The only reason for Jason Chaffetz to announce this early that he’s not running again is if he’s sitting on a scandal that he knows is about to explode. By taking himself off the table for 2018, he’s hoping those with the dirt on him will be appeased into not releasing it after all. Who’s about out him? Russia? The FBI itself? We don’t know which of these entities is forcing his hand this week, but he does. There’s widespread buzz on Twitter that not only won’t he finish out his term, but that he might resign tomorrow. This buzz is spreading so quickly that it’s difficult to even parse where it originated from. But there’s a reason for all this smoke.
Jason Chaffetz is surely trying to figure out whether his announcement yesterday is enough to keep the scandal from becoming public, or if he now needs to resign immediately in order to improve his odds. So the buzz you’re hearing is likely the result of the trial balloons Chaffetz himself is floating behind the scenes. Will he resign tomorrow? Next week? Will he finish out his term? Who knows. This is too chaotic to predict the particulars. But it’s precisely that chaos, that panic coming from Chaffetz, that tells us this is such a bombshell that it’s coming out one way or the other. It always does. The only question is whether the Chaffetz scandal explodes before or after he’s vacated his seat.