Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), the powerful head of the House Oversight Committee, will not seek reelection in 2018.
A report from BuzzFeed on Wednesday morning claimed that Chaffetz will step down at the end of his term in Congress next year. Shortly after BuzzFeed’s report posted, Chaffetz himself confirmed the news on his own Facebook page and said that his decision was an entirely personal one to spend more time closer to his home in Utah.
“For those that would speculate otherwise, let me be clear that I have no ulterior motives,” he wrote. “I am healthy. I am confident I would continue to be re-elected by large margins. I have the full support of Speaker Ryan to continue as Chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee.”
In his statement, Chaffetz made no mention of future political ambitions and said that his plan was to “return to the private sector” in some capacity.
Chaffetz told Fox News reporter Chad Pergram that he will not be running for Utah’s Senate seat in 2018, although there is also a potential opening for him to run for governor of the state in 2020.
Chaffetz tells me he's not going to run for Senate. Chaffetz also had a Quixotic bid for Spkr in Oct '15
— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) April 19, 2017
Chaffetz, who made a name for himself by holding multiple hearings on the terrorist attack against an American consulate in Benghazi during the Obama years, has come under fire from some of his constituents for not doing nearly as much to hold President Donald Trump accountable for multiple scandals, including Russian interference in the 2016 election and conflicts of interest between Trump’s businesses and American foreign policy.