SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Jason Chaffetz, the media-savvy Utah Republican who has been a cable-news fixture during his eight years in Congress, said Wednesday that he’s becoming a Fox News Channel contributor after he resigns this week so he can keep a voice in politics.
Chaffetz told The Associated Press that he doesn’t expect he’ll be on Fox News every day once he starts on Saturday, but that he will be able to weigh in on matters in Washington whether he’s at home in Utah or traveling.
Chaffetz also said he doesn’t know whether he’ll run for Utah governor in 2020, something he’s said in the past that he’s interested in.
“I don’t see any reason to close those doors,” he said. “We’ll see what happens.”
The congressman known for his aggressive investigations of Democrat Hillary Clinton before the 2016 election made the surprise announcement in April that he wouldn’t run for re-election. He later said he’d resign at the end of this month because he wanted to spend more time with his family.
The move came as he faced increasing calls to investigate President Donald Trump’s administration, including the president’s firing of FBI director James Comey and possible ties between Trump’s campaign and Russia. He was drowned out by boos during a February town hall where attendees angry about Trump’s administration and his policies shouted, “Do your job!”
Chaffetz, who served as chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, had remained relatively quiet about what he planned to do after stepping down. The network announced Wednesday morning that he would be offering political analysis on various programs.
Chaffetz told the AP that he approached Fox and other networks about job opportunities in April.
“I reached out to them. I privately let them and others know that I am going to leave and this is my timeline and would you be interested in a guy like me?” Chaffetz said. “Fortunately they had room on their dance card.”
He declined to say how much his contract is worth.
Chaffetz’s resignation is effective 8 a.m. MT Friday, and he said he’s flying back to Utah Thursday night so he can be reimbursed for the flight home.
Serving in Congress has been a “tremendous honor,” Chaffetz said, but he’s looking forward to his next phase.
In addition to the Fox News job, Chaffetz said he’s going to be a consultant for technology firms, helping them identify how government regulations could help or hurt matters like privacy concerns and new technology like drones.
“The worry is, Washington, D.C., when it sees a problem, it has a knee-jerk reaction tends to either regulate or try to pass a piece of legislation. I think most IT companies are oblivious to that,” Chaffetz said.
Chaffetz said he’s also discussing a deal to write a book about shadowy Washington bureaucracies to be released next year.