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Here’s Why Jason Chaffetz Quit Congress

Here’s Why Jason Chaffetz Quit Congress

The mystery revealed

Chaffetz shocked hill-watchers when he first announced he would not seek re-election, only to follow that announcement with another shocker — the news he was considering leaving the Hill before the end of his current term.

The Utah Republican was then sidelined by emergency foot surgery.

Rumors ranged from a desire to run for Utah’s Governorship, to personal issues, and descended into wild speculation. After all, why would a well-liked up-and-comer walk away from it all?

Chaffetz repeatedly claimed his choice was personal, that he believed it in the best interest of his marriage and family, and that it was a decision he and his wife made together.

In a recent interview with Sharyl Attkisson, Chaffetz redoubled his claim that this his decision to quit Congress mid-session and walk away from his Chairmanship of the House Oversight Committee was one he and his wife made.

Chaffetz indicated he was disappointed with the Trump administration. He’d hoped a Republican administration would make completing the Oversight Committee’s ongoing investigations easier but found he was receiving the same pushback, red tape, and stonewalling he’d experienced from the Obama administration.

The outgoing Congressman noted a particular frustration with the Justice Department.

“The reality is, sadly, I don’t see much difference between the Trump administration and the Obama administration. I thought there would be this, these floodgates would open up with all the documents we wanted from the Department of State, the Department of Justice, the Pentagon. In many ways, it’s almost worse because we’re getting nothing, and that’s terribly frustrating and with all due respect, the Attorney General has not changed at all. I find him to be worse than what I saw with Loretta Lynch in terms of releasing documents and making things available. I just, that’s my experience, and that’s not what I expected.”

“I mean, we have been in court trying to pry those documents out of the Department of Justice and still to this day, they will not give us those documents. And at the State Department, nothing. Stone cold silence.”

Chaffetz also expressed displeasure with President Trump’s inaction on removing or reprimanding IRS Commissioner, John Koskinen:

“Now look, you have more than 50 Republicans pleading with President Trump to release him, um, to let him go, fire him. Uh, or at least encourage him to retire. No, he’s still there. No changes. Nobody was fired. Nobody was prosecuted. Nobody was held accountable. We tried to issue subpoenas, we tried to hold people in contempt and the Obama Administration said, no, and the Trump Administration came in and did zero. Nothing. Nothing changed.”

A seemingly jaded and disheartened Chaffetz said he has little faith Washington will experience substantive change, even with Republican majorities. Attkisson asked, “Do Republican leaders have an appetite to do the kind of oversight that needs to be done?”:

“No, no. No, I mean the reality is, there aren’t very many people that want to play offense. There aren’t many people who say, look, we have a duty and an obligation to fulfill the oversight responsibility that was put in place at the very founding of our country.

Congress doesn’t stand up for itself. I think it’s, it’s really lost its way. They say, oh, we’ll use the power of the purse. That doesn’t work. First of all, they never do cut funding. Even getting people to come up and testify before Congress, the Obama Administration at the end of their term, they got so brazen they stopped sending people up. They just didn’t care. And, and there was no way to enforce that, and until that changes, uh the legislative branch is going to get weaker and weaker.”

Frustrated with the state of Beltway politics and the inability to complete the work he set out to do, Chaffetz said he simply preferred to spend time with his wife and kids.

“I’m looking at the next year and a half thinking, I’m going to spend 2 to 300 nights away from my wife where we, we’ve been married 26 years. I loved the work but I, I truly just honestly happen to love my, my wife and kids more.”

Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) was selected to replace Chaffetz as Chairman of the Oversight Committee.

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Chaffetz, of all people, should have realized that anyone ‘pushing back’ against disclosure would have been left-over hacks appointed by Beta-Male Barack.

“I loved the work but I, I truly just honestly happen to love my, my wife and kids more…” Watch: he’ll be divorced in a year.

What B.S.

First of all, he doesn’t disclose what documents he wanted to be released to him and/or his committee. That matters. Who is he investigating? Trump? Comey? Clinton? Russia? What?

Second, Trump is not only not getting any help from his own party, they have circled the wagons around the Democrats to protect them. So he has to strategize the battlefield much more than usual. Maybe Chaffetz’ top priorities aren’t aligned with that.

I agree, this is B.S. Chaffetz just doesn’t have the spine to fight.

If he is so unhappy with leadership, why did he vote to re-confirm Ryan as speaker last December?

It probably means that deep down, he’s a fundamentally decent person. I’ve long suspected, and this suspicion gets stronger every day, that no fundamentally decent person would ever choose to devote their life to the plastic circus that is Washington, D.C..

