Congress

Matt Gaetz says Florida Bar finds ‘no probable cause’ he violated rules with Cohen tweet

Florida Republican had appeared to intimidate ex-Trump lawyer with February tweet

Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz, right, says the state bar is taking “no disciplinary action” against him for a February tweet directed at former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Matt Gaetz announced Wednesday that the Florida Bar had found “no probable cause” that he violated the rules of his profession over a tweet that appeared to intimidate President Donald Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen.

“They are taking no disciplinary action against me & are sending a letter of advice,” the Florida Republican tweeted. Gaetz is licensed to practice law in the Sunshine State.

The Florida Bar had not yet responded to a request for comment.

The bar opened the investigation in February in response to Gaetz’s tweet sent a day before Cohen testified at a House committee hearing against his old boss in February.

“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...” the congressman said. 

[Florida Bar moves forward on investigating Matt Gaetz over Cohen tweet]

The bar referred the case to its grievance committee, a panel akin to a grand jury, the Tampa Bay Times reported. Had the committee found probable cause, it could have led to charges being filed and a trial in front of a judge. 

Gaetz later deleted the tweet and apologized after an admonishment from Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

He followed up by announcing on Twitter that he had “personally” apologized to Cohen for “referencing his private family in the public square.” 

“Regardless of disagreements, family members should be off-limits from attacks from representatives, senators & presidents, including myself. Let’s leave the Cohen family alone,” he said.

The House Ethics Committee opened its own investigation in June into Gaetz and his tweet.  The panel had sought an interview with the congressman, but he declined, triggering the inquiry.

That investigation remains open.

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