The GOP lawmaker who was charged with obstructing a federal investigation for wearing a hooded placket shirt in 2016 told The Hill he was unaware that it was part of the probe when he took it off.
The Hill reported Wednesday that House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, told reporters Tuesday that he did not know about the investigation when he removed the hooded shirts.
Chaffetz told reporters that his intent was to look good for the GOP, and to protect himself and the committee from the fallout of the case.
“I took the hoods off,” he said.
“I don’t know what happened.
I took them off when I got into the office.
They’re my shirt.”
Chaffets office did not immediately respond to The Hill’s request for comment.
Chaffetts spokesman, Josh Holmes, did not respond to a request for additional comment.
A federal grand jury indicted former Rep. Tom McClintock, R, on Jan. 17, 2017, on charges that he knowingly committed an offense while wearing a mask during a House Oversight Committee hearing.
The investigation began when McClintocks office was searched by the FBI after a whistleblower revealed that the lawmaker had worn a mask while he was in charge of the House’s operations and was asked for details about the FBI investigation.
McClintocks defense team argued that the FBI searched his office and did not find any evidence of wrongdoing.
A month later, McClintcks office was raided by the IRS, which had subpoenaed records from McClintches office.
McClints defense team alleged that he had nothing to do with the IRS investigation and said the IRS was seeking information because the House was conducting an investigation into his former office.