Utah Rep Jason Chaffetz is the Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, a pretty important position that he’s about to walk away from as part of his decision to end or at least pause his career in Congress.
We can remember just a few months ago, at the inauguration of President Trump, that Chaffetz and Hillary Clinton happened to cross paths. They shook an uncomfortable handshake, as Chaffetz had pledged to investigate the corruption of Hillary Clinton in his committee. After their brief encounter he reiterated that position, in an Instagram photo of the moment, with a caption reading, ” So pleased she is not the President. I thanked her for her service and wished her luck. The investigation continues.”
That vow that the investigation continues may have all the credibility of an assertion that a Phoenix tarmac encounter was a discussion of grandchildren and golf games. It now seems that Rep Chaffetz is anxious to get out of DC and may not be sticking around until the 2018 election cycle. If that’s the case, his statements on investigating Clinton may be meaningless.
According to Doug Wright, a host at KSL in Salt Lake City, Rep Chaffetz has indicated that he may, in fact, leave before the end of his term. He said on his Thursday radio broadcast that “Chaffetz told him he was considering quitting Congress ahead of the 2018 elections.” That followed Chaffetz’ comments from the previous day that he will not seek re-election for his seat. Chaffetz has represented the Utah 3rd district since 2009.
Wright said on air, “I just straight up asked him, I said a lot of people are asking me whether or not you’re going to complete the term.” Wright continued, “The congressman wrote back and said, ‘I will continue to weigh the options but I might depart early.’”
Of course the big question now is why the rush. Is there something with his position that is running him off or another position elsewhere that is drawing him away. Does Hillary Clinton or any of her posse play a part in the decision making process?
Adding to the sense that Chaffetz will be leaving soon, he told the host that the State of Utah will need to figure out how to fill his seat if he were to choose not to finish out his term. That doesn’t sound like the kind of thing he’d say if he weren’t planning on leaving soon.
In his initial announcement, Chaffetz indicated that he may decide at some point to reenter politics, though he ruled out seeking any office in 2018, which would rule out a run for the Senate seat of Orrin Hatch were he to decide to retire. There is speculation that he will be seeking the governor’s office, which is to be contested in 2020. That wouldn’t seem to be the kind of thing that would prompt him to leave early. Chaffetz, who once applied for a position as a Secret Service agent, isn’t talking.
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