Chaffetz resignation latest twist in GOP oversight of Trump

Republican Representative Jason Chaffetz, the chairman of a committee looking into President Donald Trump's decision to fire Federal Bureau of Investigation chief James Comey, said on Thursday he will depart Congress at the end of next month. "I turned 50, I'm sleeping on a cot", Chaffetz said of his life as a congressman in Washington.

And now, just as he says he has his "subpoena pen ready" so the Oversight Committee can get its hands on fired FBI Director James Comey's memos, he's going to hand the pen off to someone else.

Comey was sacked last week as the FBI investigates whether Trump's presidential campaign associates had colluded with Russian Federation to influence the outcome in his behalf.

Chaffetz, whose term was set to last until 2019, confirmed the news in a letter to constituents, saying his last day will be June 30.

If Chaffetz does not intend to serve out his term, Utah voters deserve to know his timing so the state cannot only begin the process of finding a new representative, but also better understand if he is focusing on his role in the House or jockeying for new soon-to-come opportunities.

The White House has denied that Trump attempted to influence the investigation.

The news, first reported by Politico, puts into motion a potentially uncertain special election process in Utah, where state lawmakers are in a stare-down with Gov. Gary Herbert over how to elect Chaffetz' replacement.

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He has not ruled out running for another office, such as Utah governor.

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.

U.S. Rep. Jason Chaffetz and his wife, Julie, speak with reporters at their home on Thursday in Alpine, Utah, about his decision to leave Congress at the end of June.

Chaffetz's departure opens up one of the most powerful and closely scrutinized posts on Capitol Hill - the House majority's chief inquisitor - amid serious questions about wrongdoing at the highest levels of the Trump administration.

It was not immediately clear who will succeed him at the helm of the congressional oversight panel.

In an appearance on Fox News' "Tucker Carlson Tonight," Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, said Mueller is "as good as it gets" and that his credentials are "impeccable", but anxious that the investigation will be politically exploited by Democrats on a daily basis. Chaffetz chairs the committee looking into the Trump's campaign's role in Russia's efforts to meddle in the 2016 presidential election.

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