Speed Reads

retirement season

GOP Rep. Trey Gowdy, who spearheaded the Benghazi probe, unexpectedly announces his retirement from politics

Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C) announced Wednesday that he will not run for re-election in 2018. Gowdy has served as the representative for South Carolina's fourth congressional district since 2011. In June, he replaced former Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) as the chairman of the House Oversight Committee.

Gowdy rose to prominence as the head of the House Select Committee on Benghazi, leading a nearly two-year probe into the deaths of four Americans at the U.S. Embassy in Benghazi, Libya, in 2012. In a statement announcing his decision, Gowdy said that he would be leaving Capitol Hill to return to his former life as a lawyer. "Whatever skills I may have are better utilized in a courtroom than in Congress," he wrote. "I enjoy our justice system more than our political system."

Gowdy is one of dozens of congressional Republicans to announce their retirement in the last few months, including just the latest in a string of committee chairmen. Read his full statement below. Kelly O'Meara Morales