Matt Gaetz will face Florida Bar grievance committee for tweet about Michael Cohen’s ‘girlfriends’

Written by on May 8, 2019

Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., will face a grievance committee in the Florida Bar’s investigation of his intimidating tweet about former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen.

The Florida Bar said on Wednesday that the panel, described by the Tampa Bay Times as being akin to a grand jury, will take the case up from the initial review and decide if there was probable cause that Gaetz, who is licensed to practice law in Florida, violated state rules for lawyers.

The association, as the highest governing body over licensed lawyers in Florida, was tasked with investigating dozens of complaints issued by Florida lawyers against Gaetz, including intimidation of a witness.

Guidelines published by the Florida Bar stipulate Florida’s Supreme Court will have the final say on sanctions, if any, including disbarment.

“Congressman Gaetz remains confident that the Florida Bar will not impair his vigorous and successful representation of his district,” Gaetz’s spokeswoman Jillian Lane Wyant told the Washington Examiner.

In late February, the night before Cohen was set to testify to the House Oversight Committee about his work for President Trump, Gaetz asked Cohen on Twitter: “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…”

Gaetz, who made an appearance at the hearing despite not being a member of the committee, deleted the tweet and apologized for it, claiming he never meant to threaten anybody.

In a phone call reported by Vanity Fair, the congressman told Cohen he chose his words “poorly” in his text.

“Congressman Gaetz, I cannot thank you enough for your message,” Cohen wrote back. “The tweet, sadly, has only made a bad situation worse … not only for my wife but for my children as well. With your permission, I would like to share your message with my wife and children. Hopefully, it will bring a little peace to their damaged life. We all make mistakes especially in this crazy partisan time. Thank you again for your text and I hope that the tweet does not cause you any harm. If it does, and there is anything I can do to help you correct it, please feel free to reach out and I would be happy to assist.”

Cohen, who pleaded guilty to a handful of crimes, including bank fraud, lying to Congress, and illegal campaign contributions, began his three-year prison sentence Monday.

Source: Washington Examiner – Congress

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