“It could probably be shown by facts and figures that there is no distinctly native American criminal class except Congress.” – Mark Twain

    What a naive comment. So only indecent people should even consider running for Congress?

    No, this is someone who can’t take the heat getting out of the kitchen. Choking in the clutch. Abandoning his comrades in mid-fight.

    Chaffetz has been a mixed bag from day one. He was the first Tea Party candidate but like the rest, turned into a squish as soon as he got elected. He’s had good moments but…

    Besides, he could have decided not to run for re-election only a few months ago. Why quit six months in? So here we go again, another special election. Thanks Jason! Now join the screaming women and children in the basement.

      murkyv in reply to Pasadena Phil. | June 21, 2017 at 8:37 pm

      Maybe I’ve got the timeline wrong, but didn’t he announce he was leaving before Sessions even had his team in place?

      Definitely before all of Trumps Cabinet was approved.


    Sure, there are a lot of people in D.C. treasonous to their oaths of office (including former presidents) and to their voters (GOPe) but there are a lot of patriots serving in Congress and in public life in D.C.

    Chaffetz was confused: he seemed to be trying to jump on the most advantageous ship, but couldn’t tell which way the wind was blowing. Kind of like hillary clinton, minus the corruption.

      Tom Servo in reply to | June 21, 2017 at 5:25 pm

      I feel old, so old I remember when the Contract with America guys were all for term limits and went on about how we were supposed to have citizen-legislators who would not stay in office for their entire lives.

      Yeah, that ended about 5 minutes after they were sworn into office. Good times, good times.

      (Chaffetz is gonna get a million dollar contract with a law firm handling Washington business, guaranteed)

        The onus is on us to police the politicians we have the power to vote in – and out – of office.

        The GOPe is an obscenity upon our base of voters, and it grew like the tumor it is because we weren’t ‘on it.’ We are now, and the lesson we learned is that we must be vigilant forever – or lose our country.

        Now is our time to boot-out the GOPe hacks in the way of our better future.

        Disgusted55 in reply to Tom Servo. | June 21, 2017 at 7:23 pm

        Tom, he was being interviewed on CNN not long ago and was hinting at having a job lined up at Fox News. All I can say is watch and wait, but my money is on that now.

    mariner in reply to Tom Servo. | June 21, 2017 at 9:06 pm

    I got that strong impression when Fred Thompson left the Senate.

      Thompson was campaign co-chairman for John McCain.


      Did like Thompson, though. Well, everyone makes a mistake.

        Yeah, I could make a mistake for McCain. Once. Attention to citation.

        “Distinguished Flying Cross
        See more recipients of this award

        Awarded for actions during the Vietnam War

        The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Flying Cross to Commander [then Lieutenant Commander] John Sidney McCain, III (NSN: 0-624787), United States Navy, for heroism while participating in aerial flight on 26 October 1967 in North Vietnam. While attacking the thermal power plant at Hanoi, Commander McCain, despite extremely heavy and accurate anti-aircraft fire and more than fifteen surface-to-air missiles in the air, pursued the attack until his aircraft was hit by enemy anti-aircraft fire. Although his aircraft was severely damaged, he continued his bomb delivery pass and released his bombs on the target. When the aircraft would not recover from the dive, Commander McCain was forced to eject over the target. By his exceptional courage, superb airmanship, and total devotion to duty, Commander McCain reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
        Action Date: October 26, 1967

        Service: Navy

        Rank: Commander”

        I look forward to the thumbs down I’m going to get. But the fact is, he was a brave man. I wish he’d shut up and go away. But he was a brave man.

    Tom, normally I agree with you when I see your comments, but I suspect we’ll see Chaffetz take the logical next step following these comments about the sorry state of Washington D.C….

    …running for governor of Utah, a purer and nobler endeavor. At least, that’s what his campaign ads will say.

Article V Convention of States is the only hope. Term limits. Repeal the 17th. Balanced budget amendment. Redefine (to their original meanings) “common good” and “interstate commerce.”

I suspect that these are just excuses he contrived, but if they are real, then he is making it clear that he is a quitter. Instead of fighting he is just whining and going home. Fitting Edmund Burke’s definition of a hypocrite.

He’s frustrated cause the Trump administration won’t give them documents??? Pretty damned hard to give you documentation when it doesn’t exist to start with eh…then again, perhaps the documents they are after have been sent to Barry’s library?

The fact he didnt get behind his President and support him against the Democrats russia, russia, russia tactics means his loss probably won’t be a big one. Just another swampling.


