Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) will face the Florida Bar’s grievance committee over an intimidating tweet he sent about former Donald Trump attorney Michael Cohen, the Tampa Bay Times reports.
The Florida Bar on Wednesday determined an investigation into Gaetz’ tweets will proceed, setting up the possibility that the Florida Republican will face discipline after he tweeted about Cohen’s “girlfriends” as the former Trump “fixer” prepared to testify before the House Oversight Committee.
“Do your wife & father-in-law know about your girlfriends?” Gaetz wrote, before deleting the tweet. “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 also appeared in the hearing room during Cohen’s testimony, telling the Washington Examiner he was there to “ask questions,” despite not being a member of the committee.
As the Tampa Bay Times reports, legal experts — including former director of the Office of Government Ethics Walter Shaub — likened his actions to witness intimidation. Gaetz later apologized for the tweet.
“While it is important 2 create context around the testimony of liars like Michael Cohen, it was NOT my intent to threaten, as some believe I did. I’m deleting the tweet,” Gaetz posted on Twitter, adding he “should have chosen words that better showed” his intent.
According to the Tampa Bay Times, the grievance committee — which it describes as a “grand jury-like panel” — “will assign the case to an investigator who will interview witnesses and review evidence.”
“The investigator will then make a recommendation to the committee,” the Times reports. “It could take up to 6 months.”
Wednesday, the congressman’s spokeswoman Jillian Lane Wyant said Gaetz “remains confident that the Florida Bar will not impair his vigorous and successful representation of his district.”