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Trey Gowdy is resigning his important seat on the House Ethics Committee — here's why

Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) has resigned his position on the House Ethics Committee. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) is stepping down from an important role on the House Ethics Committee.

Woah, what?

In a Jan. 10 letter written to House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), Gowdy said he has treasured his five years on the committee but said he needed to step down because he couldn't balance his responsibilities on the committee with other committee assignments.

Gowdy has been a member of four separate committees. When he was named chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee last June, he asked House leadership to take him off one of his committees. Leadership didn't and the workload became very challenging for Gowdy.

"When I became Chairperson of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, I knew I would not be able to keep all other committee assignments," Gowdy wrote. "Four committee assignments, including a Chairmanship, is a challenging workload."

"I was happy to finish out the calendar year and conclude some matters then pending before the committee," he added.

Gowdy also serves on the Intelligence and Judiciary Committees. At the time, he was the only lawmaker serving on four separate committees.

What was the liberal reaction?

Gowdy, a career prosecutor, is known for his sharp, quick questioning during hearings. He is tough but fair. However, he is not well-liked by Democrats, and one tweet from an MSNBC contributor explained liberal sentiment toward Gowdy's committee resignation:

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