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House oversight panel chairman Chaffetz to depart Congress June 30

20 May 2017

Utah's 3rd district will need a new representative very soon.

Rep. Jason Chaffetz announced Thursday he will resign from Congress next month, a move that calls into question the future of the House Oversight Committee's investigation he promised to lead about President Donald Trump's firing of the FBI director and his presidential campaign's ties with Russian Federation.

On Thursday, Chaffetz announced he was stepping down from Congress, effective June 30.

South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy, who headed the House investigation into the Benghazi terrorist attacks, is now gauging members opinions about "the qualities" the next oversight chair should possess, a spokesperson said. Chaffetz said Thursday that he will resign from Congress next month, a move that calls into question the future of the House Ove.

Chaffetz readily went on television news shows to opine on some of the most controversial issues of the day, something his fellow House members from Utah are less inclined to do.

Chaffetz's abrupt exit upends the latest of the Republican-controlled congressional investigations into Trump and also marks a sudden halt to Chaffetz's decade-long climb to power.

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"The overwhelming driving force is the idea that I love my family, and a lot of people will never, ever believe that", said the father of two married children and a third headed to college this year.

But Trump's victory complicated Chaffetz' life.

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.

Chaffetz's impending departure has created a sharp divide between GOP legislative leaders and Herbert, also a Republican, over how to fill his vacant U.S. House seat.

The House Oversight Committee he heads is one of several congressional panels looking into aspects of Russia's alleged attempts to influence the USA presidential election.

"Serving you in the U.S. House of Representatives for almost nine years has been a rare honor and privilege", he said in the statement. I told voters I did not believe Congress should be a lifetime career.

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

Herbert has dug in his heels and is calling for a special congressional election that would mirror Utah's current general election process.

After Trump won the election, Chaffetz became a lightning rod for criticism that Republicans weren't aggressively policing Trump. The House is known as the "People's House" because it is made up of a cross section of ordinary Americans who represent nearly every walk of life - as it should be.

Rep. Jim Jordan of OH, a Freedom Caucus founder, said he's interested and expects he would have support of the committee members - but he noted that the steering committee heavily controlled by Republican leadership will pick who gets the gavel.

Gowdy has been a go-to choice for Republicans for a variety of high-profile positions and was even a top candidate to replace Comey as Federal Bureau of Investigation director.

He says somebody else can lead the committee's work when he leaves Congress.

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