Chaffetz’s Decision To Quit Means Big Trouble For Trump, And Here’s Exactly How

Congressman Jason Chaffetz’s decision to leave Congress means that bad things really are on the way for President Trump. If his presidency lasts the year, I will be shocked. I will eat a hat if that happens.

Chaffetz has been a real star in the GOP. He is known for his ambition. Last November, he won about 74 percent of the vote in his district. He’s young. He’s good looking. He knows how to get all the right press and do what he needs to do to get ahead. Nothing in his actions in the past would indicate he wanted to leave Washington, DC. At least not yet. Rumors have been going around that he had his eyes on Senator Orrin Hatch’s (R-UT) seat or possibly the governor’s mansion in Utah. No one expected him to leave Congress so soon after winning reelection by such a large margin.

At the same time, the Congressman has not been a true believer in Trump. Last fall, after the now infamous Billy Bush tape was released, he told ABC News, “I don’t plan on voting for Donald Trump … this is quite the quandary what the nation’s going to have to figure out. I’m out, I can’t support Trump after his lewd comments.” He went on to talk about his daughters and how he could not defend what Trump said about women. He later went back on that and said that he hated what Trump did but Hillary Clinton was just so much worse.

At the start of 2017, things were looking good for the young Utah politician. Chaffetz was still the chairman of the powerful House Committee on Government Oversight and Reform. He had a fellow “Republican” in the White House. His Party had the House, the Senate and the White House. I can imagine him dreaming of all of the legislation he could push through this way.

And then it all went wrong. Trump is not a real Republican. He has no real ideology. His only real allegiances are to his own ego and self interest. The things he says and promises he makes are valid only as long as he is voicing them. They then disappear into the proverbial ether. They have no meaning.

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This wasn’t the problem, however. Since Inauguration Day, there have been more complaints and problems with the Trump Administration. Trump’s ties to Russia are more than problematic, they could be treasonous. His financial dealings may not meet violations of law, he cannot have conflicts of interest legally. He can have them. He admitted in 2015 that he had a “big conflict of interest with Turkey because I have a hotel in Istanbul.” His frequent trips to Mar-a-Lago mean that the government is paying him every week to stay at his resort. He is still benefitting from all of his businesses and there is no reason to believe foreign leaders car a wit about the Emolument Clause. And these are just a few of the scandals that should be investigated by a committee like the one Chaffetz now heads.

This has put Chaffetz in a really tough spot. He has access to information we all do not. If all of what do do know is as bad as it is, one only can wonder what things he has seen. On one hand, he cannot just step down from this committee. He cannot start investigations of a president in his own Party, especially if he knows they will blow it up. He also cannot be a party to Trump’s misdeeds.

This month, Chaffetz found his exit strategy. Quit Congress. He has done it slowly. First, he announces he will not seek reelection. Next, he hints that he may not serve out his term. His next move will be to quit all together. By August, he will be back in Utah. He has already taken several web domains like www.chaffetz2018.com. He claimed he wanted to be with his wife and children and that was why he was leaving. Keep in mind, his children have lived at home while he has been in Congress. That’s ten years away from his kids when they lived at his house in Utah. By the summer, they will all be out of his house. So, this is when he goes back to see them more? Just after they all leave his home? No.

Chaffetz sees the writing on the wall and does not want to be taken down by the same scandal that will end the Trump train wreck.

Chaffetz isn’t alone in this thinking. It was reported earlier this spring that Michael Steele, former chair of the RNC has been telling his clients to “start getting close to Pence.”

Vice President Mike Pence has the same thought. His is a true believer Evangelical Christian. He once voted to take money away from HIV/AIDS funding to give it to “pray away the gay” programs. He does not go to events with women when alcohol is served, unless his wife is there. He has said he is worried he will “be tempted.” He made female staffers leave early so he would not be alone in the office with then. He could not have liked the comments that Trump grabbed women “by the pussy.”

Chaffetz had a bright future at the beginning of the year and the only way to make that still happen is to get the hell out of Dodge. So that’s what he’s doing.


Featured image via Matt McClain/The Washington Post via Getty Images