Months after Election Day, there’s at least one member of Congress who isn’t sick and tired of hearing about Hillary Clinton’s damn emails. On Monday, Representative Jason Chaffetz, chairman of the House Oversight committee, vowed to keep investigating Hillary Clinton’s private email server, though she did not win the election.
“This was never a political targeting from the beginning. Just because there’s a political election doesn’t mean it goes away. So of course I’m going to continue to pursue that,” Chaffetz told reporters, according to BuzzFeed.
He described her email setup as “potentially one of the largest breaches of security in the history of the State Department,” and said completing the House investigation will remain a priority – though, “I’ve got a lot of top priorities.”
It seems investigating the person who actually won the election isn’t currently one of them. Chaffetz did say that his job will remain the same in the Trump administration, and noted that he doesn’t “answer to anybody in Washington, D.C.” He continued, “My job in this role is not to protect or be a cheerleader for the president. It’s just not. I’m not here to defend him at every turn.”
But it seems Chaffetz hasn’t devoted time to considering the issues that have already arisen for the president-elect. He still considers the calls from Democratic lawmakers and his hometown paper to open a probe into Trump’s conflicts of interest “silly,” and while he said he plans to meet with incoming White House Counsel Don McGahn, he noted that there isn’t much he can do.
“My concern is that there is compliance with the law. I will tell you the president is exempt from a lot of these. I didn’t write these laws but that’s the reality of it,” Chaffetz said, adding, “Maybe some of that should be tightened up but it’s not something I dove into.”
When asked whether Trump appointing his son-in-law Jared Kushner to be senior adviser to the president would violate laws banning nepotism in the White House — an issue that was first widely discussed in November — Chaffetz said, “I have not looked at that at all. I can’t say one direction or another without looking at it.”
Chaffetz has to stay focused. If he starts thinking about all the conflict-of-interest issues surrounding the Trump administration, we might never get an answer on Clinton’s emails (aside from the one we got from the FBI).