Trump fan Rep. Matt Gaetz is now under investigation for potentially trying to 'threaten' Michael Cohen

Trump fan Rep. Matt Gaetz is now under investigation for potentially trying to 'threaten' Michael Cohen
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News & Politics

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) is under investigation for his apparent attempt to intimidate attorney Michael Cohen out of testifying before Congress, the House Ethics Committee announced in a statement Friday.

An investigative subcommittee has been convened to examine the issue. The committee noted that the existence of the subcommittee does not imply that a violation occurred.

But Gaetz came under scrutiny in February when he tweeted to Michael Cohen, a former lawyer for Donald Trump, who turned against the president and cooperated with investigators when he got caught up in the Russia investigation. Cohen had been scheduled to testify at a hearing before House Oversight Committee when Gaetz unleashed on him with unsubstantiated allegations on Twitter.

“Hey @MichaelCohen212—do your wife and father-in-law know about your girlfriends?” Gaetz said in a tweet, which has since been deleted. "Maybe tonight would be a good time for that chat. I wonder if she'll remain faithful when you're in prison. She's about to learn a lot..."

Gaetz later apologized for the tweet and said it was not his "intent to threaten." However, many legal experts suggested that Gaetz's tweet could violate federal laws against witness tampering and intimidation. Trump himself has also been accused of attempting to intimidate Cohen out of testifying.

It appears unlikely that Gaetz would actually face federal charges for a single, deleted tweeted, but the Florida Bar has reportedly looked into the matter and could conceivably revoke his law license. Now the Ethics Committee will examine the case and could recommend some form of formal sanction.

The Committee said that it received a complaint about Gaetz's behavior in March, but Gaetz has refused to testify as a part of a review. Without his testimony, the Committee's statement said, it was unable to "dispose of the complaint," which triggered the opening of the subcommittee.

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