The Utahn-who easily won re-election in November-has been the subject of recent controversy in his role as the head of the House Oversight Committee during the Trump administration.
With a ready foil in Mrs. Clinton, whose brushes with controversy have sustained many Republican congressional careers, Mr. Chaffetz appeared primed to emerge as a chief tormentor for a new Democratic White House.
Today, Rep. Jason Chaffetz, House Oversight Committee chair (and noted serial Hillary Clinton/Benghazi investigation-launcher), announced he won't run for re-election in 2018, leaving his House seat up for grabs. Some 1,000 people attended a raucous February town hall meeting, yelling at Chaffetz to "do [his] job" and investigate Trump for potential conflicts of interest.
Approximately half of the voters in Chaffetz's 3rd congressional district, which spans from Salt Lake to southeastern Utah, are registered Republicans. Chaffetz, who came out hard against Trump in the 2016 election, is in a unusual position now.
For months, onlookers have wondered why House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz has done his best to protect Donald Trump from his Russian collusion scandal.
While the natural temptation and easy click bait for some websites are to blame the Russian Federation scandal for his decision, the political reality is that Chaffetz is likely leaving because he thinks Republicans have a good chance of losing the House in 2018, and he doesn't want to serve in the House minority.
"I'm ready to serve, whether Jason completes his term or exits early".
The Utah Republican said he won't seek any political office in 2018, stirring speculation that he may run for governor in 2020.More news: Spurs aiming to heap more pressure on Chelsea, says Kane
He called the move "one of the most laudable things I've seen a politician do in a long time".
Even with his announcement, Mr. Chaffetz left open the possibility of his return.
"I have no ulterior motives".
"I am confident I would continue to be re-elected by large margins", he said.
The 50-year-old powerful figure on Capitol Hill, said he was returning to the private sector after more than 13 years as an elected official. I'm anal about domain real estate because I used to work for Network Solutions / Verisign back before the dot-com crash. "Together we have been a strong advocate for Utahns", he wrote.
By announcing now, I hope to give prospective candidates time to lay the groundwork for a successful run.
And Chaffetz knows the dangers of an intraparty challenge in the very conservative 3rd District - he ousted then-Rep.