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GOP Rep. Trey Gowdy announces surprise retirement
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GOP Rep. Trey Gowdy announces surprise retirement

Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), the chairman of the House Oversight Committee, announced Wednesday that he will not seek re-election when filing begins in six weeks and instead plans to leave politics altogether when his current term ends.

Gowdy, a former prosecutor, also led the Benghazi committee, which investigated the 2012 attacks on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, as well as the response by the State Department, which was under the leadership of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the time.

What are the details?

Gowdy's lengthy statement was shared in an image on Twitter and captioned, "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."

Gowdy in the statement said that he believed his talents would better be utilized in the courtroom rather than in Congress, adding that he enjoys the U.S. justice system more than he enjoys the U.S. political system.

"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," Gowdy wrote. "As I look back on my career, it is the jobs that both seek and reward fairness that are most rewarding."

Gowdy also thanked the people of South Carolina for the privilege of representing them in the House, and concluded pointing to the Bible's book of Ecclesiastes.

"The book of Ecclesiastes teaches us there is a time and season for all things," he wrote. "There is a time to start and a time to end. 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."

Anything else?

Earlier in January, Gowdy resigned his post on the House Ethics Committee.

In a letter addressed to House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), Gowdy said he treasured his five years on the committee but needed to step down because he felt he could not adequately balance those committee responsibilities with other committee responsibilities.

Gowdy also served as a member of the House Intelligence Committee and has most recently pushed for the release of the House Intelligence Committee FISA memo addressing alleged abuse of government surveillance systems.

He is one among many GOP committee chairs who are leaving their positions by the end of 2018. You can read a listing of those leaving their positions here.

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