Rep. Jason Chaffetz announced Thursday he will resign from Congress next month, a move that calls into question the future of the House Oversight Committee's investigation he promised to lead about President Donald Trump's firing of the FBI director and his presidential campaign's ties with Russian Federation. Chaffetz announced on Facebook in April that he would not be running for reelection in 2018.
"Julie and I are facing the reality of being empty nesters", he wrote.
In an interview with ABC's "Good Morning America" on Thursday, Chaffetz questioned the existence of Comey's memos involving President Donald Trump.
Washingtonian reported last week that Chaffetz has been telling fellow House Republicans that he will join Fox News, possibly as soon as July. He has invited ousted FBI Director James Comey to testify before his committee.
Chaffetz spent years conducting investigations into Benghazi, created to attack Hillary Clinton, but has bristled at providing the most basic oversight of President Donald Trump.
The Utah Republican heads up the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which is the chamber's lead investigative panel.
"This week I sent a letter to Governor Herbert indicating my intention to resign from Congress effective June 30, 2017", Chaffetz said in a letter to constituents, referring to Utah Gov. Gary Herbert (R).
Chaffetz previously has not ruled out another run for public office at some point in the future. The first step involves winning the backing of the GOP Steering Committee, a subsection of rank and file lawmakers and members of leadership.
When it appeared likely that Clinton would win the election, Chaffetz bragged that he would use his committee to attack her, telling The Washington Post, "We've got two years' worth of material already lined up".
It is Gowdy, several leading House Republicans said Thursday, who has a clear leg up in the contest. "I started poking around to see what I might be worth and what sort of possibilities are there", Chaffetz said. "I understand the importance of getting it done quickly, as opposed to taking too much time, but I also believe that we want to get it right, which trumps doing it quick", he said.