Chaffetz to resign, raising doubts about Trump probe

Since 2015, the Utahn has led the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, a position that gained increasing political visibility throughout the Obama administration.

He vowed to get the memos Comey reportedly wrote about his meeting with Trump in which the president allegedly asked him to shut down the FBI investigation into ousted National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz says he will resign from Congress on June 30, raising questions about the probe of President Donald Trump's ties to Russian Federation. "There's so many birthdays and things that I've missed, and that's hard", Chaffetz said.

Last month, Chaffetz announced that he would not seek re-election in 2018, hinting he would go back to the private sector.

U.S. Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Alpine, announced Thursday via letter that he will be resigning from Congress as of June 30.

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.

In response, Senate President Wayne Niederhauser, R-Sandy, issued a statement warning Herbert that "the path forward with the least amount of legal risk would be for the governor to call a special session to allow lawmakers to add appropriate election language to the state code".

"I think there will be lots of different Republicans who will step up", Chaffetz said. Rep. Devin Nunes, the chairman of the House Intelligence Agency, had to recuse himself from that investigation after a weird incident where he emerged from the White House and seemed to suggest he had evidence backing up Trump's groundless contention that he had been surveilled by the Obama administration.

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

Rep. Trey Gowdy of SC, who led the House's Benghazi select committee, is considered the favorite to become the next oversight chairman.

In a press conference Thursday morning, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert said a special election to replace Chaffetz could leave the office vacant for anywhere from two to four months.

"I kind of had a little bit of a midlife crisis".

The announcement by Chaffetz, 50, was the latest upending of the Republican-controlled congressional investigations into Trump.

If he gets the job, Gowdy would inherit the contentious investigation into Russia's role in the 2016 election and possible collusion with Donald Trump's presidential campaign.

Chaffetz, who heads the Oversight Committee, said he wanted more time with family.

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