At a town hall meeting on Thursday night held by Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), the chair of the House Oversight Committee, the mood got rough, when hundreds of people demanded answers from Chaffetz regarding a host of controversies: his unwillingness to investigate President Donald Trump's conflicts of interest, his support for Obamacare repeal, a proposal to sell off public lands, and more.
"You're really not going to like this part," Chaffetz said at one point. "The president under the law is exempt from the conflict of interests laws."
That remark—and many of his other comments—was met with jeers, as people chanted, "Do your job!" and "We want to get rid of you!" The raucous event came amid complaints from Democrats on the committee that Chaffetz won't investigate the Trump administration's various global entanglements and possible ethics violations. Critics noted he had enthusiastically pursued Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server to portray him as a hypocrite for not investigating Trump's conflicts.
The angry crowd also blasted Chaffetz for a bill he introduced in January to sell off public lands and for his efforts to defund Planned Parenthood.
Cancer survivor — who relies on Planned Parenthood for care — asks Chaffetz: “Why are you trying to take [it] away?” pic.twitter.com/yexjMZ7wz6— Dan Diamond (@ddiamond) February 10, 2017
Utah Congressman Chaffetz gets totally owned by 10 year old girl's sick burn about science, refuses to answer her question & crowd goes wild pic.twitter.com/FxKUM2TklY— Aaron Stewart-Ahn (@somebadideas) February 10, 2017
Chaffetz is getting booed by my mother in the auditorium of my old high school. Sometimes, life is beautiful. #ChaffetzTownHall— Sasha Smith (@SashaPSmith) February 10, 2017
During a meeting with Trump in the Oval Office Tuesday, Chaffetz afterward said the president had instructed him not to raise the topic of "oversight"—to which he had replied "fair enough." Some town hall attendees expressed anger over Chaffetz's failure to confront the president on this point. Others threatened his current term would be his last.
The town hall meeting reportedly ended 40 minutes early, with Chaffetz refusing to take questions from the press as he departed.
Hillary Clinton endured an 11-hour Benghazi hearing.— Nick Jack Pappas (@Pappiness) February 10, 2017
Chaffetz left his town hall 40 minutes early.#ChaffetzTownHall