Utah Republican House Representative Jason “Benghazi, Benghazi, Benghazi” Chaffetz announced this morning that he will not run for reelection in 2018. Unfortunately, he will serve out his term and, even more sadly, he will remain as chair of the House Oversight Committee where he has refused to do his job.
The Utah Republican was first elected in 2008 to represent Utah’s 3rd District.
As chairman the House Oversight Committee, Chaffetz has drawn attention and criticism for his handling of conflicts of interest investigation into Hillary Clinton and potential investigations into President Donald Trump. Some of that criticism bubbled over in recent months, with angry constituents lambasting Chaffetz at a packed town hall over the February recess.
At his last town hall, Chaffetz was confronted with angry constituents who chanted “do your job” because of Chaffetz refusal to hold Donald Trump accountable for his conflicts of interest with his business and foreign policy, the Russian influence in the 2016 election and multiple other scandals. Chaffetz later insinuated that they were paid outside agitators.
Chaffetz has drawn heavy criticism from Richard Painter, President George W. Bush’s former ethics attorney, for refusing to investigate retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn and his ties to Russia while holding a top security clearance. Instead he decided to join Trump in his attack against the media and the “leakers.”
Painter and former President Barack Obama’s ethics lawyer Norman Eisen have especially critical of the convoluted ethics of Trump and his staff. At one point Painter called the connection between the Trump campaign and Russia an “evidence of treason.”
Painter sounded positively gleeful over the news, tweeting:
Good decision Rep. Chaffetz. If you can’t do a job right, quit and do something else. And you, Mr. President?https://t.co/2vOjJCBKQZ
— Richard W. Painter (@RWPUSA) April 19, 2017
Chaffetz’ resignation can’t come soon enough. Hopefully, it will make way for someone with better ethics. Live in hope.