White House ally Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) appeared to issue a public threat against former Trump attorney Michael Cohen on Tuesday, just one day before Cohen is scheduled to offer public testimony before the House Oversight Committee.
According to The Daily Beast, Gaetz suggested in a tweet that Cohen’s wife might not remain faithful to him once he goes to prison and appeared to threaten outing the attorney’s supposed mistresses.
“Hey @MichaelCohen212 - Do your wife & father-in-law know about your girlfriends? Maybe tonight would be a good time for that chat,” the Republican lawmaker wrote. “I wonder if she’ll remain faithful when you’re in prison. She’s about to learn a lot…”
Gaetz’s tweet comes as Cohen testified Tuesday before the Senate Intelligence Committee in a closed-door hearing and just a day before Cohen will give public testimony.
Lawmakers are keen on questioning President Donald Trump’s longtime fixer on numerous matters, in particular the hush money payment Trump allegedly directed Cohen to make to two women claiming affairs with the president.
In a phone call with The Daily Beast’s Sam Stein, Gaetz disputed that his tweet could be construed as witness tampering, saying “it is challenging the veracity and character of a witness.”
“We do it everyday. We typically do it during people's testimony. This is what it looks like to compete in the marketplace of ideas,” Gaetz said.
If Gaetz has any factual basis for his claim, he would not let on during the phone call, instead insisting that Cohen’s marriage was fair game and he was only “raising the possibility that things could get rocky for the Cohen household when he goes to jail.”