SALT LAKE CITY — On his last full day in office, Rep. Jason Chaffetz revealed new details about the book he's writing, describing it as about the alleged “deep state” in Washington, D.C., "a monster unto itself."
Chaffetz, who steps down as Utah's 3rd District congressman Friday morning, said Thursday on KSL Newsradio's "The Doug Wright Show" he gets a lot of questions about "this bureaucracy that tends to protect its own and tries to sway things politically."
As chairman of the powerful House Oversight and Government Reform Committee until recently, the Utah Republican said he's "really gotten to understand it’s a monster unto itself."
He said he's been working on the book "along the way" and hopes to have it finished in the latter part of 2018. On Wednesday, Chaffetz told the Deseret News he had "come to verbal terms" on a book deal but wasn't talking about the subject.
The “deep state,” a term used to refer to what some call a U.S. shadow government operated by entrenched institutions and others say is a conspiracy theory, has been promoted by members of President Donald Trump's administration.
The president's chief strategist, Steve Bannon, spoke of the need for the "deconstruction of the administrative state" during a speech to conservatives in February.
Brietbart News, a conservative publication whose founders include Bannon, writes frequently about the “deep state” and its attempts to bring down the Trump presidency through leaks of classified information and collusion with liberal media.
Chaffetz is also starting as a contributor to Fox News on Saturday. He announced in April he would not seek a sixth term in Congress in 2018 and later confirmed he was leaving office early for a position in the private sector.
Chaffetz said spending more time with his family is his primary reason for resigning, but congressional inaction despite GOP control of the House and Senate has made him "so sour" that he decided someone else should hold the office.
Trump, he said, is not to blame for his frustration.
A special election to fill Chaffetz's seat in November is already underway. The 3rd District represents parts of Salt Lake and Utah counties, as well as Carbon, Emery, Grand, San Juan and Wasatch counties.