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.

Chaffetz has faced criticism recently for his role in investigating President Donald Trump and his administration.

On Tuesday, shortly after the existence of memos by Mr. Comey was reported, Mr. Chaffetz sent a letter to Andrew McCabe, the acting director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, asking for all documents relating to communication between Mr. Trump and Mr. Comey.

Chaffetz, a Republican, has demanded that the FBI hand over memos and notes that ex-FBI Director James Comey reportedly compiled after meetings and phone calls with Trump.

Chaffetz' departure is likely to spark a battle over who replaces him as the head of the oversight committee that will once again pit the House Freedom Caucus against the establishment.

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At his weekly news conference, Speaker Paul D. Ryan said he had not spoken to Chaffetz about the possibility of him leaving Congress as early as next month and would not comment further until he spoke to the Utah Republican.

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At a town hall in February, Chaffetz faced angry voters who booed and shouted "Do your job!" in videos that quickly went viral.

Chaffetz has always been a figure of controversy due to the perception that he has not adequately focused on the scandals surrounding Trump's administration.

Chaffetz said Thursday that he would consider stepping aside after he meets with House leadership to discuss its intentions.

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Chaffetz wields significant power as the chairman of the House Oversight Committee.

Prior to his time in office, he worked in communications for more than a decade and served as campaign manager for former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr.

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.

U.S. Rep. Jason Chaffetz speaks with reporters at his home Thursday, May 18, 2017, in Alpine, Utah.

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