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House Intel Democrat Denny Heck announces retirement

U.S. Representative Denny Heck (D-WA) attends the Open Hearings on the Impeachment of President Donald Trump of the House Intelligence Committee in Washington
Rep. Denny Heck attends the open hearings on the impeachment inquiry of President Trump of the House Intelligence Committee. Photo: Michael Brochstein/Echoes Wire/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Rep. Denny Heck (D-Wash.) announced Wednesday that he will not seek re-election.

Why it matters: Heck has served four terms as a congressman and is a member of the House Intelligence Committee, which was responsible for leading the impeachment inquiry into allegations that President Trump pressured Ukraine to investigate his political rivals. Heck is one of a handful of other House Democrats departing office in 2020.

What he's saying:

"In the spirit of complete openness, 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. 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.
"As has been observed, however, to some degree he is a symptom and not the cause or at least the only cause. The truth is that civic discourse began degrading before him.... None of this discouragement in any way diminishes the bone-deep gratitude I feel for the privilege to serve in Congress and for all who have made this incredible journey possible — my family, the voters of the 10th District, my staff and all the countless people who have extended a thousand kindnesses along the way. So, in less it hasn't been clear enough: Thank you! But it is time for me to retire."
— Heck in a Medium post

Go deeper: The members of Congress departing in 2020