House Ethics Committee will look at whether Gaetz’s February tweet about Cohen’s “girlfriends” was a threat
WASHINGTON (CFP) — The House Ethics Committee will investigate whether U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida violated ethics rules when he posted a tweet directed toward President Donald Trump’s former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, on the eve of his testimony to Congress.
In the February 26 tweet, Gaetz asked, “Do your wife & father-in-law know about your girlfriends? 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…”
An ethics subcommittee will investigate whether Gaetz “sought to threaten, intimidate, harass, or otherwise improperly influence” Cohen, according to a committee statement announcing the investigation.
The committee decided to proceed with an investigation after Gaetz, one of Trump’s most vocal supporters in Congress, refused a request from the committee to sit for an interview, according to the statement.
After a controversy arose over the tweet, Gaetz deleted it, apologized and denied that his intent was to threaten Cohen, who the next day regaled the House Oversight Committee with details of his years working at the president’s side.
Cohen is currently service a three-year federal prison sentence for tax and bank fraud and campaign finance violations.
Gaetz’s office did not immediately respond to the committee’s statement. But Politico quoted a text message from Gaetz: “If members of Congress want to spend their time psychoanalyzing my tweets, it’s certainly their prerogative. I won’t be joining them in the endeavor. Too busy.“
Gaetz has represented Florida’s 1st District, which covers the state’s western panhandle, since 2017.
The House members on the subcommittee that will handle the complaint against Gaetz includes Democrats Anthony Brown of Maryland and Raja Krishnamoorthi and Republicans Michael Guest of Mississippi and John Rose of Tennessee.