Gowdy poised to replace Chaffetz as Oversight chief
Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) is expected to become the next chairman of the House Oversight Committee, replacing Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) in the high-profile post when he leaves Congress late next month, according to multiple senior House Republicans.
Gowdy, who chaired the House Select Committee on Benghazi, has started buttonholing members of the House Steering Committee in recent days to build support. Five members of that panel, which decides committee assignments, told POLITICO that Gowdy would easily win a race for the job should another member challenge him.
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.”
A spokeswoman for Gowdy would not confirm his bid for the gavel.
“Rep. Gowdy is talking to members in the conference about the qualities they believe are most important for the next chairman to possess,” said Amanda Gonzalez in a statement.