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Chaffetz may leave Congress before end of his term: report

The powerful Utah Republican had previously announced he would not seek re-election. Now he's eyeing an early exit.
Jason Chaffetz Congress
Photo: Getty Images

Congressman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) may leave Congress before his term concludes, Politico reported Thursday. He may resign as early as June 30.

The head of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, on April 19, Chaffetz announced that he would not seek re-election in 2018.

A powerful figure in the House who has courted controversy, Chaffetz had faced criticism for being slow to investigate the Trump campaign's possible collusion with Russia to influence the 2016 election, while continually investigating Hillary Clinton for her use of a private email server as secretary of state.

On April 27, Chaffetz abruptly took a medical leave from Congress to have surgery on a 12-year-old foot injury. He returned to Congress briefly on what appeared to be a type of scooter to cast a vote to repeal Obamacare. He is expected to be on leave for the rest of the month.

Last month, Chaffetz told Politico that he was seeking another job. Sources say he is considering a move to Fox News.

This week, he subpoenaed former FBI director James Comey's memos, and asked the fired FBI chief to testify next week before his panel. He had to do so through the media. “I need to actually be able to contact him and other than looking him up on Google, I need to network out how to be able do that,” Chaffetz told the New York Times. “Since he’s left government, the old telephone number that I had for him, I haven’t been able to get through. I used to be able to text and call him on it.”

Comey has neither accepted nor declined the offer.

Chaffetz was up for re-election in 2018 and faced an ascendant and quickly coalescing challenge. When Democrat Kathryn Allen, a physician and political novice, announced she would run against Chaffetz, she raised $200,000 in two days, and has gone on to raise more than Chaffetz has in his war chest.