The Florida Bar has confirmed to WLRN that it has opened an investigation into a tweet sent on Tuesday by Republican Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz, which some have interpreted as witness tampering. Gaetz is a Bar certified attorney in Florida.
The tweet was directed towards President Trump's longtime personal attorney Michael Cohen, who is testifying before Congress today about his relationship with the President.
The tweet, which Gaetz has since deleted, read: "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…”
A slew of law professors argued that the tweet was witness tampering. Gaetz spoke to reporters in Washington after the tweet was posted, saying, “This isn't witness tampering, it's witness testing." He deleted the tweet after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi posted a message reminding members of congress that “comments made on social media or in the press can adversely affect the ability of House Committees to obtain the truthful and complete information necessary to fulfill their duties.”
— Richard Madan (@RichardMadan) February 26, 2019
“[I]t was NOT my intent to threaten, as some believe I did,” wrote Gaetz. “I’m deleting the tweet & I should have chosen words that better showed my intent. I’m sorry.”
The Florida Bar cited confidentiality rules in saying it is unable to provide more details on the investigation, including the number of complaints it has received about the tweet.
Rep. Gaetz’ office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.