Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz says he will not cooperate with a House Ethics Committee investigation of a cryptic tweet he posted in February about Michael Cohen, the former Trump lawyer, Daily Caller reports.
The committee revealed in a letter released on Friday that it opened an investigation of Gaetz’s tweet on March 13, after receiving a complaint from an unidentified member of Congress. Gaetz, a Republican ally of President Donald Trump’s, ignored the committee’s request for a response on May 13.
Gaetz has since deleted the original tweet directed at Cohen, in which he wrote: “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…”
“I stand by the comments I made on your show. But it really highlights the double standard that exists with today’s left.”
Gaetz pointed to two Democratic lawmakers who he claimed made fiery remarks in the past that didn’t lead to a congressional probe.
“We’ve got members of Congress — Maxine Waters actually incited violence against Republicans and supporters of the president,” he claimed.
“We had Rashida Tlaib … using profanity to talk about how she was going to impeach the president.
Cohen, who is serving a three-year prison sentence, testified the next day before the House Judiciary and House Oversight & Reform Committees about his 10-year stint working for Trump. He called Trump a “racist” and accused the former real estate mogul of unethical business and political practices.
The Ethics investigation centers on “allegations that Representative Gaetz sought to threaten, intimidate, harass, or otherwise improperly influence” Cohen prior to his testimony, the letter says.
Gaetz later apologized for the tweet. The allegations were not brought up in Cohen’s congressional hearing the next day.
Gaetz said in response to the Ethics panel’s letter that he still has no plans to cooperate with the investigation.
“If members of Congress want to spend their time psychoanalyzing my tweets, it’s certainly their prerogative,” he told Politico.
“I won’t be joining them in the endeavor. Too busy.”
“I guess when a Republican says something that might go a little over the line,” he said, “it might be treated a little differently.”
The Florida lawmaker added he believed there are better things for the Democrat-led House to focus on.
“I’m worried about the 5,500 people that show up at our border every day,” he said. “I worry about the fact that we haven’t changed our asylum laws,” he added, calling on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to hold a vote on the USMCA trade deal.
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Dean James at Right Wing Tribune