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Jason Chaffetz rebukes conspiracy theorists, says he's not quitting due to scandal
As soon as word leaked that Jason Chaffetz had decided not to seek re-election, the conspiracy theorists started drooling. When he said he might not finish his current term, they went into overdrive. There was blood in the water and the lefties launched into a feeding frenzy. As always, they employed their chief boogeyman.
This had to have something to do with Russia.
That tweet was then re-tweed by Adrienne Watson, the Democratic National Committee’s deputy communications director.
Now, I'll be the first to admit that the way Chaffetz is leaving raised at least one eyebrow. It is, to say the least, unusual. My spider-sense tells me something is going on, but it's a huge leap to suddenly assume he's being forced out of office by a Russian dossier full of compromising material. Still, members of "The Resistance" - a non-organization that is probably not run from a closet by Keith Olbermann - is claiming victory.
So, Chaffetz talked to the worst web site in the world, The Politico:
Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz — who shocked the political establishment when he announced his retirement earlier this week — said that he has already started looking for post-congressional employment, and hopes to serve on boards of directors and link up with a television network.
“I started poking around to see what I might be worth and what sort of possibilities are there,” Chaffetz said in a phone interview with POLITICO Thursday afternoon. “And I got a series of ‘Let us know when you’re serious.’ Well now I can say, ‘Can you tell I am serious?’… I’ll take a little bit of time to sort out. I’d be thrilled to have a television relationship. But there’s a number of things I’d like to do.”
Hey, I know a major news network that just dumped a highly-rated anchor, so at least we know there's an opening out there. But what of Putin? What about Russia, Mr. Chaffetz? That's what the people really want to talk about. Russia and tax returns.
Tell us about your impending scandal!
“I might depart early,” he said in the interview. “It’s not tomorrow, it’s not next week. If it is, it’s going to be in the months to come.”
Asked if he is resigning because of a yet-to-be revealed scandal, Chaffetz said, “Absolutely, positively not.
“Not in any way shape or form,” he said. “I’ve been given more enemas by more people over the last eight years than you can possibly imagine. From the Secret Service to the Democratic Party. I am who I am. If they had something really scandalous, it would’ve come out a long, long time ago.”
I could do with less enema imagery, but there you have it. No scandal. Nothing, nada, zip. If you want to dig into the D.C. muck, the most likely scenario is that Chaffetz was looking forward to going after President Clinton for the next four years. It would place him at the heart of GOP's anti-Clinton efforts, increase his exposure, and set him up for future political endeavors. When Clinton failed so, so, miserably, that career path vanished.
So now, he's looking elsewhere. If he can target the left via some sort of TV show, that would accomplish many of the same goals and would probably be much more lucrative. ..And he woulnd't have to endure a 2018 campaign.
That said, if you're a conspiracy theorist looking for a glimmer of hope, note this: In his comments above, Chaffetz says he won't be leaving for a few months. Specifically, "not tomorrow" and "not next week." Today there are rumblings that he might be tendering his resignation tomorrow and departing almost immediately. If his intentions above give way to an immediate exit, it's probably safe to start looking for an ulterior motive.
We shall see.