THIS IS A DEVELOPING STORY.
Rep. Trey Gowdy, one of the most powerful and admired members of Congress, announced his retirement this morning on Twitter.
His tweet and statement are included below.
“There is a time to come and a time to go. This is the right time, for me, to leave politics and return to the justice system,” he said in a statement on Twitter.
Gowdy is the tenth GOP committee chairman to head for the exit this cycle.
“Whatever skills I may have are better utilized in a courtroom than in Congress, and I enjoy our justice system more than our political system,” he said.
Gowdy currently leads the powerful House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. His departure will open up a plum position at the top of the committee’s GOP leadership—either the chairmanship or the ranking member position if the Democrats win control of the House after the 2018 midterms.
Before that, Gowdy led the House Select Committee on Benghazi, the controversial committee that investigated the 2012 deaths of four Americans stationed in Benghazi.
The news comes less than a month after Gowdy stepped down from his spot on the House Ethics Committee, citing the “challenging workload” of his committee spots on top of his chairmanship.
Gowdy did not elaborate about his future plans outside of the reference to the “justice system.” He’s a former assistant U.S. attorney who served as a county solicitor in his home state of South Carolina before running for Congress in 2010.
Gowdy’s name has regularly been tossed around as a potential pick by the Trump administration to fill a judicial appointment. While he’s denied that speculation in the past, a vacancy on the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, which has jurisdiction over South Carolina, opened up just one day before Gowdy announced his retirement.
Here is the tweet announcing his retirement.
There is a time to come and a time to go. This is the right time, for me, to leave politics and return to the justice system. Full statement here → pic.twitter.com/7I8AApqvs1
— Trey Gowdy (@TGowdySC) January 31, 2018