a hearing next week where he's invited Comey to testify.
There's no indication yet, however, that the former FBI director plans to attend -- and Chaffetz had trouble reaching Comey.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, the top Democrat on the panel, has repeatedly clashed with Chaffetz during several investigations, but told CNN that he was "going to miss him" and that he brought a "breath of fresh air" to the committee after it went through some tumultuous times under prior Republican leadership.
Funny how after subpoenaing Comey's memos earlier this week, Chaffetz is now heading home back to Utah and getting as far away from DC as he can. A nice cushy job as a FOX News pundit seems like the perfect position for him.
My guess is that Chaffetz knows quite a bit about what's coming and doesn't have the guts to handle the coming storm. He doesn't want to deal with Trump, and definitely doesn't want to deal with Trump voters either. After all, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert might now want to run in 2018, and Chaffetz might want a career after 2017. Who knows?
Either way, for Chaffetz to bail now is 100% suspicious...and 100% cowardly. Never forget that when real government oversight was needed, Jason Chaffetz turned into a chickenshit and ran home.
Most Republicans are cowards though, so no surprise there.
The problem with that is this means our old friend Trey "Benghazi" Gowdy would be chair of the Oversight Committee again.
Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) could be the next chairman of the House Oversight Committee — if he wants the job.
The popular South Carolina Republican and former Select Committee on Benghazi chairman has emerged as the front-runner to replace Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), who made it official Thursday that he would resign from Congress on June 30.
Gowdy, a prominent leadership ally, has been racking up endorsements from colleagues on the Oversight panel and the influential Steering Committee, which will choose the next chairman. The 52-year-old former prosecutor is one of a handful of senior Oversight members who has been calling and texting Steering members about the gavel.
“If Trey runs, he’ll get it,” one Steering Committee member told The Hill.
But Gowdy’s office said the congressman has made no final decision about whether he’ll run.
“Rep. Gowdy is talking to members in the conference about the qualities they believe are most important for the next Chairman to possess,” said Gowdy spokeswoman Amanda Gonzalez.
At least two other Oversight members — Reps. Dennis Ross (R-Fla.) and Steve Russell (R-Okla.) — have been reaching out to the 32-member Steering panel.
The Oversight Committee is stacked with members of the far-right House Freedom Caucus, and several of them said they favored former Freedom Caucus Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) to be the next chairman.
But even Jordan conceded Thursday that it’d be an uphill battle for him to win the gavel given that the Steering group is largely comprised of loyalists to Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.). Jordan had been one of the Freedom ringleaders who pressured then-Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to resign in 2015, making Jordan persona non grata to some GOP colleagues.
So Gowdy is the frontrunner, but he actually may not get the job. We'll see. Hell, who knows where this will all be when June 30 rolls around.