GOP congressman faces even more investigation for threatening a witness
An investigation into Florida GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz for alleged witness tampering has entered a more serious phase.
Florida Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz seems to think his job in Congress is protecting Trump at all costs — and now he’s starting to pay the price for that.
The Florida Bar Association recently opened an investigation into Gaetz for alleged witness tampering. And that investigation entered a more serious phase on Wednesday, after the Florida Bar Association convened a “grand jury-like panel” to determine whether Gaetz’s threat to former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen broke Florida’s legal ethical code, the Tampa Bay Times reported.
The investigation was sparked by a menacing tweet Gaetz sent ahead of Cohen’s testimony before Congress back in February.
“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…” Gaetz tweeted and later deleted, after experts warned that his tweets looked like witness tampering.
After sending the tweet, Gaetz then attended Cohen’s testimony — despite not being a member of the committee holding the hearing — in what also looked like a menacing move.
Witness tampering is defined by 18 U.S. Code 1512 as anyone who, “knowingly uses intimidation, threatens, or corruptly persuades another person, or attempts to do so, or engages in misleading conduct toward another person, with intent to influence, delay, or prevent the testimony of any person in an official proceeding.”
It is punishable by a fine, a maximum of 20 years in prison, or both.
Gaetz was apparently so scared by the fact that he probably broke the law with his tough guy act that he personally texted Cohen to apologize.
“I am writing to personally tell you I’m sorry for the tweet that I sent which many believe was threatening to you,” Gaetz texted to Cohen, according to Vanity Fair. “It was never ever ever my intent to threaten you in any way.”
However, that apology didn’t seem to be good enough for the Florida Bar Association, which will now interview witnesses and look through evidence of Gaetz’s threat, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
If the Florida Bar Association finds that there is probable cause to charge Gaetz with witness tampering, it will file a complaint with the Florida Supreme Court, which will then hold a trial, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
Gaetz has pulled a lot of dumb stunts in his short time in Congress, including holding a photo-op at a border wall prototype site 100 miles from the border and falsely claiming that he was actually at the border witnessing Trump’s wall being built.
However, threatening Cohen might have been his dumbest move yet — and could get him in actual legal trouble.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.
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