Chaffetz Texts Utah Radio Host 'I Might Depart Early' From Congressional Seat

April 20, 2017

House Oversight Committee chairman Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R., Utah) told a Utah radio host via text message on Thursday that he may not complete his current term, one day after he announced he would not seek reelection to his seat in 2018.

Utah radio host Doug Wright announced to listeners Thursday morning that he and Chaffetz exchanged messages about whether he would serve out his term.

According to Wright, Chaffetz wrote, "Thanks for having me on yesterday, I appreciate it. I will continue to weigh the options, but I might depart early. The state needs to figure out how this works."

That last sentence referred to whether there would need to be a special election or gubernatorial appointment to take his place. Chaffetz has served in his current seat since 2008.

Chaffetz made the announcement about not seeking re-election this week on Facebook, the Washington Free Beacon reported.

"After long consultation with my family and prayerful consideration, I have decided I will not be a candidate for any office in 2018," he wrote.

Chaffetz went on to dismiss any speculation that he was stepping down for ulterior motives, saying it was a personal decision to return to the private sector.

"For those that would speculate otherwise, let me be clear that I have no ulterior motives. I am healthy. I am confident I would continue to be reelected by large margins. I have the full support of Speaker Ryan to continue as chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee," he wrote.

According to NBC News, Chaffetz has been pressured by Democrats to investigate the Trump administration over Russian meddling in the presidential election.

Chaffetz has come under pressure, mostly from Democrats, to investigate the Trump administration, including Russia's involvement in the presidential election. But Chaffetz has declined, saying the intelligence committees are better equipped. He has also been reluctant to look into Trump's potential conflicts of interest pertaining to his businesses.

Published under: Jason Chaffetz