The congressman behind some of the most controversial moves in recent U.S. politics has decided to leave government for the private sector.
Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) announced his decision to not run for reelection in 2018 in a message posted to Facebook on Wednesday.
“Since late 2003 I have been fully engaged with politics as a campaign manager, a chief of staff, a candidate and as a Member of Congress,” Chaffetz wrote. “I have long advocated public service should be for a limited time and not a lifetime or full career. Many of you have heard me advocate, ‘Get in, serve, and get out.’ After more than 1,500 nights away from my home, it is time. I may run again for public office, but not in 2018.”
Chaffetz added that he has “no ulterior motives” in making his decision to leave Congress. “I am healthy. I am confident I would continue to be re-elected by large margins. I have the full support of Speaker Ryan to continue as Chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee. That said, I have made a personal decision to return to the private sector,” he wrote.
Thank you!Thank you for allowing me to serve as your Representative in the United States House of Representatives….
Since taking office in 2008, Chaffetz rose to prominence in Washington as a harsh critic of former President Barack Obama and a combative opponent of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Chaffetz was the leading critic in Congress of Clinton for her handling of the 2012 attack in Benghazi, Libya, which left two American diplomats dead.
Chaffetz furthered his combative relationship with Clinton during the 2016 presidential election when he leaked a memo from FBI Director James Comey alerting members of Congress that investigators had discovered other emails from Clinton’s private server just 11 days before Election Day. The memo is widely believed to have played a significant role in Clinton’s loss to President Donald Trump.
FBI Dir just informed me, "The FBI has learned of the existence of emails that appear to be pertinent to the investigation." Case reopened
— Jason Chaffetz (@jasoninthehouse) October 28, 2016
The current chairman of the House Oversight Committee, Chaffetz has received criticism for not pursuing investigations into Trump administration officials accused of colluding with Russia.
Chaffetz represents Utah’s 3rd district, a Republican stronghold that he won by at least 70 percent of the vote in each of his four reelection bids.