Published: Fri, May 19, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Chaffetz will 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.

Herbert weighed in on Trump's decision to fire former FBI Director James Comey-a shocking move made by the president last week.

Former FBI Director James Comey had been leading the investigation until he was sacked by President Donald Trump.

Chaffetz, in a letter to Utah Gov. Gary Herbert, said he will step down effective June 30.

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"I don't believe you dramatically change the process from what is the current law right in the middle of an election", Chaffetz said.

Chaffetz, who was first elected to Congress in 2008, had previously announced April 19 that he would not be running for re-election in 2018. Rep. Devin Nunes, the chairman of the House Intelligence Agency, had to recuse himself from that investigation after a freakish 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.

One possible replacement for Chaffetz on the committee is Rep. Trey Gowdy, a Republican and former SC prosecutor who chaired the special Benghazi investigative committee and a close Chaffetz friend.

Chaffetz's exit will accelerate internal jockeying among House Republicans to succeed him as the chairman of the high-profile Oversight Committee.

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"I think I'll actually miss the chaos, I kind of thrive in that", he said. His successor as House Oversight chairman will take over part of the federal investigation into Russia's election hacking and whether Trump's campaign colluded in that effort.

Since announcing he would leave Congress, Chaffetz has backed more investigations of Trump and this week requested documents to review fired FBI Director James Comey's claim that the president asked him to halt an inquiry into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn's ties to Russian Federation.

The governor's office said it received an official notice from Chaffetz of his resignation, which now allows Herbert to issue the "call" for a special election. "The overwhelming driving force is the idea that I just love my family".

Rep. Elijah Cummings, the top Democrat on the panel, has repeatedly clashed with Chaffetz during several investigations, but told CNN that he was "going to miss him" and that he brought a "breath of fresh air" to the committee after it went through some tumultuous times under prior Republican leadership. "And there are a lot of good, quality people who can do this job".

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