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Trey Gowdy won't seek reelection, may return to justice system


Rep. Trey Gowdy announced Wednesday that he will not run for reelection.

The South Carolina Republican and former federal prosecutor will run in November, he said in a statement.

"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," he said in the statement posted to Twitter.

Gowdy became a household name for chairing the House select committee on the 2012 terrorist attack on the U.S. Embassy in Benghazi.

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His near laser-like focus on former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton won him accolades from hardline Republicans and scorn from democrats.

Gowdy pressed for the prosecution of Clinton during the 2016 campaign, citing her use of a private email server while running the State Department.

Gowdy joins the ranks of eight fellow powerful GOP committee chairmen who have announced they will not run for reelection.

That represents a larger movement in Congress.

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So far, more than 50 of the House’s 435 members have announced they are leaving Congress — 35 Republicans and 16 Democrats.

“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,” he said.

It’s unclear exactly what the 53-year-old has planned for the future.

The Hill noted that a vacancy on the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, which has jurisdiction over South Carolina, opened up just one day before Gowdy announced his retirement.

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