SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz, whose abrupt announcement last week that he was quitting Congress and his key role as chairman on the House Oversight Committee left a trail of questions, set up a new company in April just a day before announcing he wouldn’t run for re-election.
Chaffetz, a five-term Republican, said he doesn’t feel compelled to talk about what he may do after leaving Congress next month.
But he told The Associated Press on Tuesday that the business — Strawberry C — may become a reincarnation of his former public relations and marketing firm.
“I’ll probably do something like that again,” said Chaffetz, who leaves Congress on June 30.
He declined to address rumors that he was joining the Fox News Channel after acknowledging last week that he has “started the process to talk to certain organizations.”
“There’s lots of rumors, but I don’t feel a compulsion to have to talk about what I’m going to do after I leave Congress. Not yet at least,” Chaffetz said Tuesday.
Chaffetz, known for his hard-charging investigations of Hillary Clinton and her handling of emails, announced on April 19 that he would not seek re-election then followed up last week by saying he was leaving early, with his last day in Congress on June 30.
The decision came as the House Oversight Committee began looking into President Donald Trump’s firing of FBI director James Comey.
The congressman has said the decision was motivated by a “mid-life crisis” and a desire to be with his family rather than spend more nights away from home in Washington.
Chaffetz has faced pressure to investigate the Trump administration, including in Utah, where he was met at a February town hall with boos and calls for him to prove the president’s possible ties to Russia.
Before announcing his resignation, Chaffetz had taken some first aggressive steps against the Republican White House, vowing to get memos Comey had written about meeting with Trump. He invited Comey to speak at a Wednesday hearing, but that was postponed while Comey speaks with special counsel investigating possible ties between Trump and Russia.
Documents filed with Utah’s division of corporations show Chaffetz started preparing for a post-Congress career as early as April 17, when he filled out an application for his new company.
He registered the company a day later to his home address. Filing documents do not list any other officers and do not give any indication about the nature of the business or its name.
“I kind of decided back in the end of March that I conceptually made up my mind that we were going to make some sort of change,” Chaffetz said. “I just set it up not knowing exactly what and when I would do anything.”
Chaffetz said he has owned the domain name “strawberryc.com” for years along with various other domain names. Asked about the meaning behind the name, Chaffetz said he likes strawberries and the C is a reference to his last name.
Though he has set up the business, he said he hasn’t started doing any work on it.
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