Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz says he will resign from Congress on June 30, raising questions about the probe of President Donald Trump's ties to Russian Federation. "I told voters I did not believe that Congress should be a lifetime career", Chaffetz wrote. "I'm not the only one who can do this job".
On Tuesday, shortly after the existence of memos by Mr. Comey was reported, Mr. Chaffetz sent a letter to Andrew McCabe, the acting director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, asking for all documents relating to communication between Mr. Trump and Mr. Comey.
On Thursday in Utah, Chaffetz said he's not sure if documents exist to confirm that President Donald Trump asked former FBI Director James Comey to shut down the FBI investigation into ousted National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.
In response to a question about Chaffetz leaving June 30, U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said in his weekly news briefing Thursday he has not spoken with Chaffetz.
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.
Rep. Trey Gowdy (R., S.C.) is set to replace current House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R., Utah) and recently lobbied members of the House Steering Committee for support.
Chaffetz's early departure opens up one of the most powerful posts in Congress.
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Ryan said Congress needs to get the facts, but "it is obvious there are some people out there who want to harm the president". The White House said it was "not a truthful or accurate portrayal of the conversation between the President and Mr Comey".
"Just because there is an investigation or work done at the Department of Justice doesn't excuse the Congress from doing its own work and getting to the bottom of things", Chaffetz said.
As for his next move, sources say Chaffetz is eyeing a position at Fox News. Chaffetz chairs the committee looking into the Trump's campaign's role in Russia's efforts to meddle in the 2016 presidential election.
He has not ruled out running for another office, such as Utah governor.
FILE - In this December 17, 2015 file photo, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah speaks Capitol Hill in Washington.
The House Oversight Committee he heads is one of several congressional panels looking into aspects of Russia's alleged attempts to influence the US presidential election.
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.