GOP Rep. Gowdy, former chair of Benghazi panel, to retire

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GOP Rep. Gowdy, former chair of Benghazi panel, to retire
FILE - In this Dec. 7, 2017 file photo, House Judiciary Committee member Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., speaks during a House Judiciary hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. Gowdy says he will not seek re-election. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

WASHINGTON (AP) — South Carolina GOP Rep. Trey Gowdy says he will not run for re-election and will “instead be returning to the judicial system.”

Gowdy is chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee and previously chaired a highly partisan panel investigating the 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya.

Gowdy is a former federal prosecutor. In a statement, he said “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.”

The Benghazi panel revealed the existence of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s private email server and controversies involving it proved to be damaging to her failed 2016 presidential campaign.

Gowdy was elected in the 2010 tea party wave that returned control of the House to Republicans.