Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) apologized for a tweet directed a former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen that many interpreted as a threat ahead of his public testimony in front of the House Oversight committee this morning:
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. I’m deleting the tweet & I should have chosen words that better showed my intent. I’m sorry. https://t.co/Rdbw3sTQJD
— Matt Gaetz (@mattgaetz) February 27, 2019
Here’s the now-deleted tweet:
Since Matt Gaetz deleted the tweet, let me share it here as a screenshot for all to see. pic.twitter.com/dtOpIw2E5J
— Jennifer Hayden (@Scout_Finch) February 27, 2019
Gaetz’s apology came after this tweet from Speaker Nancy Pelosi, warning him that the Speech and Debate clause might not protect him from charges of witness intimidation:
Pelosi suggests Gaetz may have broken House ethics rules and may not have constitutional protection from law enforcement. https://t.co/A47WpcrSJI
— Brian Beutler (@brianbeutler) February 27, 2019
Too late for an apology?
Revealing embarrassing information and threatening to reveal more is not “testing” a witness. It is intimidating a witness. https://t.co/Pwxxdba9dE
— Renato Mariotti (@renato_mariotti) February 26, 2019
Let me put it this way: if one of my clients made a statement to a witness like @mattgaetz did, I'd be telling them to board their dogs so they don't get shot when the arrest team shows up.
— WitnessTestingHat (@Popehat) February 26, 2019
And before the deletion, Gaetz clarified what he meant on the floor of the House:
I guess tomorrow we'll find out if there's anyone Cohen hasn't lied to!
I think it's entirely appropriate for any member of this body to challenge the truthfulness, veracity, and character for people who have a history and future full of lies.
That's the story of Michael Cohen. pic.twitter.com/SCEODKNteR
— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) February 27, 2019
Gaetz told reporters last night that he did not coordinate with the president on the allegations made in the now-deleted tweet:
Q: Have you spoken to the president about these allegations you’re making?
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.”
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) February 26, 2019
'Uh, wow': Did Rep. Matt Gaetz seriously just threaten Michael Cohen on the eve of Cohen's congressional testimony? https://t.co/3rRYv2IaPb
— Twitchy Team (@TwitchyTeam) February 26, 2019