Jason Chaffetz expected to 'depart Congress' in late June

WASHINGTON, May 18 (Reuters) - Republican Representative Jason Chaffetz, the chairman of a committee looking into President Donald Trump's decision to fire FBI chief James Comey, said on Thursday he will depart Congress at the end of next month.

"As you know, 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 said in a letter to his Utah constituents.

Chaffetz, a conservative Republican who was first elected to the House of Representatives in 2008, gained prominence as head of the committee that investigated Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server while she was U.S. secretary of state.

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UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 29: Chairman Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, becomes emotional during an opening statement at a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing in Rayburn Building on whether Planned Parenthood Federation of America should be federally funded, September 29, 2015. In the statement, he recalled his mother's battle with cancer and his wife's work with the disease. PPFA President Cecile Richards, testified. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 29: Chairman Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, becomes emotional during an opening statement at a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing in Rayburn Building on whether Planned Parenthood Federation of America should be federally funded, September 29, 2015. In the statement, he recalled his mother's battle with cancer and his wife's work with the disease. PPFA President Cecile Richards, testified. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 29: Chairman Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, greets Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, before a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing in Rayburn Building on whether PPFA should be federally funded, September 29, 2015. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
Committee Chairman Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) takes his seat for a hearing of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Capitol Hill June 16, 2015 in Washington, DC. Following disclosures of devastating breaches of US government computer networks, officials told lawmakers Tuesday even more intrusions may be discovered with investigations and deployment of new security tools. At a congressional hearing where lawmakers voiced outrage over the hacking incidents, the head of the Office of Personnel Management warned that more bad news may be coming. OPM chief Katherine Archuleta did not mention China -- which has been widely blamed for the incidents -- but told the hearing that 'these adversaries are sophisticated, well funded and focused. These attacks will not stop. If anything, they will increase.' AFP PHOTO/BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Representative Jason Chaffetz, a Republican from Utah and chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, speaks before a hearing on the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) data breach in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, June 24, 2015. U.S. senators said yesterday they doubt the government's personnel office understands the breadth of a computer hack that exposed the records of more than 4 million federal workers, or that the agency can stop another breach. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Representative Jason Chaffetz, a Republican from Utah and chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, left, talks to Representative Jim Jordan, a Republican from Ohio, before a House Oversight hearing on Planned Parenthood's taxpayer funding in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2015. Conservative House Republicans have demanded a government shutdown if lawmakers don't defund Planned Parenthood, the women's reproductive health-care provider whose services include abortion. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 9: U.S. Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) makes his way to a House GOP caucus meeting, on Capitol Hill, July 9, 2013 in Washington, DC. The Republican leadership discussed the immigration bill and the Obama administration's decision to delay a portion of the Affordable Care Act, which will extend the deadline for employer mandated health care to 2015. At right, Trey Radel (R-FL) and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) look on. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - FEBRUARY 3: Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, chairs the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on 'Inspectors General: Independence, Access and Authority' on Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 28: Jason Chaffetz speaks during a House of Representatives Judiciary subcommitte on Intellectual Property, Competition and the Internet titled 'Music Licensing Part One: Legislation in the 112th Congress' in the Rayburn House Office Building at U.S. House of Representatives on November 28, 2012 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Kris Connor/WireImage for NARAS)
UNITED STATES â JULY 25: Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, arrives for a meeting of the House Republican Conference in the basement of the U.S. Capitol on Monday, July 25, 2011. (Photo By Bill Clark/Roll Call)
WASHINGTON, DC-March 9: In his fifth term in the US House of Reprentatives, Congressman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) works a 24/7 schedule as works in his office on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, March 9, 2011. (Photo by Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - MAY 8: Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, left, speaks with Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., before the start of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on 'Benghazi: Exposing Failure and Recognizing Courage' on Wednesday, May 8, 2013. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
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The House Oversight Committee he heads is one of several congressional panels looking into aspects of Russia's alleged attempts to influence the U.S. presidential election. In addition to the firing of Comey, it is conducting a probe of whether former Trump National Security Adviser Michael Flynn misled security clearance investigators about Russia contacts.

Chaffetz had considered running for a U.S. Senate seat in the past. A former aide told Reuters last month the congressman may run for governor of Utah in 2020, though no firm decision had been made. (Reporting by Timothy Ahmann; Additional reporting by Richard Cowan; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Dan Grebler)





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