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domingo, 14 de enero de 2018

Trey Gowdy announces retirement from House Ethics Committee

Big changes are coming to Capitol Hill.

Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) resigned from his post on the House Committee on Ethics on Wednesday, citing a growing congressional workload — including his chairmanship of the House Oversight Committee.

Gowdy took over as chairman of the Oversight Committee in June 2017 when its previous chair, former Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), resigned his seat to accept a position as a political analyst on Fox News Channel.

Finishing the year

Gowdy informed House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) of his decision in a letter dated Jan. 10, which was not made public until Saturday.

“When I became Chairperson of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, I knew I would not be able to keep all other committee assignments to include Judiciary, Intelligence, and Ethics,” Gowdy wrote. “I was happy to finish out the calendar year and conclude some matters then pending before the Committee.”

Gowdy wrote that at the time of his resignation, he was saddled with four challenging committee assignments.

“Four committee assignments, including a Chairmanship, is a challenging workload,” the letter said. According to the Washington ExaminerGowdy was the only legislator on Capitol Hill “serving four separate committee assignments.”

Ryan’s office thanked Gowdy for his service on the committee. AshLee Strong, a spokeswoman for Ryan, said in a statement:

Mr. Gowdy was serving on four committees when he ran for Chair of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee. He requested to be relieved of his duties from the Ethics Committee should he win chairmanship given the significant increased workload.

We are grateful for his five years of service on the Ethics Committee and for agreeing to serve the remainder of the calendar year.

Rise to prominence

Gowdy’s time on the committee hasn’t been without controversy, however. The Examiner reported that the South Carolina Republican has “come under routine fire from Democratic members of the House Oversight Committee over his handling of matters related to the Trump White House and the ongoing federal investigation into Russian election interference.”

The representative also came under criticism in 2017 for settling a dispute with a former employee who allegedly refused to concentrate his work efforts on former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The aide was paid $150,000 in taxpayer-funded money.

Gowdy, a former federal prosecutor, gained national prominence for his work as chairman of the former House Select Committee on Benghazi, which investigated the events of Sept. 11, 2012, when Islamic fundamentalists overran and murdered four Americans at the U.S. diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, Libya.

The conservative firebrand has also publicly blasted former FBI Director James Comey’s handling of the agency’s probe into Clinton’s email scandal.

His presence on the House Ethics Committee will certainly be missed, but there is no doubt that Gowdy will be productive elsewhere on Capitol Hill.