Chaffetz: Crowd used 'bullying and intimidation' at town hall

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) says the protesters who disrupted his Thursday town hall were "a paid attempt to bully and intimidate."

"You could see it online a couple days before, a concerted effort in part to just cause chaos," Chaffetz said Friday, according to KSL.com. "Democrats are in disbelief that they have nothing but flailing and screaming to deal with this."

Chaffetz offered no evidence that attendees were paid to be there.

The House Oversight Committee chairman faced a crowd of demonstrators at a town hall in his home state of Utah on Thursday, as protesters called on the congressman to investigate President Trump the way he did former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonAre Democrats trying to pin the blame for their own sins on Russia? Trump: Calling Warren Pocahontas ‘an insult to Pocahontas’ GOP vows to use Pelosi against Democrats in 2018 MORE.

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Demonstrators reportedly booed when Trump’s name was mentioned. At one point, Chaffetz told a town hall attendee that the president is exempt from conflict of interest laws.

Chaffetz and Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) on Thursday had recommended that the Office of Government Ethics take disciplinary action against White House counselor Kellyanne Conway for promoting Ivanka Trump’s apparel brand during a TV interview.

In his Friday comments, Chaffetz said it’s "important that people have an opportunity to voice their concerns, I think they should be somewhat embarrassed by how a lot of people handled themselves."

The congressman added that he will “never satisfy their desire to bring down Donald TrumpDonald TrumpSanders: FBI's investigation of wife won’t be a ‘distraction’ Schiff: Obama's delayed response to Russian interference 'a very serious mistake' The Memo: GOP pushes Trump to curb Mueller attacks MORE.” 

"People are asking me to use the power of Congress to do a full-on fishing expedition to investigate him personally on things that are not required by law. I think my doing that would be an abuse of power," he said.