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Utah’s Chaffetz to join Harvard’s Kennedy School as fellow this fall

The Boston Globe logo The Boston Globe 8/9/2017 By John Hilliard

Former US Representative Jason Chaffetz © AP Former US Representative Jason Chaffetz

Former Utah US Representative Jason Chaffetz, who pushed for an investigation of Hillary Clinton and quit in the midst of a White House probe, will join Harvard’s Kennedy School this fall as a fellow at its Institute of Politics, the school announced Wednesday.

At the Kennedy School, Chaffetz will “guide students through a discussion of the possible political, regulatory and personal impacts developing information technology may have on our expectations of privacy,” the school said in a statement on its website.

Chaffetz was a dogged critic of Clinton’s use of a private e-mail server during the presidential campaign, and as chairman of the House Oversight committee, sought to continue an investigation of Clinton even after President Trump took office.

His departed the House while playing a key role in an investigation into Trump’s firing of former FBI Director James Comey.

The Institute of Politics’ fellows program is designed to “encourage student interest in public life and to increase interaction between the academic and political communities,” the school said on its website. Six fellows were chosen for the program in the fall.

“This exceptional group of leaders and practitioners will offer our students diverse and multi-layered insights into a range of issues through their up-to-the-moment experience and demonstrated commitment to public service and civic engagement,” William Delahunt, the institute’s acting director and a former congressman from Massachusetts, said in a statement.

The institute’s lineup could make for an interesting pairing: alongside Chaffetz will be Karen Finney, a former spokeswoman for Hillary Clinton.

Chaffetz served in Congress from 2009 to June of this year, and has since become a contributor on Fox News.

Earlier this year, the 50-year-old Utah Republican said his decision to leave Congress was in reaction to a mid-life crisis and desire to spend more time with family.

Before his announcement he would not seek reelection, Chaffetz was criticized for equating health care coverage with purchasing an iPhone.

“Americans have choices and they’ve got to make a choice. And so maybe rather than getting that new iPhone that they just love and they want to go spend hundreds of dollars on that, maybe they should invest it in their own health care. They’ve got to make those decisions themselves,” Jason Chaffetz told CNN in March.

A Democratic challenger in Utah used the remark as a fund-raising opportunity.

Chaffetz apparently has time to take a vacation before coming to Harvard: on Wednesday, he tweeted he was traveling with his family to Africa for a safari.

The institute has been a home for past public officials, including former Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley; Kelly Ayotte, a former Republican US senator from New Hampshire; former Massachusetts Senator William “Mo” Cowan; and former Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis.

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