Chaffetz called for Trump to step down after the Billy Bush tape and my guess is the combination of having no one on Trump’s team in Washington and Obama hold-overs make getting these prosecutions of wrong-dong not worth the cost to Trump doing it. Maybe if he didn’t have to keep reasuring Congresses little gentle behinds that he isn’t a radical he could make bold moves without jeopardizing his main agenda items. I look forward to the day tax reform and Obamacare repeal is done and at that time I will start asking more questions why there isn’t more leadership coming for the WH.

    “I look forward to the day tax reform and Obamacare repeal is done and at that time I will start asking more questions why there isn’t more leadership coming for the WH….”

    That is an unfair statement. There is GIGANTIC leadership coming from the White House. The problem is sabotage by the GOPe.

    Your questions why there isn’t more leadership coming from the GOPe Congress. But what do you expect from rats desperate to stab us in the back?

    Given Trump’s momentum, I think paul boehner’s days are numbered as Squeaker II. Hopefully, granny mcconnell’s days are simply numbered and we can put a living man or woman in charge of the Senate.

Could very well be the actual reason is still private.

    CaptTee in reply to gbear. | June 22, 2017 at 12:59 pm

    Quite right. I suspect the emergency foot surgery made him think about what he is doing with this life and family priorities.

I don’t believe a word of it.

These aren’t even good fabrications. Of course I’m long past expecting any originality from my government, but I’d like to see them at least put a little effort into it.

I believe him 100% about wanting to spend time with his family.

I also believe he has learned things that has gotten him or his family threatened if followed to conclusion. Can’t spend time with the wife and kids if you’re talking a dirt nap.


The only sensible response to “aloha snackbar”

Aboluntionist | June 21, 2017 at 6:28 pm

Just tell me what “oversight” responsibilities the legislative branch of government is to exercise? The legislative branch is there to pass legislation, not tell the executive branch how to do the work of the executive officers. I do not think the legislative branch of government gets to tell the judicial branch how to do their work, so just what oversight is the oversight committee of the legislative branch to be concerned with? The only thing I can think of is having some oversight of legislative activities, and the complaints from Chaffetz seem to be more relative to the executive branch than the legislative branch. Just maybe the legislative branch should be more concerned about their own housekeeping.

Henry Hawkins | June 21, 2017 at 7:25 pm

Profound difference between Utah and Washington DC, and Chaffetz is a family man. He owes nothing job-wise to anyone but his constituents in Utah. Every parent routinely considers what’s best for the family.

Claimed reasons true or otherwise, I begrudge him nothing and wish him and his family well.

US Senator Mitt Romney(R) Utah anyone?

    mariner in reply to Henry Hawkins. | June 21, 2017 at 9:10 pm

    Please, NO!

    Old Coot in reply to Henry Hawkins. | June 21, 2017 at 11:04 pm

    Chaffetz is a liar, using the standard old hackneyed political excuse of “wanting to spend more time with his family”; which translated into normal language is, “I got caught with my mistress and need to figure a cool way out of Dodge!”

    Longtime DEM, from a family of Dems, he figured out the only way to win an election in UT is by running as a Republican. Its an old political trick frequently used in western states where the locals will give you benefit of the doubt. See Cory Gardner, US Sen. from Colo. who has done the same thing!

Chaffetz was all talk and no action. Just like almost all the other GOP establishment members of Congress. He could see the writing on the wall and knew that he couldn’t get what he wanted from President Trump. Chaffetz didn’t really ever stand in the way of Obama. Let that tell you how he felt about President Trump, and by extension, President Trump’s supporters and agenda.

In the end, we may never know why he truly got out of there. Maybe one day we’ll know the truth. Then again, this is Congress, none of them are really interested in revealing, investigating, or telling the truth.

nerkbuckeye | June 22, 2017 at 4:42 am

There is a strong smell of bullsh*t with this one

Waaaaaah, they won’t play with me! I’m taking my ball and going home to Mommy! Sheesh!

From all of the comments I heard him make, to me he seemed like another of the covert nevertrumpers. And because his ranking was so public, he wouldn’t be able to hide it for long. I could be wrong, but that has been my impression. I wasn’t surprised with his comments against the Trump administration.

Hard to believe any politician bails on his cushy office, his leadership role so quickly after getting elected. What was the accusation against Palin – QUITTER? At least she had the excuse of lawsuits & legal costs.

And his reason/excuse is.”it’s too hard and I didn’t get everything I wanted when a GOP POTUS got elected and I miss my family.” Didn’t he miss his family before he ran for reelection?

Another GOP whiner

VaGentleman | June 23, 2017 at 6:00 am

It sounds like he’s working on the theory that the swamp will drain itself if enough good people leave.

He’s right about one thing: he wasn’t very effective.