What are the details?
On Tuesday, Gaetz tweeted, "Hey [Michael Cohen] - Do your wife & father-in-law know about your girlfriends? Maybe tonight would be a good time for that chat."
He added, "I wonder if she'll remain faithful when you're in prison. She's about to learn a lot..."
The comment sparked fury on social media — with some accusing Gaetz of witness intimidation and others saying it was unbecoming behavior for an elected official — leading to calls for the congressman to resign or be reprimanded. There were also murmurings that Gaetz could be in legal trouble for his actions.
Gaetz quickly denied the accusations of witness tampering, saying he was merely "witness testing."
Without naming Gaetz, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) issued a statement warning of a possible ethics violation.
"I encourage all members to be mindful 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," she said.
"As a result, such statements can be construed as not reflecting creditably on the House," Pelosi continued, "and the Committee on Ethics should vigilantly monitor these types of statements, which may not be protected by the speech or debate clause."
I encourage all Members to be mindful that comments made on social media or in the press can adversely affect the a… https://t.co/5WwXBYKDyz— Nancy Pelosi (@Nancy Pelosi) 1551225567.0
In response, Gaetz tweeted late Tuesday night: "Speaker, I want to get the truth too. 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."
He added, "I'm deleting the tweet & should have chosen words that better showed my intent. I'm sorry."
Speaker, I want to get the truth too. While it is important 2 create context around the testimony of liars like Mic… https://t.co/2oU71WvJg0— Matt Gaetz (@Matt Gaetz) 1551243147.0
According to Politico, the congressman also defended himself on the House floor:
I think it is entirely appropriate for any member of this body to challenge the truthfulness and veracity and character for the people who have a history of lying and have a future that undoubtedly contains nothing but lies. That is the story of Michael Cohen. We'll see it plays out tomorrow and I for one can't wait to get to the bottom of things.