Today’s surprising news that Utah GOP Rep. Jason Chaffetz will resign rather than finish the remainder of his current term means the House Oversight Committee needs a new chairman, and now we know that a familiar name is all but certain to take over.
Politico reports that South Carolina GOP Rep. Trey Gowdy will most likely become the next chair of the committee. He is reportedly currently making his case to colleagues and is considered a lock by five members of the House Steering Committee, which is responsible for committee assignments. However, Gowdy’s office will not yet confirm the news.
Politico has more:
If he does clinch the chairmanship, Gowdy would oversee the sensitive investigation into whether President Donald Trump pressured the FBI to drop a federal investigation of his former national security adviser, Michael Flynn.
Gowdy, a former federal prosecutor, previously chaired the House Select Committee on Benghazi and was an outspoken critic of the Obama administration. This time, however, he’d be the top congressional watchdog for a Republican presidency.
“Trey is more than qualified to be the next chairman of Oversight,” said Steering Committee member Tom Graves (R-Ga.), who intends to nominate Gowdy for the post. “He has a lot of support from our conference, and given the responsibilities that come with the position, and his past pedigree [as a prosecutor], he’s perfect for the job.”
Gowdy is popular in conservative circles for video clips of his cross-examinations of Obama administration officials. He also supported Florida Senator Marco Rubio against Trump in the 2016 GOP primary, so he would not be inclined to give Trump a pass while looking into any White House scandals.
Taken together, these seem to make Gowdy a natural fit for the job. Of course, the next Oversight chair will not only have to act as an objective, independent watchdog, but will also have to possess the fortitude to resist Democrat and media pressure to indulge scandals where none exist.