Home / General / I’m Sure There’s An Entirely Innocent Explanation!

I’m Sure There’s An Entirely Innocent Explanation!



Well, well, well:

I’m sure he’s just quitting to spend time with his lovingly crafted fanfic story of a young, impossibly handsome Utah Congressman whose dogged pursuit of the truth proves that President Killary Killinton personally ordered the Benghazi attack to cover up her plan to murder Seth Ric…er, family.

I also don’t think it’s exactly accurate to say that Chaffetz had a “thankless job.” It’s that he didn’t want to do his job because he’s a weaselly hack who put party over country, and he may well be leaving because he committed or covered up some very serious misconduct while doing so.

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  • It has been speculated that he may also be resigning to run for governor in 2020; apparently he has already registered a domain for exactly this purpose. However, to paraphrase a (for some reason) Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist, it is irresponsible not to speculate about whether there was a live boy, dead girl, farm animal, or treasonous Russian connection involved in his resignation.

    • Crusty

      Chaffetz for Prison in 2020!

      • Scott Lemieux


        • DrDick


      • Gwen

        I believe you mean #LockHimUp.

    • CaptainBringdown

      It has been speculated that he may also be resigning to run for governor in 2020;

      This doesn’t really account for the haste of his departure.

      • Warren Terra

        Yeah, not running for re-election could be consistent with higher ambitions, but quitting his job really can’t.

        • N__B

          It worked for Sarah Palin…oh wait.

          • Palin never intended to run for higher office. She intended to make as much money as a grifter as possible by pretending she’d someday run for higher office. She was very, very successful at that.

          • GeorgeBurnsWasRight

            Now wait, she made it to the White House.

            Today, as Trump’s guest with Nugent and Kid Rock. Asked why those two, she said “Jesus wasn’t available.”

            No doubt Trump wanted to find out if Kid Rock could deliver on his song, “Cowboy”, which includes the line:
            Find West Coast pussy for my Detroit players

      • Crusty

        The correct way to do it is to completely neglect the public service job you already have while continuing to collect the attendant paycheck while you raise funds and run for the better job.

        • D.N. Nation

          Nice to see you here, Senator Rubio.

        • Warren Terra

          The true master of this was Mitt Romney, who spent most of his term as Massachusetts Governor out of the state not only campaigning for a better job but doing so by disparaging Massachusetts to anyone that would listen.

          • DonnaK

            As a former long-time Bay Stater (33 years), I could never understand our tendency to send Republican daddies to the State House. And Mitt was one lousy father.

            • FMguru

              It’s pretty typical of states dominated by one party to occasionally vote the executive chair to someone from the other party (usually running as an independent outsider on a reform/anticorruption platform) as a way to express their displeasure with The Machine.

          • Derelict

            At least Romney got the nomination (even if it was, as the inimitable Pierce stated, because “I’m Mitt Romney, bitches! And I’m all you’ve got!).

            Chris Christie, however, really took it to new, um, depths.

            • Warren Terra

              Romney didn’t get the nomination that cycle, though. He got it four years later, when he’d left office and had been living in New Hampshire for two years.

          • MAJeff

            The true master of this was Mitt Romney, who spent most of his term as Massachusetts Governor out of the state not only campaigning for a better job but doing so by disparaging Massachusetts to anyone that would listen.

            And, in particular, used anti-LGBTQ animus as a central feature of said disparagement.

            I truly despise that motherfucker.

      • Lost Left Coaster

        Exactly. Kind of reminds me of all the speculation when Sarah Palin resigned that she was doing it in preparation for her higher ambitions. But it turns out that she 1) was hopelessly corrupt and was going to have some major scandals bursting on her if she stayed in office, and 2) could not hack it at her position because it turns out that governing is hard.

        Chaffetz no doubt hits both of those points as well, plus much more.

        • It appears that Chaffetz’ only political talent may be showboating about BENGHAZI!!!11 and EMAILS!!!11 Without those considerations, he has no real purpose in life. I feel this merits the world’s saddest song on the world’s smallest violin. Truly my heart breaks.

        • Just_Dropping_By

          Chaffetz no doubt hits both of those points as well, plus much more.

          I agree that the resignation suggests corruption or other legal problems, but Chaffetz has already been through four re-election campaigns (first elected to house in 2008), so I’m kind of doubting the “could not hack it” factor played much of a role, especially given that it’s not even six full months past his last campaign.

          • To be fair, though, Chaffetz’ previous terms were under a Democratic president. Grandstanding in opposition is one thing; actually governing is completely different. The latter actually might require a certain amount of real work, or at least might require a person to make some serious political calculations. There’s no sign Chaffetz has ever had to do that before. Maybe he just couldn’t handle the pressure.

            • ColBatGuano

              Being Governor won’t exactly reduce his workload.

        • FMguru

          My read of Palin was that, having tasted the good life and being at the peak of her popularity/public profile, she just couldn’t wait one extra minute before cashing in.

          Likewise, Chaffetz may have decided that he should cash in now and start earning and spending while he’s still young enough to appreciate it.

    • wengler

      Yes, he really needs a three and half year head start for that….

    • I see no mutual exclusivity here.

    • If he’s running for governor it would be dumb to drop out now; he’d have far less leverage for fundraising if he can’t vote on anything.

      • aab84

        Yeah, the “quit your elected position to start running years early” thing didn’t work out all that well for Sarah Palin.

