tamper tantrum
February 27, 2019

The Florida Bar on Wednesday opened an investigation into the tweet posted on Tuesday by Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), in which he appeared to threaten Michael Cohen, who is testifying before the House Oversight Committee on his relationship with President Trump, The Tampa Bay Times reports.

"The Florida Bar is aware of the comments made in a tweet yesterday by Rep. Matt Gaetz," a Bar spokeswoman said. "If rules have been violated, the Florida Bar will vigorously pursue appropriate discipline by the Florida Supreme Court."

The tweet — in which Gaetz, a lawyer and member of the Bar, asked, "Hey @MichaelCohen212 - Do your wife & father-in-law know about your girlfriends?" — was seen by many as potential witness tampering, and though Gaetz denied that the message was a threat, he apologized for and deleted the tweet late on Tuesday night. It was addressed in the hearing itself when Rep. Stacey Plaskett (D-V.I.) said that there "should be a referral to the [House] Ethics Committee of witness intimidation or tampering ... and maybe possibly him being referred for a criminal prosecution." While The New York Times notes that such an investigation seems unlikely, what is certain is that Gaetz probably should have held his fire — or, if he was really curious, ask Cohen himself during a break in Wednesday's proceedings. Jacob Lambert

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