Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) on Tuesday tweeted Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's former personal attorney, in what some are calling a "threat" just 18 hours before Cohen is scheduled to testify before Congress.
Hey @MichaelCohen212 - 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...— Matt Gaetz (@mattgaetz) February 26, 2019
During a press conference, reporters asked Gaetz various questions. The biggest question the media has: is Gaetz privy to information the general public doesn't know?
Gaetz's response was simple: "Watch tomorrow," meaning see what Cohen says during his Congressional testimony.
My short text convo with @mattgaetz just now:— Alex Ward (@AlexWardVox) February 26, 2019
Me: Congressman, Any chance you have a few minutes to discuss what you implied with your tweet to Michael Cohen? Perhaps a preview?
Gaetz: Watch tomorrow.
Me: Will do -- anything I should be prepared for?
Gaetz: Fireworks https://t.co/g1bwYcjvrg
His short interview with MSNBC was rather enlightening. Gaetz said he's not threatening Cohen, but rather trying to vet how truthful he'll be.
"This isn't witness threatening. This is witness testing. When people like Michael Cohen, who's about to go to prison for lying, come before the Congress, there's an enhanced responsibility on the members of Congress to test that veracity, to test the truthfulness and character of the witness and I think we ought to do it with great vigor," Gaetz explained. "We already know Michael Cohen lies to Congress. We already know Michael Cohen lies to law enforcement. Now we're going to find out if Michael Cohen lies to his own family."
Reporter asks Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) about his Michael Cohen tweet: "Do you have any insight into Michael Cohen's relationships?"— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) February 27, 2019
Gaetz: "Well, I think you should tune in tomorrow to find out."pic.twitter.com/NeFXXPeOif
Reporters also asked Gaetz what President Trump thinks of the Congressmen's tweets to Cohen. His reply was rather sarcastic, to say the least.
Rep. Matt Gaetz, speaking outside his office to reporters, repeatedly argued that his tweet on Michael Cohen is not a threat and it’s not witness tampering but “witness testing.” Per @KilloughCNN— Manu Raju (@mkraju) February 26, 2019
Q: Have you spoken to the president about these allegations you’re making?— Manu Raju (@mkraju) February 26, 2019
Gaetz: “I think the President’s a little busy saving us from nuclear war on the Korean Peninsula to be worried about my twitter feed.”
Gaetz even received marginal legal advice from Ken White, a criminal defense attorney at Brown, White, and Osborn LLP.
/2 It sure seems like you're threatening Michael Cohen that if he testifies before Congress you, or people aligned with you, will bring out embarrassing details about him. pic.twitter.com/6nZpuPaRZt— WitnessTestingHat (@Popehat) February 26, 2019
/3 There's a whole bunch of obstruction statutes, sir, and if you're threatening to reveal embarrassing information to deter a witness from testifying before Congress, I think you need advice about whether you may be violating one or more of them. https://t.co/IcYiMRkJGP— WitnessTestingHat (@Popehat) February 26, 2019
/4 The United States Department of Justice seems to take those obstruction laws rather seriously, and know a lot about them.https://t.co/WJONcyR192— WitnessTestingHat (@Popehat) February 26, 2019
/5 You may try to invoke the Speech and Debate Clause, citing you Twitter account as an official act. Ask your lawyers about that; I hope you're not relying on it.— WitnessTestingHat (@Popehat) February 26, 2019
/6 In short, lawyer up, dirtbag. /end— WitnessTestingHat (@Popehat) February 26, 2019
Looks like all we can do is see what comes of Cohen's testimony.