Jason Chaffetz is Hugging His Wife so Close, She’s Choking
This is why it’s impossible to take his cover story at face value.
Julie Chaffetz, Jason’s Wife: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know https://t.co/PwCxqH9gt5
— Jason Chaffetz (@jasoninthehouse) April 20, 2017
Chaffetz has a history of using his wife as a human shield. As I wrote in my previous piece, I can’t buy Chaffetz’s cover story as it doesn’t add up. If he wants to run for Governor, why not wait until the end of his term to leave the House?
But this ‘I’ve got to go home to hang with my wife for the next 30 to 40 years’ is even less plausible. Chaffetz is a very ambitious politician. Why would he be done now?
“Jason Chaffetz is so ambitious that his last name is a verb.”
“In the political world, to Chaffetz means to throw a former mentor under the bus in order to get ahead, and various prominent Republicans, from former Utah governor and presidential candidate Jon Huntsman Jr. to House Majority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy, have experienced what it’s like to get Chaffetzed. But the five-term Utah Republican and powerful chairman of the House oversight committee shocked Washington on Wednesday when he announced he would not seek reelection in 2018 or run for any other political office that year in order to spend more time with his family.”
Nothing in Chaffetz’ history shows he’s lacking in ambition. But his sudden withdrawal from Congress does prefigure another time he shocked the political world by stepping back-his suddenly aborted run for Senate in 2012.
Barely had Chaffetz been elected to his first term in the House when he registered a new domain name: ChaffetzforSenate.com.
“By 2011, it looked like Chaffetz was going to need that ChaffetzforSenate.com web address. He was talking openly of challenging his state’s most venerable senior statesman, Sen. Orrin Hatch, currently the longest-serving Republican in the Senate. Despite his powerful position in Washington, Hatch was vulnerable at home. Polls showed Chaffetz had a decent chance. And another upstart tea party conservative, Mike Lee, had just knocked off the state’s other elder Republican senator, Bob Bennett, by challenging him from the right.”
“For months, Chaffetz held meetings and events that gave every impression he planned to challenge Hatch. The Salt Lake Tribune declared that Chaffetz had even picked a date to unveil his candidacy, September 27. But shortly before Labor Day, Chaffetz hastily organized a press conference and announced that he would not run for Senate. He said the race would be a “multimillion-dollar bloodbath” and that he’d rather spend the next 18 months doing the job he was elected to do. Still, even as he put himself out of contention, he jabbed Hatch, declaring the Utah congressional delegation “dysfunctional” and lacking leadership from the senior senator.”
As you can see, this sudden dropping of the Senate challenge bares some clear family resemblance to his sudden dropping out of the House ASAP.
“Tim Chambless, a University of Utah political-science professor, says the announcement caught many in Utah off guard. “That has been mystifying to us.” It suggested that something in Chaffetz’s well-laid plans had gone seriously awry.”
His claim at the time that he just wanted to stick to doing his House job is about as plausible as his current claim that he just wants to hang with his wife all day everyday-their two kids have already flown the nest.
So what compelled Chaffetz to bow out of a Senate run he’d clearly been planning since he started unpacking in the House? Could it be related to what’s bringing on this early retirement now? It seems Orrin Hatch had something on him:
“Ultimately, Chaffetz may have underestimated Hatch, whose mild-mannered exterior belies a ruthless political operator. There’s a reason he’s served longer than any Republican senator since Strom Thurmond. Cherilyn Eagar a conservative Republican activist and local talk radio host who lives in Chaffetz’s district, echoes what various sources told me. She says Utah political insiders suspect “the Hatch campaign had gotten heavy-handed. There was a bit of information they were going to disclose if he ran. Things were going to get ugly.” (Hatch’s office did not respond to a request for comment.)”
One thing you see in following Chaffetz’s career-he’s very good at giving people who helped him the shaft-Utah Governor Jon Huntsman, former Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, Kevin McCarthy.
Such sharp elbows can make you some powerful enemies. Maybe someone powerful has dirt on him.
“Chaffetz dropped his bid for speaker after Rep. Paul Ryan was cajoled into entering the race. He returned to his oversight committee work with a renewed zeal, threatening to impeach the head of the IRS over his handling of the nonprofit status of tea party groups and suggesting there might be grounds to remove President Barack Obama from office over Benghazi. He devoted a portion of the oversight committee’s website to enumerating the bureaucrats he claimed to have gotten fired—Salt Lake Tribune columnist Paul Rolly described this list as a “trophy case.”
