House Oversight and Government Reform Committee chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) is expected to step down from Congress June 30.
According to Politico, Chaffetz will likely make the announcement later today. However, inklings of Chaffetz’s intentions have been known since April. We previously reported Chaffetz would not run for office again in 2018, with some speculating Chaffetz was eying a hiatus before mounting a run for governorship of Utah.
The move also comes as political scandal mounts in Washington D.C. with the firing of FBI Director James Comey over investigations into connections between the Trump campaign and Russia—as well as into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.
Chaffetz, as Oversight chair, has subpoenaed memos from Comey detailing his encounters with President Trump and has called on him to testify before his panel as early as next week.
As to what Chaffetz has planned in the short term, he may be eying a stint at Fox News, according to Talking Points Memo:
The House Oversight chairman announced in April that he would not seek another term in 2018 and had “made a personal decision to return to the private sector.” He later cited his lifestyle as one of the reasons he plans to leave Congress, saying, “I just turned 50. I’m sleeping on a cot in my office.”
His lifestyle may be about to get a lot cushier.
The Washingtonian reported in May that Chaffetz told colleagues he planned to take an on-air role at Fox News as early as July. Politico also reported, citing several unnamed “sources in the Capitol,” that Chaffetz has told colleagues that he will appear on Fox News.
TPM also notes that Chaffetz’s oversight zeal with regards to Comey has waxed and waned. Tweeting Wednesday that he had his “subpoena pen ready,” Chaffetz later backtracked, opining “whether or not they’re actually there.”
We will update this story should Chaffetz officially announce his intentions.
UPDATE: Chaffetz has confirmed he will step down June 30. Here are some of his comments, courtesy of NBC News:
“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 to his constituents. “This week I sent a letter to Governor Herbert indicating my intention to resign from Congress effective June 30, 2017.”
“My life has undergone some big changes over the last 18 months. Those changes have been good. But as I celebrated my 50th birthday in March, the reality of spending more than 1,500 nights away from my family over eight years hit me harder than it had before,” [his] letter read.