AP NEWS

Florida Bar moves forward with investigation of Rep. Matt Gaetz triggered by Michael Cohen tweet

May 9, 2019

Rep. Matt Gaetz, Florida Republican, risks being disciplined for allegedly attempting on Twitter to intimidate President Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen, the state bar confirmed Wednesday.

The Florida Bar is moving forward with an investigation of whether a tweet sent by Mr. Gaetz, a fierce defender of the president, warrants disciplinary action, a spokesperson said.

“The case is now being investigated by a grievance committee but no other information is available other than the status at this time,” said Florida Bar spokesperson Francine Walker.

“I’m very confident that The Florida Bar won’t impair my vigorous representation of my district,” Mr. Gaetz responded, Politico reported.

Mr. Gaetz, 37, was admitted to the Florida Bar in 2008 and is currently eligible to practice law in the state, according to his profile on the bar’s website.

The Florida Bar began investigating the congressman’s conduct after he called out Cohen, 52, on the eve of Mr. Trump’s former “fixer” testifying before a congressional committee investigating the president.

“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...,” Mr. Gaetz tweeted Feb. 27.

Mr. Gaetz eventually deleted the tweet and apologized, and Cohen testified about the president as planned the next morning before the House Oversight and Reform Committee.

“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,” Mr. Gaetz later tweeted. “I’m deleting the tweet I should have chosen words that better showed my intent. I’m sorry.”

Cohen began serving a three-year prison sentence Monday after having pleaded guilty to crimes including campaign finance law violations involving the president.