Published: Sat, May 20, 2017
Money | By Armando Alvarado

Chaffetz will resign, raising doubts about Trump probe

As committee chair, Mr. Chaffetz leads the House panel that investigates waste, fraud, abuse or mismanagement in the executive branch.

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.

He told reporters Thursday from his home in a southern Salt Lake City suburb that he still has not seen the Comey memo or spoken with the former Federal Bureau of Investigation director.

Chaffetz said in the letter he wants to spend time with his family, return to the private sector and possibly run for Utah governor.

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.

In his first substantive comments about the appointment of a special counsel to probe Russian interference in the 2016 US elections, President Donald Trump denied that his campaign had been involved in any collusion with Moscow, as he declared that the probe "divides the country". During a town hall meeting in February, Chaffetz was greeted by chants of "Do your job!" from audience members outraged at his lack of attention on Trump-related scandals.

Comey was sacked last week as the FBI was investigating whether Trump's presidential campaign associates had colluded with Russian Federation to influence the outcome in his behalf.

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The announcement Thursday likely came on the heels of a report from Politico indicating that Chaffetz was not planning to serve out his current term, with the Utah congressman supposedly considering a deal to appear on Fox News.

The Republican representative said that he might use a subpoena to obtain a memo written by Comey and allegedly detailing Trump's efforts to stop the FBI's probe into Flynn.

"There are lots of good people who care about these issues and are well-suited to carry out these investigations", Chaffetz said.

"Trey is more than qualified to be the next chairman of Oversight", said Steering Committee member Tom Graves (R-Ga.), who intends to nominate Gowdy for the post. "I told voters I did not believe that Congress should be a lifetime career", Chaffetz wrote.

Utah Sen. Margaret Dayton, R-Orem took to Facebook Thursday evening to announce that she would be running for the Third Congressional District seat.

"I'm not even sure that these memos even exist", Chaffetz said, adding: "You can't run an investigation on anonymous sources in The New York Times".

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