Kevin Underhill explains to Mr. Gaetz why his tweet directed at Michael Cohen before the hearing could indeed be considered witness intimidation:
- “Do your wife and father-in-law know about your girlfriends?” U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz tweeted at Michael Cohen. “She’s about to learn a lot….” Because he tweeted this the night before Cohen was scheduled to testify before Congress, and because Cohen was not planning to testify about any girlfriends, that sure seems like a threat intended to influence the testimony of a person in an official proceeding, according to virtually everyone except Matt Gaetz. Gaetz insisted it was not witness tampering but rather something called “witness testing.” He did not explain this concept further.
- Astoundingly, given that Gaetz was informed last night that what he did is quite possibly illegal, and he semi-apologized and deleted the tweet, he then showed up this morning before the Oversight Committee hearing, though he is not a member of that committee, and stood where he could be seen by the witness. I guess further testing was needed.
- If Gaetz still doesn’t know about 18 U.S.C. section 1512, he should at least know where to find it, because he’s a lawyer. I learned this because of the report that the Florida Bar has opened an investigation into whether this violates the rules of ethics (if it violates the statute, it certainly would), which would be irrelevant unless the Bar had, at some point, granted him a license. (It has.)