Chaffetz will resign at end of June

Rep. Jason ChaffetzJason ChaffetzChaffetz: Threats against lawmakers should be taken seriously Gowdy won't use Oversight gavel to probe Russia The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE (R-Utah) announced Thursday that he will resign his House seat at the end of June.

"This week I sent a letter to Governor Herbert indicating my intention to resign from Congress effective June 30, 2017," Chaffetz wrote in a letter to his constituents.

Chaffetz said he viewed his service in Congress as a temporary position, not a lifetime career.

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"Serving you in the U.S. House of Representatives for nearly nine years has been a rare honor and privilege. When I first ran for Congress in 2008 I promised I would get in, serve, and get out. I told voters I did not believe Congress should be a lifetime career. I knew from day one that my service there would not last forever," he wrote.

"After careful consideration and long discussion with my wife, Julie, we agree the time has come for us to move on from this part of our life," he continues.

 

 

The move isn't a surprise — Chaffetz had previously announced that he would likely not finish his term in Congress or seek election to any other office in 2018.

“I started poking around to see what I might be worth and what sort of possibilities are there,” Chaffetz said in April. "And I got a series of ‘Let us know when you’re serious.’ Well now I can say, ‘Can you tell I am serious?' "

Washingtonian reported last week that Chaffetz has been telling fellow House Republicans that he will join Fox News, possibly as soon as July. 

His early departure will trigger a special election to replace him. Utah lawmakers are struggling to reach a consensus for how and when to schedule a special election.

Chaffetz is the head of the powerful House Oversight Committee. He has represented Utah's 3rd District since 2009.

Under the House GOP’s rules limiting chairmen to three two-year terms, Chaffetz could have kept the Oversight gavel through 2020.

The next Oversight chairman will inherit part of the politically charged investigation into Russia's interference in the U.S. presidential election.

On Tuesday, Chaffetz asked the FBI for documents regarding ousted Director James Comey's communications with President Trump. He's also asking Comey to appear before his committee next week, following The New York Times’s bombshell report that Trump pressured him to drop an investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

— Cristina Marcos and Scott Wong contributed.