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Chaffetz Reportedly Set To Announce Early Departure From Congress


House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, is planning to announce Thursday that he will not serve his full term in the House, according to media reports.

Citing multiple sources familiar with the congressman's plans, Politico said Chaffetz will leave Congress on June 30th. The Washington Post also reported that Chaffetz plans to step down next month.

Chaffetz announced last month that he would not run for re-election in 2018 and indicated he planned to return to the private sector.

"I have long advocated public service should be for a limited time and not a lifetime or full career," Chaffetz said at the time. "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," he added. "I may run again for public office, but not in 2018."

Chaffetz sought to preemptively cut off any speculation about the reason for his decision, saying he is healthy, confident he would be re-elected, and has the full support of House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., to continue as chairman of the oversight committee.

While Chaffetz' seat would likely remain in GOP hands in a potential special election, his early departure would trigger a closely watched race to succeed him as chairman of the high-profile Oversight Committee.

The Washington Times pointed to committee members Reps. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, and Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., as possible replacements for Chaffetz.

The reports about Chaffetz stepping down come just days after he demanded the FBI hand over all documents detailing communications between former Director James Comey and President Donald Trump within the next week.

Chaffetz made the request late Tuesday in the wake of reports that Trump had asked Comey to drop a federal investigation into links between former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and Russia.

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