“Not all his targets have gone quietly into the night. In 2015, Chaffetz launched an investigation into problems with the Secret Service after a pair of drunk senior agents crashed a car into a White House barricade. Not long afterward, the Daily Beast reported that Chaffetz had been a wannabe agent himself prior to his career in politics but his application had been rejected in favor of a “BQA,” or “better qualified applicant”—a revelation leaked from inside the agency. Chaffetz told the Daily Beast that he believed he was rejected because he was too old. (He was in his mid-30s at the time, and the agency cutoff for agents was 37.)”
“A later investigation found that more than 45 people within the Secret Service had taken a look at his protected personnel file. Referring to the file, then-Assistant Director Edward Lowery emailed another director that March, saying, “Some information that he might find embarrassing needs to get out. Just to be fair.”
As many have noted Trump’s win has not been good for Chaffetz:
The election of Donald Trump seriously interfered with Chaffetz’s plans.
“HRC, a.k.a. Hillary Rodham Clinton, would have been good for Chaffetz’s political fortunes, however. He had been expecting to use his remaining tenure on the oversight committee, which expired in 2019, tormenting President Clinton. The month before the 2016 election, Chaffetz told the Washington Postthat Clinton had provided him with “a target-rich environment. Even before we get to Day One, we’ve got two years’ worth of material already lined up.”
“But after Trump won, Chaffetz seemed slow to acclimate to the new political environment. The day of Trump’s inauguration, Chaffetz Instagrammed a screen grab from Fox News, showing him shaking hands with Clinton at the ceremony. Under the photo he wrote, “So pleased she is not the President. I thanked her for her service and wished her luck. The investigation continues.”
The irony is that Chaffetz-more than any other single person-did more than anyone to elect Donald Trump with his highly unethical tweeting of the Comey letter. There are a number of theories as I covered in my last post-one is that the Trump campaign paid him $10 million dollars in donations for releasing the letter.
It would be interesting to know if there was any communication between Chaffetz and Trump-or Chaffetz with anyone in the Trump campaign about the Comey letter, prior to its release.
It’s also hilarious how he was still so interested in Hillary Clinton after the election. A lot of Hillary haters are outraged that we Hillary loves won’t quit her. But then-neither will they.
Chaffetz’s big moment at the Trump Inauguration was-a picture with Hillary Clinton.
“On February 9, Chaffetz got a wake-up call when he returned to Utah for a town hall, where he was besieged by a hostile, heckling crowd, shouting “Do your job,” and “We want to get rid you.” These listening sessions are typically subdued affairs, but this one drew hundreds of angry constituents, who demanded to know why the chairman of the House oversight committee was not doing more to investigate President Trump. (A pair of Utah Republicans recently bought a billboard on the highway to Chaffetz’s Utah office that asks, “Why won’t Chaffetz investigate the Trump-Russia connection?”)
Meanwhile, like most Republicans, Chaffetz is finding that being the opposition party was a lot more fun.
“The current political atmosphere, in which Republicans control Congress and the White House, mainly holds downsides for Chaffetz, who has flourished as an opposition figure. Historically, the president’s party often suffers big losses in midterm elections, and early signs show that Democrats are gaining momentum in unexpected places, including deep-red Kansas.”
“But even as he announced that he was stepping away from politics, Chaffetz and his supporters seemed to be quietly planning his political future. In early April, his campaign committee registered the domains Jason2028.com and JasonChaffetz2028.com.”
2028?! So he anticipates a long stretch in the wilderness. Maybe a stint on Fox News. In any case, I suspect we’re going to learn a lot more about what’s really going on with Chaffetz soon.
If nothing else Chaffetz needs to be questioned in the Comey Hearings-when they start as they must, likely only when the Dems take over.
P.S. As we saw in my poll out last week, the long awaited poll results are in, and right now I’m just 11 points down vs. Peter King (GOP-NY-District 2). And the voters don’t even know who I am yet.
There is nothing more important in getting answers to Trump-Russia collusion than a Democratic House in 2019. Please donate to help me in my part of the effort to fight for a Dem House.
Thank you. We must have a Dem House. And so, we will.