Chaffetz resignation latest twist in GOP oversight of Trump

Comey was sacked last week as the FBI investigates whether Trump's presidential campaign associates had colluded with Russian Federation to influence the outcome in his behalf.

During his tenure, the media-savvy congressman launched high-profile and frequently controversial investigations into the Obama administration and other Democratic targets, notably Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server as secretary of state.

But President Trump complicated Chaffetz's life. The five-term congressman rescinded his endorsement of Trump a year ago after recordings surfaced of the reality show star bragging about groping women, only to hastily re-endorse Trump shortly before the FBI announced it was reviving its investigation into Clinton's emails.

After Trump won the election, Chaffetz became a lightning rod for criticism that Republicans weren't aggressively policing Trump.

"I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go", Mr. Trump told Comey, according to the memo.

When he first announced that he would not seek re-election to Congress analysts thought he was signaling plans for a gubernatorial run. But he did not provide a date for his departure until Thursday.

The statement did not mention the investigation he is overseeing as the oversight committee chair into President Trump's firing of FBI Director James Comey and the Trump campaign's role in Russia's alleged efforts to meddle in the 2016 presidential election.

On Tuesday, Chaffetz asked the Federal Bureau of Investigation for documents regarding Comey's communications with Trump.

Rep. Elijah Cummings, the top Democrat on the panel, has repeatedly clashed with Chaffetz during several investigations, but told CNN that he was "going to miss him" and that he brought a "breath of fresh air" to the committee after it went through some tumultuous times under prior Republican leadership.

Mr. Chaffetz is the second House Republican who is stepping away from a Trump investigation. But until his recent moves, critics suggested that he had been less interested in probing potential wrongdoing inside the Trump administration.

Utah will hold a special election to replace him.

"Rep. Gowdy is talking to members in the conference about the qualities they believe are most important for the next chairman to possess", Gonzalez said.

Chaffetz, whose term ends January 3, 2019, said will step down effective June 30.

Chaffetz, 50, is chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

U.S. Rep. Jason Chaffetz speaks with reporters at his home Thursday, May 18, 2017, in Alpine, Utah. If, however, he intends to finish out his term and continue as chair of the House Oversight Committee, then he needs to devote his full attention to the job he now has.

Chaffetz previously has not ruled out another run for public office at some point in the future. Chaffetz later said that the negative reception was the result of "paid protesters".

Chaffetz said then that the GOP's since-failed Obamacare replacement would force low-income Americans to choose between investing in health care or buying "that new iPhone that they just love".

He repeatedly used his House post to try to overturn local D.C. laws.