Former Utah Congressman Jason Chaffet is resigning from Congress, replacing his former FBI Director James Comey with former Department of Homeland Security (DHS) official Eric O’Keefe.
Chaffetz, who announced his retirement at his Capitol Hill office Friday, told reporters on Friday that he had reached a deal with the FBI and the DHS to replace Comey with O’keefe, a former senior DHS official.
Chafetz, a Republican, has served in Congress since 2008.
He announced his resignation in a statement to the media Friday morning, saying, “I have reached a tentative agreement with the Department of Justice to retire from Congress and replace the late FBI Director Comey with a former DHS senior official.
I have also reached a contract termination agreement with DHS, in the form of a severance package, that includes no termination payments, with the understanding that the Department will continue to conduct the work of the United States Congress.”
Chaffet, a member of the House Intelligence Committee, is one of the leading voices against the administration’s immigration policies, including its proposed border wall and plans to stop the deportation of Dreamers.
O’Keefe, who served as deputy assistant secretary of homeland security for intelligence and analysis in the Department, was a senior DHS adviser from 2011 until June.
He previously served as the deputy director of DHS’ Office of Intelligence and Analysis, the deputy assistant secretaries of homeland defense and homeland security, and the director of the Bureau of Intelligence Services.
A former Marine Corps sergeant, O’Keefe, formerly a senior intelligence analyst for the U.N. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, became the first woman to hold the post.
The appointment has been hotly contested in Congress, with some Republicans questioning O’GKeefe’s record on civil liberties, while others, including some of Trump’s supporters, are staunch supporters.
In a statement on Friday, Chaffetz’s office said, “Mr. Chaffetz has made it clear to the White House that he does not want his name on any of the documents that will be produced under a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for documents related to the FBI Director’s termination.
His term as Ranking Member of the Homeland Security Committee does expire at the end of the year. “
While Mr. Chaffet’s departure is effective immediately, his term as the Chairman of the Oversight Committee does not expire until 2019.
His term as Ranking Member of the Homeland Security Committee does expire at the end of the year.
In addition, we are now in a position to provide Mr. O’Leary with a severable severance contract.”