Rep. Denny Heck, D-Wash., announces retirement

Dec. 4 (UPI) — Rep. Denny Heck, D-Wash., who serves on the House Intelligence Committee, announced his retirement on Wednesday, effective at the end of his term.

Heck was first elected to Congress in 2012, lost a redistricted 2014 race and returned to Congress in 2016 to represent Washington’s 10th District, which includes the state capital of Olympia and parts of Spokane.

His Twitter announcement on Wednesday directed readers to a letter which listed several accomplishments but noted “that part of me is also discouraged.”

“The countless hours I have spent in the investigation of Russian election interference and the impeachment inquiry have rendered my soul weary,” Heck wrote. “I will never understand how some of my colleagues, in many ways good people, could ignore or deny the President’s unrelenting attack on a free press, his vicious character assassination of anyone who disagreed with him, and his demonstrably very distant relationship with the truth.”

In November, Heck was prominent in hearings of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. He used his allotted time to question witnesses on how President Donald Trump‘s desire for Ukraine to investigate his political rivals affected those involved in conducting U.S. carrying out foreign policy.

“For as long as I can remember, U.S. foreign policy has been predicated on advancing principled interests and Democratic values. When American leaders ask foreign governments to investigate their rivals, does it make it more difficult for you to do your job?” Heck asked State Department official George Kent and acting Ambassador to Ukraine Bill Taylor.

“I think it makes it more difficult, yes,” answered Kent.