        • Crusty

          I thought she quite her elected position to become a celebrity grifter?

        • The reasoning I heard is that with all the crappy votes coming up where the Republicans are getting squeezed from both the left and the right, it might be advantageous not to have much of a voting record in the Shitgibbon era. That said, the structural advantages for incumbents probably outweigh that. I’m not sure Chaffetz is insightful enough to recognize that, though.

          I suspect it’s either a scandal or the Fox News thing, but I’m not ruling anything out.

          • DW

            Particularly the structural advantages for a Republican in Utah.

          • Dennis Orphen

            Events can have multiple causes. I’d go for a little of all of the above, buffet style. Concerning the Russia connection, as I’ve said here before, I think the party as a whole is being blackmailed, individuals like Chaffetz haven’t commited the crimes the party in general is being blackmailed with, so running for other offices isn’t out of the question.

            • I’m almost certain the party as a whole is being blackmailed, or at least several key figures within it are. It’s been confirmed that the Russians got access to the Republicans’ emails as well as the Democrats’, but obviously they only released the Democrats’. What was in the Republicans’? We don’t really know, but given their history of using kompromat, it’s probably safe to conclude that there was incriminating evidence against a rather large number of significant party figures, as well as possibly the party as a whole.

              So the question is: just who was implicated, and how deep does the rabbit hole go? We don’t really have any way of knowing, but given what we already know, just about anyone within the party could plausibly be affected. Chaffetz might have been implicated, or maybe he’s simply seen that the rest of the party was and he personally wasn’t and wants out. I’m leading toward the former, but I’m not convinced either way. Another possibility is that he was under kompromat, then the U.S. intelligence figured it out (as twbb speculated below), and he no longer felt he had any incentive to continue doing the Kremlin’s bidding. Or possibly his actions already implicate him criminally and he doesn’t feel there’s any incentive to continue serving.

              We can’t really know. The fact that we can plausibly speculate about any of this, though, just goes to show how surreal our politics have become. If you’d written this as fiction a year ago, no one would have believed it, even if you’d pitched it as a satire.

              I think I’m going to go over to BJ and see what Adam Silverman thinks about this; he seems to know more about this kind of thing than almost anyone on the planet.

              • efgoldman

                Chaffetz might have been implicated, or maybe he’s simply seen that the rest of the party was and he personally wasn’t and wants out.

                If he’s in genuine legal trouble (rather than afoul of house ethics rules, joke though they are) quitting won’t help him.

                Meet you over there in a little while. We can have coffee.

                • Sadly, I haven’t seen Adam posting about this yet. Must be busy with something IRL. The thread was pretty interesting for awhile but devolved into a less interesting discussion because one of the commenters doesn’t understand that the Republicans have been playing Calvinball for more than two and a half decades.

        • keta

          Au contraire. It worked out splendidly for Palin. She had absolutely zero intentions of pursuing a higher office and she made gobs of money feigning that she one day would.

          However, I don’t think that’s behind Chaffetz’s move here. The whole thing smells of scandal, and only time will reveal all.

          • I don’t see any evidence that Chaffetz has Palin’s talent for gritting. It helped that Palin was far more charismatic than Chaffetz is, I suspect. Saying Chaffetz has the charisma of a weasel would be defamatory to weasels.

            • Karen24

              Weasels are cute, furry, and have expressive faces. Chaffetz would, by contrast, lose an adorableness challenge to a tarantula. He falls on the charisma scale between the Y. Pestis microorganism and red algae.

              • N__B

                HEY! Mini__B used to have Y. Pestis in his crib.

                • Karen24


                  Also, Chaffetz is now officially less adorable than the plague germ. What ISN’T cuter than he is?

              • JR in WV

                A weasel in a henhouse will kill a dozen or more chickens just for the fun of killing. Take two bites from each hen, and leave the rest rotting on the floor.

                There is nothing cute about weasels. They are too much like Republicans for cute!

                Cute like Mitch y’Turtle.

      • efgoldman

        it would be dumb to drop out now; he’d have far less leverage for fundraising if he can’t vote on anything.

        And far FAR less visibility. It will be really easy for the Utah electorate to forget who he is in the interim.

    • efgoldman

      It has been speculated that he may also be resigning to run for governor in 2020; apparently he has already registered a domain for exactly this purpose.

      The Occam’s politics explanation is that his wingnut welfare job is all lined up. But if that were so, both he and the welfare organization – Heritage or whatever – would have announced it.
      You you’re right: Irresponsible not to speculate.
      Whatever it is, I hope it’s indictable, or at least as disgusting as Diaper Dave or Persimmon Peepee.

  • DamnYankees

    The only question here is what the scandal is – is it a personal scandal (e.g. affair) in which case who cares. Or is it a political scandal, in which case that’s more interesting.

    I hope its the latter but I’d put 85% odds on the former.

    • Hayden Arse

      I really, really, really hope it is the latter not just because it could be a “tip of the iceberg” thing, but because I am tired of hearing hypocritical moral indignation.

      • catclub

        File Under tip of iceberg theory:

        Amidst shock and speculation around insider reports that Chaffetz is refusing to investigate the alleged collusion between Trump’s campaign and transition teams with Russia to influence and win the 2016 presidential election because Russian operatives have threatened to expose compromising information about the congressman, Chaffetz is now considering just leaving without finishing the term.

        Chaffetz did not elaborate as to why this might be so, and the reasoning for Chaffetz’s statement is as yet unknown. One thing that is clear, however, is that something very shady is happening behind the scenes.

    • I hope it’s not the former, because I really don’t want to see news stories analyzing his sexts.

      • sibusisodan

        And for analysis, we turn to our leading sextologist. Anthony Weiner, your thoughts?”

        • Dallan


        • Bruce B.

          No way. Weiner’s a Democrat. They’d go to moral men like Newt Gingrich to properly scold.

      • ColBatGuano

        Or his stance.

    • Snarki, child of Loki

      Resigning quickly won’t get him clear of a “personal” scandal, but it would short-circuit any House Ethics investigation.

      Wait, *is* there still a House Ethics organization?

      • I think it’s kind of like the Ministry of Truth now.

      • trollhattan

        “The scandal, it’s coming from inside my pants!

    • DrDick

      I think we need to spend gazillions of dollars conducted elebenty millions simultaneous redundant congressional investigations into this matter!

    • efgoldman

      is it a personal scandal (e.g. affair) in which case who cares.

      In Utah? The voters care. The (R) on the ballot stands for rectitude as much as Republiklown.

  • twbb

    You don’t resign in 2017 to run for something in 2020. I’m wondering if the ethics investigation picked up something new. Chaffetz has a reputation of being particularly dim, even by modern GOP congressperson standards, so wonder if he walked into something blatantly illegal without realizing it.

    • There are rumors floating around that he’s been having an affair with a woman for many years and it is going public

      • Scott Lemieux

        I’m sure he was scrupulously careful never to comment on Bill Clinton’s infidelities and how they proved that Hillary Clinton was unfit for office.

        • Crusty

          No hypocrisy at all. Chaffetz doesn’t think his mistress should be president either.

          • Crusty

            Ah man, I did it wrong. It should be that Chaffetz doesn’t think his wife should be president either.

            • SoRefined

              He probably doesn’t think that much of either of them, really.

            • Snuff curry

              He pulled a “check out sex tape and past” tweet on her. His wife.

        • NonyNony

          Doesn’t matter – he’s from Utah. His chances of getting elected governor are pretty much torpedoed if this is true. (It wouldn’t stop Utahns from voting for him against a Dem, but it will cause many of them to not vote for him in the primary, which is the only election that really matters).

          In fact that’s why I would normally suspect that this isn’t the case and that there’s something less stupid going on. Because if you have a sex scandal and you’re from Utah the best approach is to hold your seat, keep getting re-elected (because even in Utah incumbency advantage should help you with that primary battle) and wait for people to “forgive you”. Resigning in a hurry is just stupid.

          But then I’ve been reliably informed that Jason Chaffetz is below the median when it comes to House member intelligence, so perhaps that’s all it is and he’s just making the worst tactical error he could possibly make.

          • corporatecake

            I have a suspicion Chaffetz is both too dim witted and too craven to sit tight and ride out a sex scandal.

            • N__B

              sit tight and ride out a sex scandal.

              When you put it that way, it piques my interest.

          • cthulhu

            In fact that’s why I would normally suspect that this isn’t the case and that there’s something less stupid going on. Because if you have a sex scandal and you’re from Utah the best approach is to hold your seat, keep getting re-elected (because even in Utah incumbency advantage should help you with that primary battle) and wait for people to “forgive you”. Resigning in a hurry is just stupid.

            Well, it may be the person in question is in DC and his wife gave him an ultimatum: Come home permanently or I’ll be seeing you in divorce court.

            • Maybe it’s worse than that; maybe he’s having an affair with a Democrat.

              • White or non-white? Female or male?

                • I don’t have my chart with me, so I’m going to wing it and say non-white male?

                • Hogan

                  Serena Williams just announced that she’s pregnant. Coincidence?

                • N__B

                  Serena Williams just announced that she’s pregnant.

                  Serena Williams is five months pregnant and won the Australian Open three months ago. I think we have a new standard of toughness for athletes.

                • BigHank53

                  Actually, the hormones associated with early pregnancy (before the fetus is making serious demands on the body) boost athletic performance significantly. It’s been rumored that it’s been used deliberately.

                • N__B

                  Without clicking, I know that’s another story about Bonds and McGwire.

                • efgoldman

                  Serena Williams just announced that she’s pregnant. Coincidence?

                  She has much, much higher standards than that

              • keta

                maybe it’s worse than worse than that; maybe it’s not a Democrat, but…Hillary!!!

                • farin

                  The obvious answer is that everything in Chaffetz’s professional life has been driven by his unrequited love of Hillary Clinton. The Benghazi farce was his excuse to go through her things and spend hours gazing at her in hearings, but he figured it would never keep her out of the White House. She was always going to come back.
                  Now that he realizes it’s never happening, and he’ll be spending his career in a Hillary-less DC, it all seems pointless and there’s no reason to go to work anymore. Even undermining national security and kicking the poor doesn’t do anything for him. What’s left but to go back to Utah and try to forget?

                • This is definitely the most amusing explanation I’ve heard and I’m going to have a hard time not believing it’s the truth going forward.

        • “I went home with the waitress,
          The way i always do
          How was I supposed to know,
          She was with the Russians too.”
          -Jason Chaffetz

      • twbb

        That’s just boring. I am disappointed.

        • In Mormon country though, that’s a BFD

          • Warren Terra

            Is it really big enough that he can’t last until the end of his term though?

            • Crusty

              Its probably big enough that you need to lock up your private sector gig before the sordid details become common knowledge.

              • Domino

                Wasn’t another rumor Fox News was willing to hire him?

            • Duvall

              Probably not, but what’s the point of sticking around if his political career is over. Might as well go make money.

          • catclub

            Could he claim the mistress is a second wife and then he will be good with the Warren Jeffs side of the Mormon world?

            • Warren Terra

              I was waiting for this “joke”, in dreary anticipation.

      • Nathan Goldwag

        From your lips to God’s ears.

      • Cassiodorus

        Never knew the ladies were still into Jheri curls.

      • nemdam

        This may be just fevered imaginations, but I’m hearing that knowledge of the affair is held by the Russians to compromise him. No idea if it’s true, but given that he tag teamed with Comey to put Trump over the top, as our astute commenters are commenting, it would irresponsible not to speculate. Only question is why would the Russians release it now if this is true?

        • petesh

          It does not have to be the Russians releasing it. He may be hearing the baying of the hounds. Perhaps someone should have a quiet word with him about becoming a witness and all the advantages that has over doing hard time.

          • nemdam

            I should’ve said “use” instead of “release”.

        • twbb

          It could be the US intelligence apparatus figured it out.

          • This actually strikes me as a plausible explanation. We already know the Russians obtained access to Republicans’ emails as well as Democrats’, and we haven’t heard too much about what they got from the GOP’s emails, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they were using knowledge of things like this to blackmail GOP Congresscritters. If our intelligence services have figured some of this out, that would explain some events that otherwise don’t make a lot of sense. I still can’t figure out a sensible explanation for what the hell Nunes was doing with that late night White House visit, though.

            • petesh

              How about this? If the Russians did get something scurrilous about Chaffetz (not necessarily illegal; a long-standing affair would do), and mentioned it as an oh-by-the-way-to, say, Roger Stone (possibly using a cut-out), and then the Feds got Stone on tape talking about it with Page or Manafort … or, even better, got someone mentioning it directly to Chaffetz … the names and details could well be very different, but it’s this kind of loose end that might unravel the entire cloak of invisibility.

              (Oh, lord, I just had a vision of the King-Emporer’s New Clothes.)

              • I hope you’re right about your first paragraph. Not about the new clothes bit, though. That’s enough to cause a person to shudder.

      • Rob in CT


  • jim, some guy in iowa

    I guess there’s no shortage of guys weasels like Chaffetz but good riddance just the same

  • Crusty

    He’s coming out as a Weasel-American.

    • ringtail

      Obligatory: That’s defamatory to weasels.

      • Philip

        What do you use for simile, though? A rat’s posterior has a better moral compass than your average Republican

  • brad

    Man, I almost feel like the planet is trying to give me lots of birthday presents this month in honor of me becoming an old soon. If Twin Peaks had been scheduled to start a month earlier I’d be certain of it.
    But lovely, I hope this doesn’t prevent whatever story is about to break about him from doing so.

    • twbb

      Maybe the Clintons really ARE criminal masterminds and are starting to disgrace their enemies.

      • I kind of hope Hillary has a list like Arya Stark’s, and that this is what is actually happening here.

        • Karen24

          I would watch that show. I hope we don’t have to wait five years to see Steve “Ramsay Trump” Bannon eaten by dogs, though, and that the scene where Donald “Walder Frey” Trump buys it lasts longer than a couple of minutes.

          • I think we now need to cast Game of Thrones with figures from the 2016 election. I’m having a tough time coming up with the right ones, though.

            • wjts

              Clinton: Cersei (ask Maureen Dowd if you don’t believe me)
              Sanders: Stannis
              O’Malley: Second pikeman from the left

              • I feel like Clinton is kind of Daenerys (she has a legitimate claim that was stolen from her) and kind of Arya (because of the revenge list). Though actually Daenerys fits the revenge thing as well; she just doesn’t have a list. Stannis for Sanders makes sense. Also lol at the O’Malley one.

                • wjts

                  Like you say below, I don’t think there are a whole lot of good matches. Clinton doesn’t fit particularly well with any of the characters, honestly. Sanders/Stannis makes a little bit of sense if you squint.

                  Mostly I just wanted to make a joke about Martin O’Malley.

                • Personality-wise Daenerys probably is the closest fit: she clearly really does want to make things better for people, but she also clearly wants to do that by holding a position of power. There aren’t actually too many people like that in the show; for example, Jon Snow doesn’t even really care that much about holding power (he has to be talked into even running for Lord Commander), but simply wants to make people’s lives better. Arya doesn’t really care about holding power; she cares far more about getting revenge for her family. Robb also has to be talked into becoming king. And so on. Most of the other people who really want power aren’t presented very sympathetically. Daenerys is really the only one I can think of who is.

                • wjts

                  Maybe. But circumstances (wife of the former leader who wants power for herself) also fit Cersei. Or Stannis (logical/legitimate successor who got shoved aside). If it’s the latter, then Sanders either becomes Renley (popular, charismatic, beloved by the people) if you’re well-disposed to him or Balon (unpleasant marginal crank baselessly griping about being denied his rightful place in the sun) if you’re not. Like I say, I don’t think there are many good fits here.

                • The difference between Cersei and Hillary, of course, is that Hillary has benevolent intentions. And really, Daenerys also fits “wife of a former leader” because of Khal Drogo. So yeah, I’d consider Daenerys a much closer fit.

                  Renly kind of fits how I see Sanders, now that you mention him: he has benevolent intentions, but his ideology is rather shallow.

                • wjts

                  Daenerys’ plans to help people usually involve radical changes to society, which isn’t true of Clinton. And, yeah, Khal Drogo, but all the mapping here is to fit the war for the Iron Throne to the U.S. presidential election and Khal Drogo never ruled Westeros.

                  But Debbie Wasserman Schultz is totally Brienne of Tarth: widely disliked and bad at her job.

                • That’s a fair point, but a lot of those changes are to elements like slavery that simply aren’t even present in American society. Insofar as she fights forces like racism and patriarchy, she does map fairly closely to Clinton.

                  The point about the Iron Throne is well taken, though.

                  I like Brienne. :( She hasn’t always been good at her job, true, but she is at least extremely competent at fighting, and doesn’t get taken seriously enough at that because she’s a woman.

                • wjts

                  She hasn’t always been good at her job, true…

                  She has literally never been good at her job ever. Apart from being a woman in a masculine profession, it’s her most salient character trait.

                  Renly: You work for me now.

                  Brienne: I sure do, boss!

                  Renly: So don’t let anyone kill me. I cannot stress this point strongly enough.

                  Brienne: I sure won’t, boss!

                  [Renly is immediately killed by a shadow monster.]

                  Catelyn: You work for me now.

                  Brienne: I sure do, boss!

                  Catelyn: So take Jaime Lannister to King’s Landing. When you get there, exchange him for my daughters. On no account – and this is is important – should you let Jaime escape or be harmed, and you must bring my daughters back to me.

                  Brienne: I sure won’t and I sure will, boss!

                  [Jaime escapes and loses his hand; Sansa and Arya are not returned to their mother.]

                  Jaime: You work for me now.

                  Brienne: I sure do, boss!

                  Jaime: So I need you to find Sansa Stark. Let me be very clear here: the only way you’re going to be able to do that is by looking for her in the place she actually is, so please do that.

                  Brienne: I sure will, boss!

                  [Sansa goes to the Vale while Brienne assiduously searches every shithole from Crackclaw Point to the Riverlands.]

                  Lady Stoneheart: You work for me now.

                  Brienne: I sure do, boss!

                  Lady Stoneheart: So what I need you to do is to kill Jaime Lannister. Not wound him, not maim him, and most of all not not kill him. Make sure he dies.

                  Brienne: I sure will, boss!

                  [I think I can guess how this is going to go.]

                • To be fair, the Renly thing can’t really fairly be blamed on her. There was literally no way anyone could have expected a shadow monster to kill him; I don’t think anyone had seen that kind of magic in ages, if ever.

                  I also don’t remember the full circumstances behind the second example, but if I’m remembering correctly, I don’t think there was any realistic way she could’ve been able to guard Jaime from that many attackers; that seems like at least partially Catelyn’s fault for sending her with insufficient backup.

                  But that said, yeah, she does have a long history of failure. Combat seems to be one of the few things she’s really good at.

                • witlesschum

                  Brienne’s actual job is being a true knight, not the various impossible tasks she gets set to, and she does a great fucking job of that.

                  Seven, Brienne thought again, despairing. She had no chance against seven, she knew. No chance, and no choice.

                • Justin Runia

                  It’s not like the GoT books are really filled with winners…

            • Karen24

              Yeah, having twenty-five Joffreys would be a rather boring show.

            • sibusisodan

              Mitch McConnell as Tywin Lannister?

              • I was thinking Littlefinger, as Tywin has too much charisma to be McConnell. But Littlefinger is kinda shifty, which makes him a good fit for Chaffetz, but Chaffetz isn’t politically savvy enough to be Littlefinger. This is why I’m having a tough time coming up with a definitive list.

                • Hmm… Varys for McConnell, maybe. Varys still has more charisma than McConnell, and at least continues to pretend his actions are for the good of the realm, which McConnell doesn’t even pretend to do. However, after Varys’ “heighten the contradictions” actions at the end of ADwD, his benevolence is harder to defend. They’re both quite politically savvy, and Varys is definitely creepy in a way that matches McConnell. Unless someone else can come up with a better fit, I think I’m gonna stick with this one.

                • rea

                  Everybody in GoT is far more competent than their Republican counterparts . . .

        • Rob in CT


        • sibusisodan

          The woman would never get to sleep!

        • Pete

          That would be pretty awesome.

        • eclare

          Oh my god, yes. I am going to pretend that this is real, because it makes me so happy to think about.

        • CornFed

          If Trey Gowdy goes down soonish and next, I might begin to think you’ve got something here.

  • Warren Terra

    Look, it's very simple and innocent - noble, even. After strong showings by Democrats in by-elections in Kansas's 4th and Georgia's 6th Congressional Districts, the Republicans found themselves needing a by-election guaranteed to be an absolute romp for the Republican candidate. Jason Chaffetz won his district by well over 50 points in 2016; upon realizing what he could do for the good of the Party, Chaffetz, as ever thinking only of the good of others, instantly stepped forward to lay down his career so Donald could get a few good headlines.

    • efgoldman

      Look, it’s very simple and innocent

      Even in the sarcasm font, that’s too far beyond possible truth

  • Buggy Ding Dong

    It would be irresponsible NOT to speculate. So I’ve heard.

  • Actually there’s a rumor on an (anti)Chaffetz Utah blog that he is resigning to take Bill O’Reilly’s job. Sad, sad, sad, day if true.

    • Nobdy

      I cannot believe this because Chaffetz has nothing to make him a good choice for television. Not attractive, not charismatic….nothing.

      Who the hell would even watch?

      • Ahenobarbus

        Also, Tucker Carlson has already been given O’Reilly’s time slot.

        • NonyNony

          Is this true?

          If it is then someone inside the Fox News organization is actively trying to destroy it’s effectiveness as a right-wing propaganda machine. I wasn’t sure before, but the ousting of Ailes gave me some hope and the squeezing out of O’Reilly inflamed it a bit further. Replacing Bill O’Reilly with Tucker Carlson is the icing on that cake.

      • To be fair, O’Reilly isn’t attractive either, but I guess his blustery persona could be considered to have a certain amount of charisma to it. Can’t imagine Chaffetz being able to pull off that kind of thing.

        If Carlson has already been given his time slot, that kinda sinks that rumour, I guess.

        • Gabriel Ratchet

          He does have that “blue-collar rustbelt blowhard having a beer and a shot at the local American Legion post” affect that I imagine a fair chunk of his audience find easy to identify with. God knows what that same audience will think of a pencil-necked dweeb like Carlson though.

          • Yeah, I don’t see Carlson having the same kind of appeal to O’Reilly’s audience that O’Reilly had (to be clear, I judge anyone who finds O’Reilly appealing harshly, but I at least more or less comprehend the factors that made him appealing to them).

            Then again, maybe they don’t want to appeal to O’Reilly’s audience. What I’ve heard about James Murdoch in particular makes that actually seem somewhat plausible; he seems to want to take the company away from the hard-right line Ailes took to a somewhat less extreme, more genteel direction. I greatly dislike Carlson as well, but he definitely isn’t as blustery as O’Reilly, so perhaps that’s the reasoning behind it.

            As an aside, I love your screen name, which I take to be a reference to Gabriel-era Genesis.

      • efgoldman

        Chaffetz has nothing to make him a good choice for television. Not attractive, not charismatic….

        Punchable in the extreme. I’d watch just to see if the stage manager or someone punched him out.

        • Serious question: Who has more of a Backpfeifengesicht, Chaffetz or Cruz?

          • JR in WV


    • tsam

      I guess Fox needs their own Joe Scarborough. HEY, I WAS THERE MAN AND THE DEMOCRAT PARTY IS WORSE THAN HITLER

  • thebewilderness

    Hatch is ill and they are going to appoint this evil man to his seat. That was the worst thing I could think of. Second worst is Trump giving him power over citizens and federal employees by appointing him king of Utah.

    • Dallan

      On the bright side, Real Salt Lake’s team name would finally make sense.

    • randy khan

      There’s no reason for Chaffetz to resign in that scenario – sitting Reps can be appointed to fill Senate vacancies. (E.g., Kirsten Gillibrand.)

      • thebewilderness

        I was in no way suggesting or implying accuracy of the worst thing I could think of, it was just the worst thing.

  • kped

    Opening on the Fox schedule, this weasel could fit right in over there. Better than being blasted every day for not doing his oversight job.

    • twbb

      If his scandal has anything to do with sex Fox won’t touch him with a 10 meter cattle prod.

      • kped

        I’m saying I’m not sure there is a scandal, and nothing has really come out to say otherwise. I think it’s just opportunism, get out because staying in is bad for his career at the moment.

      • Unless he says Please Master. Safe word: Benghazi!

      • petesh

        10 meter cattle prod? Electric? Asking for a friend who is thinking of volunteering.

        • Woodrowfan

          and will it be pay-for-view or streamed live??

    • rea

      Oh, he’s done his oversight job, alright.

      Q. Mr. Congressman, why didn’t you investigate the ties between the Trump campaign and Russian Intelligence?

      A. Oh, that was just an oversight . . .

      • Hogan

        You mean overseeing and overlooking aren’t the same thing? Well that’s confusing.

  • The ride it out theory worked only once for David Vitter.

    • Pat

      And he was representing Louisiana, not Utah.

    • SamInMpls


      Vitter wasn’t the first or the last.

      Freedom Caucus member Scott DesJarlais is a great example. In 2012 he admitted under oath to six sexual relationships with people he came in contact with while he was chief of staff at Grandview Medical Center. Two of those people were patients. He also admitted that he pressured his mistress to have an abortion. After admitting all this he went on talk radio and asked Christians to forgive him. He was re-elected in 2014 and 2016.

      • There was also Mark “Hiking the Appalachian Trail” Sanford, who currently holds a Congressional seat in South Carolina.

        That said, none of those people are from Utah, so I don’t know if this will hold with the Mormons. They are actually far less fond of the shitgibbon than they are of most Republicans, and a large part of this seems to have been because of his sexual misconduct.

  • It may be as prosaic as him having planned to spend four years investigating President Hitlery and using that as a springboard to the White House and realizing that four years of Trump meant sidestepping and sabotaging investigations into his misdeeds; a necessary job, and fitting for a lowly apparatchik, but well below Li’l Jason’s ambitions.

  • If there’s one thing I have learned from reading about politics for so long, it’s that when things are going really well for them and their career, politicians often decide to quit to spend more time with their family.

    It’s like when Joe Scarborough’s intern died in his office and he immediately decided to spend more time with his family by taking a job 250 miles farther away from them.

  • burnspbesq

    Did he fail to file a CTR for the cash payment to the Florence Crittenton Center?

  • So, some speculation I’ve seen via BJ comment threads and Twitter:

    1. He was involved in cutting funds to Benghazi security explicitly with the specific intention of making Hillary look bad; Russians have kompromat on this
    2. He has been having an affair, and Russians also have kompromat on this
    3. Ongoing investigation into dark money/campaign finance fraud.
    4. Chaffetz has friend at FBI who told him this info would become public soon. FBI also appear to have figured out the kompromat issue. (Louise Mensch appears to have had info suggesting this last week. She may be a bit of a crackpot – she’s said she believes Putin murdered Breitbart, for example – but she does appear to have pretty good sources for stuff she’s willing to state as fact rather than belief, and she also appears to be willing to admit when she’s wrong. Eichenwald has some kooky beliefs too but still does good reporting.)

    Dunno what to think, but the kompromat/FBI explanation is sounding more and more plausible. Really want to see what Adam Silverman says about all of this, but I haven’t seen him weigh in on the BJ thread yet.

    • Ahenobarbus

      I don’t put a lot of stock in that BJ thread. People starting to get a bit conspiratorial.

      Every theory seems to have some “sources” which only makes me distrust them all. Surely they aren’t all correct.

      • I’m not sure how much I buy any of it, either. The idea that there is some form of kompromat on Chaffetz seems reasonable, though. It is, at least, an established fact that the Russians obtained access to the Republicans’ emails, and there was no doubt dirt on key figures within the Republican leadership within them. The Russians also have a lengthy history of using kompromat on figures within other countries.

        That said, none of these sources actually seem to contradict each other; it’s certainly possible that the Russians have kompromat on Chaffetz from more than one angle. Indeed, if they do, that could have made their hold on him even stronger.

        But until any of this is officially confirmed, we won’t know for sure. The way Chaffetz was closely involved with the Comey letter, though, makes me suspect that he may have been coordinating with the Shitgibbon campaign in some fashion, which makes me further suspect the kompromat angle, because at this point it’s pretty clearly established that the Shitgibbon campaign was working with the Russians in some fashion or other. My instinct is to suspect that the Russians may have intended Chaffetz to try to sabotage investigations into this, and at some point something broke where he could no longer credibly do this. Probably the FBI thing.

        All of this could be wrong, though. There isn’t really enough information available yet for people outside the IC to know for sure.

        • Ahenobarbus

          Kompromat on an affair is possible, though it’s more likely IMO that an affair has been exposed for another reason.

          Campaign finance fraud? Sure, although I hadn’t heard any news of an investigation.

          Benghazi security angle sounds seriously strained to me. There are some suggesting that all of Benghazi was a setup. I’d hold Chaffetz accountable for negligence in embassy security, but that’s not going to cause a resignation.

          • Negligence alone wouldn’t cause a resignation, no. The speculation seems to be that the decrease in embassy security was deliberately intended to discredit Clinton, and that there is evidence proving this. I presume it’s from the Russians’ email file, but I suppose there are other ways they could have known this as well. In any case, proof of deliberate sabotage is definitely much more incriminating than mere negligence, particularly since Americans literally died as a result.

            I hadn’t heard anything about campaign finance before, either, but apparently the source was one of Chaffetz’ own staffers, so unless the reporter is just making things up, it seems like a credible explanation. This one doesn’t actually seem to have a Russian kompromat connection, though it is possible that there were Russian connections in his finances.

      • randy khan

        People starting to get a bit conspiratorial.

        I’d probably say “hopeful,” rather than “conspiratorial.”

        • This seems more accurate, yes, particularly since the existence of conspiracies in the 2016 campaign is already well established.

    • nemdam

      I’m reading the same stuff you are and believe the Russia story is the biggest scandal in American history. But that doesn’t mean some of the things getting thrown out there shouldn’t be met with a very skeptical eye. The kompromat on the affair seems believable but I’m gonna need to see some solid evidence before I even entertain these other accusations. I’m actually getting pretty tired of all these people saying they have “sources” that confirm every fantasy Trump’s opposition could imagine. At some point, there needs to be some hard evidence to back up all these explosive claims before I completely lose trust. Then again, these people have been more right than any would’ve expected 6 months ago, and all the various “sources” keep telling them the same thing.

      • Right, it’s because so much of the reporting on kompromat has turned out to be credible that I continue to be willing to entertain it. If it didn’t keep panning out, I wouldn’t be willing to assign it this much credibility. At this point, it’s pretty clearly established that (1) the Russians have a very deep kompromat file, probably including a gigantic dump of emails from a vast number of influential Republicans, and that (2) the Shitgibbon campaign and their associates are very deeply incriminated in collusion with Russia. It’s because of this that the continued reporting on kompromat continues to seem worth taking seriously. Otherwise it’d probably be in Alex Jones-level conspiracy theory territory.

        I suspect that not all of the speculation about Chaffetz’ resignation will pan out, but I do suspect that at least one of the causes already being reported may turn out to be true. I’m most inclined to favour either the campaign finance story or one of the kompromat elements (or both), but we’ll see, I guess.

        • nemdam

          I forgot to add in assisting the conspirators claims, such as Louise Mensch, if this were really just a racket, I doubt they would all blow the credibility they’ve recently gained with such ridiculous claims. The claims won’t all pan out, but if they are completely off the mark, a lot of people who have gained a large following in past 6 months are at risk seeing it all evaporate if this is just hot air. Since there are real stakes involved, it makes it harder to completely dismiss the claims.

          But then again, the fact that LGM hasn’t devoted every front page post to this story makes me believe Russia has kompromot on them. (1/673)

          • Right. Mensch has actually been correct about quite a lot of definitive claims she’s made. She seems too shrewd to throw her credibility away on wild-eyed speculation. If she says she has a source saying something, I’m willing to take her at her word on that. The same goes for a number of other people who have broken stories like this. I’m not willing to say that any of these stories are definitely true, but I’m at least pretty confident that there are sources within the IC who think they’re credible. (Keep in mind the IC doesn’t always have definitive information, either, but they definitely have better information on stuff like this than we do.)

            • nemdam

              BOOM! And almost on cue, US is now seeking the arrest of Julian Assange. The Russian conspiracy people said indictments would start this week, and here we go.


              • I’m trying to think of an indictment I’ve been more glad to see appear than this one and… nothing. I find myself hoping that rapist gets put away for life, even if it isn’t over the rape.

                Surely this also means another name on Hillary Clinton’s Arya Stark list has been dealt with.

                • nemdam

                  Your imagination is weak. To put it mildly, I would trade this for Trump, Ryan, or McConnell. And not because I have any respect for Julian Assange.

                • I meant indictments that have already occurred, not one that I’d be more glad to see happen. If they were indicted, I’d obviously be ecstatic beyond belief.

              • kvs

                So the USG is alleging that WikiLeaks directed Manning to acquire specific intelligence, rather than just receiving and publishing materials Manning acquired unilaterally. The argument being that the direction meant they were effectively engaged in espionage rather than journalism.

                That’s an interesting brightline to draw.

                • Pete

                  But quite meaningful.

                • kvs

                  But quite meaningful.

                  Also a potential slippery-slope. For example, it could lead to a precedent that criminalizes a journalist initiating contact with a source instead of being approached.

              • Pete

                Good, good, good.

                I wish the prior administration had had the stones to go after Assange long ago, but in a way it is better if a GOP-led administration puts him under.

              • Gizmo

                Awesome. We’ll finally get to see the hacked Clinton emails that contain opposition research on Trump.

              • so-in-so

                Assange must be so happy about helping Drumpf win…

        • efgoldman

          it’s because so much of the reporting on kompromat has turned out to be credible that I continue to be willing to entertain it.

          He’s not resigning because he’s tired, or because he’s ineffective, or because he wants to spend the proverbial time, or because he’s got a wingnut welfare job. Any of those would be part of the announcement.
          He’s slinking out of DC under cover of leaks, innuendo and speculation. Whatever it is, it’s not anything he’s proud of, and it IS something he feels would croak his career when and if it comes out. Which it will, because the world is like that now.

    • PunditusMaximus

      The only problem with all of the above is that Republicans don’t care about any of it.

      • Republicans in general? Maybe not. Utah is a unique case, though. Mormons are different from your average right-wing Christians. The shitgibbon lost a lot of support with Mormons because of the Access Hollywood tape, while most right-wing Christians didn’t care. Note that Utah was far closer in last year’s presidential election than it usually is (admittedly, 2012 was an outlier because Romney is a Mormon, but even compared to other years it was close); the Mormons didn’t forget about that tape as much as everyone else did. If Chaffetz had an affair, that would genuinely hurt him in Utah, while it wouldn’t in other parts of the country. (There are parts of Alaska, Idaho, Nevada, and Arizona where such things would also be harmful; these states also have fairly large Mormon populations, though not as large as Utah’s.)

        And deliberate sabotage that deliberately leads to Americans’ deaths is quite possibly a career-killer anywhere in the country, even if it was done to try to harm Hillary Clinton. If there’s solid proof of that, his career may be done for good.

    • JR in WV

      Ya know, Adam does have a real life job, that takes up time. And dogs, too, which CAN take up a lot of time, when they do really doggy things.

      Plus all that martial arts stuff… and the gym.

  • JDM

    I would’ve been happy to thank him if he’d done his job.

    Just after I recovered from fainting from shock.

  • tsam

    I think he’s noticed that vehicle with plates from the Russian consulate one too many times to be coincidence…

  • revrick

    I think there are two possibilities here, linked by the looming potential loss of the House.
    First, there will be a lot of ex-Congress critters seeking employment as lobbyists. It always helps to be first in line.
    Second, if the GOP loses the House, then Nancy Pelosi would say one thing to Elijah Cummings : kill. Imagine the investigations! And poor Jason would be trapped in the unenviable position of defending the indefensible, and getting tainted by the process.

  • cleek

    he’s taking Bill O’s slot on Fox “News”.

  • kvs

    One wonders when Nunes will fall on his sword, as well.

  • Origami Isopod

    Aw, be nice to Jase. He’s “been given more enemas by more people over the last eight years than you can possibly imagine.”

    • McAllen

      Cool, I guess Chaffetz gets to join Trump and Vitter in the cast of McAllen’s Nightmares about Republican Bodily Fluids

      • Origami Isopod

        For a crowd so fearful of losing the purity and essence of their natural fluids, they sure do like sharing them widely.

    • wjts

      I dunno. I can imagine an awful lot of enemas.

    • kvs

      If they had something really scandalous, it would’ve come out a long, long time ago.

      I don’t think that’s how you meant to say that, Congressman.

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