Rep. Jason Chaffetz, the chairman of the House Oversight Committee, is expected to announce that he's leaving office before the end of his congressional term, Politico reported Thursday. If the agency didn't comply, Mr. Chaffetz wrote on his Twitter account that "I have my subpoena pen ready". I knew from day one that my service there would not last forever. Chaffetz also told constituents, "We feel my time in congress has been well spent, but it now seems the right time to turn the page".
On Tuesday, Chaffetz demanded that the Federal Bureau of Investigation turn over all documents in its possession concerning communications between Trump and James Comey, whom Trump fired last week as Federal Bureau of Investigation director.
The statement does not mention the investigation he's overseeing as the U.S. House Oversight Committee's chair into President Trump's firing of FBI Director James Comey.
Chaffetz, whose term ends January 3, 2019, said will step down effective June 30.
House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows, who sits on the oversight committee, said he had not spoken to Chaffetz directly, but was aware of his discussions with others about plans to step down from Congress.
"There are lots of good people who care about these issues and are well-suited to carry out these investigations", Chaffetz said. Sitting next to his wife, Julie, and their dog, Ruby, Chaffetz said after almost eight in years in Congress, he wanted a change.
Chaffetz's early departure opens up one of the most powerful posts in Congress.
U.S. Rep. Jason Chaffetz and his wife, Julie, speak with reporters at their home on Thursday in Alpine, Utah, about his decision to leave Congress at the end of June.
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. If, however, he intends to finish out his term and continue as chair of the House Oversight Committee, then he needs to devote his full attention to the job he now has.
Chaffetz has been active in the House's probe into links between the 2016 presidential campaign of Donald Trump and the Russians.
Chaffetz said last month he wouldn't run for re-election.
Gowdy ran the House Select Committee on the investigation into the State Department's handling of the 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi.